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Morganton is a city in Burke County, North Carolina, United States. Reader's Digest included Morganton in its list of top ten places to raise a family. The town will host Red White and Bluegrass Festival 2009 http://www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com . The town was recently profiled in The 50 Best Small Southern Towns. The population was 17,310 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Burke County.
Morganton is one of the principal cities in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Near the city is Joara, a regional center of Mississippian culture, where the Spanish built Fort San Juan in 1567. It was the first European colonial settlement in the interior of the United States.
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,310 people, 6,829 households, and 4,117 families residing in the city. The population density was 953.0 people per square mile. There were 7,313 housing units at an average density of 402.6/sq mi (155.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.67% White, 12.76% African American, 0.55% Native American, 1.99% Asian, 0.81% Pacific Islander, 6.64% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.16% of the population.
There were 6,829 households out of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,678, and the median income for a family was $42,687. Males had a median income of $29,118 versus $24,723 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,906. About 9.7% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.