Watauga County, NC

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Population

53,421

1.28% growth

Median Age

30.6


Median Household Income

$41,541

5.32% growth

Poverty Rate

28.3%


Number of Employees

24,564

3.02% growth

Median Property Value

$240,700

4.33% growth

About

In 2017, Watauga County, NC had a population of 53.4k people with a median age of 30.6 and a median household income of $41,541. Between 2016 and 2017 the population of Watauga County, NC grew from 52,745 to 53,421, a 1.28% increase and its median household income grew from $39,443 to $41,541, a 5.32% increase.

The population of Watauga County, NC is 91.9% White Alone, 3.42% Hispanic or Latino, and 1.78% Two or More Races. 4.67% of the people in Watauga County, NC speak a non-English language, and 98.5% are U.S. citizens.

The largest universities in Watauga County, NC are Appalachian State University (4,656 degrees awarded in 2016) and Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (13 degrees).

The median property value in Watauga County, NC is $240,700, and the homeownership rate is 58.9%. Most people in Watauga County, NC commute by Drove Alone, and the average commute time is 18.4 minutes. The average car ownership in Watauga County, NC is 2 cars per household.

Economy

The economy of Watauga County, NC employs 24.6k people. The largest industries in Watauga County, NC are Educational Services (4,682 people), Retail Trade (3,469 people), and Accommodation & Food Services (3,328 people), and the highest paying industries are Finance & Insurance ($66,855), Utilities ($47,092), and Wholesale Trade ($45,625).

Median household income in Watauga County, NC is $41,541. Males in Watauga County, NC have an average income that is 1.34 times higher than the average income of females, which is $44,729. The income inequality in Watauga County, NC (measured using the Gini index) is 0.473, which is lower than than the national average.

Wages

Median Household Income

$41,541

2017 value

± $1,476

5.32%

1 Year Growth

± 5.94%

Households in Watauga County, NC have a median annual income of $41,541, which is less than the median annual income of $60,336 across the entire United States. This is in comparison to a median income of $39,443 in 2016, which represents a 5.32% annual growth.

Look at the chart to see how the median household income in Watauga County, NC compares to that of it's neighboring and parent geographies.

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Wage by Gender in Common Jobs

The PUMS dataset is not available at the county level, so we are showing data for the North Carolina.

$59,982

Average Male Salary

± $1,136

$44,729

Average Female Salary

± $812

In 2017, full-time male employees in Watauga County, NC made 1.34 times more than female employees.

This chart shows the gender-based wage disparity in the 5 most common occupations in Watauga County, NC by number of full-time employees.

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Wage by Race and Ethnicity in Common Jobs

The PUMS dataset is not available at the county level, so we are showing data for the North Carolina.

Highest Average Salaries by Race & Ethnicity

  1. Asian

    $59,267 ± $4,472

  2. White

    $49,962 ± $811

  3. Two or More Races

    $36,539 ± $3,942

In 2017 the highest paid race/ethnicity of Watauga County, NC workers was Asian. These workers were paid 1.19 times more than White workers, who made the second highest salary of any race/ethnicity.

This chart shows the race- and ethnicity-based wage disparities in the 5 most common occupations in Watauga County, NC by number of full-time employees.

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Wage Distribution

The closest comparable wage GINI for Watauga County, NC is from North Carolina.

0.473

2017 Wage GINI

0.471

2016 Wage GINI

In 2017, the income inequality in North Carolina was 0.473 according to the GINI calculation of the wage distribution. Income inequality had a 0.39% growth from 2016 to 2017, which means that wage distribution grew somewhat less even.

The 2017 the GINI for North Carolina was lower than than the national average of 0.479. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly in North Carolina in comparison to the national average.

This chart shows the number of workers in North Carolina across various wage buckets compared to the national average.

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Income by Location

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Highest Median Household Income (Total)

  1. Census Tract 9210

  2. Census Tract 9207.02

  3. Census Tract 9207.03

In 2017, the tract with the highest Median Household Income (Total) in Watauga County, NC was Census Tract 9210 with a value of $60,250, followed by Census Tract 9207.02 and Census Tract 9207.03, with respective values of $57,074 and $53,678.

The following map shows all of the tracts in Watauga County, NC colored by their Median Household Income (Total).

