Introduction to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina is 37 miles N of Rocky Mount, North Carolina (center to center) and 72 miles NE of Raleigh, North Carolina. It is in Halifax county.

Roanoke Rapids History

Early white settlers arrived at Roanoke Valley in the early 1700s. They were mostly English colonists who moved southward from Virginia. The fertile bottomlands of Roanoke Valley were ideal for farming. This led to the development of a plantation system. The area earned a reputation as being one of the best fishing spots in the world. Roanoke Rapids was named because of its location along the Roanoke River.

Roanoke Rapids and nearby Attractions

  • Roanoke Rapids Lake Park
  • Roanoke Canal Trail and Museum
  • The Centennial Park
  • Historic Halifax
  • Autumn Ridge Alpaca Farms
  • Farmer's Market

Things To Do In Roanoke Rapids

Roanoke Rapids is famous for several historical sites. The Roanoke Rapids High School building, which began operating in 1921, is still in use and represents many elements of Tudor Revival and Elizabethan Gothic architecture through its castle-like facade. The Roanoke Canal Museum is situated in a former canal lock building and is dedicated to the former shipping canal built in the 18th century. Roanoke Rapids Lake Park is a recreational area that spreads over 12 acres and offers facilities for swimming, picnicking, and fitness activities.

Roanoke Rapids Transportation

Flights can be availed from Richmond International Airport.

Roanoke Rapids Higher Education

Higher studies can be pursued at Vance-Granville Community College, Virginia State University, and John Tyler Community College.


Total Population15,557
Male Share of the Population44.6%
Female Share of the Population55.4%
Senior Citizens15.9%
Employed Population 16+5,831
Age of the Population37


% of people married44.1%
Average household size3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher19.7%
Median Earnings25+$30,492
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$19,948
Median Earnings With High School Degree$29,177


Median Family Income$50,295
% Above Poverty Level77.3%
% Below Poverty Level22.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time17 minutes
% Working from Home2.3%
% Walking and Biking to Work2.2%
% Using Public Transportation0.2%


People Living Alone30.4%
Median Gross Rent$686
Median House Value$115,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)39.9%

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

Roanoke Rapids Almanac

Nearest Medium City 37 miles N of Rocky Mount, North Carolina (center to center)
Nearest Large City72 miles NE of Raleigh, North Carolina
Standard Zip Codes27870
Phone Area Codes252
Time ZoneEastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight SavingsThe city observes Daylight Saving Time.

Roanoke Rapids Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance1.7 miles
Jan Temp28 to 48 F
Apr Temp45 to 70 F
Jul Temp68 to 89 F
Oct Temp47 to 71 F
Annual Precip46.1 inches
Distance14.3 miles
Jan Temp28 to 49 F
Apr Temp45 to 71 F
Jul Temp67 to 90 F
Oct Temp47 to 72 F
Annual Precip45.8 inches
Distance17.2 miles
Jan Temp26 to 49 F
Apr Temp44 to 71 F
Jul Temp67 to 89 F
Oct Temp45 to 72 F
Annual Precip44.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Roanoke Rapid (27870)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income

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

Roanoke Rapids Public Libraries

Roanoke Rapids Public Library
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
(252) 533-2890

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Roanoke Rapids Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(252) 535-8011
Emergency Service: Yes

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Roanoke Rapids High Schools

Serves 871 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.4

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