Proud to be the home of Fort Bragg, Cumberland County is well-situated in the state of North Carolina. We enjoy proximity to the beaches to the east and are within an easy drive of the mountains of western North Carolina. More than 319,000 people reside in Cumberland County, choosing to live in the unincorporated areas of the county or in one of the nine municipalities, including the City of Fayetteville.
Fayetteville is the largest municipality in Cumberland County, and the fifth largest metro in North Carolina. Located along Interstate 95, Fayetteville/Cumberland County is equidistant from Boston and Miami. Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, is a 45-minute drive from Fayetteville.
Fort Bragg has been a fundamental part of Cumberland County’s identity since 1918, when the post was acquired as an artillery training site. World War II thrust the post into national prominence and its population grew significantly. The 82d Airborne Division was assigned to Fort Bragg in 1946, upon its return from Europe.
We are proud of our identity as a military community. When we in Cumberland County watch the evening news and see soldiers defending America’s interests abroad, we are particularly interested. Often, those soldiers are our friends, neighbors, customers, or family. The military economic impact on Fayetteville/Cumberland County is enormous, being in excess of $6 billion in 2004. Cumberland County understands this, and works together with Fort Bragg to insure the installation gets what it needs to be able to meet its mission.
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The population of Cumberland County, which is about 660 square miles in size, is concentrated largely within the City of Fayetteville, a city of more than 174,000 people. The median age is 29.6 years, with almost 69% of the population being older than 18. Fort Bragg has brought an element of diversity to the county’s population, with people from all over the world residing in Cumberland County. The percentage breakdown of major ethnicities is white, 55.2%; African American, 34.9%; Hispanic or Latino, 6.9% and Asian, 1.9%.
Recreation and Entertainment
Cumberland County has grown to become the economic and cultural hub of an 11-county region in southeastern North Carolina. People from other counties come here to shop, to attend sporting events and shows at the Crown Coliseum, to enjoy the offerings of the Cape Fear Regional Theater, and to attend special events at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, and other local attractions as well as our local institutions of higher learning: Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville State University, and Methodist College.
Among the other cultural amenities in the community are the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, the Fascinate-U Children’s Museum, the Museum of the Cape Fear, the Transportation Museum, and the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Armory and Museum. The 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum is located on Fort Bragg, as is the JFK Special Warfare Museum.
Festivals are a part of the cultural tapestry in Fayetteville/Cumberland County. The Dogwood Festival is an annual springtime celebration, featuring entertainment and the 18-mile Dogwood Trail. In the autumn, the International Folk Festival draws thousands to downtown Fayetteville to sample the food, costumes and music of many different nations, as well as a parade of the various nationalities represented in Fayetteville.
A recent development in the community is the popularity of Fourth Fridays, the date when people come downtown in the evening to amble through the various art galleries, boutique shops and other venues. The evening is often topped off with a drink or a meal at one of the downtown dining establishments.
The climate in Cumberland County is comparable to other communities in the Carolinas, with pleasant spring and fall seasons, mild winters and hot summers. Snow and sleet are rare and even freezing temperatures normally occur only during the months of December through February.
Although hurricanes do occur along the coast of North Carolina, and can wreak damage far inland, only 8 hurricanes in the past 50 years have had a significant impact on Cumberland County. Fayetteville is 90 miles from the closest point on the NC coast, and the effect of storms is usually limited to water damage caused by heavy rains.
The Cost of Living
The cost of living in Cumberland County is lower than the average cost of living in metropolitan areas all across the country, when considering such things as the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care. The per capita personal income in Cumberland County was, as of 2004, $29,425 having risen from about $24,000 at the beginning of this decade.
The Cumberland County School system is the fourth largest in North Carolina, serving more than 53,000 students. The system employs more than 6,000 teachers, assistants, and support personnel. Many students at the ten high schools in the system participate in JROTC activities and go on to attend the most prestigious universities and military academies in the country. A number of private academies and faith-based schools offer educational options for families in Cumberland County.
Cumberland County is also a place for life-long learners, with many options for adult education. Whether in pursuit of a degree or simply to learn more about an area of interest, one can choose the offerings of Methodist College, a private four-year school; Fayetteville State University, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system, or Fayetteville Technical Community College. Of the Cumberland County population 25 or older, almost 75% are high school graduates and 24% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.
Cumberland County is a wonderful place to live, to build a career and to bring up a family. Many of its residents first came here as part of a military family and chose to stay after leaving military service or retirement. Others trace their ancestry right back to original Scottish settlers.
In any case, we are proud of our diverse, growing, productive and patriotic home –Cumberland County, North Carolina.
To view Cumberland County's official home page, click here.