Wilmington, North Carolina

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Nickname : Port City
Wilmington, North Carolina
Location in North Carolina
Basic data
Foundation : December 31, 1739
State : United States
State : North Carolina
County : New Hanover County
Coordinates : 34 ° 13 ′  N , 77 ° 55 ′  W Coordinates: 34 ° 13 ′  N , 77 ° 55 ′  W
Time zone : Eastern ( UTC − 5 / −4 )
Inhabitants :
Metropolitan Area :
117,525 (as of 2016)
282,573 (as of 2016)
Population density : 1,106.6 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 107.4 km 2  (approx. 41 mi 2 ) of
which 106.2 km 2  (approx. 41 mi 2 ) is land
Height : 9 m
Postcodes : 28401-28412
Area code : +1 910
FIPS : 37-74440
GNIS ID : 1023269
Website : www.wilmingtonnc.gov
Mayor : Bill Saffo
Aerial view of Wilmington

Wilmington is a port city located in the southeast of the US state North Carolina on the Cape Fear River . The city is the county seat of New Hanover County .

Wilmington has a historic city center, characterized by stately homes in the antebellum style. Due to Wilmington's proximity to the Atlantic , tourism is gaining increasing economic importance, as is the film industry, which has been strongly represented since the 1980s.

The city has a few variants of names such as New Carthage, New Liverpool, New Town and Newton.

History and urban development

Wilmington's population development
year Residents¹
2000 90.110
2010 106,478
2016 117,525

The city got its name in honor of the English Earl of Wilmington in 1739. With the invention of steam navigation and the increasing importance of the railroad, Wilmington grew into an important port city in the first half of the 19th century. During the Civil War , Wilmington's port played a crucial role in supplying the Confederates with arms and supplies due to the Union's trade blockade. After the civil war, a black middle class established itself , which drew the resentment of reactionary whites. This conflict culminated in the race riots of 1898. In this case, around 1,500 racists under the leadership of the Democrat Alfred Moore Waddell attacked a black publishing house on November 10, 1898 and drove the democratically elected city government. This action (known as the Wilmington Massacre of 1898) is the only successful coup in US history. Between 10 and 100 African Americans were murdered. Over 2,100 black people fled the city, changing the ethnic composition. The majority of Wilmington was white again after the murders. North Carolina subsequently introduced electoral terms that de facto deprived many blacks of the right to vote.

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, naval shipyards were established to stabilize the local economy. In 1947 Wilmington College, now the University of North Carolina at Wilmington , was founded. The threatened economic ruin of the city due to the relocation of the railroad company's headquarters from Wilmington to Florida in 1955 was offset by the merger of local business people who brought various branches of industry to Wilmington in the following years. In the 1970s, the community took care of the restoration of the historic city center, which has had a positive impact on tourism income to this day.

The connection to Interstate 40 in the 1990s was also important for the upswing . During this time, Wilmington became one of the fastest growing communities in the United States. The airport Wilmington International Airport or New Hanover County International Airport is located 6 km north of the city center.

Film industry

The film industry, which came after Wilmington in the mid-1980s, is an important factor in the city's economic boom. Wilmington is the third largest center of the US film industry after Hollywood and New York and, for example, was the location of the films Blue Velvet and Cape Fear and from television series like Matlock , Dawson's Creek , One Tree Hill , Under The Dome and Sleepy Hollow .

In 1993, Brandon Lee died of injuries sustained in an accident in Wilmington while filming The Crow . In May 2008 the film A Good Old Fashioned Orgy was filmed in Wilmington , in March 2012 the film Conjuring - The Visitation .


The well-known carnivorous plant Venus flytrap comes from the boggy countryside around Wilmington .

The warship USS North Carolina (BB-55) is moored in the Cape Fear River and was deployed during World War II . Today it serves as a museum ship.


The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has approximately 16,500 students in the city.

sons and daughters of the town

Town twinning

Wilmington is twinned with the following cities:

Web links

Commons : Wilmington (North Carolina)  - Collection of pictures, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. US Board on Geographic Names. Geographic Names Post Phase I Board / Staff Revisions. 01-Jan-2000. Board decisions referenced after Phase I data compilation or staff researched non-controversial names
  2. 2000–2010: Census Results; 2016: US Census Bureau estimate
  3. The 1898 Wilmington Massacre Is an Essential Lesson in How State Violence Has Targeted Black Americans. Retrieved August 3, 2020 .
  4. "Chapter 5" (PDF; 1.8 MB), 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report , North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources