Greensboro, North Carolina

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Greensboro, North Carolina
Collage of photos of Greensboro. Clockwise from top left: Statue of Nathanael Greene, Greensboro skyline, Blandwood Mansion, Foust Building at UNCG, historic home in College Hill, Lincoln Financial Tower on Elm Street
Greensboro Flag.jpg
Greensboro Seal.jpg
The Gate City, The Boro,
Tournament Town
Guilford County North Carolina incorporated and unincorporated areas Greensboro highlighted.svg
Location in Guilford County and the state of North Carolina
Usa edcp location map.svg
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Greensboro, North Carolina
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 36°4′48″N79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944 Coordinates: 36°4′48″N79°49′10″W / 36.08000°N 79.81944°W / 36.08000; -79.81944 [1]
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of North Carolina.svg North Carolina
County Guilford
Named for Major General Nathanael Greene
  Type City council
   Mayor Nancy B. Vaughan (D)
   City Manager David Parrish
   City 134.30 sq mi (347.84 km2)
  Land129.07 sq mi (334.29 km2)
  Water5.23 sq mi (13.55 km2)
897 ft (272 m)
 (2010) [3]
   City 269,666
(2019) [4]
  Rank 3rd in North Carolina
68th in United States
  Density2,298.87/sq mi (887.59/km2)
311,810 (US: 120th)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
27401, 27402, 27403, 27404, 27405, 27406, 27407, 27408, 27409, 27410, 27411, 27412, 27413, 27415, 27420, 27412, 27429, 27435, 27438, 27455, 27495, 27497, 27498, 27499
Area code 336
FIPS code 37-28000 [1]
GNIS feature ID1020557 [1]
Primary Airport Piedmont Triad International Airport
Interstates I-40.svg I-85.svg I-73.svg

Greensboro ( /ˈɡrnzbʌr/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); [5] formerly Greensborough) is a city in and the county seat of Guilford County, North Carolina, United States. It is the third-most populous city in North Carolina, the 68th-most populous city in the United States, and the largest city in the Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. At the 2010 United States Census the city population was 269,666. In 2019, the estimated population was 296,710. [4] Three major interstate highways (Interstate 40, Interstate 85, and Interstate 73) in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina were built to intersect at this city.


In 1808, "Greensborough" (the spelling before 1895) was planned around a central courthouse square to succeed Guilford Court House as the county seat. The county courts were thus placed closer to the geographical center of the county, a location more easily reached at the time by the majority of the county's citizens, who depended on horse and foot for travel.

In 2003, the previous Greensboro – Winston-SalemHigh Point metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was re-defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. This region was separated into the Greensboro–High Point MSA and the Winston-Salem MSA. The 2010 population for the Greensboro–High Point MSA was 723,801. The combined statistical area (CSA) of Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, popularly referred to as the Piedmont Triad, had a population of 1,599,477.

Among Greensboro's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Greensboro Science Center, the International Civil Rights Museum, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Greensboro Symphony, the Greensboro Ballet, Triad Stage, the Wyndham Golf Championship, the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex which hosts various sporting events, concerts, and other events. Sports Leagues in Greensboro include the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic Baseball League, the Carolina Dynamo of the Premier Development Soccer League, the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League, and the Greensboro Roller Derby. Annual events in Greensboro include the North Carolina Folk Festival, First Fridays in Downtown Greensboro, Fun Fourth of July Festival, North Carolina Comedy Festival and Winter Wonderlights.

From 2015-2017 Greensboro, North Carolina, was host to the National Folk Festival.


Early history

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Greensboro were a Siouan-speaking people called the Saura. [6] :7 Other indigenous cultures had occupied this area for thousands of years, typically settling along the waterways, as did the early settlers.

Quaker migrants from Pennsylvania, by way of Maryland, arrived at Capefair (now Greensboro) in about 1750. The new settlers began organized religious services affiliated with the Cane Creek Friends Meeting in Snow Camp in 1751. [7] Three years later, 40 Quaker families were granted approval to establish New Garden Monthly Meeting. [7] (The action is recorded in the minutes of the Perquimans and Little River Quarterly Meeting on May 25, 1754: "To Friends at New Garden in Capefair", signed by Joseph Ratliff.) [8] The settlement grew rapidly during the next three years, adding members from as far away as Nantucket in Massachusetts. [7] It soon became the most important Quaker community in North Carolina and mother of several other Quaker meetings that were established in the state and west of the Appalachians. [7]

After the Revolutionary War, the city of Greensboro was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the rebel American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781. [6] :20 Although the Americans lost the battle, Greene's forces inflicted heavy casualties on the British Army of General Cornwallis. Following this battle, Cornwallis withdrew his troops to a British coastal base in Wilmington, North Carolina. [9] [10]

Battle of Guilford Courthouse Battle of Guilford Courthouse 15 March 1781.jpg
Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Greensboro was established near the geographic center of Guilford County, on land that was "an unbroken forest with thick undergrowth of huckleberry bushes, that bore a finely flavored fruit." [11] Property for the future village was purchased from the Saura for $98. Three north-south streets (Greene, Elm, Davie) were laid out intersecting with three east-west streets (Gaston, Market, Sycamore). [6] :171–174, 21 The courthouse was built at the center of the intersection of Elm and Market streets. By 1821, the town was home to 369 residents.

