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The City of Hickory is located in the western portion of North Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 50 miles northwest of Charlotte, 80 miles east of Asheville, and 35 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The anchor city of the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton MSA (2022 population of 368,347), Hickory’s population was 44,084 according to 2022 Census Bureau estimates.

Hickory’s daytime population swells to an average of over 163,000 daily visitors spending at least a half an hour in the City limits, according to estimates from, a service that estimates foot traffic and migration patterns.

Hickory’s trade area (80% of its traffic within 50 miles) has a population estimated at 412,610 people (source: STI Popstats). 

Hickory spans approximately 30 square miles and resides at the prime juncture of I-40 and U.S. 321, which makes it an excellent location for industrial, retail, and residential development. Citizens enjoy the advantages of a setting that allows easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains; the Catawba chain of lakes, including Hickory, James, Rhodhiss, Lookout Shoals, and Norman; a mild climate; and excellent interstate, rail, and air access. The City operates a top-rated library system and provides unparalleled cultural offerings for a city of this size.

This data was updated in April 2024. For more recent statistics, please contact the Office of Business Development at (828) 323-7414.