Kinston, NC

Kinston, situated in Lenoir County, is a city made up of 16.9 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Kinston, NC

July 21, 2017

Kinston is a two-time winner of the All-America City Award from the National Civic League, placing it on a list alongside other winners such as San Antonio, Tallahassee, San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City, and many other notable cities.  

Kinston was established as Kingston in 1762, named in honor of King George III. The first governor of North Carolina Richard Caswell introduced a bill that prompted the North Carolina General Assembly to form the town.  

The name was changed to Kinston after the United States gained its independence from Great Britain. The name was again changed to Caswell, after Richard Caswell in 1833, but was changed back to Kinston a year later.

Kinston has been the county seat of Lenoir County since 1791, and was finally incorporated in 1849.

The city received 16 inches of rain from Hurricane Frank in 1996, and then in 1999, received 17 inches of rain from Hurricane Floyd.


The median resident age in Kinston is 44 years. The median estimated household income is about $29,000 making it about $19,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $23,000. The average price for a home in Kinston is about $105,000 (2015) which is $55,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $700 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Kinston is 27% White, 67% Black, 2% Two or more races, and 4% other. 80% of the population are high school graduates, with 15% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher. 38% are married, 10% are divorced, 5% are separated, 9% are widowed, leaving 38% that have never been married.

Towns Nearby

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Lenoir County

Kinston belongs to Lenoir County in the eastern part of North Carolina. The county, named after William Lenoir, is part of the Kinston, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area. In 1791, the county was formed from a part of Dobbs County. Lenoir County has a population of 60,000 and its largest city Kinston, with a population of 21,000, is the county seat.

Lenoir County borders Pitt, Jones, Craven, Duplin, Wayne, and Greene counties.

Lenoir County is made up of 403 square miles. 401 of which is land with the remaining 2 as water.


The population of Kinston, NC is about 21,000. The population had been steadily increasing since its incorporation, but has seen a slight decrease since the 1990s.


The elevation of Kinston, NC is 43 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip code for Kinston, NC is 28501.

Area Code

The area code for Kinston, NC is 252.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Kinston and Lenoir County have voted mostly Republican, with 51% going to Mitt Romney during the 2012 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 44% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 50% are Protestants with Catholics and Other making up around 6%.


The unemployment rate for Kinston is about 7% (2015), making it higher than the state average of around 5%.

Manufacturing, retail, and food accommodation make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

The Free Press is the primary newspaper that covers the Lenoir County area.


Piggly Wiggly
Kings Restaurant
Quality Inn
Main Moon
Zip Code
Big Blue
Pizza Villa
Water Park
US Cellular
Mills Funeral Home
Smithfield Packing
Select Staffing
Neuse Sport Shop
Movie Theater
Food Lion
Homes for Rent
Big Lots
Chick Fil A
Spirit Aerosystems
Swinson Funeral Home
Olympian Restaurant
Premiere Theater
Things to Do
West Parke Inn
Lenoir Memorial Hospital
Peach House
Advance Auto
West Pharmaceuticals
Masterbrand Cabinets
Lenoir Community College
Furniture Fair
Funeral Homes
Huffman Auto Sales
Kennedy Home
Discovery Insurance
Caswell Center
Highland Furniture
Unemployment Office
Garner Funeral Home
Reynolds Seafood
Farmers Furniture
Carolina Finance
Dance Expressions
Police Department
Nature Center
Neuse Sports Shop
Sale Auto Mall
Kinston Pediatrics
Rochelle Middle School
Mills International
Kings Barbecue
Howard Development
First Baptist Church
Rouse Road Apartments
Bill Fay Park
Rider Florist
The Flower Basket
Foster Realty
The Peach House
Tattoo Aztec
Poole Realty
Conway and Company
Lenoir County Jail

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