North Carolina is a state located 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. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte. In the past five decades, North Carolina's economy has undergone a transition from reliance upon tobacco and furniture to a more diversified economy with an emphasis on engineering, biotechnology, and finance.
North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to at Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern US. The coastal plains are strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate zone. More than from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate.More
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the state's 2008 total gross state product was $400.2 billion, making it the ninth wealthiest state in terms of gross domestic product. Its 2007 per capita personal income was $33,735, placing 36th in the nation. North Carolina's agricultural outputs include poultry and eggs, tobacco, hogs, milk, nursery stock, cattle, sweet potatoes, and soybeans. However, North Carolina has recently been affected by offshoring and industrial growth in countries like China; one in five manufacturing jobs in the state has been lost to overseas competition.
There has been a distinct difference in the economic growth of North Carolina's urban and rural areas. While large cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and others have experienced rapid population and economic growth over the last thirty years, many of the state's small towns have suffered from loss of jobs and population. Most of North Carolina's small towns historically developed around textile and furniture factories. As these factories closed and moved to low-wage markets in Asia and Latin America, the small towns that depended upon them have suffered.More