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North Carolina agriculture produces key parts of Thanksgiving meal

By on 11.23.15 in Economic Data

North Carolina’s agricultural industry contributes $78 billion to the state’s economy according to the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Two of the state’s leading agricultural products—sweet potatoes and turkeys—will likely grace many tables this Thursday as individuals and their families celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are a few fun facts about NC turkeys and sweet potatoes: Turkeys North Carolina is the second largest producer of turkeys, after Minnesota. The state’s turkey production was valued at more…

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Agriculture and Food Statistics: USDA Charts the Essentials

By on 5.11.15 in Fun Maps

The USDA Economic Research Service produces a lot of data about our nation's farms and food stuffs. Recently, they made their series of "the essentials" into an easy to navigate portal, filled with 70 charts and maps that highlight key information about everything from food prices and consumption to the interplay between agriculture and natural resources. While it's well worth exploring on your own, here were three of my favorites: The number of U.S. farms…

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NC in Focus: Employment in 3 Industries, 1850-2010

By on 2.19.15 in Economic Data

In the mid- to late-1800s, four out of every five North Carolina workers was employed in agriculture. Although agriculture and agricultural products remain vital to the state's economy, agricultural employment declined steadily through the late 20th century. At the same time, manufacturing emerged as a dominant employment sector, officially surpassing agriculture as the leading employment sector in North Carolina in 1950. Manufacturing employment in the state was at its highest between 1970 and 1980, and…

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NC in Focus: Christmas Trees & Poinsettias

By on 12.18.14 in Economic Data

“What many people don’t know about North Carolina is that we sell the largest number of Christmas trees of any state on the Eastern seaboard. In 2012, our growers cut nearly 4.3 million Christmas trees. Only Oregon growers cut and sold more trees that year.” – Dee Webb, Celebrating Old North State Agriculture From Thanksgiving turkeys and sweet potatoes to Christmas trees and poinsettias, North Carolina farmers have your holiday needs covered. Not only that,…

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NC in Focus: Turkeys

NC doesn’t just lead the nation in sweet potatoes – we’re also one of the top turkey producing states. Here are a few fun facts about NC turkeys: 1992 Turkey production—measured as number of heads of turkey produced—peaked in North Carolina in 1992, with 62 million turkeys. The number of turkeys produced in North Carolina has steadily declined since its mid-1990s peak. Although this has led to some declines in overall pounds of turkey produced,…

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NC in Focus: Sweet Potatoes

By on 11.20.14 in Economic Data

North Carolina farm products are likely to have a starring role in next week’s Thanksgiving dinners across the state (and nation). Our state farms lead the nation in both sweet potato and turkey production. Here are a few fun facts about NC sweet potatoes: 1971 The year that North Carolina passed Louisiana in sweet potato production. We’ve held the top spot for the last 42 years! 1.1 billion The amount of sweet potatoes, in pounds,…

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NC in Focus: Agricultural Employment, 1860-2010

By on 7.31.14 in Economic Data

In 1870, just over half of the nation’s laborers were working on farms; in North Carolina, four of every five workers were employed in agriculture. While the share of workers employed in agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries steadily declined, North Carolina had a higher share of workers employed in agriculture than the nation until 1990. Today, the agricultural, forestry, and fishing industries employ fewer than 3% of all workers.

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Stability and Change in North Carolina’s Top 10 Most Populous Counties

In 1910, North Carolina had a population of 2.2 million. Only two cities, Charlotte (34,014) and Wilmington (25,748), had populations surpassing 25,000 persons. Winston-Salem (22,700) was the third largest city in the state followed by Raleigh (19,218), Asheville (18,762), Durham (18,241), and Greensboro (15,895). None of North Carolina’s cities numbered among the 100 largest cities in the United States. Reflecting this highly rural, low density population, less than 3% of the state’s population lived in…

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