Rocky Mount is a typical small old-South city. Like many Carolina towns along transportation arteries, it started as an agricultural and tobacco center and over time developed a strong manufacturing and economic base.
Such diverse companies as Abbott Laboratories, Honeywell, Sara Lee, Barcalounger (furniture) and QVC Network have facilities here, but employment has slowed dramatically in recent years and the current economic base is weak. Today the area is plagued with relatively high crime for the region and little to do. The town has a well-kept historic downtown. Most cultural and recreational amenities exist in the Raleigh area to the west and the Outer Banks to the east.
Rocky Mount is located on the eastern Carolina coastal plain. The surrounding terrain is mainly level with agriculture and deciduous woodland. The climate is mainly humid subtropical with some moderated continental influence. Summers are warm and humid with frequent thundershowers. Winters are cool with occasional below-freezing temperatures, snow, and freezing rain.