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Rutherford County, North Carolina

Rutherford County, North Carolina
Seal of Rutherford County, North Carolina
Motto: small town friendly
Map of North Carolina highlighting Rutherford County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1779
Named for Griffith Rutherford
Seat Rutherfordton
Largest town Forest City
 • Total 566 sq mi (1,466 km2)
 • Land 564 sq mi (1,461 km2)
 • Water 1.7 sq mi (4 km2), 0.3%
 • (2010) 67,810
 • Density 120/sq mi (46/km²)
Congressional district 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .govrutherfordcountync

Rutherford County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,810.[1] Its county seat is Rutherfordton.[2]

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


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Communities 5
    • Towns 5.1
    • Village 5.2
    • Census-designated places 5.3
    • Cities and towns 5.4
    • Townships 5.5
  • Notable people 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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


Rutherford County Elevation

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]

Adjacent counties

Major highways


As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 62,899 people, 25,191 households, and 17,935 families residing in the county. 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 racial makeup of the county 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:[10]

  • English - 44%
  • Irish - 9%
  • Black or 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 median income for a household in the county was $31,122, and the median income for a family was $37,787. Males had a median income of $28,890 versus $21,489 for females. The per capita income for the county 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.


In 2010, Rutherford County was selected as the location for a new $450 million data center for Facebook.[11][12]

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.[13]


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



Census-designated places

Cities and towns


  • Camp Creek
  • Cliffside
  • Chimney Rock
  • Colfax, Cool Spring
  • Duncans Creek
  • Gilkey
  • Golden Valley
  • Green Hill
  • High Shoals
  • Mt. Vernon
  • Rutherfordton
  • Union Mills

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  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. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • Rutherford County official website
  • NCGenWeb Rutherford County- free genealogy resources for the county

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