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Poverty by Age and Gender

Males 18 - 24

Largest Demographic Living in Poverty

28.3% of the population for whom poverty status is determined in Watauga County, NC (13.6k out of 47.9k people) live below the poverty line, a number that is higher than the national average of 13.4%. The largest demographic living in poverty are Males 18 - 24, followed by Females 18 - 24 and then Females 35 - 44.

The Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who classifies as impoverished. If a family's total income is less than the family's threshold than that family and every individual in it is considered to be living in poverty.

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Poverty by Race and Ethnicity

Largest Race or Ethnicity Living in Poverty

  1. White

    12,154 ± 726

  2. Hispanic

    884 ± 212

  3. Two Or More

    446 ± 195

The most common racial or ethnic group living below the poverty line in Watauga County, NC is White, followed by Hispanic and Two Or More.

The Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who classifies as impoverished. If a family's total income is less than the family's threshold than that family and every individual in it is considered to be living in poverty.

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Occupations

Employment by Occupations

24.6k

2017 Value

± 1,103

3.02%

1 Year growth

± 6.08%

From 2016 to 2017, employment in Watauga County, NC grew at a rate of 3.02%, from 23.8k employees to 24.6k employees.

The most common job groups, by number of people living in Watauga County, NC, are Sales & Related Occupations (3,159 people), Office & Administrative Support Occupations (3,007 people), and Food Preparation & Serving Related Occupations (2,942 people). This chart illustrates the share breakdown of the primary jobs held by residents of Watauga County, NC.

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Most Common

The most common jobs held by residents of Watauga County, NC, by number of employees, are Sales & Related Occupations (3,159 people), Office & Administrative Support Occupations (3,007 people), and Food Preparation & Serving Related Occupations (2,942 people).

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Most Specialized

Compared to other counties, Watauga County, NC has an unusually high number of residents working as Food Preparation & Serving Related Occupations (2.05 times higher than expected), Education, Training, & Library Occupations (1.59 times), and Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance Occupations (1.3 times).

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Highest Paid

The highest paid jobs held by residents of Watauga County, NC, by median earnings, are Legal Occupations ($73,523), Health Diagnosing & Treating Practitioners & Other Technical Occupations ($52,702), and Healthcare Practitioners & Technical Occupations ($49,135).

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Industries

Employment by Industries

24.6k

2017 Value

± 1,103

3.02%

1 Year growth

± 6.08%

From 2016 to 2017, employment in Watauga County, NC grew at a rate of 3.02%, from 23.8k employees to 24.6k employees.

The most common employment sectors for those who live in Watauga County, NC, are Educational Services (4,682 people), Retail Trade (3,469 people), and Accommodation & Food Services (3,328 people). This chart shows the share breakdown of the primary industries for residents of Watauga County, NC, though some of these residents may live in Watauga County, NC and work somewhere else. Census data is tagged to a residential address, not a work address.

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Most Common

The most common industries in Watauga County, NC, by number of employees, are Educational Services (4,682 people), Retail Trade (3,469 people), and Accommodation & Food Services (3,328 people).

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Most Specialized

Compared to other counties, Watauga County, NC has an unusually high number of Educational Services (2.06 times higher than expected), Real Estate & Rental & Leasing (1.85 times), and Accommodation & Food Services (1.78 times) industries.

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Highest Paying

The highest paying industries in Watauga County, NC, by median earnings, are Finance & Insurance ($66,855), Utilities ($47,092), and Wholesale Trade ($45,625).

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Domestic Trade

Domestic Production & Consumption

Domestic production and consumption consists of products and services shipped from North Carolina to other states, or from other states to North Carolina.

Top Domestic Production in Dollars

  1. $50.4B

  2. $35.3B

  3. $34.5B

In 2015, the top outbound North Carolina product (by dollars) was Mixed freight with $50.4B, followed by Pharmaceuticals with $35.3B and Machinery and $34.5B.

The following chart shows the share of these products in relation to all outbound North Carolina products.

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Domestic Trade Growth

Showing data for North Carolina state.

$407B

2015 Value

$632B

Projected 2045 Value

55.4% growth

In 2015, total outbound North Carolina trade was $407B. This is expected to increase 55.4% to $632B by 2045.

The following chart shows how the domestic outbound North Carolina trade is projected to change in comparison to its neighboring states.

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Interstate Trade

Interstate trade consists of products and services shipped from North Carolina to other states, or from other states to North Carolina.

