|Johnston County, North Carolina|
|County of Johnston|
Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield
Location in the U.S. state of North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
|Founded||June 28, 1746|
|Named for||Gabriel Johnston|
|o Total||796 sq mi (2,062 km2)|
|o Land||791 sq mi (2,049 km2)|
|o Water||4.2 sq mi (11 km2), 0.5%|
|o Density||229.4/sq mi (89/km²)|
|ZIP code(s)||27501, 27504, 27520, 27524, 27527, 27529, 27542, 27555, 27557, 27568, 27569, 27576, 27577, 27591, 27592, 27597, 27603, 28334, 28366|
|Area code(s)||919, 984|
|Congressional districts||2nd, 7th|
Johnston County is included in the Raleigh, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 1,998,808 as of U.S. Census 2012 Population Estimates.
The county was formed in 1746 from Craven County. It was named for Gabriel Johnston, Governor of North Carolina from 1734 to 1752. In 1752 parts of Johnston County, Bladen County, and Granville County were combined to form Orange County. In 1758 the eastern part of Johnston County became Dobbs County. In 1770 parts of Johnston County, Cumberland County, and Orange County were combined to form Wake County. Finally, in 1855 parts of Johnston County, Edgecombe County, Nash County, and Wayne County were combined to form Wilson County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 121,965 people, 46,595 households, and 33,688 families residing in the county. The population density was 154 people per square mile (59/km²). There were 50,196 housing units at an average density of 63 per square mile (24/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 78.09% White, 15.65% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.53% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 7.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 46,595 households out of which 35.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.70% were non-families. 23.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 34.20% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $40,872, and the median income for a family was $48,599. Males had a median income of $33,008 versus $25,582 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,788. About 8.90% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.00% of those under age 18 and 19.40% of those age 65 or over.
|2016||63.3% 54,372||33.0% 28,362||3.7% 3,175|
|2012||63.2% 48,427||35.6% 27,290||1.3% 974|
|2008||61.4% 43,622||37.7% 26,795||0.8% 600|
|2004||67.9% 36,903||31.8% 17,266||0.4% 188|
|2000||66.1% 27,212||33.3% 13,704||0.6% 239|
|1996||58.2% 18,704||34.8% 11,175||7.0% 2,240|
|1992||48.7% 15,418||35.6% 11,284||15.7% 4,977|
|1988||64.0% 15,563||35.8% 8,717||0.2% 49|
|1984||67.3% 16,210||32.5% 7,833||0.2% 37|
|1980||51.3% 10,444||47.1% 9,601||1.6% 331|
|1976||45.1% 8,511||54.6% 10,301||0.4% 67|
|1972||79.2% 14,272||19.4% 3,488||1.4% 251|
|1968||33.1% 6,764||22.0% 4,492||45.0% 9,212|
|1964||42.2% 7,523||57.9% 10,326|
|1960||40.2% 6,660||59.8% 9,914|
|1956||33.2% 4,893||66.8% 9,852|
|1952||35.2% 5,429||64.8% 9,997|
|1948||24.7% 3,211||70.7% 9,188||4.6% 598|
|1944||34.8% 4,423||65.2% 8,282|
|1940||29.6% 4,192||70.4% 9,976|
|1936||27.8% 4,339||72.2% 11,253|
|1932||28.8% 3,887||70.9% 9,574||0.4% 50|
|1928||60.4% 7,696||39.6% 5,041|
|1924||51.2% 4,910||48.6% 4,656||0.2% 23|
|1920||48.1% 5,588||51.9% 6,030|
|1916||45.2% 2,857||54.8% 3,468|
|1912||25.8% 1,335||53.3% 2,757||20.9% 1,083|
The county is governed by the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, a seven-member board of County Commissioners, elected to serve four-year terms. The commissioners enact policies such as establishment of the property tax rate, regulation of land use and zoning outside municipal jurisdictions, and adoption of the annual budget. Commissioners generally meet each month.
Current (2017) members of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners are:
Rick Hester is the County Manager.
Johnston County is a member of the regional Triangle J Council of Governments. Johnston County 911 is the first 911 Agency in North Carolina to hold 'Tri Accreditation" from the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch in Fire, Police, and EMD Protocols.
Johnston County is home to Johnston Community College (JCC), a public, two-year, post-secondary college located in Smithfield, North Carolina. The college has off-campus centers throughout Johnston County.
Public education in Johnston County is served by the Johnston County School District, which has 46 schools and serves more than 35,400 students.  In addition, one charter schools and five private schools are located in the county.
The Johnston County Public Affiliated Library system operates six branches throughout the county. The library system keeps books, periodicals and audio books and has recently expanded the selection to include downloadable e-books. The Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library in Clayton left the Johnston County affiliated library system in 2015. 
Visitor attractions in Johnston County include several heritage museums and historic sites. The Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site is located in eastern Johnston County, and it is the largest Civil War Battlefield in North Carolina. The Battle of Bentonville was fought March 19-21, 1865, and was the only Confederate offensive targeted to stop General Sherman's march through the south.
The Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly has been collecting artifacts and showcasing the heritage of the Eastern North Carolina farmer for over 25 years. The site includes a museum and restored farmstead, working blacksmith shop, one-room school house and the site hosts several events each year.
The Ava Gardner Museum located in Smithfield is home to an incredible collection of artifacts such as scripts, movie posters, costumes and personal belongings of screen legend, Ava Gardner, who was born and raised in Johnston County.
The Johnston County Heritage Center is in Downtown Smithfield, and houses artifacts from all over the county. The Heritage Center has become known as one of the best equipped facilities in the country for studying local history and genealogy.
The Johnston County Arts Council promotes arts in the county and its schools. Smithfield is home to an annual Ava Gardner Film Festival (AGFF), which celebrates the life of the actress. In 2008 the festival screened over 40 films in four theaters, including world, regional and state premiers. Rapper Petey Pablo mentions Johnston County in his hit song Raise Up.