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4 Cities and towns
5 External links
The county was formed in 1841 from parts of Burke County and Wilkes County. It was named for Joseph Caldwell, presiding professor (1796-1797, 1799-1804) and the first president (1804-1812, 1816-1835) of the University of North Carolina.
A series of reductions in the county's territory followed. In 1847 parts of Caldwell County, Iredell County, and Wilkes County were combined to form Alexander County. In 1849 parts of Caldwell County, Ashe County, Wilkes County, and Yancey County were combined to form Watauga County. In 1861, parts of Caldwell County, Burke County, McDowell County, Watauga County, and Yancey County were combined to form Mitchell County. Finally, in 1911 parts of Caldwell County, Mitchell County, and Watauga County were combined to form Avery County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,228 km² (474 mi²). 1,221 km² (472 mi²) of it is land and 7 km² (3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.57% water.
The county is divided into thirteen townships: Globe, Hudson, Johns River, Kings Creek, Lenoir, Little River, Lovelady, Lower Creek, Mulberry, North Catawba, Patterson, Wilson Creek, and Yadkin Valley.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 77,415 people, 30,768 households, and 22,399 families residing in the county. The population density is 63/km² (164/mi²). There are 33,430 housing units at an average density of 27/km² (71/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 91.74% White, 5.46% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.42% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 2.49% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 30,768 households out of which 31.10% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% are married couples living together, 11.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% are non-families. 23.10% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.00% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48 and the average family size is 2.89.
In the county the population is spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 97.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $35,739, and the median income for a family is $41,665. Males have a median income of $28,820 versus $21,850 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,353. 10.70% of the population and 7.60% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 14.10% are under the age of 18 and 11.90% are 65 or older.