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McDowell County, North Carolina
Seal of McDowell County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting McDowell County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of USA NC
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1842
Seat Marion
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

446 sq mi (1,155 km²)

5 sq mi (13 km²), 1.06%
 - (2000)
 - Density

96/sq mi (37/km²)

McDowell County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 42,151. Its county seat is Marion6.

History Edit

The county was formed in 1842 from parts of Burke County and Rutherford County. It was named for Joseph McDowell, a hero of the Battle of King's Mountain, and a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1793 to 1795.

In 1861, parts of McDowell County, Burke County, Caldwell County, Watauga County, and Yancey County were combined to form Mitchell County.

Law and government Edit

McDowell County is a member of the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission regional council of governments.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,156 km² (446 sq mi). 1,144 km² (442 sq mi) of it is land and 12 km² (5 sq mi) of it (1.06%) is water.

The Catawba River crosses the county and empties into Lake James. Almost half of the county is located inside the Pisgah National Forest. Linville Caverns is located in the far northern part of the county.

The Blue Ridge Parkway follows the northwestern boundary of the county.

Townships Edit

The county is divided into eleven townships: Crooked Creek, Dysartsville, Glenwood, Marion, Montford Cove, Nebo, Ashford-North Cove, Pleasant Gardens, Woodlawn-Sevier, Sugar Hill, and Old Fort.

Adjacent Counties Edit


As of the census² of 2000, there were 42,151 people, 16,604 households, and 11,954 families residing in the county. The population density was 37/km² (95/sq mi). There were 18,377 housing units at an average density of 16/km² (42/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 92.18% White, 4.16% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.61% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. 2.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 16,604 households out of which 30.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.50% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.00% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 29.90% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,396, and the median income for a family was $37,789. Males had a median income of $26,609 versus $21,640 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,109. About 9.00% of families and 11.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.10% of those under age 18 and 15.70% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns Edit

Map of McDowell County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

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


Unincorporated places Edit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°41′N 82°03′W / 35.68, -82.05

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