Blandwood Mansion, by Alexander Jackson Davis BlandwoodMansion.jpg
Blandwood Mansion, by Alexander Jackson Davis

In the early 1840s, Greensboro was designated by the state government as one of the stops on a new railroad line, at the request of Governor John Motley Morehead, whose plantation, Blandwood, was in Greensboro. Stimulated by rail traffic and improved access to markets, the city grew substantially, soon becoming known as the "Gate City" due to its role as a transportation hub for the Piedmont. [12] :66 The railroads transported goods to and from the cotton textile mills. Many of the manufacturers developed workers' housing in mill villages near their facilities.

Textile companies and related businesses continued into the 21st century, when most went bankrupt, reorganized, and/or merged with other companies as textile manufacturing jobs moved offshore. Greensboro is still a major center of the textile industry, with the main offices of International Textile Group (Cone, Burlington Industries), Galey & Lord, Unifi, and VF Corporation (Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, and Nautica). ITG Brands, maker of Kool, Winston and Salem brand cigarettes, is the third largest tobacco company in the United States and is headquartered in Greensboro. Rail traffic continues to be important for the city's economy, as Greensboro is a major regional freight hub. In addition, four Amtrak passenger trains stop in Greensboro daily on the main Norfolk Southern line between Washington and New Orleans by way of Atlanta.

Though the city developed slowly, early wealth generated in the 18th and 19th centuries from cotton trade and merchandising resulted in owners' constructing several notable buildings. The earliest, later named Blandwood Mansion and Gardens, was built by a planter in 1795. Additions to this residence in 1846, designed by Alexander Jackson Davis of New York City, made the house influential as America's earliest Tuscan-style villa. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. [13] Other significant plantation houses and estates were developed, including "Dunleith", designed by Samuel Sloan; Bellemeade; and the Bumpass-Troy House. Since the late 20th century, the latter has been adapted and operates as a private inn.

Civil War and last days of the Confederacy

In the mid-19th century, many of the residents of the Piedmont and western areas of the state were Unionist, and Guilford County did not vote for secession. But, once North Carolina joined the Confederacy, some citizens joined the Confederate cause, forming such infantry units as the Guilford Grays to fight in the Civil War. From 1861 to March 1865 the city was relatively untouched by the war, although residents had to deal with the regional shortages of clothing, medicines, and other items caused by the US naval blockade of the South.

In the final weeks of the war, Greensboro played a unique role in the last days of the Confederate government. In April 1865 General P. G. T. Beauregard was instructed by the commanding officer of the Army of Tennessee, General Joseph E. Johnston, to prepare for a defense of the city. During this time, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the remaining members of the Confederate cabinet had evacuated the Confederate Capital in Richmond, Virginia, and moved south to Danville, Virginia.

When Union cavalry threatened Danville, Davis and his cabinet managed to escape by train and reassembled in Greensboro on April 11, 1865. While in the city, Davis and his cabinet decided to try to escape overseas in order to avoid capture by the victorious Union forces; they left Greensboro and separated. Greensboro is notable as the last place where the entire Confederate government met as a group: it is considered by some the "final" capital city of the Confederacy. [14] :101

At nearly the same time, Governor Zebulon B. Vance fled Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, before the forces of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman swept the city. [15] For a brief period beginning April 16, 1865, he and other officials maintained the state capital in Greensboro. [6] :395 [16] :177 Governor Vance proclaimed the North Carolina Surrender Declaration on April 28, 1865. [16] :182 Later, Vance surrendered to Union officials in the parlor of Blandwood Mansion. Historian Blackwell Robinson wrote, "Greensboro witnessed not only the demise of the Confederacy but also that of the old civil government of the state." [14] :101

Once surrender negotiations were completed at Bennett Place (in present-day Durham) between General Johnston and General Sherman on April 26, 1865, Confederate soldiers in Greensboro stacked their arms and received their paroles, and headed for home.

Industrialization and growth

White Oak Mill in 1909 White Oak Mills Greensboro NC 1909.jpg
White Oak Mill in 1909

After the war, investors worked to restore the textile mills and related industry. In the 1890s, the city continued to attract attention from northern industrialists, including Moses and Caesar Cone of Baltimore, Maryland. [6] :171–174 The Cone brothers established large-scale textile plants, changing Greensboro from a village to a city within a decade. By 1900, Greensboro was considered a center of the Southern textile industry, with large-scale factories producing denim, flannel, and overalls. [12] :59 The resulting prosperity was expressed in the construction of notable twentieth-century civic architecture, including the Guilford County Courthouse, West Market Street United Methodist Church by S. W. Faulk, several buildings designed by Frank A. Weston, and the Julius I. Foust Building of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, designed by Orlo Epps.

