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Census Data Reveals Watauga County Population Increases to Over 54,000 People in 2020; Statewide Population Numbers Increase to Over 10.4 Million

By Nathan Ham

The population of Watauga County increased from 51,079 people in 2010 to 54,086 according to the data released from the 2020 Census, a change of roughly 6%. The population was about 2,000 less than the 56,177 population estimate released in 2019 prior to the Census data being collected.

Overall, North Carolina’s population increased by 9.5% over the last decade from 9,535,483 in 2010 to 10,439,388 in 2020. 

Breaking down the demographics for Watauga County, 94.8% of the population is white, followed by 4% Hispanic, 1.9% African American, 1.2% Asian and 0.4% Native American. 

In North Carolina, 77% of the state population is white, 22.2% of the population is African American, followed by 9.8% Hispanic, 3.2% Asian and 1.6% Native American. 

The median household income in Watauga County was $47,526 compared to the statewide average of $54,602. However, the median value of a home in Watauga County was well above the state average. In Watauga County, that number was $238,000 while the statewide average was $172,500. 

In neighboring counties, Avery County saw its population increase by just nine people over the 10-year span from 17,797 to 17,806. Ashe County saw its population drop from 27,281 to 26,577.