About the State of North Carolina – Business and Industry

The state of North Carolina is comprised of 532 incorporated municipalities (which include cities, towns and villages) and is broken up into 100 counties.  North Carolina is located in the Southeastern part of the country.  The state’s nicknames are the “Old North State”, which speaks to its history, yet its most common nickname is “the Tar Heel State”. North Carolina was the 12th state to join the union, but in 1861, North Carolina became on the second state to secede the union. Several years later in 1868 North Carolina rejoined the United States.  Neighboring states and borders include Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, South Carolina to the south and Tennessee to the west.


While the state ranks 28th largest in size amongst the 50 states, its population ranks 9th most populous of those same 50 states.  Charlotte is the largest city in the state with Raleigh (also the state capital), Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, High Point and Concord rounding out the top 10 largest cities in North Carolina.  Since 2010, Holly Ridge has put itself on the map; as it has been the fastest growing citing within North Carolina.  In 2021, the estimated population of North Carolina exceeds 10.5 million.  Key Industries in North Carolina includes:

  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Automotive, Truck & Heavy Machinery
  • Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
  • Business & Financial Services
  • Corporate Headquarters
  • Energy
  • Food Processing & Manufacturing
  • Furniture
  • Information Technology
  • Plastic & Chemicals
  • Textiles
  • Tourism


Aerospace & Defense

  • North Carolina still is leading the way in Aerospace, defense and security; the following companies make their North Carolina home

-UTC Aerospace Systems

-Lockheed Martin

-GE Aviation

-Honda Jet


Automotive, Truck & Heavy Machinery

  • Looming the 10th largest automotive sector employment in the U.S., N.C. is home to the following companies:



-Daimler Trucks



Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

  • Home to the largest research park in the U.S. as well as three Tier 1 research universities
  • Attracted a lineup of top companies solidifying its strong footprint in the Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals space to include:



-Novo Nordisk


Business & Financial Services

  • North Carolina is the 3rd largest financial center in the country; companies that make NC what it is includes:

-Wells Fargo


-Bank of America



Corporate Headquarters

  • 14 of the Fortune 500 companies make their home in the state of North Carolina
  • 26 of the Fortune 1000 companies make their home in the state of North Carolina



  • Across the U.S., North Carolina ranks accordingly in the Energy sector:

-2nd in Turbine manufacturing

-3rd in fossil fuel power generation

-5th in semiconductor manufacturing


Food Processing & Manufacturing

  • North Carolina leads the pack and heralded as the second largest in animal processing and manufacturing make NC home includes:






  • North Carolina is heralded as the “Furniture Capital of the World” and is home to the following:

-World’s largest furniture store to include the world’s largest furniture manufacturer

-World’s largest furnishing sector trade shows


Information Technology

  • America’s 2nd fastest growing Information Technology industry as a result of major tech companies such as:





Plastic & Chemicals

  • North Carolina is home to the 5th largest plastic and chemicals workforce in America mainly because of companies with international creditability such as:






  • America’s largest textile mill industry to include the likes of such companies:





  • North Carolina is one of the top 10 most visited states across the country


Note: North Carolina is the 5th leading semiconductor manufacturing in America.  


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