During the twentieth century, Greensboro continued to increase in population and wealth. Grand commercial and civic buildings, many of which still stand today, were designed by local architects Charles Hartmann and Harry Barton. Other notable industries became established in the city, including Vicks Chemical Co. (famous for over-the-counter cold remedies such as VapoRub and NyQuil), Carolina Steel Corporation, and Pomona Terra Cotta Works. [14] :220 During the first three decades, Greensboro grew so rapidly that there was an acute worker housing shortage. Builders set a construction goal of 80 to 100 affordable housing units per year to provide homes for workers. [14] :209 Greensboro's real estate was considered "the wonder of the state" during the 1920s. Growth continued even through the Great Depression, as Greensboro attracted an estimated 200 new families per year to its population. [14] :210 The city earned a reputation as a well-planned community, with a strong emphasis on education, parks, and a profitable employment base.

It has two major public research universities, North Carolina A&T State University, a historically black college established in the late 19th century, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During the height of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, students from A&T were the major force in protests to achieve racial justice, desegregation of public facilities, and fair employment, beginning with the Greensboro Four, who sat in at the segregated lunch counter at Woolworth's in 1960 to gain service. The largest civil rights protests in North Carolina history took place in Greensboro in May and June 1963. In the 21st century, the universities are leaders in new areas of research in high tech and science, on which the city hopes to build a new economy.

Wartime and postwar prosperity brought development, and designs commissioned from nationally and internationally known architects. For instance, Walter Gropius, a leader of the German Bauhaus movement in the United States, designed a factory building in the city in 1944. [17] Greensboro-based Ed Loewenstein designed projects throughout the region. Eduardo Catalano and George Matsumoto were hired for projects whose designs have challenged North Carolinians with modernist architectural concepts and forms.

Civil Rights Movement

In 1960, the Census Bureau reported Greensboro's population as 74.0% white and 25.8% black. [18] As in the rest of the state, most blacks were still disenfranchised under state laws, Jim Crow laws and customs were in effect, and public facilities, including schools, were racially segregated by law. This was after the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Facilities reserved for blacks were generally underfunded by the state and city governments, which were dominated by conservative white Democrats.

In the postwar period, blacks pushed in North Carolina and across the South to regain the ability to exercise their constitutional rights as citizens. College students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College (A&T), a historically black college, made Greensboro a center of protests and change. On February 1, 1960, four black college students sat down at an "all-white" Woolworth's lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. They had already purchased items in other parts of the store and kept their receipts. After being denied lunch service, they brought out the receipts, asking why their money was good everywhere else in the store but not at the lunch counter. [19] Hundreds of supporters soon joined in this sit-in, which lasted several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of lunch counters and other facilities at Woolworth's and other chains.

Woolworth's went out of business due to changes in 20th-century retail practices, but the original Woolworth's lunch counter and stools are still in their original location. The former Woolworth's building has been adapted as the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which opened on February 1, 2010, the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins. [20] (A section of the counter is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. to mark the courage of the civil rights protesters.) [21]

Former Woolworth's store, now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum Former Woolworth store in Greensboro, NC (2008).jpg
Former Woolworth's store, now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum

The white business community acceded to the desegregation of Woolworth's and made other minor concessions, but the civil rights movement had additional goals, holding protests in 1962 and 1963. In May and June 1963, the largest civil rights protest in North Carolina history took place in Greensboro. Protesters sought desegregation of public accommodations, and economic and social justice, such as hiring policies based on merit rather than race. They also worked for the overdue integration of public schools, as the US Supreme Court had ruled in 1954 that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. Each night more than 2,000 protesters marched through Greensboro's segregated central business district. William Thomas and A. Knighton Stanley, coordinators of Greensboro's local CORE chapter, invited Jesse Jackson, then an activist student at A&T, to join the protests. Jackson quickly rose to prominence as a student leader, becoming the public spokesman of the non-violent protest movement. Seeking to overwhelm city jails, as was done in protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama, the protesters invited arrest by violating segregation rules of local businesses; they were charged with trespassing and other non-violent actions. College and high school students constituted most of the protesters, and at one point approximately 1,400 blacks were jailed in the city of Greensboro. The scale of protests disrupted the business community and challenged the leadership of the mayor and Governor Terry Sanford.

Finally, the city and business community responded with further desegregation of public facilities, reformed hiring policies in city government, and commitments to progress by both Greensboro's mayor and Governor Sanford. Sanford declared, "Anyone who hasn't received this message doesn't understand human nature." Significant changes in race relations still came at a painfully slow pace, and the verbal commitments from white leadership in 1963 were not implemented in substantial ways. [22]

Dudley High School/A&T protests

In May 1969, students of James B. Dudley High School were outraged when the administration refused to let a popular candidate named Claude Barnes run for student union class president, allegedly due to his membership in Youth for the Unity of Black Society. [23] After their appeals to the school were rejected, the students asked activists at North Carolina A&T State University for support in a protest. [24] [25] [26] Protests escalated and after students at A&T had thrown rocks at police, they returned on May 21 armed with tear gas canisters, using this against the crowds. The uprising grew larger, and the governor ordered the National Guard to back up local police. After there were exchanges of gunfire, the governor ordered the National Guard into the A&T campus, in what was described at the time as "the most massive armed assault ever made against an American university." [27] The National Guard swept the college dormitories, taking hundreds of students into "protective custody". The demonstrations were suppressed. The disturbances were investigated by the North Carolina State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights; its 1970 report concluded that the National Guard invasion was a reckless action as it was disproportionate to the danger posed by student protests. It criticized local community leaders for failing to respond adequately to the Dudley High School students when the issues first arose. They declared it "a sad commentary that the only group in the community who would take the Dudley students seriously were the students at A&T State University." [26]