Most Common Trade Partners

  1. $25.6B

  2. $25.4B

  3. $25.2B

In 2015, the top outbound North Carolina domestic partner for goods and services (by dollars) was South Carolina with $25.6B, followed by Georgia with $25.4B and Virginia and $25.2B.

The following map shows the amount of trade that North Carolina shares with each state (excluding itself).

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Health

90.6% of the population of Watauga County, NC has health coverage, with 47.7% on employee plans, 8.24% on Medicaid, 11.8% on Medicare, 20.6% on non-group plans, and 2.3% on military or VA plans.

Per capita personal health care spending in the county of Watauga County, NC was $7,264 in 2014. This is a 3.37% increase from the previous year ($7,027).

Primary care physicians in Watauga County, NC see 1260 patients per year on average, which represents a 1.72% decrease from the previous year (1282 patients). Compare this to dentists who see 1541 patients per year, and mental health providers who see 253 patients per year.

Comparing across all counties in the state, Edgecombe County has the highest prevalence of diabetes (16.2%). Additionally, Hertford County has the highest prevalence of adult obesity (40.5%)

Patient to Clinician Ratios

1260 to 1

Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians in Watauga County, NC see an average of 1260 patients per year. This represents a 1.72% decrease from the previous year (1282 patients).

The following chart shows how the number of patients seen by primary care physicians has been changing over time in Watauga County, NC in comparison to neighboring states.

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Behavioral Health Conditions

Data only available at the state level.

State with the Highest Prevalence

  1. 8.26% of the population affected

  2. 8.13% of the population affected

  3. 7.98% of the population affected

In 2016, West Virginia had the highest prevalence of adults with major depressive episode, with 8.26% of the population affected. The second highest is Arkansas (8.13%), followed by New Hampshire (7.98%).

The following map shows the percent of individuals with major depressive episode by state over multiple years.

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Access and Quality

Data only available at state level.

Most prevalent states

  1. 19.2% of adults

  2. 17.9% of adults

  3. 17.6% of adults

In 2016, Mississippi had the highest prevalence of adults who haven't seen a doctor in the past 12 months due to cost, at 19.2%. It is followed by Texas (17.9%) and Louisiana (17.6%).

The following map shows the prevalence of adults who haven't seen a doctor in the past 12 months due to cost by state over multiple years.

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Health Care Spending

Data is only available at the state level. Showing data for North Carolina.

$7,264

Total Per Capita Spending on Personal Health Care 

$3,859

Per Enrollee Private Health Insurance Spending on Personal Health Care

$7,225

Per Enrollee Medicaid Spending on Personal Health Care

$10,260

Per Enrollee Medicare Spending on Personal Health Care

Between 2013 and 2014, all personal health care spending per capita in North Carolina (including private, Medicare, and Medicaid) grew 3.37%, from $7,027 to $7,264.

The following chart shows how this spending changed over time in comparison to Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance spending, per enrollee.

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Health Care Coverage

9.42%

Uninsured

47.7%

Employer Coverage

8.24%

Medicaid

11.8%

Medicare

20.6%

Non-Group

2.3%

Military or VA

Between 2016 and 2017, the percent of uninsured citizens in Watauga County, NC declined by 9.73% from 10.4% to 9.42%.

The following chart shows how the percent of uninsured individuals in Watauga County, NC changed over time compared with the percent of individuals enrolled in various types of health insurance.

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Health Risks

Data available at the county level.

Most at risk counties

  1. 16.2% prevalence

  2. 16.1% prevalence

  3. 16% prevalence

Edgecombe County has the highest prevalence of diabetes in North Carolina, at 16.2%.

The following map shows the prevalence of diabetes in North Carolina by county over multiple years.

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Diversity

Watauga County, NC is home to a population of 53.4k people, from which 98.5% are citizens. As of 2017, 2.83% of Watauga County, NC residents were born outside of the country.

The ethnic composition of the population of Watauga County, NC is composed of 49.1k White Alone residents (91.9%), 1.83k Hispanic or Latino residents (3.42%), 952 Two or More Races residents (1.78%), 819 Black or African American Alone residents (1.53%), 446 Asian Alone residents (0.835%), 148 American Indian & Alaska Native Alone residents (0.277%), 63 Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander Alone residents (0.118%), and 58 Some Other Race Alone residents (0.109%).

