Rockingham, North Carolina

Coordinates: 34°56′19″N 79°45′39″W / 34.93861°N 79.76083°W / 34.93861; -79.76083
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Rockingham, North Carolina
City Square - Downtown Rockingham
City Square - Downtown Rockingham
Official seal of Rockingham, North Carolina
"A City Looking Forward"
Rockingham, North Carolina is located in North Carolina
Rockingham, North Carolina
Rockingham, North Carolina
Location within the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 34°56′19″N 79°45′39″W / 34.93861°N 79.76083°W / 34.93861; -79.76083
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • Total7.65 sq mi (19.82 km2)
 • Land7.64 sq mi (19.80 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation266 ft (81 m)
 • Total9,243
 • Density1,209.34/sq mi (466.93/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes910, 472
FIPS code37-57260[3]
GNIS feature ID2404637[2]

Rockingham is a city in Richmond County, North Carolina, United States, named after the Marquess of Rockingham. The population was 9,558 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Richmond County.[4]

Downtown Rockingham is currently being revitalized as a part of a ten-year plan named "Shaping Our Future: 2023".[5] The city is currently experiencing an economic boom, with new businesses opening in the downtown area.[6]


The city was named for Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, British Prime Minister from 1765 to 1766 and again in 1782. Rockingham's administration was dominated by the issue of the Thirteen Colonies. Rockingham wanted to repeal the Stamp Act 1765 and won a Commons vote in 1766 on the repeal resolution by 275 to 167.[7] As a result, he was a popular figure among British colonists in America (who would later become known simply as "Americans"). People in North Carolina were still sympathetic toward him in the years following the United States gaining independence.

During the early 19th century, numerous families from here migrated to Middle Tennessee, settling in what is now Nolensville. They quickly established their new community.

In 1950, the town fielded a professional minor league baseball team in the Class D Tobacco State League, the Rockingham Eagles. The club won the playoff title in their only season before disbanding with the entire league.[8]

Rockingham has a number of historic buildings which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the late 1970s: the Bank of Pee Dee Building, Covington Plantation House, Alfred Dockery House, Hannah Pickett Mill No. 1, Manufacturers Building, Richmond County Courthouse, Roberdel Mill No. 1 Company Store, Rockingham Historic District, U.S. Post Office and Federal Building, and H. C. Watson House.[9]


Rockingham is situated in the south-central North Carolina Piedmont. It is located 61 miles (98 km) west of Lumberton, 61 miles (98 km) north of Florence, 70 miles (110 km) east of Charlotte, and 83 miles (134 km) south of Greensboro. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (19 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.41%) is water.

Rockingham's unincorporated suburbs within Richmond County that reside just outside the Rockingham-Hamlet statistical area: Cordova, East Rockingham, Dobbins Heights, Hoffman.


The Midtown business district is densely populated with stores, boutiques, clothing stores and several apartment complexes just outside the area. While not as urban as many cities in North Carolina, it is considered by the census as the urbanized area for Rockingham and Richmond County.


The Rockingham area is divided into various neighborhoods and suburbs; many include different socioeconomic classes. These include Cordova, Philadelphia, Ledbetter, Roberdell, East Rockingham, West Rockingham, Glenwood, Maplewood, East Side Park, and Knob Hill.[10]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the 2018 estimates, the area is a part of the Hamlet-Rockingham micropolitan statistical area and has a population of 22,579. The area will eventually be served by I-73/I-74, which will go west of the city. The area has many hotels, in part because beach traffic comes through this city.

2020 census[edit]

Rockingham racial composition[12]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 4,668 50.5%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,274 35.42%
Native American 181 1.96%
Asian 131 1.42%
Pacific Islander 2 0.02%
Other/Mixed 453 4.9%
Hispanic or Latino 534 5.78%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 9,243 people, 3,602 households, and 2,211 families residing in the city.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census,[3] there were 9,553 people, 3,966 households, and 2,573 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,326.8 inhabitants per square mile (512.3/km2). There were 4,375 housing units at an average density of 600.1 per square mile (231.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 65.57% White, 29.90% African American, 1.10% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.10% of the population.

