Davidson is unique in that it is very different both geographically and culturally from the rest of Mecklenburg County. Lying along the eastern shore of Lake Norman, the town is centered around the college from which it takes its name.
The town was founded in 1837 with the establishment of the Presbyterian Davidson College, named for Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, a local Revolutionary War hero in Mecklenburg County. The land for Davidson College came from Davidson's estate, a large portion of which was donated by his son.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.1 square miles (13.1 km²), of which, 4.9 square miles (12.6 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (3.95%) is water.
There were 2,122 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the town the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 24.2% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $78,370, and the median income for a family was $100,961. Males had a median income of $69,830 versus $37,632 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,571. About 3.4% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.4% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.