The most common foreign languages spoken in Watauga County, NC are Spanish or Spanish Creole (1,502 speakers), German (154 speakers), and French (Incl. Patois, Cajun) (100 speakers).

Age

Age by Nativity

30

Median Native-Born Age

± 0.3

41

Median Foreign-Born Age

± 7.5

In 2017, the median age of all people in Watauga County, NC was 30.6. Native-born citizens, with a median age of 30, were generally younger than than foreign-born citizens, with a median age of 41. But people in Watauga County, NC are getting getting older. In 2016, the average age of all Watauga County, NC residents was 30.

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Heritage

Foreign-Born Population

2.83%

2017 Foreign-Born Population

2.92%

2016 Foreign-Born Population

As of 2017, 2.83% of Watauga County, NC residents were born outside of the United States, which is lower than the national average of 13.7%. In 2016, the percentage of foreign-born citizens in Watauga County, NC was 2.92%, meaning that the rate has been decreasing.

The following chart shows the percentage of foreign-born residents in Watauga County, NC compared to that of it's neighboring and parent geographies.

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Global Diversity

Most Common Origin

  1. Mexico

    242,756 ± 11,950 people

  2. India

    60,392 ± 6,015 people

  3. Honduras

    34,513 ± 4,553 people

In 2017, the most common birthplace for the foreign-born residents of Watauga County, NC was Mexico, the natal country of 242,756 Watauga County, NC residents, followed by India with 60,392 and Honduras with 34,513.

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Citizenship

98.5%

2017 Citizenship

98.3%

2016 Citizenship

As of 2017, 98.5% of Watauga County, NC residents were US citizens, which is higher than the national average of 93.1%. In 2016, the percentage of US citizens in Watauga County, NC was 98.3%, meaning that the rate of citizenship has been increasing.

The following chart shows US citizenship percentages in Watauga County, NC compared to that of it's neighboring and parent geographies.

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Race and Ethnicity

Most Common

  1. White Alone

    49.1k ± 105

  2. Hispanic or Latino

    1.83k ± 320

  3. Two or More Races

    952 ± 174

In 2017, there were 26.8 times more White Alone residents (49.1k people) in Watauga County, NC than any other race or ethnicity. There were 1.83k Hispanic or Latino and 952 Two or More Races residents, the second and third most common racial or ethnic groups.

The following bar chart shows the 8 races and ethnicities represented in Watauga County, NC as a share of the total population.

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Non-English Speakers

Most Common Languages

  1. Spanish or Spanish Creole

    1,502 speakers (2.98%)

  2. German

    154 speakers (0.306%)

  3. French (Incl. Patois, Cajun)

    100 speakers (0.199%)

4.67% of Watauga County, NC citizens are speakers of a non-English language, which is lower than the national average of 21.5%. In 2015, the most common non-English language spoken in Watauga County, NC was Spanish or Spanish Creole. 2.98% of the overall population of Watauga County, NC are native Spanish or Spanish Creole speakers. 0.306% speak German and 0.199% speak Spanish or Spanish Creole, the next two most common languages.

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Military

Veterans

Most Common Service Period

  1. Vietnam

    1,043 ± 182

  2. Gulf War (1990s)

    438 ± 147

  3. Gulf War (2001-)

    275 ± 122

Watauga County, NC has a large population of military personnel who served in Vietnam, 2.38 times greater than any other conflict.

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Education

In 2016, universities in Watauga County, NC awarded 4,669 degrees. The student population of Watauga County, NC is skewed towards women, with 8,005 male students and 10,350 female students.

Most students graduating from Universities in Watauga County, NC are White (4,056 and 87.4%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (173 and 3.73%), Black or African American (135 and 2.91%), and Two or More Races (106 and 2.28%).

The largest universities in Watauga County, NC by number of degrees awarded are Appalachian State University (4,656 and 99.7%) and Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (13 and 0.278%).

The most popular majors in Watauga County, NC are General Business Administration & Management (259 and 5.55%), General Psychology (250 and 5.35%), and Kinesiology & Exercise Science (231 and 4.95%).

The median tuition costs in Watauga County, NC are $N/A for private four year colleges, and $4,159 and $18,675 respectively, for public four year colleges for in-state students and out-of-state students.

Concentrations

Most Common

  1. 189 degrees awarded

  2. 238 degrees awarded

  3. 201 degrees awarded

In 2015, the most common concentation for Bachelors Degree recipients in Watauga County, NC was General Business Administration & Management with 189 degrees awarded.