There were 3,966 households, out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the city, 25.8% of the population was under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,574, and the median income for a family was $33,534. Males had a median income of $27,923 versus $20,313 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,426. About 18.0% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.4% of those under age 18 and 15.0% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]


  • Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham[13]


Rockingham hosts "The Smokeout" (an annual motorcycle weekend), and has also hosted the Carolina Rebellion rock festival.

The city is the home of Rockingham Speedway, formerly the North Carolina Speedway. It was a staple of the NASCAR schedule for nearly 40 years before the race was discontinued in 2004.


Rockingham operated its own school system until 1968, when it was absorbed by the Richmond County School System.[14]

The Leon Levine School of Business and Information Technology, part of Richmond Community College, is planned to be completed in downtown Rockingham, to offer post-graduate education to Rockingham. The building will be three stories tall, and is scheduled to be open for the 2020 fall semester. The school will offer programs including Accounting Specialist, IT Support — Healthcare, Healthcare Manager, Government Support Specialist, Cyber Security, Software and Web Developer, and Mobile Application Developer. The school will also provide classroom space for the college's Workforce and Economic Development division and Small Business Center.[15]

Richmond Senior High School serves as the high school for Richmond County residents.[16]

Rockingham also offers other education centers such as the Richmond Community College Main Campus.

A new three-story downtown Richmond Community College campus is being constructed and is expected to be open for the 2020 fall semester; it was originally planned to open in January, but got pushed back.[17] It is expected to draw new businesses and retailers.[18]


  • WAYN, 900 AM, adult contemporary and easy listening music; sports
  • WLWL, 770 AM, oldies with an emphasis on beach music



Richmond County Airport (ICAO: KRCZ, FAA LID: RCZ), formerly known as Rockingham-Hamlet Airport, is located approximately 3 miles southeast of Rockingham. The airport serves local and transient general aviation flights.

Interstates and major highways

  • Interstate 73 — Runs two miles north of Rockingham, will go west of Rockingham micropolitan area, when bypass is complete in 2023.[19]
  • Interstate 74 — Runs two miles north of Rockingham, and exists as Future I-74, along a 13-mile freeway south of Rockingham, named the G.R. Kindley Freeway. It is expected to be signed as I-74 when the 7.2 mile Rockingham Bypass is completed in 2023, and is planned to be routed to Myrtle Beach in the future.[20]
  • U.S. Route 220 — Runs north-south and goes through downtown Rockingham. A four-lane divided highway, it ends just south of Rockingham after merging with US 1.
  • U.S. Route 1 — Runs north-south and goes through Rockingham in the heart of downtown. It then upgrades to a four-lane expressway when leaving Rockingham.
  • U.S. Route 74 — Runs east-west and goes through Rockingham as US 74 Business; businesses are located on this stretch. US 74 upgrades to a four-lane freeway and bypasses Rockingham. It will become I-74, when the route is signed as such.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rockingham, North Carolina
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Rockingham nears halfway mark on improvement plan". Richmond County Daily Journal. March 14, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Foundation of Growth: Building on downtown Rockingham's renaissance". Richmond County Daily Journal. November 28, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  7. ^ Ross J. S. Hoffman, The Marquis. A Study of Lord Rockingham, 1730–1782 (New York: Fordham University Press, 1973), p. 113.
  8. ^ Holaday, Chris (2016). "The Tobacco State League; A North Carolina Baseball History, 1946–1950".. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-6670-9.
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  10. ^ "Rockingham, NC - 28330 - Demographics and Population Statistics - NeighborhoodScout". Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham". Discovery Place. Discovery Place. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  14. ^ Ruffin, Jane (December 9, 1991). "Tragedy in Hamlet : End of the Line : Dreams of Better Days". The News & Observer (final ed.). pp. 1A, 6A–8A.
  15. ^ "RCC business school named for Leon Levine after $1M grant; building named for Robinettes". Richmond County Daily Journal. June 16, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  16. ^ "Living in Rockingham". Niche. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "Robinette Building almost complete". Richmond County Daily Journal. May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "The Richmond Observer - Richmond County towns hoping for HGTV makeover". Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  19. ^ "Rockingham bypass to be a boon to business, officials say". Richmond County Daily Journal. November 12, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  20. ^ Lob, Christina. "Myrtle Beach leaders vow that I-73 remains a top priority". Retrieved May 8, 2020.

External links[edit]