Coastal Facts

 Did You Know that North Carolina:

  • Has a coastal population of over 1.2 million
  • Has a coastal economy of approximately $46 billion in gross domestic product.
  • Is the seventh-longest coastline in the U.S. with 3,375 coastline miles. Approximately 320 miles of the coastline is ocean shoreline of which 112 miles are currently managed (but is anticipated to grow to 163 miles).
  • Has roughly 12,009 miles of estuarine coastline which includes bays, sounds and wetlands.
  • Has a total of 22 inlets of which 14 are managed.
  • Has 4 successfully constructed active federal coastal storm damage reduction (beach nourishment) projects.
  • Has more than 100 species of sea, marsh, wadding, and shorebirds that can be found on the coast throughout the year.

According to Visit NC, In 2021

  • Approximately 44.4 million person-trips were taken in North Carolina and the state ranked #5 in the U.S. in terms of domestic visitation. Approximately 12 million visitors traveled to the Coastal Region with 83 percent of them being overnight visitors.
  • Ninety-one percent of all Coastal Region visitors (94 percent overnight) traveled for leisure purposes, while four percent came to conduct business.
  • The majority of overnight travelers to the coast in 2021 visited during the summer followed by spring.
  • The party size for the average coastal visitor party was 2.8 in 2021.  38 percent of travel parties included children under the age of 18.
  • The average Coastal Region visitor party trip expenditure was $996 in 2021.  Overnight visitor parties spent $1,172 while daytrip parties spent $225 on average.
  • The top states of origin for overnight visitors to the Coastal Region in 2020 were NC, VA, MD, PA, OH, NY, NJ, KY, GA and FL.