is a county
located in the U.S. state
of North Carolina
. As of 2000, the population was 29,967. Its county seat
. It is named after Virginia Dare
, the first child born in the Americas to English parents, who was born in what is now Dare County. At one time, the now-abandoned town of Buffalo City
was the largest community in the county.
Law and government
Dare County is a member of the Albemarle Commission
regional council of governments.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of 1,562 square miles
), of which, 384 square miles (993 km²) of it is land and 1,178 square miles (3,051 km²) of it (75.44%) is water.
Dare County includes the northern half of the Outer Banks.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 29,967 people, 12,690 households, and 8,451 families residing in the county. The population density
was 78 people per square mile (30/km²). There were 26,671 housing units at an average density of 70 per square mile (27/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.75% White
, 2.66% Black
or African American
, 0.28% Native American
, 0.37% Asian
, 0.04% Pacific Islander
, 0.90% from other races
, and 1.00% from two or more races. 2.22% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 12,690 households out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.00% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.79.
In the county the population was spread out with 21.40% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 30.80% from 25 to 44, 27.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 101.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $42,411, and the median income for a family was $49,302. Males had a median income of $31,240 versus $24,318 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,614. About 5.50% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.90% of those under age 18 and 5.30% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Dare County is home to two popular lighthouses: The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
and the Bodie Island Lighthouse
. There is also a beacon atop the Wright Brothers Memorial
. A third lighthouse was built by the Town of Manteo and dedicated on September 25, 2004. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is an exterior recreation of the 1877 screwpile lighthouse of the same name and is located on the Manteo waterfront. It serves as exhibit space for the N.C. Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island.
Dare County Regional Airport
, a general aviation airport, is located in Dare County.