Smithfield, North Carolina

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Smithfield, North Carolina
Downtown Smithfield, North Carolina
Flag of Smithfield, North Carolina
Location in Johnston County and the state of North Carolina
Location in Johnston County and the state of North Carolina
Smithfield is located in North Carolina
Location of Smithfield in the US
Smithfield is located in the United States
Smithfield (the United States)
Smithfield is located in North America
Smithfield (North America)
Coordinates: 35°30′33″N 78°20′47″W / 35.50917°N 78.34639°W / 35.50917; -78.34639Coordinates: 35°30′33″N 78°20′47″W / 35.50917°N 78.34639°W / 35.50917; -78.34639
Country United States
State North Carolina
TownshipsSelma, Smithfield, Wilson Mills
CharteredMay 9, 1777 (1777-05-09Tmdy)
Named forJohn Smith
 • TypeCouncil–Manager
 • CouncilSmithfield Town Council
 • ManagerMichael Scott
 • Total12.39 sq mi (32.08 km2)
 • Land12.37 sq mi (32.05 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)
Elevation148 ft (45 m)
 • Total11,292
 • Density912.56/sq mi (352.34/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code919
FIPS code37-62520[4]
GNIS feature ID1025712[3]
Major airportRDU

Smithfield is a town in and the county seat of Johnston County, North Carolina,[5] United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 10,966,[6] and in 2019 the estimated population was 12,985.[7] Smithfield is home to the Ava Gardner Museum and is situated along the Neuse River, where visitors enjoy the annual Smithfield Ham and Yam Festival, walks along the Buffalo Creek Greenway, and the historic downtown district. The town is located near North Carolina's Research Triangle and is about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of downtown Raleigh. The Raleigh-Durham-Cary combined statistical area has a population over 2 million residents.


Smithfield, founded near Smith's ferry on the Neuse River, was Johnston County's first town and second county seat. The county courthouse was moved from Hinton's Quarter to Smithfield in 1771. The settlement was first known as Johnston County Court House and was incorporated as Smithfield in 1777.[8][9] The third North Carolina state legislature met in Smithfield in 1779 and 1780.[10][11]


Smithfield is in central Johnston County and is bordered to the northeast by Selma. Interstate 95 runs along the southeastern edge of the town, with access from Exits 93, 95, and 97. I-95 leads northeast 46 miles (74 km) to Rocky Mount and southwest the same distance to Fayetteville. U.S. Route 301 passes through Selma on Brightleaf Boulevard, leading northeast 4 miles (6 km) to the center of Selma and southwest 15 miles (24 km) to Benson. U.S. Route 70 passes just northeast of Smithfield, leading northwest 30 miles (48 km) to Raleigh, and southeast 22 miles (35 km) to Goldsboro. U.S. Route 70 Business passes through the center of Smithfield as Market Street.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 12.1 square miles (31.4 km2), of which 0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2), or 0.11%, is covered by water.[6] The Neuse River runs through the town west of the downtown area, separating it from the neighborhood of West Smithfield.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2020 census[edit]

Smithfield racial composition[13]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 5,011 44.38%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,101 27.46%
Native American 40 0.35%
Asian 105 0.93%
Pacific Islander 6 0.05%
Other/mixed 363 3.21%
Hispanic or Latino 2,666 23.61%

As of the 2020 United States census, 11,292 people, 4,951 households, and 2,919 families resided in the town.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, 11,510 people, 4,417 households, and 2,676 families resided in the town. The population density was 1,007.6 inhabitants per square mile (389.1/km2). The 4,674 housing units had an average density of 409.2 per square mile (158.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 62.66% White, 30.99% African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 4.16% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 9.9% of the population.

Of the 4,417 households, 26.6% had children under 18 living with them, 42.1% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were not families. About 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.30, and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town, the age distribution was 21.3% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 97.6 males. The median income for a household in the town was $27,813, and for a family was $37,929. Males had a median income of $29,567 versus $24,440 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,012. About 14.5% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.1% of those under 18 and 19.2% of those 65 or over.


Smithfield has a council–manager form of government. The council, the town's legislative body, consists of seven members and a mayor. The council sets policy, and the manager oversees day-to-day operations.


  • South Smithfield Elementary School
  • West Smithfield Elementary School
  • Smithfield Middle School
  • South Campus Community School
  • Johnston County Middle College High School
  • Johnston County Early College Academy
  • Smithfield-Selma High School
  • Neuse Charter School
  • Johnston Community College


  • UNC Health Care - Johnston Health

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Johnston County's Elected Officials". Johnston County Board of Elections. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Smithfield, North Carolina
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Smithfield town, North Carolina". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Lewis, J.D. "A History of Smithfield, North Carolina". The American Revolution in North Carolina. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  9. ^ Thomas J Lassiter; Wingate Lassiter (1996). Johnston County, 1746-1996 : the 250-year journey of an early American community. Smithfield, N.C.: T.J. & W. Lassiter. ASIN B00237UX14.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Connor, R.D.D. (1913). A Manual of North Carolina (PDF). Raleigh: North Carolina Historical Commission. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  11. ^ Wheeler, John H. (1874). "The Legislative Manual and Political Register of the State of North Carolina". Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  14. ^ Gary Clark Stats. Basketball-Reference. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  15. ^ Anderson, Bruce. (May-June, 2013). The Outsider | Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  16. ^ Cannon, Doris Rollins (2012). "Ava Gardner". NCpedia. State Library of North Carolina. Retrieved July 15, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

General information