Wilmington, North Carolina Population 2018

Wilmington is a city located in the state of North Carolina. It serves as the county seat for New Hanover County. Wilmington is a very important port city and has been designated as a “Coast Guard City.” Recent estimates show that the population is 117,525 people, making it the eighth most populous city in North Carolina.

Wilmington History

Giovanni da Verrazano was the first European to spot the current location of Wilmington during the early 16th century. The city prior to European settlement was inhabited by multiple indigenous tribes for thousands of years. However, the area wasn’t settled by the Europeans until the 1720s. An area along the Cape Fear River was originally named New Carthage. The name was later changed to New Liverpool, before becoming known as New Town or Newton. It was in 1739 or 1740 when the city took on the name of Wilmington.

People from other regions in North Carolina, as well as Virginia and South Carolina settled in Wilmington. The majority of the settlers came from the British Isles, the West Indies and British colonies. Indentured servants made up quite a bit of the early population. As the demand for labor increased in the region, slaves were brought from Africa, making up about 62% of the region’s total population in 1767.

In its earliest years, the economy was fueled by naval stores and the lumber industry. It was also an important major port. With the arrival of the 1800s came the need for railroad transportation. Plans were created to build a railroad from Raleigh to Wilmington, but plans fell through when there wasn’t enough money raised for the project. The terminus was then changed to Weldon. Later in the century, the Wilmington Gas Light Company was established and gas-powered street lights were installed. Soon thereafter, a new City Hall was built. The city over the next few years also opened its first public school and an opera house.

Wilmington’s port served as a base for the Confederates during the Civil War. The city was captured by the Union in 1865, although battles took place some distance away so that homes and buildings were preserved within Wilmington. At the end of the decade, free and emancipated blacks created a community within Wilmington. This eventually led to the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898.

Today, the city still holds its position as one of the most important port cities in the United States. The city has many historic buildings still intact, bringing in tourists. There are also nearby beaches, the downtown Riverwalk that has been named one of the best in the country, museums and other attractions that appeal to visitors and residents.

Wilmington Demographics

The most recent estimates put Wilmington’s population at 117,525 people. The total area of the city is 41.5 square miles, with a population density of 2,800 people per square mile.

Almost three-quarters of the population is White. Just under 20% is Black, 6.1% are Hispanic or Latino, and 1.2% are Asian. The largest age group is 25 to 44 year olds, which make up over 28% of the population. Data show that 18.4% of the population is under the age of 18, while 15.3% of the population is at least 65 years old. There are more female residents than males – for every 100 females, there are 85 males. Just under 20% of the population live below the federal poverty line.

Just over 47% of the population has a religious affiliation. Most of the population that does practice a religion observes Christianity. Baptists and Methodists make up the largest portion of the religious population.

Wilmington Population Growth

The population of Wilmington, for the most part, has grown every ten years when the census is taken. There have been brief periods where the population declined but the number show that Wilmington has always bounced back. The city has seen significant growth since the 1990s. A population of over 55,000 in 1990 had increased by 36.6% in 2000. It grew again in 2010 by over 40% to exceed 100,000. Recent estimates show that the population has grown by over 10% since the last census. It’s likely that this city will continue to see continued growth based on these trends in recent years.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2017119,0452,0601.76%
2016116,9851,8591.61%
2015115,1261,7421.54%
2014113,3841,6761.50%
2013111,7082,0261.85%
2012109,6821,5481.43%
2011108,1341,4211.33%
2010106,71330,8753.47%
200075,83820,3083.17%
199055,53011,5302.35%
198044,000-2,169-0.48%
197046,1692,1560.48%
196044,013-1,030-0.23%
195045,04311,6363.03%
194033,4071,1370.35%
193032,270-1,102-0.34%
192033,3727,6242.63%
191025,7484,7722.07%
190020,9769200.45%
189020,0562,7061.46%
188017,3503,9042.58%
187013,4463,8943.48%
18609,5522,2882.78%
18507,2641,9293.13%
18405,3351,5443.48%
18303,7911,1583.71%
18202,6330.00%

Wilmington Population in 2018Source: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Population by Race

Race Population
White87,302
Black or African American20,867
Two or More Races1,950
Asian1,742
Some Other Race1,461
American Indian and Alaska Native371
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander31

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Wilmington Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8%10%12% Male Population0%2%4%6%8%10%12% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Wilmington Median Age

35.4


Total

34.4


Male

36.4


Female

Wilmington Adults

There are 93,367 adults, (17,286 of which are seniors) in Wilmington.

