Lee County, North Carolina

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Lee County, North Carolina
Lee County Courthouse in the Spring.JPG
Lee County Courthouse
Map of North Carolina highlighting Lee County
Location in the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1907
Named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Seat Sanford
Largest city Sanford
 • Total 259 sq mi (671 km2)
 • Land 255 sq mi (660 km2)
 • Water 4.1 sq mi (11 km2), 1.6%
 • (2010) 57,866
 • Density 227/sq mi (88/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.leecountync.gov

Lee County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 57,866.[1] Its county seat is Sanford.[2] The county was formed in 1907 from parts of Chatham County, Moore County and Harnett County. It was named for the Confederate general Robert E. Lee who fought during the American Civil War.[3]

Lee County comprises the Sanford Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is a part of the greater Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Combined Statistical Area, which had a 2012 estimated population of 1,998,808.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 259 square miles (670 km2), of which 255 square miles (660 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (11 km2) (1.6%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 11,376
1920 13,400 17.8%
1930 16,996 26.8%
1940 18,743 10.3%
1950 23,522 25.5%
1960 26,561 12.9%
1970 30,467 14.7%
1980 36,718 20.5%
1990 41,374 12.7%
2000 49,040 18.5%
2010 57,866 18.0%
Est. 2014 59,662 [5] 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 49,040 people, 18,466 households, and 13,369 families residing in the county. The population density was 191 people per square mile (74/km²). There were 19,909 housing units at an average density of 77 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 70.03% White, 20.46% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 7.33% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 11.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

By 2005 14.2% of the County population was Latino. 20.2% of the population was African-American. 64.2% of the population was non-Hispanic whites.

In 2000 there were 18,466 households out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.30% were married couples living together, 13.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,900, and the median income for a family was $45,373. Males had a median income of $32,780 versus $23,660 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,147. About 9.80% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.50% of those under age 18 and 12.20% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

Lee County is a member of the regional Triangle J Council of Governments. The county is governed by a seven-member board of County Commissioners, elected at large to serve four-year terms. Terms are staggered so that, every two years, three or four Commissioners are up for election. The Commissioners enact policies such as establishment of the property tax rate, regulation of land use and zoning outside municipal jurisdictions, and adoption of the annual budget. Commissioners usually meet on the first and third Mondays of each month.


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



Unincorporated communities


The county is divided into eight townships, which are both numbered and named:

  • 1 (Greenwood)
  • 2 (Jonesboro)
  • 3 (Cape Fear)
  • 4 (Deep River)
  • 5 (East Sanford)
  • 6 (West Sanford)
  • 7 (Pocket)
  • 8 (Tramway)


  • The county has historically been one of the leading brick manufacturing areas in the United States.
  • Cotton and Tobacco are leading crops in the county.
  • The county is divided between the Piedmont in the northern part of the county and the Sandhills in the south.
  • The county sits in the middle of the Triassic Basin and has the state's most concentrated reserves of oil and natural gas. Lee County is the epicenter for future horizontal drilling in North Carolina.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. http://www.leecountync.gov/History/EstablishmentofLeeCounty.aspx
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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