North Carolina is a state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties and its capital is Raleigh.
North Carolina was one of the original Thirteen Colonies, originally known as Carolina. Joara, a native village near present-day Morganton, was the site in 1567 of Fort San Juan, the first Spanish colonial settlement in the interior of what became the United States. The state was also the home of the Roanoke Island colony, the first attempt by the English to establish a presence in the Americas.On May 20, 1861, North Carolina was the last of the Confederate states to secede from the Union.
It was readmitted on July 4, 1868. The state was the location of the first successful controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, by the Wright brothers, at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk in 1903. Today, it is a fast-growing state with an increasingly diverse economy and population. As of July 1, 2007, the population was estimated to be 9,061,032 (a 12% increase since April 1, 2000). Recognizing eight Native American tribes, North Carolina has the largest population of American Indians of any state east of the Mississippi.
North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to almost 6,700 feet (2,042 m) in the mountains.
The climate ranges widely from the coastal Tidewater and Piedmont to the western mountains. The coastal plains are strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical zone. More than 300 miles (500 km) from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a humid continental climate.