This visualization illustrates the percentage of students graduating with a Bachelors Degree from schools in Watauga County, NC according to their major.

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Universities

Largest Universities by degrees awarded

  1. 4,656 degrees awarded

  2. 13 degrees awarded

$4,159

Median In-State Public

$N/A

Median Private

In 2016, the Watauga County, NC institution with the largest number of graduating students was Appalachian State University with 4,656 degrees awarded.

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Student Gender for Common Institutions

2,024

Degrees Awarded to Men

2,645

Degrees Awarded to Women

In 2016, 2,024 men were awarded degrees from institutions in Watauga County, NC, which is 0.765 times less than the 2,645 female students who received degrees in the same year.

This chart displays the gender disparity between the institutions in Watauga County, NC by degrees awarded.

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Student Race and Ethnicity

Most Common Student Race or Ethnicity

  1. White

    4,056 degrees awarded

  2. Hispanic or Latino

    173 degrees awarded

  3. Black or African American

    135 degrees awarded

In 2016 the majority of degrees awarded at institutions in Watauga County, NC were to White students. These 4,056 degrees mean that there were 23.4 times more White students then the next closest race/ethnicity group, Hispanic or Latino, with 173 degrees awarded.

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Housing & Living

The median property value in Watauga County, NC was $240,700 in 2017, which is 1.11 times larger than the national average of $217,600. Between 2016 and 2017 the median property value increased from $230,700 to $240,700, a 4.33% increase. The homeownership rate in Watauga County, NC is 58.9%, which is lower than the national average of 63.9%. People in Watauga County, NC have an average commute time of 18.4 minutes, and they commute by Drove Alone. Car ownership in Watauga County, NC is approximately the same as the national average, with an average of 2 cars per household.

Income

Household Income

Please note that the buckets used in this visualization were not evenly distributed by ACS when publishing the data.

$41,541

Median Household Income

± $1,476

20.3k

Number of Households

± 907

In 2017, the median household income of the 20.3k households in Watauga County, NC grew to $41,541 from the previous year's value of $39,443.

The following chart displays the households in Watauga County, NC distributed between a series of income buckets compared to the national averages for each bucket. The largest share of households have an income in the < $10k range.

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Housing

Property Value

$240,700

2017 Median

± $7,597

$230,700

2016 Median

± $6,697

In 2017, the median property value in Watauga County, NC grew to to $240,700 from the previous year's value of $230,700.

The following charts display, first, the property values in Watauga County, NC compared to it's parent and neighbor geographies and, second, owner-occupied housing units distributed between a series of property value buckets compared to the national averages for each bucket. In Watauga County, NC the largest share of households have a property value in the $300k - $400k range.

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Property Taxes

< $800

Average Range

This chart shows the households in Watauga County, NC distributed between a series of property tax buckets compared to the national averages for each bucket. In Watauga County, NC the largest share of households pay taxes in the < $800 range.

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Rent vs Own

58.9%

2017 Homeownership

58.8%

2016 Homeownership

In 2017, 58.9% of the housing units in Watauga County, NC were occupied by their owner. This percentage grew from the previous year's rate of 58.8%.

This percentage of owner-occupation is lower than the national average of 63.9%. This chart shows the ownership percentage in Watauga County, NC compared it's parent and neighboring geographies.

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Transportation

Car Ownership

2 cars

Average Number

The following chart displays the households in Watauga County, NC distributed between a series of car ownership buckets compared to the national averages for each bucket. The largest share of households in Watauga County, NC have 2 cars, followed by 3 cars.

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Commute Time

18.4 minutes

Average Travel Time

Using averages, employees in Watauga County, NC have a shorter commute time (18.4 minutes) than the normal US worker (25.1 minutes). Additionally, 2.16% of the workforce in Watauga County, NC have "super commutes" in excess of 90 minutes.

The chart below shows how the median household income in Watauga County, NC compares to that of it's neighboring and parent geographies.

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Commuter Transportation

Most Common Method of Travel

  1. Drove Alone

    73.9%

  2. Carpooled

    9.5%

  3. Worked At Home

    7.68%

In 2017, the most common method of travel for workers in Watauga County, NC was Drove Alone, followed by those who Carpooled and those who Worked At Home.

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