What Are Some Facts About Oak Island, North Carolina?

Oak Island, North Carolina had a population of 7,345 in 2014. Its main industry is tourism, and it was the site of two shark attacks in June 2015. During the summer, the population of the town can increase more than six times to up to 50,000 people, due to its popularity as a tourist destination.

Oak Island has been devastated by several hurricanes since the 1950s, including Hurricane Hazel in 1954, Hurricane Diana in 1984, Hurricanes Bertha and Fran in 1996, and Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The town covers 20 square miles and has 12 miles of coastline. Almost 3 percent of the Oak Island population speaks a language other than English at home, and 91.8 percent have graduated from high school.

Oak Island, which is part of Brunswick County, was formed when two smaller towns were consolidated into one in 1999. The median household income in Oak Island is $47,000, $5,700 less than the median for the United States. Historically, the Oak Island area was a popular location for fox hunting. Ninety-seven percent of the town is white and 8 percent of the population is below the poverty level. The population of the town has been increasing over the last decade; the 2014 census showed an 8 percent increase from the 2010 census.