Summary Background


Total Population


Long Beach Opportunity Zones

Unemployment Rate


Long Beach Opportunity Zones

Percent College Educated


Long Beach Opportunity Zones

Labor Force Participation Rate


Long Beach Opportunity Zones

Ten counties, and the towns within them, make up the Albemarle Region, located in the northeastern corner of North Carolina. The region is predominantly rural, with a great deal of wetlands and agricultural land. Most of the towns in the region are small, with populations less than 5,000. The largest population centers are located in the coastal communities of the Outer Banks in Dare County, and Elizabeth City in Pasquotank County. The Albemarle Region has a total land area of 6,222 square miles, making it the largest of the sixteen planning organizations in the State. Furthermore, the region is separated by 2,360 square miles of water. Major water bodies include the Albemarle Sound, Currituck Sound, Croatan Sound, the northern portion of the Pamlico Sound, and several large rivers and lakes.

Due to the geography of the region, transportation, soil quality, and flooding are the primary obstacles to economic development.  The large water bodies that separate the region make vehicular transportation time consuming and expensive. There is a great deal of congestion on major highway corridors. This is especially true where the transportation system transverses large water bodies with bridges and ferries. 

Much of the land in the region cannot be developed due to wetlands. Furthermore, poor soil makes much of the region incompatible for septic systems, resulting in a greater dependence on local governments for water and sewer services. Overall, the Albemarle Region is a vast region where population centers are separated not only by distance, but also by natural geographic barriers.