Wilmington Age Dependency

49.3

Age Dependency Ratio

22.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

26.7

Child Dependency Ratio

Wilmington Sex Ratio

Female

60,164

52.90%

Male

53,560

47.10%

Wilmington Households and Families

Wilmington Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Wilmington Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married71.8%28.2%
All44.9%55.1%
Non Family31.1%68.9%
Female28.7%71.3%
Male27.8%72.2%

44.9%

Rate of Home Ownership

Wilmington Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All49,0242.2144.9
Non Family24,1461.4131.1
Married17,1562.971.8
Female5,7453.1928.7
Male1,9773.2527.8

2.9

Average Family Size

2.21

Average Household Size

6.1%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.5%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Wilmington Households

Wilmington Education

Wilmington Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,4683.34%
9th to 12th Grade4,1755.65%
High School Graduate14,76319.96%
Some College15,84321.42%
Associates Degree6,8099.21%
Bachelors Degree19,84826.84%
Graduate Degree10,05213.59%

Wilmington Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White55,69153,18626,727
Black12,84810,5991,845
Hispanic3,5211,930404
Asian1,058897572
Other Race84434689
Multiple Races601554251
Native American17610033
Islander313131

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

Wilmington Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,203$38,995$28,143
Less Than High School$16,271$21,075$11,736
High School Grad$24,661$27,346$20,694
Some College$26,732$32,226$23,505
Bachelors Degree$42,090$53,812$34,243
Graduate Degree$61,593$76,952$52,586

$32,203

Average Earnings

$38,995

Average Male

$28,143

Average Female

Wilmington Language

Wilmington Language by Age

Wilmington Language

91.55% of Wilmington residents speak only English, while 8.45% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 5.43% of the population.

Wilmington Poverty

Wilmington Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White78,58413,06216.62%
Black20,3148,03239.54%
Hispanic6,6762,70540.52%
Multiple1,86067536.29%
Asian1,66763237.91%
Other1,46160441.34%
Native3716417.25%

22.85%

Overall Poverty Rate

20.73%

Male Poverty Rate

24.77%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Wilmington

The race most likely to be in poverty in Wilmington is Other, with 41.34% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Wilmington is White, with 16.62% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.25%. Among those working part-time, it was 31.88%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 33.42%.

Wilmington Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School38.78%
High School22.81%
Some College17.39%
Bachelors or Greater5.96%

Wilmington Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed60.43%
Male Unemployed41.38%
Female Employed16.22%
Male Employed9.80%

Wilmington Income

Wilmington Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$43,855$66,473
Families$61,308$90,362
Married Families$83,301$113,808
Non Families$29,551$40,033

Wilmington Marital Status

Wilmington Marital Status

Marriage Rates

38.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

41.5%

Male Marriage Rate

36.2%

Female Marriage Rate

Wilmington Married by Age and Sex

Wilmington Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55To64.

Wilmington Marital Status by Race

Wilmington Veterans

Wilmington Veterans by War

7,321

Number of Veterans

6,599

Male Veterans

722

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam2,695
Second Gulf War1,137
First Gulf War1,051
Korea919
World War II515

Wilmington Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
65 to 742,020
75+1,891
35 to 541,479
55 to 641,256
18 to 34675

Wilmington Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White5,7187.74%
Black1,4279.22%
Hispanic1733.98%
2 or More817.82%
Asian463.22%
Other413.87%
Indian82.79%

Wilmington Veterans by Education

8.06%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.72%

Veteran Disability Rate

Wilmington Employment Status

Wilmington Employment by Age

64.1%

Labor Force Participation

58.7%

Employment Rate

8.1%

Unemployment Rate

Wilmington Employment by Race

Wilmington Employment by Education

Wilmington Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

51.59%

Born in North Carolina

94.01%

Native Born

5.99%

Foreign Born

3.85%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

94.01% of Wilmington residents were born in the United States, with 51.59% having been born in North Carolina. 3.85% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.