Eastern North Carolina

Eastern North Carolina

Eastern North Carolina or (often abbreviated as ENC) is the region of North Carolina which includes the eastern third of North Carolina. It includes the Outer and Inner banks, thus it is often known geographically as the state's coastal region.


According to East Carolina University, Eastern North Carolina is made up of the 41 most eastern counties in North Carolina. Another way to establish this boundary is to include all of the counties that contains Interstate-95 and east. The eastern region can be separated into three subdivisions: Northeastern, Eastern, and Southeastern.


During the colonial era of American History, the East was the dominant region of North Carolina in both government and commerce. Around the end of the eighteenth century, however, such dominance shifted to the Piedmont center of the State.


The region is dotted with many universities. There are five public universities and seven private institutions in the region. The largest institute is East Carolina University. The four other public universities are Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The seven private institutions are: Barton College, Campbell University, Chowan University, Methodist University, Mount Olive College, North Carolina Wesleyan College, and Roanoke Bible College.

The ares is also served by 21 community colleges. The two-year institutes are: Beaufort County Community College, Bladen Community College, Brunswick Community College, Cape Fear Community College, Carteret Community College, College of the Albemarle, Coastal Carolina Community College, Craven Community College, Edgecombe Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Johnston Community College, Lenoir Community College, Martin Community College, Nash Community College, Pamlico Community College, Pitt Community College, Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Sampson Community College, Southeastern Community College, Wayne Community College, and Wilson Technical Community College.


ENC is served by two interstate highways. Interstate-95 is the western boundary for the area. Interstate-40 serves the southeastern portion from Johnston County to New Hanover County.

The Down East is served by U.S. Routes. U.S. 13 enters North Carolina close to the Drum Hill community. It proceeds through Greenville and terminates into I-95 in Fayetteville.
U.S. 17 enters North Carolina from Virginia beside the Dismal Swamp State Park. It continues through Washington, New Bern, and Wilmington and exits the state near Calabash onwards to South Carolina.
U.S. 64 enters Rocky Mount from Raleigh. It continues to the eastern terminus in Nags Head.
U.S. 70 enters the region at Selma. It continues through Goldsboro and Kinston on its way to the eastern terminus in Atlantic Beach.
U.S. 74 begins in Wrightsville Beach. The route stays close to South Carolina and exits the region near Lumberton.
U.S. 76 runs concerant with U.S. 74 from Wilmington to Chadbourn. It exits the state near Fair Buff onto South Carolina.
U.S. 117 is an offshoot of U.S. 17. It begins at I-95 in Wilson and terminates at the Port of Wilmington.
The eastern terminus of U.S. 158 is in Nags Head. It continues through Elizabeth City, than it exits the area, crossing I-95 close to Roanoke Rapids.
Jacksonville is the southern terminus of U.S. 258. It continues north through Kinston and Tarboro, exiting the state near Mill Neck.
The eastern terminus of U.S. 264 is at U.S. 64 at Manns Harbor. It continues south to Swan Quarter, even though it doesn't go through the town. It than goes west through Washington and Greenville where is by-passes. It that leaves ENC at I-95 in Wilson.
U.S. 301 closely parallels I-95 throughout North Carolina. It enters the state from South Carolina, crossing over I-95 near Rowland. It leaves the state near Pleasent Hill on its way to Virginia.
U.S. 701 northern terminus is in Four Oaks. It continues south through Newton Grove and Clinton and exits the state near Tabor City.


The majority of the economy still resides in agriculture and defense. On the coast, tourism is the economic driver.


The local government of ENC is served by eight of the 17 North Carolina Councils of Government. They include Triangle J Council of Governments, Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, Mid-Carolina Council of Governments, Lumber River Council of Governments, Cape Fear Council of Governments, Eastern Carolina Council of Governments, Mid-East Commission, and Albemarle Commission.





Eastern North Carolina generally consists of 41 counties, which when combined form a total regional area of roughly 9,700 square miles (25000 square km). The counties commonly included in the region are as follows:

  • Beaufort County
  • Bertie County
  • Bladen County
  • Brunswick County
  • Camden County
  • Carteret County
  • Chowan County
  • Columbus County
  • Craven County
  • Cumberland County
  • Currituck County
  • Dare County
  • Duplin County
  • Edgecombe County
  • Gates County
  • Greene County
  • Halifax County
  • Harnett County
  • Hertford County
  • Hoke County
  • Hyde County
  • Johnston County
  • Jones County
  • Lenior County
  • Martin County
  • Nash County
  • New Hanover County
  • Northampton County
  • Onslow County
  • Pamlico County
  • Pender County
  • Pasquotank County
  • Perquimans County
  • Pitt County
  • Robeson County
  • Sampson County
  • Scotland County
  • Tyrell County
  • Washington County
  • Wayne County
  • Wilson County

See also

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