Alamance County


Situated in North Carolina’s Piedmont Region, Alamance County has become a leading bedroom community due to its convenient location between Raleigh and Greensboro along Interstate 85. Since 1990, Mebane alone has tripled in size and the county has seen its overall population increase by 17 percent in the past decade, thanks in large part to building restrictions in neighboring Orange County that are pushing development west. Formed in 1849 out of Orange County, Alamance is said to get its name from an American Indian word meaning “blue clay” to describe the floor of Alamance Creek.

For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, Alamance was known as a behemoth in textile production. Edwin Holt opened the county’s first textile mill in 1837 and became famous for Alamance Plaids, the first colored cotton textile produced on power looms in the South. The county’s success in textiles in the 1800s was thanks in large part to the Haw River and Alamance Creek, which powered 15 mills for nearly 50 years and allowed efficient export of goods. Alamance’s continued success in textiles during the 1900s is largely credited to J. Spencer Love, who founded Burlington Industries in 1923 and elevated the industry from production to retail. In addition to textiles, the county also had a robust agricultural economy and was once the state leader in dairy production.

Alamance County has a rich political pedigree, producing three governors: Thomas Holt, Kerr Scott, and Bob Scott, as well as two U.S. Senators, Kerr Scott (following his term as governor) and B. Everett Jordan. The county has also been the grounds for political controversy: In 2003, Agricultural Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps, daughter and granddaughter of former governors Bob and Kerr Scott, was forced to resign and convicted on federal charges related to extortion and illegal campaign funds during the 2000 election. Alamance made news again during the 2020 election when a march to the polls in the county seat of Graham made national news for the conflict with law enforcement.

Politically, Alamance favors Republicans but it is inching closer and closer to bellwether territory, thanks in large measure to the rapid growth along I-85. Ted Budd won 55% of the vote here in 2022, but Roy Cooper nearly won the county in 2020, earning 49% of the vote.


County Seat: Graham
Biggest Cities:

Burlington, Graham, Mebane, Elon, Gibsonville

Media Market: Greensboro

Elected Officials

County Data