Introduction to Hillsborough, North Carolina

Hillsborough, North Carolina, in Orange county, is 12 miles NW of Durham, North Carolina (center to center) and 33 miles NW of Raleigh, North Carolina. The town, which is located inside the Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill metropolitan area, has an estimated 5,446 residents.

Hillsborough History

This region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes. When explorer John Lawson traveled through this area in 1701, it was known as "Occaneechi Town". William Churton, who surveyed the region in 1754, was the area's first landowner. The community was named "Corbin Town" in honor of Francis Corbin. In 1759, it was renamed "Childsburgh" after Thomas Child who served as the attorney general for the state. The community was christened "Hillsborough" in honor of the Earl of Hillsborough.

Hillsborough and Nearby Attractions

  • Orange County Historical Museum
  • Bennett Place State Historic Site
  • Eno River State Park
  • North Carolina Zoo
  • Montrose Gardens

Things To Do In Hillsborough

Hillsborough's historic district, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, features a number of late-18th and early-19th century buildings including the Alexander Dickson House, the Burwell School, the Ruffin-Roulhac House, and the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church. Occaneechi Indian Village is a reconstructed 17th-century Native Indian settlement. The Ayr Mount Historic Site includes a restored Federal-era plantation house which showcases period antiques and fine art. The Orange County Historical Museum, located in the town, has displays of artifacts of historical importance. Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail, which is the site of the original Occoneechee Speedway, is now a 44-acre natural area with trails and tracks. Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area offers opportunities for hiking. Montrose Gardens, another popular destination in the town, has a number of trees, rock gardens, a scree garden, and woodlands. Residents of Hillsborough also celebrate Hog Day, and the Cool Jazz Music Festival every year.

Hillsborough Transportation

Raleigh-Durham International Airport is the closest major airport.

Hillsborough Higher Education

Alamance Community College, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina Central University are some of the colleges close to Hillsborough.


Total Population 6,316
Male Share of the Population 53.3%
Female Share of the Population 46.7%
Senior Citizens 11.2%
Employed Population 16+ 2,599
Age of the Population 36


% of people married 42.6%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 38.1%
Median Earnings25+ $38,031
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $15,633
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,341


Median Family Income $69,406
% Above Poverty Level 81%
% Below Poverty Level 19%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 22 minutes
% Working from Home 5.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 2.7%
% Using Public Transportation 1.3%


People Living Alone 35.3%
Median Gross Rent $869
Median House Value $192,000


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 47.9%
US/American 0%
English 9.6%
Irish 9.8%

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

Hillsborough Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 12 miles NW of Durham, North Carolina (center to center)
Nearest Large City 33 miles NW of Raleigh, North Carolina
County Orange
Metro Area Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill
Standard Zip Codes 27278
Phone Area Codes 919
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 36.075
Longitude -79.1

Hillsborough Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Station DURHAM
Distance 7.7 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 49 F
Apr Temp 46 to 71 F
Jul Temp 70 to 89 F
Oct Temp 47 to 71 F
Annual Precip 48 inches
Distance 11 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
Distance 19.6 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

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Hillsborough, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Hillsboro (27278)

West Hillsborough (27278)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Burlington 52,241 $46,994
Carrboro 20,639 $85,255
Chapel Hill 58,766 $115,016
Durham 246,084 $64,714
Green Level 1,977 $30,179
Mebane 13,309 $73,625

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

Hillsborough Public Libraries

Hyconeechee Regional Library
Hillsborough, North Carolina
(919) 245-2529

library logo

More Information for Librarians

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Hillsborough High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 957 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.3

Serves 938 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.8

Study Online in Hillsborough

Career and College Resources

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Info for Hillsborough Government Officials

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