Graham, North Carolina
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+4.5% since 2010
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Burlington was previously part of the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point metropolitan area, but has recently grown large enough to deserve its own metro area designation. Burlington is located halfway between Greensboro (20 miles to the west) and Durham-Chapel Hill (30 miles east). The city of Burlington was founded shortly before the Civil War, as an assortment of railroad maintenance buildings. For thirty years, the community of the railroad depot and the surrounding homes was known simply as “Company Shops.” When the railroad moved its repair facilities, a new name was sought, and the city of Burlington was incorporated in 1893.
Through the 1970’s, the textile industry was a major employer, as it was in much of the South. More recently, Burlington is home to several large biomedical companies, and Honda has announced that it will establish an engine manufacturing facility there. Cultural and recreational activities in Burlington are somewhat restricted by its small size and lack of a four-year college. However, larger metro areas are a relatively short drive away, offering more amenities and access to a large airport.
The Burlington metro area is located in northern Piedmont in an area of transition between the eastern coastal plain and Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains to the west. The immediate landscape is slightly rolling with woodlands and open country. The climate is a mix of continental and humid subtropical. Winter temperatures and rainfall are modified somewhat by the mountain barrier. The combination of coastal moisture and northern cold air produce more frequent sleet and ice storms than in most of North Carolina. Snow flurries may occur. Summers are generally mild to warm and humid, with varying temperatures. Most summer precipitation occurs as localized thunderstorms. Late summer and fall hurricanes bring heavy rain. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.
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