Greensboro Massacre

While making progress, African Americans in Greensboro continued to suffer acts of prejudice. On November 3, 1979, members of what would become the Communist Workers Party (CWP) held an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in the black Morningside Homes public housing project. [28] It was covered by four local TV news stations. During the protest, two cars containing Klansmen and neo-Nazis arrived. [29] After a confrontation, the KKK and CWP groups exchanged gunfire. Five CWP members were killed. Eleven CWP members and one Klansman were injured. [30] Television footage of the actions was shown nationwide and around the world, and the event became known as the Greensboro Massacre. In November 1980, six KKK defendants were each acquitted in a state criminal trial by an all-white jury after a week of deliberations. Families of those killed and injured in the attack filed a civil suit against the city and police department for failure to protect the black citizens. In 1985, a jury in this case found five police officers and two other individuals liable for $350,000 in damages; the monies were to be paid to the Greensboro Justice Fund, established to advance civil rights.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 131.8 square miles (341.4 km2), of which 126.5 square miles (327.7 km2) is land and 5.3 square miles (13.7 km2), or 4.01%, is water. [3]

Greensboro is located among the rolling hills of North Carolina's Piedmont, situated midway between the state's Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains to the west and the Atlantic beaches and Outer Banks to the east. The view of the city from its highest building—the Lincoln Financial tower (commonly known as the Jefferson-Pilot Building after its previous owner)—shows an expanse of shade trees in the city. Interstates 40, 85, and 73 intersect at the city.

Downtown area

Downtown Greensboro has attracted development investment in recent years with such new construction as First National Bank Field, residential construction, and offices. The Southside neighborhood downtown exemplifies central-city reinvestment. The formerly economically depressed neighborhood has been redeveloped as an award-winning neotraditional-style neighborhood featuring walkability, compact blocks and local amenities and services. [31] Downtown Greensboro has an active nightlife with numerous nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

The redevelopment of the downtown was stimulated by the 2006 opening of the Elon University School of Law. The law school is credited with attracting student dollars to the downtown both day and night. [32]

Greensboro skyline Greensboro skyline night.jpg
Greensboro skyline

Four Seasons/Coliseum area

Sheraton Four Seasons - Joseph S. Koury Convention Center Sheraton Four Season - Joseph S Koury Convention Center.jpg
Sheraton Four Seasons – Joseph S. Koury Convention Center

The Four Seasons Town Centre is a three-story shopping mall with 1,141,000 square feet (106,000 m2) of shopping space that was developed by the Koury Corporation. Located at 410 Four Seasons Town Centre, it is adjacent to the Koury Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel. Boasting over 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of flexible meeting space, the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center is the largest convention center in the Southeast between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The hotel has more than 1,000 rooms. [33] [34]

The Greensboro Coliseum is located at 1921 W. Gate City Boulevard. This multi-purpose complex consists of the 22,000-seat Greensboro Coliseum, 2,400-seat War Memorial Auditorium, 300-seat Odeon Theatre, and the 167,000-square-foot (15,500 m2) Special Events Center, which includes three exhibition halls, a 4,500-seat mini-arena and eight meeting rooms. The 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) Pavilion is located adjacent. The Coliseum's website notes the complex hosts "a broad range of activities, including athletic events, cultural arts, concerts, theater, educational activities, fairs, exhibits, and public and private events of all kinds including conventions, convocations and trade and consumer shows." [35]

The War Memorial Auditorium has been demolished. Also, the addition of the Greensboro Aquatic Center that host National swimming and diving events is located in this complex. [36]

Airport area

In 1998, FedEx built a $300 million mid-Atlantic air-cargo and sorting hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport, following an intensive competition for the hub among other regions of the state, as well as locations in South Carolina. The project was challenged in court based on the quality of planned noise and pollution abatements from neighborhoods near the planned hub site. The hub opened in 2009. Originally projected by FedEx to employ 750 people in its first two years of operation and eventually 1,500, local FedEx employment has been nearly the same as before the facility was constructed. [37] [38]

In March 2015 HondaJet, with a manufacturing facility in Greensboro, announced that it had received provisional type certification (PTC) from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This achievement indicates the FAA's approval of the HondaJet design based on certification testing, design reviews, and analyses completed to date. [39]


Greensboro, like much of the southeastern United States, has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with four distinct seasons. Winters are short and generally cool, with a January daily average of 38.9 °F (3.8 °C). On average, there are 75 nights per year that drop to or below freezing, [lower-alpha 1] and 4.3 days that fail to rise above freezing. [40] [lower-alpha 2] Measurable snowfall occurs nearly every winter, and accumulates to a normal of 7.5 inches (19.1 cm), usually in January and February and occasionally December and March; the actual amount may vary considerably from winter to winter. [lower-alpha 3] Cold-air damming (CAD) can facilitate freezing rain, often making it a more pressing concern than snow. Summers are hot and humid, with a daily average in July of 78.5 °F (25.8 °C). There is an average 32 days per year with highs at or above 90 °F (32 °C), but, as in much of the Piedmont South, 100 °F (38 °C)+ readings are uncommon. [40] Autumn is similar to spring in temperature but has fewer days of rainfall and less total rainfall. Extremes in temperature have ranged from −8 °F (−22 °C) on January 21, 1985, up to 104 °F (40 °C), on July 17, 1914.

