Durham, North Carolina

county seat of Durham County, North Carolina, United States

Durham is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It has about 280,000 people. Durham has two universities, Duke and NC Central. It is northwest of Raleigh, and northeast of Chapel Hill. It is the county seat of Durham County.

Flag of Durham
Bull City,[1] City of Medicine[2]
Location in Durham County and North Carolina
Location in Durham County and North Carolina
Durham is located in North Carolina
Durham is located in the United States
Coordinates: 35°58′43″N 78°54′00″W / 35.97861°N 78.90000°W / 35.97861; -78.90000
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountiesDurham, Wake, Orange[3]
IncorporatedApril 10, 1869[4]
Named forBartlett S. Durham
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • Total116.19 sq mi (300.92 km2)
 • Land115.36 sq mi (298.79 km2)
 • Water0.82 sq mi (2.13 km2)  0.71%
Elevation404 ft (123 m)
 • Total283,506
 • Rank71st in the United States
4th in North Carolina
 • Density2,457.51/sq mi (948.85/km2)
 • Urban
396,118 (US: 106th)
 • Urban density2,160.4/sq mi (834.1/km2)
 • Metro
649,903 (US: 92nd)
 • CSA
2,106,463 (US: 31st)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
27701, 27702, 27703, 27704, 27705, 27706, 27707, 27708, 27709, 27710, 27711, 27712, 27713, 27715, 27717, 27722
Area code(s)919, 984
FIPS code37-19000[8]
GNIS feature ID2403521[6]
Primary AirportRaleigh–Durham International Airport

Historical Facts


Before Europeans came to the Durham area, there were some Native American tribes nearby.

Durham was officially started in 1869, but there was a train station and some stores before that. It grew quickly in the late 1800s and early 1900s because of tobacco. NC Central was one of the first publicly funded (paid for) African-American colleges, and was started in 1924.

In the mid-1900s, people were buying less tobacco, so Durham became poorer. Some civil rights people also visited Durham during this time. The Research Triangle Park near Raleigh helped it some, but not very much.

Recently, Durham's downtown has gotten better and Durham is growing more. The old tobacco buildings are now being used for other things.



Durham is located in north-central North Carolina, near Chapel Hill and Raleigh, in an area known as The Triangle. One of the few rivers in Durham is the Eno River. It goes into Falls Lake.



Durham has a sort of mild climate with hot summers and cool winters. In the summer temperatures usually go from 90° Fahrenheit during the day to 70 °F at night. In the winter, is about 50 °F during the day and 30 °F at night. It can change more. Durham gets about 45 inches (110 cm) of rain and 6 inches (15 cm) of snow.



Durham has a lot of transportation, or roads, trains, and airplanes. Some freeways in Durham are Interstates 40 and 85 and highway 147. Durham is right next to an airport. Durham also has a train station.

Things to see


Duke University is in Durham. Durham also has the Museum of Life and Science and the Nasher Art Museum. Downtown, there are also several tall buildings.


  1. "Durham was nicknamed the "Bull City" in the late 1800s when the Blackwell Tobacco Company named its product "Bull" Durham Tobacco". durhamnc.gov. Jan 17, 2021. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015.
  2. "About Durham". Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  3. "Durham Maps". durhamnc.gov. City of Durham. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  4. Durham (N.C.) – Directories. Richmond, Virginia: Hill Directory Company. 1923. p. 7. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  5. "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Durham, North Carolina
  7. "QuickFacts: Durham city, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2024.
  8. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.