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 2019:

  • 25 percent of North Carolina visitors traveled to North Carolina’s Coastal Region, approximately 12.1 million person-trips (approximately 10 million overnight person-trips).
  • The average household trip expenditure in the Coastal Region was $873. The average household trip expenditure for overnight visitors to the Coastal Region was $1,036. Daytrip parties to the Coastal Region spent approximately $243 per visit.
  • 90 percent of all domestic visitors (and 95 percent of overnighters) came to the Coastal Region for pleasure purposes, while 7 percent of visitors (3 percent of overnighters) came to conduct business (includes meeting/convention).
  • Overnight visitors to the Coastal Region spent an average of 4 nights in the region.
  • 48 percent of all households (50 percent of overnight) that traveled to North Carolina’s Coastal Region had a household income over $75,000.
  • The top state of origin for overnight visitors to the Coastal Region was in-state visitors from North Carolina (51%) followed by Virginia (14%), Pennsylvania (7%), New Jersey (4%), Maryland (3%), Ohio (3%), South Carolina (3%), and West Virginia (3%).