Demographic Profile


Mitchell County has a stable population of about 16,000 residents, or about 72 people per square mile. For comparison, New York City has over 27,000 people per square mile.

The bulk of our residents are workforce ready, with 88% graduation rates in 2013 and 62% of our population aged 16-64. Our workforce is diversified as well, with 15.4% in manufacturing, 13.5% in Retail & Trade, 11.5% in Healthcare, and so on.

Mitchell County, NC Population Trends

1970 (actual) to 2030 (projected)

Percent change in population by decade

Mitchell County and North Carolina
1970 (actual) to 2020 (projected)

Mitchell County Population 1970 – 2010

By selected age groups


Data from the NC Department of Public Instruction indicates that for the 2012-13 school year, Mitchell County Schools had a graduation rate of 88% (compared to the NC rate of 82.5%). Mitchell County High School tracks college attendance rates for graduating seniors. Following the 2013-14 school year, 32% of Mitchell High School graduates attended a 4-year university, and 48% attended community college.

2006-2010 Residence to Work Flow estimates

for mitchell county residents

Workers Living in and Employed in Mitchell County 4,323
Workers Employed Outside of Mitchell County but in North Carolina 1,757
Workers Employed Outside of North Carolina 290
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2010 American Community Survey.


Estimates from the 2009-2013 5-Year American Community Survey (ACS) by the US Census show that household income in Mitchell County was $37,680 and that per capita income was $21,404. Both numbers are slightly above estimates for the High Country Council Governments 7-county service area known as Region D.

Household and Per Capita Income Estimates

(2009-2013 Average)

Workforce by industry