Thunderstorms are common during the humid spring and summer months, some being severe. On April 2, 1936, at around 7:00 pm, a large, F-4 tornado cut a seven-mile (11 km) swath of destruction through southern Greensboro. 14 people were killed and 144 were injured from the tornado, which moved through part of downtown. The storm was part of an outbreak known as the 1936 Cordele-Greensboro tornado outbreak. Strong tornadoes have struck the Greensboro area since then, notably Stoneville on March 20, 1998; Clemmons and Winston-Salem on May 5, 1989; Clemmons and Greensboro on May 7, 2008; High Point on March 28, 2010; and Greensboro on April 15, 2018.


Historical population
1870 497
1880 2,105323.5%
1890 3,31757.6%
1900 10,035202.5%
1910 15,89558.4%
1920 19,86125.0%
1930 53,569169.7%
1940 59,31910.7%
1950 74,38925.4%
1960 119,57460.7%
1970 144,07620.5%
1980 155,6428.0%
1990 183,89418.2%
2000 223,89121.8%
2010 269,66620.4%
2019 (est.)296,710 [4] 10.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [43]

As of the census of 2010, there were 269,666 people; 111,731 households; and 63,244 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,131.7 people per square mile (822.9/km2). There were 124,074 housing units at an average density of 980.8 per square mile (378.6/km2). The racial composition of the city was 48.4% White, 40.6% Black or African American, 4.0% Asian American (1.6% Vietnamese, 0.7% Indian), 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 3.8% some other race, and 2.6% two or more races. Non-Hispanic Whites were 45.6% of the population in 2010, compared to 70.9% in 1970. [18] People of Hispanic or Latino heritage, who may be of any race, in 2010 were 7.5% of the population (4.6% Mexican, 0.7% Puerto Rican). [44]

Map of racial distribution in Greensboro, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or other (yellow). Race and ethnicity 2010- Greensboro (5560438680).png
Map of racial distribution in Greensboro, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or other (yellow).

Of the 124,074 households in the city in 2010, 30.1% included children under the age of 18, 35.5% were headed by married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were classified as non-family. Of the total households, 33.8% were composed of individuals, and 9.0% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 persons, and the average family size was 3.00 persons. [44]

The age distribution in 2010 was 22.7% under the age of 18, 14.5% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males, and for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males. [44]

For the period 2011–15, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $41,628, and the median income for a family was $53,150. Male full-time workers had a median income of $40,143 versus $34,761 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,929. About 14.6% of families and 19.3% of the population were living below the poverty line, including 25.9% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over. [45]


In Greensboro, 48.33% of the population is religiously affiliated. The largest religion in Greensboro is Christianity, with the most affiliates being either Baptist (11.85%) or Methodist (10.25%). The remaining Christian populations are Presbyterian (3.97%), Roman Catholic (3.71%), Pentecostal (2.61%), Episcopal (1.17%), Latter-Day Saints (1.02%), Lutheran (0.96%), and other Christian denominations (11.03%) including Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Moravian, Church of Christ, and non-denominational. After Christianity, the largest religion in Greensboro is Islam (0.82%), followed by Judaism (0.60%). Eastern religions make up the minority in Greensboro (0.34%). [46] [ unreliable source ]


Downtown Greensboro Gsoskyline2007.jpg
Downtown Greensboro
Dixie Building DixieBuilding Greensboro.jpg
Dixie Building

The Greensboro economy and the surrounding Piedmont Triad area have traditionally been centered around textiles, tobacco, and furniture. Greensboro's central proximity in the state has made it a popular place for families and businesses, as well as becoming more of a logistics hub, with FedEx having regional operations based in the city. [47]

Notable companies headquartered in Greensboro include the Honda Aircraft Company, HAECO Americas, ITG Brands, Kayser-Roth, VF, Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks of North America, Qorvo, the International Textile Group, NewBridge Bank, The Fresh Market, Atlantic Coast Conference, Cook Out, Ham's, Biscuitville, Fusion3, TIMCO, Tripps, Wrangler, Kontoor Brands and Columbia Forest Products. Greensboro is a "center of operations" for the insurance company Lincoln Financial Group. [48]

City leaders have been working to attract new businesses in the nanotech, high-tech, aviation and transportation/logistics sectors. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University opened a joint research park, Gateway University Research Park.

Largest employers

According to the city's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [49] the largest employers in the city are:

1 Guilford County Schools 10,394
2 Cone Health 7,218
3City of Greensboro3,108
4 United States Postal Service 2,800
5 Guilford County 2,700
6 University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2,499
7High Point Regional Health System2,320
8 Bank of America 2,000
9 American Express 2,000
10 TE Connectivity 2,000

Top industries

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: [50]

Trade / transportation / utilities73,800
Professional / business54,400
Education and health service48,400
Leisure and hospitality36,700


Greensboro is home to an active and diverse arts community.


