It’s Official: This is North Carolina’s Poorest Town


North Carolina is unique because it has a wide range of landscapes, a rich cultural history, and a strong economy. Not every part of the state is as prosperous, though. A recent study by 24/7 Wall St. found that Scotland Neck, a small seaside town with about 1,000 people, is the poorest town in North Carolina.

Scotland Neck Poverty Contributing Factors

Scotland Neck is a historical site that dates back to the colonial era when English and Scottish immigrants established in the area. It is located in Brunswick County, approximately 30 miles south of Wilmington. The town’s economy is mostly dependent on tourism, fishing, and agriculture. It was named for the land “neck” that connects it to the mainland. However, these sectors have had to contend with difficulties like shifting customer tastes, competition from other markets, and environmental concerns. In addition, Scotland Neck faces challenges with poor educational attainment, high crime rates, and restricted access to transportation and healthcare.

Based on data from the American Community Survey (ACS), the average household income in Scotland Neck in 2020 was only $15,985, 73.6% less than the state average. With a poverty rate of 46.9%, more than half of the population was below the federal poverty level. With a rate of 10.8%, it was higher than the state average of 5.8%.

Similarities to Other Towns in North Carolina

In North Carolina, Scotland Neck is not the only community experiencing financial difficulties. Similar or greater levels of poverty are seen in a number of other towns:

  1. Selma, a community of about 6,300 people, has a poverty rate of 33.6% and an income of $25,421, making it the second poorest town in North Carolina. With a 22% unemployment rate, it is higher than the state average.
  2. Boone: With a population of about 18,000, this town has the unfortunate distinction of being the poorest in all of North Carolina. With an 18% unemployment rate and a poverty rate of 55.3%, its income is $24,756.
  3. With 8,300 residents, Roxboro is the fourth poorest town in North Carolina. Its income is $31,573, its poverty rate is 37.9%, and its unemployment rate is 21%.
  4. North Wilkesboro: With 4,600 residents, it ranks third among the poorest communities in North Carolina. Its income is $32,000, its poverty rate is 45.5%, and its unemployment rate is 20%.

Possible Remedies for Enhancing Scotland Neck

Poverty presents many obstacles, but they are not insurmountable. Governmental organizations, corporations, nonprofits, and community people working together can address the following important causes of poverty:

  1. Investing in Education and Training Programs: By giving locals access to new skills and credentials, increased funding for education, training, and employment initiatives may empower citizens.
  2. Diversifying Economic Activities: Encouraging tourism, fishing, and agricultural diversification can lead to the creation of new business ventures, revenue streams, and employment possibilities for locals.
  3. Enhancing Public Safety: Lowering crime rates, defending the rights of locals, and discouraging unlawful activity can all be achieved by strengthening the legal, police, and court systems.
  4. Enhancing Public Health and Social Services: Residents’ access to high-quality healthcare, social support, and mobility can all be increased by improving public health, social services, and transportation networks.
  5. Promoting Civic Engagement: Among the populace, social cohesion, trust, and collaboration can be enhanced by promoting civic engagement, volunteering, and community building.

Even though Scotland Neck is experiencing economic difficulties, the community has the capacity to overcome these setbacks and look forward to a better future with perseverance, ingenuity, and teamwork.

Read More: Mississippi’s Cannabis Laws: What You Need to Know

In Summary

One of the poorest towns in North Carolina is Scotland Neck, which is distinguished by low income levels, a declining population, and economic difficulties. Notwithstanding these difficulties, the town is strong points include its scenic surroundings, rich cultural legacy, and friendly locals. Scotland Neck has the potential to achieve more prosperity in the future by utilizing its resources, addressing current issues, and putting targeted solutions into practice.

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