Johnston County, North Carolina

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Johnston County, North Carolina
Johnston County, North Carolina seal
Map of North Carolina highlighting Johnston County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of USA NC
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1746
Seat Smithfield
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

796 sq mi (2,062 km²)
792 sq mi (2,051 km²)
4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.50%
 - (2008)
 - Density

205/sq mi (79/km²)

Johnston County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of July 1, 2008, the estimated population was 163,428 (a 34% increase since 2000) making it the 77th fastest growing U.S. county with a population of 10,000 or more.[1] Its county seat is Smithfield[2].


The county was formed in 1746 from Craven County. It was named for Gabriel Johnston, Governor of North Carolina from 1734 to 1752.

In 1752 parts of Johnston County, Bladen County, and Granville County were combined to form Orange County. In 1758 the eastern part of Johnston County became Dobbs County. In 1770 parts of Johnston County, Cumberland County, and Orange County were combined to form Wake County. Finally, in 1855 parts of Johnston County, Edgecombe County, Nash County, and Wayne County were combined to form Wilson County.

Law and governmentEdit

Johnston County is a member of the regional Triangle J Council of Governments.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 796 square miles (2,061.6 km2), of which 792 square miles (2,051.3 km2) is land and 4 square miles (10.4 km2) (0.50%) is water.


Visitor attractions in Johnston County include several heritage museums and historic sites. The Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site is located in eastern Johnston County, and it is the largest Civil War Battlefield in North Carolina. The Battle of Bentonville was fought March 19-21, 1865, and was the only Confederate offensive targeted to stop General Sherman's march through the south.

The Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly has been collecting artifacts and showcasing the heritage of the Eastern North Carolina farmer for over 25 years. The site includes a museum and restored farmstead, working blacksmith shop, one-room school house and the site hosts several events each year.

The Ava Gardner Museum located in Smithfield is home to an incredible collection of artifacts such as scripts, movie posters, costumes and personal belongings of screen legend, Ava Gardner, who was born and raised in Johnston County.

The Johnston County Heritage Center is in Downtown Smithfield, and houses artifacts from all over the county. The Heritage Center has become known as one of the best equipped facilities in the country for studying local history and genealogy.

The Johnston County Arts Council promotes arts in the county and its schools.[3] Smithfield is home to an annual Ava Gardner Film Festival (AGFF), which celebrates the life of the actress. In 2008 the festival will screen over 40 films in four theaters, including world, regional and state premiers.[4] Rapper Petey Pablo mentions Johnston County in his hit song Raise Up.[5]

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major highwaysEdit


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 121,965 people, 46,595 households, and 33,688 families residing in the county. The population density was 154 people per square mile (59/km²). There were 50,196 housing units at an average density of 63 per square mile (24/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 78.09% White, 15.65% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.53% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 7.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 46,595 households out of which 35.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.70% were non-families. 23.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 34.20% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,872, and the median income for a family was $48,599. Males had a median income of $33,008 versus $25,582 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,788. About 8.90% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.00% of those under age 18 and 19.40% of those age 65 or over.


Cities and townsEdit

Map of Johnston County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

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

The following cities and towns lie primarily within Johnston County.

In addition, a small portion of the towns of Zebulon and Garner lie within Johnston County, the majority of both lies in neighboring Wake County.


The county is divided into seventeen townships: Banner, Bentonville, Beulah, Boon Hill, Broadslab, Carter, Clayton, Cleveland, Elevation, Ingrams, Meadow, Micro, O'Neals, Pine Level, Pleasant Grove, Selma, Smithfield, Wilders, and Wilson Mills.

Unincorporated communitiesEdit


Radio Stations serving Johnston County Edit


Newspapers serving Johnston County Edit

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°31′N 78°22′W / 35.52, -78.37

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Johnston 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.

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