First National Bank Field NewBridgeBankPark.jpg
First National Bank Field


The Shops at Friendly Center Shopsatfriendly.jpg
The Shops at Friendly Center

Greensboro is home to a large variety of retail shopping from well-known national chains to local boutiques and galleries. Four Seasons Town Centre, located on the city's southwest side off I-40, is a three-level regional mall. Friendly Center, off Friendly Avenue, is an open-air shopping complex featuring the nation's largest Harris Teeter supermarket and a multiplex cinema. The Shoppes at Friendly Center, adjacent to Friendly Center, is home to many upscale retailers and restaurants such as Brooks Brothers and The Cheesecake Factory. Around the corner on Market street is Fanta Center International Mall, a mini-mall dedicated to foreign exchange, containing a Super G Market. This is a broad international supercenter combined with a flea market, offering European and East Asian specialties. Traditional shopping centers are primarily found on the West Wendover corridor near I-40 and on Battleground Avenue on the city's northwest side. Recently, "big-box" retailers have clustered at the site of the former Carolina Circle Mall on the city's northeast side and on the city's far south along the newly completed urban loop (I-85, I-73). On New Garden Road, a large shopping area has popped up.


Greensboro is not currently home to any top-level professional sports teams. The National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes franchise moved to Raleigh from Hartford, Connecticut in 1997, but the team played its first two seasons at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex while its home arena, Raleigh's Entertainment & Sports Arena, was under construction. During the late 1990s, the Minnesota Twins almost relocated to the city, even receiving league approval. However, the deal collapsed after local voters refused to fund the proposed ballpark. [72]

The Greensboro Grasshoppers (formerly the Greensboro Bats and the Greensboro Hornets) are a minor league baseball team located in Greensboro. [73] They are a Class A team in the South Atlantic League and are a farm team of the Pittsburgh Pirates. [74] The Grasshoppers play at First National Bank Field.

Greensboro's Carolina Dynamo play in the Premier Development League, which is currently the top level men's amateur soccer competition in the United States. It has 63 teams competing in four conferences, split into ten regional divisions. It's considered to be the fourth tier of competition, behind the United Soccer League. The team plays its home games at Macpherson Stadium in nearby Browns Summit, North Carolina, where they have played since 2003. The PDL seasons take place during the summer months, the player pool is drawn mainly from elite NCAA college soccer players seeking to continue playing high level soccer during their summer break, which they can do while still maintaining their college eligibility.

On October 27, 2015, the Charlotte Hornets officially announced that Greensboro would host an affiliate NBA Development League team, beating out other considered cities like Columbia, Asheville, Fayetteville, and Charleston. The Greensboro Swarm began playing in fall 2016 at the Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse. [75]

Greensboro is home to the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Conference, despite having no school participating within the league. [76] The Greensboro Coliseum Complex has hosted the Men's ACC Tournament 23 times since 1967 and the Women's ACC Tournament 12 times since 2000. Greensboro has also hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four on four occasions.

The PGA Tour holds a tournament annually in Greensboro. The Wyndham Championship is held at Sedgefield Country Club and is the last PGA Tour event before the Playoffs for the FedEx Cup. [77] The tournament was founded in 1938 as the Greater Greensboro Open and one of the oldest events on the PGA Tour. [78]

Greensboro nicknames itself as "Tournament Town" due to the many sports tournaments the city hosts. In addition to hosting the ACC Basketball Tournament and NCAA basketball games, the city has hosted the ACC Baseball Tournament, The 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and a number of national competitions at the new Greensboro Aquatic Center. In 1974 Greensboro hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four championship game. It was the first time the Final Four was held in North Carolina. [79] Charlotte would later host the Final Four in 1994.

Greensboro Roller Derby was founded in 2010 and has been a member of the WFTDA, Women's Flat Track Derby Association, since 2013. [80] The league comprises three intra-league teams, named after prominent streets in the city, as well as inter-league all-star and b level teams, each featuring skaters from the three intra-league teams. The league is run by the skaters, who all have ties to the community, and is a not-for-profit organization. Roller derby bouts are held at the Greensboro Coliseum between March and November.

Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball South Atlantic League – Northern Division First National Bank Field
Greensboro Swarm Basketball NBA G League Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse
Carolina Cobras Indoor football National Arena League Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Carolina Dynamo Soccer Premier Development League (PDL) Macpherson Stadium
Greensboro Roller Derby Roller Derby Women's Flat Track Derby Association Greensboro Coliseum


Greensboro operates under a council-manager government. Greensboro consists of nine members; all seats, including the mayor's, are open for election every four years. Five of the council seats are district representatives and three seats are citywide representatives elected at-large.

As of October 2015, Nancy B. Vaughan is the mayor.

City council

Participatory budgeting

Greensboro is the first city in the South to run a participatory budgeting (PB) process, where the residents of the city decide how a portion of the city budget is spent. The first cycle was for $500,000, ran through April 2016, and was incorporated into the 2016–17 budget, with projects like murals, bridge improvements, and a citywide bus tracking app being voted on by residents.


