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Pender County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Pender County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1875
Seat Burgaw
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

933 sq mi (2,416 km²)
871 sq mi (2,256 km²)
62 sq mi (161 km²), 6.64%
 - (2009)
 - Density

47/sq mi (18/km²)

Pender County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 41,082. Its county seat is Burgaw[1]. Pender County is part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The county was formed in 1875 from New Hanover County. It was named for William Dorsey Pender of Edgecombe County, a Confederate general mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is in the southeastern section of the State and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Sampson, Duplin and Onslow counties. The present land area is 870.76 square miles (2,255.3 km2) and the 1990 population was 28,855. The county commissioners were ordered to hold their first meeting at Rocky Point. The act provided for the establishment of the town of Cowan as the county seat. In 1877 an act was passed repealing that section of the law relative to the town, and another law was enacted whereby the qualified voters were to vote on the question of moving the county seat to South Washington or any other place which the majority of the voters designated. Whatever place was selected, the town should be called Stanford. In 1879 Stanford was changed to Burgaw, which was by that law incorporated. It is the county seat.

Law and government[]

Pender County is a member of the regional Cape Fear Council of Governments. The government is run by a board of commissioners with a county manager.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 933 square miles (2,416 km²), of which, 871 square miles (2,255 km²) of it is land and 62 square miles (160 km²) of it (6.64%) is water.


The county is divided into ten townships: Burgaw, Canetuck, Caswell, Columbia, Grady, Holly, Long Creek, Rocky Point, Topsail, and Union.

Adjacent counties[]

Protected Areas[]

  • Holly Shelter Game Land
  • Moores Creek National Battlefield


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 41,082 people, 16,054 households, and 11,719 families residing in the county. The population density was 47 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 20,798 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 72.74% White, 23.58% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.03% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. 3.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2005 74.0% of the population was non-Hispanic whites. 20.7% of the population was African-American. 4.6% of the population was Latino.

By 2006 Pender County had a population of 48,630, which represented an 18.4% increase in the population since 2000.

There were 16,054 households out of which 29.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.90% were married couples living together, 11.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.00% were non-families. 22.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.20% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 29.50% from 25 to 44, 25.80% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 101.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,902, and the median income for a family was $41,633. Males had a median income of $31,424 versus $21,623 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,882. About 9.50% of families and 13.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 14.40% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[]

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

  • Atkinson
  • Burgaw
  • St. Helena
  • Surf City
  • Topsail Beach
  • Watha
  • Willard

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Charity
  • Currie
  • Hampstead
  • Montague
  • Register
  • Rocky Point
  • Sloop Point
  • Yamacraw

Notable residents[]

  • John Baptista Ashe, born in Rocky Point township, delegate to the Continental Congress[3]
  • John Baptista Ashe, born in Rocky Point township, nephew of the above, United States Congressman from North Carolina[3]
  • William Shepperd Ashe, born in Rocky Point township, United States Congressman from North Carolina[3]

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Pender County, North Carolina


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b c Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 34°31′N 77°53′W / 34.51, -77.89

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Pender County, North Carolina. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.