Charlotte, North Carolina

city in and county seat of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States

Charlotte is the most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and it is the 16th most populous city in the United States. In 2020, the population of Charlotte according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 874,579.[10] In addition, the population of Charlotte's metro area is listed as 2,660,329.

The Queen City, The QC, CLT, The Hornet's Nest[1][2]
"Regina Civitatem" (Latin)
(Queen City)
"Charlotte's Got a Lot"[3]
Interactive maps of Charlotte
Coordinates: 35°13′38″N 80°50′35″W / 35.22722°N 80.84306°W / 35.22722; -80.84306[4]
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
IncorporatedDecember 3, 1768[6]
Named forCharlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • BodyCharlotte City Council
 • MayorVi Lyles (D)
 • City312.00 sq mi (808.08 km2)
 • Land310.02 sq mi (802.94 km2)
 • Water1.98 sq mi (5.14 km2)
Elevation673 ft (205 m)
 • City874,579
 • Estimate 
 • Rank43rd in North America
15th in the United States
1st in North Carolina
 • Density2,821.06/sq mi (1,089.22/km2)
 • Urban
1,379,873 (US: 37th)
 • Urban density2,098.3/sq mi (810.2/km2)
 • Metro2,660,329 (US: 22nd)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes704, 980
FIPS code37-12000[9]
GNIS feature ID2404032[4]
Charlotte, North Carolina (2019)



The first people settled at the place where Charlotte is in 1755 when a man named Thomas Polk built a house near two Native American trading paths. More people started living in the area and in 1768 it became a town named Charlotte Town.[11] It was named after the wife of King George III because the people wanted him to like them.[12] But he did not, and soon he started passing laws that the people in Charlotte did not like. So, on May 20, 1775, the people in Charlotte signed a proclamation that later was called the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.[13] They did not want to be ruled by the king anymore so eleven days later they had a meeting and made new laws for their town.[14]

In the early 1800s, many churches started to form in Charlotte. That is why Charlotte is sometimes called “The City of Churches.”[15]

In 1799, a boy found a big rock. When a jeweler told his family that it was gold, the first gold rush in the United States started.[16] A lot of gold was found. More gold was found in North Carolina then any other state until the California Gold Rush of 1848.[17] Some people in Charlotte still enjoy looking for gold.

After the Civil War Charlotte became a busy town. Cotton farmers brought their cotton to Charlotte to ship it on trains. Even more people started living in Charlotte during World War I. When the war ended a lot of people stayed in the city.

Today the city is known for its many banks. Charlotte is the second biggest banking city in the United States. Only New York City has more banks.[18]



Charlotte has many different kinds of weather throughout the year. In the winter the temperature sometimes goes below 32 °F (0 °C) and in the summer it has gone up to 104 °F (40 °C). The city usually gets about 43.52 inches (1105.3 mm) of precipitation a year. Most of it is rain. It does not snow much in Charlotte.

This table shows the average temperature and rainfall each month:

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F(°C) 54 (12) 56 (13) 64 (18) 73 (23) 80 (27) 87 (31) 90 (32) 88 (31) 82 (28) 73 (23) 63 (17) 54 (12) 72 (22)
Avg low temperature °F(°C) 32 (0) 34 (1) 42 (6) 49 (9) 58 (14) 66 (19) 71 (22) 69 (21) 63 (17) 51 (11) 42 (6) 35 (2) 51 (11)
Rainfall inches (millimeters) 4.00 (101.6) 3.55 (90.2) 4.39 (111.5) 2.95 (74.9) 2.66 (93.0) 3.42 (86.9) 3.79 (96.3) 3.72 (94.5) 3.83 (97.3) 3.66 (93.0) 3.36 (85.3) 3.18 (80.8) 43.52 (1105.3)



Banking is very important in Charlotte. Many banks, such as Bank of America and Wachovia have headquarters in the city. There are also many other big companies in Charlotte. There are many skyscrapers (tall buildings) in Charlotte.

NASCAR also has many offices in Charlotte and in the towns around Charlotte.



Charlotte has a council-manager kind of government. This means that there two main leaders in Charlotte: the city council who makes the laws, and the city manager who makes sure everybody follows the laws.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is in charge of keeping everyone in the city safe. The are about 1600 police officers in the Police Department.



The city’s public school system, called Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is the second biggest school system in North Carolina. The school system has about 146,000 students.[19]

There is a university, called the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in Charlotte. Right now there are about 29,000 students who go to this university.[20] There is also a community college, called Central Piedmont Community College, in the city. It is the biggest community college in both North or South Carolina.[21] Charlotte has many private universities as well.



There are many professional sports teams in Charlotte. Some of them are:

Team Type
Carolina Panthers football
Charlotte Hornets basketball
Charlotte Knights baseball
Charlotte FC soccer
Charlotte Independence soccer
Charlotte Lady Eagles soccer
Charlotte Eagles soccer
Charlotte Checkers Ice Hockey

Charlotte also has several parks and other public places for people to enjoy.


A LYNX train

Mass Transportation


There are many public busses to help people get around the city. In 2007 Charlotte began a mass transit light rail system. Charlotte also has a system of small trains called LYNX.



Charlotte's International Airport name Charlotte/Douglas, which is the 11th busiest airport in the world.

Because Charlotte is in the middle of the east coast of the U.S., a lot of people drive through the city every day. Charlotte has many big interstates to handle all the traffic. But many people think Charlotte does not have good roads. They are big, but they were not planned well.


Number Highway
77   I-77
85   I-85
277   I-277
485   I-485
Number Highway
74   U.S. 74
29   U.S. 29


Number Highway
16   N.C. 16
49   N.C. 49
51   N.C. 51


Number Highway
4   Route 4



Amtrak runs three different trains every day in Charlotte. People can ride these trains to the following cities:

City State
Atlanta Georgia
Baltimore Maryland
Birmingham Alabama
Charlottesville Virginia
Durham North Carolina
Greensborro North Carolina
Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Raleigh North Carolina
Richmond Virginia
New Orleans Louisiana
New York New York
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia




  1. Wilson, Jen (October 13, 2014). "So is Charlotte the real Queen City?". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  2. "The Mecklenburg Historical Association, Charlotte, NC". Archived from the original on June 10, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  3. Washburn, Mark (March 30, 2018). "Charlotte's got a lot, but it needs a new slogan". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Charlotte, North Carolina
  5. Dixon, Chris (August 27, 2014). "36 Hours in Charlotte, N.C." The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  6. Toussaint, Katie (October 13, 2019). "How to join Charlotte's year-long birthday celebration". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  7. "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  8. "2020 Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  9. "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Totals: 2010-2020". U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. April 27, 2021. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  10. "QuickFacts: Charlotte city, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 26, 2024.
  11. "Mecklenburg County North Carolina Genealogy".
  12. "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story: History Timeline: Charlotte Incorporated". Archived from the original on 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  13. "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story: History Timeline: Mecklenburg Declaration". Archived from the original on 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  14. "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story: History Timeline: Mecklenburg Resolves". Archived from the original on 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  15. "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story: History Timeline: The City of Churches". Archived from the original on 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  16. Blanchard Online: American Rarities Archived 2005-01-03 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved on 05-22-07)
  17. "The Charlotte Branch Mint". Archived from the original on 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  18. "The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story: History Timeline: 80s Charlotte". Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  19. "Background, Facts and History". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  20. "UNC CHARLOTTE WELCOMES THE CLASS OF 2026". September 19, 2022. Archived from the original on July 7, 2023. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  21. "CHLT - Colleges". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2008-02-08.