Duke Memorial Hall at Guilford College Duke Memorial Hall.JPG
Duke Memorial Hall at Guilford College

Higher education

The city of Greensboro has many major institutions of higher education. Universities and colleges are: Bennett College (liberal arts, four year, 650 students); Elon University School of Law; Greensboro College (private, liberal arts, four year, 1300 students); [82] Guilford College (private, liberal arts, four year, 2100 students); [83] North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (public, four year, 12,500 students); [84] and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (public, four year, 20,000 students). [85] Greensboro and surrounding Guilford county is served by the two year Guilford Technical Community College, 15,000 students, which is located between Greensboro and High Point.

The Greater Greensboro Consortium was established to allow college students enrolled in one Greensboro area institution to cross-register at other institutions in the same area. Students are also allowed to join certain student organizations at other institutions in the consortium not present at their home institution. [86] [87] [88]

Secondary education

Public education

The public schools in Greensboro are operated by Guilford County Schools, the third largest school system in the state, with about 71,000 students. Greensboro has one of the oldest public high schools in the state, Grimsley High School, established in 1899 as Greensboro High School; as well as Phillip J. Weaver Education Center, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top public high school in the state. [89] Greensboro is also home to the first early college in the state, The Early College at Guilford.

Private education

Greensboro is home to many private day schools, including Greensboro Day School, Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, New Garden Friends School, Caldwell Academy, B'nai Shalom Day School, Canterbury School, Greensboro Montessori School, Triad Math and Science Academy, Noble Academy, Vandalia Christian School, Shining Light Christian Academy, Saint Pius X Catholic School, Napoleon B. Smith SDA Academy and Covenant Christian Day School. The area has two boarding schools: the American Hebrew Academy and the Oak Ridge Military Academy, in the nearby town of Oak Ridge.



The Greensboro News & Record , part of the newspaper group owned by Lee Enterprises, is the daily newspaper. [90] The Triad Business Journal , part of the American City Business Journals chain of business weeklies owned by Advance Communications, is based in Greensboro and covers business across the Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. The Carolina Peacemaker is a newsweekly that covers the African-American community. Yes! Weekly and Triad City Beat are free, weekly, alternative newspapers, founded in 2005 and 2014 respectively. [91] The Rhinoceros Times , a conservative free, weekly newspaper, temporarily went out of business on April 30, 2013, but returned several months later. [92]

Broadcast television

Greensboro is a part of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point television designated market area and includes the following commercial broadcast stations (listed by call letters, channel number, network and city of license):

Greensboro is home to the Triad bureau of News 14 Carolina. BNT 20.2 is North Carolina's only black-owned television station.[ clarification needed ]


FM stations

AM stations

  • WCOG-AM (1320, Sports)
  • WEAL-AM (1510, Gospel)
  • WKEW-AM (1400, Gospel)
  • WPET-AM (950, Religious)
  • WWBG-AM (1470, Spanish contemporary)



Greensboro's Amtrak Station & Rail Depot Gsotrainstation.jpg
Greensboro's Amtrak Station & Rail Depot

Greensboro is served by Piedmont Triad International Airport, which also serves the nearby cities of High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. Piedmont Triad International is the third busiest airport in North Carolina, averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. PTI was a hub for the now defunct Skybus Airlines. [96]

Amtrak's daily Crescent, Carolinian and Piedmont trains connect Greensboro with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans.

Amtrak trains, taxis, local and long-distance buses arrive and depart from the J. Douglas Galyon Depot, also known as Greensboro station, at 236-C East Washington Street. Originally constructed in the early 1920s, the station and depot were renovated in 2004.

The Greensboro Transit Authority [97] offers public bus service throughout the city, including a service called Higher Education Area Transit, or HEAT, which links downtown attractions to area colleges and universities. Regional public transportation throughout the metropolitan area is coordinated by PART, Piedmont Area Regional Transportation.

The Greensboro Greenway is a bike trail that is being constructed to encircle downtown Greensboro. It will connect to other trails and lead out to the Bur-Mil Park area and further. [98]

Interstate highways

Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 Business share the same freeway facility for several miles in south/southeastern Greensboro. The consolidated highway, which is now the Interstate 40/Business 85 junction, is located just south of downtown and forms the western end of a stretch of freeway known throughout the region as "Death Valley", a congested and accident-prone stretch of roadway where six major federal and Interstate routes combine into a single freeway facility.

Construction is underway on the Greensboro Urban Loop, a freeway that, when complete, will encircle the city. Sections of this beltway may form the future alignment of Interstate 73. U.S. Highway 29—which travels through the southern, eastern and northern sections of the city before heading northeast toward suburban Reidsville—is a major route in Greensboro and offers freeway access to its more urban and central areas.

Notable inhabitants


Sister cities

Greensboro maintains a "sister city" relationship with three cities in order to foster international friendship and cooperation. [100]

See also


  1. The normal window for freezing temperatures is November 2 thru April 4.
  2. Occasionally this never occurs in an entire winter or even calendar year; the last such occurrence was the winter of 2011–12 and 2012, respectively.
  3. Seasonal snowfall accumulation has ranged from 32.5 in (82.6 cm) in the winter of 1926–27 to zero in the following winter (1927–28). A trace of snow was recorded as recently as the winter of 1991–92.
  4. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  5. Official records for Greensboro have been kept since January 1903; Piedmont Triad Int'l was made the official climatology station in November 1928. For more information, see Threadex.

