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.

IN 2020

  • Approximately 37 million person-trips were taken in North Carolina and the state ranked #5 in the U.S. in terms of domestic visitation. Approximately 8.8 million visitors traveled to the Coastal Region with 85% of them being overnight visitors.
  • Ninety-three percent of all Coastal Region visitors came traveled for leisure purposes, while six percent came to conduct business.
  • The majority of travelers to the coast in 2020 visited during the summer and/or fall.
  • The party size for the average coastal visitor party was 3.3 in 2020.  37 percent of travel parties included children under the age of 18.
  • The average Coastal Region visitor party trip expenditure was $902 in 2020.  Overnight visitor parties spent $1,118 while daytrip parties spent $108 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.