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Overview

Introduction to Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The North Carolina town of Chapel Hill is located in the north central portion of the state on the Piedmont Plateau, about 30 miles outside of the state capital of Raleigh. The town, together with the cities of Raleigh and Durham, comprise the three legs of the so-called Research Triangle, named for a research park located between Durham and Raleigh. Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), the oldest state-supported university in the United States.

Incorporated in 1819, the town was originally created to serve the University which had already been established before the end of the 18th century. In fact, the original map of the town shows 30 parcels of land wrapping around the northern, western, and eastern fringes of the campus. At the town's center is a hill on which once stood a Church of England house of worship called the New Hope Chapel. Although the Chapel is no longer there, the town's name serves as a reminder of its former prominence.

Events and Points of Interest in Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is the site of the Festifall Street Fair, an annual October event which typically draws upward of 15,000 visitors. This arts and music celebration features live bands, international foods, numerous children’s activities, and over 100 of the most creative crafts people and artists in the area. Another local October event is the Hargraves Fall Carnival, featuring entertainment and games. Local attractions include the Morehead Planetarium, one of the nation's original planetariums once used as an astronaut training site for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. The North Carolina Botanical Garden, located in Chapel Hill, is the largest natural garden of its kind in the southeast. Other popular Chapel Hill attractions include the following:

  • Coker Arboretum
  • Ackland Art Museum
  • The Chapel Hill Museum
  • Stone Center for Black Culture and History
  • Kidzu Children's Museum
  • Charles Kuralt Learning Center
  • Orange County Historical Museum

Fans of collegiate sports couldn't find themselves in a better place than Chapel Hill. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels have won 37 team national championships in five different sports. The University competes in NCAA's Division I-A and participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Its teams are perennial powerhouses in women's soccer (18 national championships since 1981), men's basketball (5 national championships), men's lacrosse (3 national championships), and women's field hockey (4 national championships). The Tar Heel baseball team is also a consistent winner, most recently making it to the Championship Round of the 2006 College World Series. Notable alumni of the University's athletic program include Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm, among many others.

Pro sports are not too far away either. Major league hockey resides in the nearby city of Raleigh, home of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes. Minor League Baseball can be found only minutes away from Chapel Hill in the nearby city of Durham, where the Durham Bulls play. The Bulls compete in the International League as the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

People

Total Population 58,766
Male Share of the Population 46.5%
Female Share of the Population 53.5%
Senior Citizens 9.9%
Employed Population 16+ 27,828
Age of the Population 26

Families

% of people married 36.7%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 74%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0

Wealth

Median Family Income $115,016
% Above Poverty Level 78.8%
% Below Poverty Level 21.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 7.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 14.8%
% Using Public Transportation 12.4%

Housing

People Living Alone 32.6%
Median Gross Rent $1,003
Median House Value $385,100

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 35.7%
US/American 0%
English 13%
Irish 9.7%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Chapel Hill Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 10 miles SW of Durham, North Carolina (center to center)
Nearest Large City 25 miles W of Raleigh, North Carolina
County Orange
Metro Area Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill
Standard Zip Codes 27514, 27516, 27517
P.O. Box Zip Codes 27515
Company Zip Codes 27599
Phone Area Codes 919
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 35.913
Longitude -79.056

Chapel Hill Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station CHAPEL HILL 2 W
Distance 1.5 miles
Jan Temp 27 to 49 F
Apr Temp 45 to 71 F
Jul Temp 66 to 89 F
Oct Temp 45 to 71 F
Annual Precip 47.6 inches
Station BURLINGTON FIRE STN #5
Distance 24.5 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 50 F
Apr Temp 45 to 72 F
Jul Temp 68 to 91 F
Oct Temp 46 to 73 F
Annual Precip 45 inches
Station SANFORD 8 NE
Distance 26.3 miles
Jan Temp 30 to 52 F
Apr Temp 45 to 75 F
Jul Temp 67 to 91 F
Oct Temp 47 to 74 F
Annual Precip 47.5 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Apex 42,220 $106,886
Carrboro 20,639 $85,255
Durham 246,084 $64,714
Hillsborough 6,316 $69,406
Morrisville 21,726 $105,306
Pittsboro 3,992 $63,286

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Chapel Hill Public Libraries

Library
Chapel Hill Public Library
100 LIBRARY DRIVE
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
(919) 968-2777
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Chapel Hill Hospitals

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA HOSPITAL
(Government - State)
101 MANNING DRIVE
(919) 966-4131
Emergency Service: Yes

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Chapel Hill High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

CHAPEL HILL HIGH
1709 HIGH SCHOOL RD
919-929-2106
Serves 1,775 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.4

EAST CHAPEL HILL HIGH
500 WEAVER DAIRY ROAD
919-969-2482
Serves 1,591 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.1

WOODS CHARTER
208 COLE PARK PLAZA
919-960-8353
A Charter School.
Serves 170 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 9.4

NEW CENTURY CHARTER HIGH
1315-A NEW HOPE TRACE
919-942-7722
A Charter School.
Serves 106 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.6

Chapel Hill Colleges

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