Related Research Articles

Guilford County, North Carolina U.S. county in North Carolina

Guilford County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 488,406, making it the third-most populous county in North Carolina. As of 2019, the population is estimated to be 537,174. Its seat is Greensboro. Since 1938, an additional county court has been located in High Point, North Carolina. The county was formed in 1771.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Winston-Salem is a city in and the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. With a 2019 estimated population of 247,945 it is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region, the fifth most populous city in North Carolina, the third largest urban area in North Carolina, and the eighty-ninth most populous city in the United States. With a metropolitan population of 680,876 it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in North Carolina. Winston-Salem is home to the tallest office building in the region, 100 North Main Street, formerly known as the Wachovia Building and now known locally as the Wells Fargo Center.

Oak Ridge, North Carolina Town in North Carolina, United States

Oak Ridge is a town in northwestern Guilford County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 6,185 at the 2010 census, up from 3,988 at the 2000 census. As of 2018 the population had risen to an estimated 6,977. Oak Ridge is 15 miles (24 km) northwest of the center of Greensboro, North Carolina's third-largest city, and it is a part of the Piedmont Triad urban area.

Eden, North Carolina City in North Carolina

Eden is a city in Rockingham County, North Carolina, United States, in the state's Piedmont region. Eden is the largest city in Rockingham County and is part of the Greensboro-High Point MSA. The population was 15,527 at the 2010 census. From the late nineteenth century through much of the 20th, the city was a center of textile mills and manufacturing. The city was incorporated in 1967 through the consolidation of three towns: Leaksville, Spray, and Draper.

Mebane, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Mebane is a city located mostly in Alamance County, North Carolina, United States, and partly in Orange County, North Carolina. The town was named for Alexander Mebane, an American Revolutionary War general and member of the U.S. Congress. It was incorporated as "Mebanesville" in 1881, and in 1883 the name was changed to "Mebane". It was incorporated as a city in 1987. The population as of the 2010 census was 11,393. Mebane is one of the fastest growing municipalities in North Carolina. Mebane straddles the Research Triangle and Piedmont Triad Regions of North Carolina. The Alamance County portion is part of the Burlington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point Combined Statistical Area. The Orange County portion is part of the Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area.

High Point, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of the U.S. state of North Carolina. Most of the city is located in Guilford County, with portions extending into neighboring Randolph, Davidson, and Forsyth counties. High Point is North Carolina's only city that extends into four counties. As of the 2010 census the city had a total population of 104,371, with an estimated population of 112,791 in 2019. High Point is currently the ninth-largest municipality in North Carolina, and the 259th-largest city in America.

Kernersville, North Carolina Town in North Carolina, United States

Kernersville is a town in Forsyth County and the largest suburb of Winston-Salem. The town is located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. A small portion of the town is also in Guilford County. The population was 23,123 at the 2010 census, up from 17,126 at the 2000 census. Kernersville is located at the center of the Piedmont Triad metropolitan area, between Greensboro to the east, High Point to the south, and Winston-Salem to the west. Some of the rural farmland surrounding the town has been sold and turned into large middle-to-upper-class housing developments.

Piedmont Triad International Airport

Piedmont Triad International Airport is an airport located in unincorporated Guilford County, North Carolina, west of Greensboro, serving the Piedmont Triad region of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the entire Piedmont Triad region in North Carolina. The airport, located just off Bryan Boulevard, sits on a 3,770 acre campus and has 3 runways. Piedmont Triad International airport is the third busiest airport in North Carolina averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. PTI is owned and operated by the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority.

The Piedmont Triad is a north-central region of the U.S. state of North Carolina that consists of the area within and surrounding the three major parts: Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. This close group of cities lies in the Piedmont geographical region of the United States and forms the basis of the Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point Combined Statistical Area. As of 2012, the Piedmont Triad has an estimated population of 1,611,243 making it the 33rd largest combined statistical area in the United States.

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The Greensboro Coliseum Complex (GCC) is an entertainment and sports complex located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Opened in 1959, the arena was once one of the largest venues in the South, with a seating capacity of over 23,500. The complex holds eight venues that includes an amphitheater, arena, aquatic center, banquet hall, convention center, museum, theatre, and an indoor pavilion. It is the home of the UNC Greensboro Spartans men's basketball team, the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League, the Carolina Cobras of the National Arena League, as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with their Men's and Women's basketball tournaments.

Oak Ridge Military Academy United States historic place

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Colfax, North Carolina Unincorporated community in North Carolina, United States

Colfax is a small unincorporated community located in Guilford County, North Carolina, United States. It is located at in the western part of the county.

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Browns Summit is a small unincorporated community in Guilford County, North Carolina, United States. It is centered just northeast of Greensboro, near the northern end of Summit Avenue, in proximity to Reedy Fork, North Carolina Highway 150, and U.S. Route 29 in Guilford County, Latitude 36.212°N & Longitude -79.713°W. The elevation is 801 feet (244 m) above sea level. The single public elementary school is a part of the Guilford County school system. The ZIP Code for Browns Summit is 27214, and it is in the 336 area code.

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