Rutherford County, North Carolina

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Rutherford County
County of Rutherford
Rutherford County Courthouse in Rutherfordton
Rutherford County Courthouse in Rutherfordton
Official seal of Rutherford County
Official logo of Rutherford County
Motto(s): 
"Small Town Friendly"
Map of North Carolina highlighting Rutherford County
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°24′N 81°55′W / 35.4°N 81.92°W / 35.4; -81.92
Country United States
State North Carolina
Founded1779
Named forGriffith Rutherford
SeatRutherfordton
Largest townForest City
Area
 • Total566 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Land564 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Water1.7 sq mi (4 km2)  0.3%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
64,586
 • Density114.5/sq mi (44.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts10th, 11th
Websiterutherfordcountync.gov

Rutherford County is a county in the southwestern area of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 64,444.[1] Its county seat is Rutherfordton.[2]

Rutherford County comprises the Forest City, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The county was formed in 1779 from the western part of the former Tryon County. It was named for Griffith Rutherford, leader of an expedition against the Cherokee in 1776 and a general in the American Revolutionary War.

In 1791 parts of Rutherford County and Burke County were combined to form Buncombe County. In 1841 parts of Rutherford and Lincoln counties were combined to form Cleveland County. In 1842 additional parts of Rutherford and Burke counties were combined to form McDowell County. Finally, in 1855, parts of Rutherford and Henderson counties were combined to form Polk County.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 566 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 564 square miles (1,460 km2) is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) (0.3%) is water.[3]

Rutherford County Elevation

State and local protected areas[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major water-bodies[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Other major infrastructure[edit]

Demography[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
17907,808
180010,75337.7%
181013,20222.8%
182015,35116.3%
183017,55714.4%
184019,2029.4%
185013,550−29.4%
186011,573−14.6%
187013,12113.4%
188015,19815.8%
189018,77023.5%
190025,10133.7%
191028,38513.1%
192031,42610.7%
193040,45228.7%
194045,57712.7%
195046,3561.7%
196045,091−2.7%
197047,3375.0%
198053,78713.6%
199056,9185.8%
200062,89910.5%
201067,8107.8%
202064,444−5.0%
2021 (est.)64,586[4]0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2013[9]
2020[10]

2020 census[edit]

Rutherford County racial composition[11]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 52,026 80.73%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5,836 9.06%
Native American 152 0.24%
Asian 343 0.53%
Pacific Islander 23 0.04%
Other/Mixed 2,778 4.31%
Hispanic or Latino 3,286 5.1%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 64,444 people, 27,970 households, and 18,874 families residing in the county.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[12] of 2000, the county had 62,899 people, 25,191 households, and 17,935 families. The population density was 112 people per square mile (43/km2). There were 29,535 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile (20/km2). The county's racial makeup was 86.79% White, 11.23% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 1.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The largest ancestry groups in Rutherford County are:[13]

  • English - 44%
  • Irish - 9%
  • African American - 11%
  • German - 5%
  • Scotch-Irish - 4%
  • Scottish - 3%
  • Dutch - 2%
  • Italian - 1%
  • French or French Canadian (except Basque) - 1%
  • Mexican - 1%
  • Polish - 1%

There were 25,191 households, out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.40% were married couples living together, 11.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.80% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.80% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

The county's median household income was $31,122, and the median family income was $37,787. Males had a median income of $28,890 versus $21,489 for females. The county's per capita income was $16,270. About 10.40% of families and 13.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 13.80% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

In 2010, Rutherford County was selected as the location for a new $450 million data center for Facebook.[14][15]

Horsehead Corporation announced the construction of its new, state-of-the-art zinc and diversified metals production facility in Rutherford County, NC, near the municipality of Forest City.[16]

Camp Bud Scheile A Boy Scout camp run by the Piedmont Council BSA is located North of Forest City. It can accommodate as many as 1800 campers every summer.

Communities[edit]

Map of Rutherford County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

Towns[edit]

Village[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

  • Camp Creek
  • Chimney Rock
  • Colfax
  • Cool Spring
  • Duncans Creek
  • Gilkey
  • Golden Valley
  • Green Hill
  • High Shoals
  • Logan Store
  • Morgan
  • Rutherfordton
  • Sulphur Springs
  • Union

Politics[edit]

Rutherford is currently a powerfully Republican county. No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Rutherford County since Jimmy Carter did so in 1976. Before 1928 when Herbert Hoover won it, however, the county was a clear-cut part of the Democratic "Solid South".

United States presidential election results for Rutherford County, North Carolina[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 24,891 72.30% 9,135 26.53% 403 1.17%
2016 21,871 72.16% 7,512 24.79% 924 3.05%
2012 18,954 66.04% 9,374 32.66% 374 1.30%
2008 18,769 65.35% 9,641 33.57% 310 1.08%
2004 16,343 66.28% 8,184 33.19% 131 0.53%
2000 13,755 63.34% 7,697 35.44% 264 1.22%
1996 9,792 52.73% 7,162 38.57% 1,617 8.71%
1992 9,748 47.95% 7,855 38.64% 2,726 13.41%
1988 10,337 59.73% 6,926 40.02% 43 0.25%
1984 11,369 62.23% 6,862 37.56% 37 0.20%
1980 8,363 49.29% 8,315 49.01% 288 1.70%
1976 6,718 39.24% 10,361 60.52% 42 0.25%
1972 9,506 68.80% 4,140 29.97% 170 1.23%
1968 7,785 46.11% 4,622 27.38% 4,476 26.51%
1964 7,115 42.72% 9,541 57.28% 0 0.00%
1960 8,993 51.25% 8,554 48.75% 0 0.00%
1956 8,200 53.22% 7,208 46.78% 0 0.00%
1952 8,387 51.96% 7,755 48.04% 0 0.00%
1948 4,342 36.95% 5,992 51.00% 1,416 12.05%
1944 4,698 38.90% 7,379 61.10% 0 0.00%
1940 4,204 32.16% 8,869 67.84% 0 0.00%
1936 4,830 32.77% 9,911 67.23% 0 0.00%
1932 4,448 34.65% 8,336 64.93% 54 0.42%
1928 5,762 58.16% 4,146 41.84% 0 0.00%
1924 3,897 43.17% 5,101 56.51% 29 0.32%
1920 4,015 44.04% 5,101 55.96% 0 0.00%
1916 1,871 43.35% 2,445 56.65% 0 0.00%
1912 82 2.14% 2,180 56.93% 1,567 40.92%


Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Rutherford County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Rutherford County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Rutherford County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  11. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ Census, United States Bureau of the (1983). 1980 Census of Population and Housing: Census tracts. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". www.facebook.com. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 17, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°24′N 81°55′W / 35.40°N 81.92°W / 35.40; -81.92