Kenly, NC

Kenly, situated in both Johnston County and Wilson County, is a small town made up of 1.5 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Kenly, NC

April 23, 2018

Kenly town was founded due the expanding Weldon Railroad in the mid-1880s. The town was incorporated in 1887. Kenly is named in honor of John Reece Kenly, a railroad official who worked in the area prior to the town's incorporation.  


The median resident age in Kenly is 39 years. The median estimated household income is about $27,000 making it about $33,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $17,000. The average price for a home in Kenly is about $98,000 (2016), which is $67,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $580 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Kenly is 55% White, 35% Black, and 10% other. 73% of the population are high school graduates, with 12% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher. 37% are married, 14% are divorced, 10% are widowed, 6% are separated, leaving 33% that have never been married.

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Johnston County

Kenly belongs to Johnston County in the east-central part of North Carolina. The County, named for Governor Gabriel Johnston (1734-1752) has a population of 170,000 and is part of the Raleigh Metro Area. Smithfield, with a population of 13,000 is the county seat.

Johnston County was sliced from Craven County during the 1740's. Parts of the county were taken during the 1750's and 1770's to form Bladen, Granville, Orange, and Dobbs Counties. And, during the 1850's more land was allocated to help form Wilson County.

Today, Johnston County consists of 796 square miles. 791 being land with the other four square miles making up water.

Wilson County

Kenly also belongs to Wilson County in the eastern part of North Carolina. The County, named after Louis Dicken Wilson (a colonel in the Mexican-American War, and a state legislator from Edgecombe County), is part of the Wilson, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area. In 1855, Wilson County formed from parts of Johnston, Nash, Wayne, and Edgecombe counties. Wilson County has a population of 81,230 and its largest city Wilson, with a population of 49,000, is the county seat.

Wilson County borders Nash, Pitt, Edgecombe, Greene, Wayne, and Johnston counties.

Wilson County is made up of 374 square miles. 368 of which is land with the remaining 6 as water.


The population of Kenly, NC is about 1,400. The population has seen an overall steady increase since the town was founded.


The elevation of Kenly, NC is 194 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Kenly, NC is 27542.

Area Code

The area code for Kenly, NC is 919.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Kenly and Johnston County and Wilson County have voted mostly Republican, with 63% going to Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 64% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 32% are Protestants, Catholics make up around 3%, and 1% other.


The unemployment rate for Kenly is about 5% (2015), making it the same as the state average. Material moving, production, and protective services make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

The Wilson Times, Johnston County Report, and Johnstonian News are the primary newspapers that cover the Johnston County and Wilson County area.


Zip Code
Flying J
Homes for Sale
Springhill Outfitters
Coley Funeral Home
Ta Truck
North Johnston High School

Town of Kenly NC
Kenly on City Data
Kenly on Wikipedia
Chamber of Commerce