The Budget & Tax Center’s county-by-county economic snapshots provide a quick-reference resource for journalists, local officials, service providers in all 100 counties throughout the state

RALEIGH (March 29, 2016) — The economic picture of counties throughout North Carolina is clearer today with the release of county-by-county data from the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. Data is available for all 100 counties in North Carolina.

The Economic Snapshot is an annual publication that lists key economic and social indicators at the county level in North Carolina, providing an overall picture of economic vitality and opportunity for North Carolinians. This data profile includes indicators on employment, poverty and income, affordable housing, health, education, and supports for working families—all of which come from a variety of sources.

The economic reality for North Carolinians varies greatly depending on where one lives and works. Key findings for all 100 counties include:

  • The poverty rate ranged from a low of 9.7 percent in Camden County to a high of 33.1 percent in Robeson County in 2014 (the latest data available). Sixty-three counties had higher poverty rates than the state rate of 17.2 percent.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 counties had more people looking for work than total jobs available in December 2015.
  • In 2015, 89 of the state’s 100 counties had a lower hourly median wage than the state’s hourly median wage of $15.63.
  • A person earning the minimum wage would have to work at least 67 hours per week to afford a modest two-bedroom unit at fair market rent in all 100 counties. In Currituck County, it would take 117 hours.

“Where you lives matters for your ability to get ahead and this county-level data shows that inequality of opportunity persists across the state,” said Tazra Mitchell, a Policy Analyst at the Budget & Tax Center. “There is a need to target policies towards communities continuing to struggle and ensure that the benefits of growth are broadly shared.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Tazra Mitchell,, 919.861.1451; Julia Hawes,, 919.863.2406.