Wrightsville Beach Economic Profile

New Hanover County is ranked the second smallest county in North Carolina, however, it is still one of the fastest growing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the coastal county grew 26 percent overall since 2000, surpassing the state's 18.5 percent growth rate. New Hanover County also surpasses the states average yearly income as well. As of 2009, households in North Carolina had an average income of $45,570 while New Hanover County had one of $48,553. A testament to size not equaling status, the 2.4-square-mile area of Wrightsville Beach beats them both, with a median household income of $76,639. As of June 30th, 2009, the fiscal year revenue for the town of Wrightsville Beach was $19,506,849. That's more than $8 million per square mile!

Tourism claims most of that revenue, with 19.3 percent of employed persons working within it's various sub-divisions of arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services. Close behind are educational, health and social services, professional, management and administrative services, and real estate and rental leasing. However, these are year round statistics, and it should be kept in mind that during peak summer months tourism, real estate and rental leasing all increase exponentially.

Major Employers

New Hanover Health Network Wrightsville Beach Overview of Area
2131 S. 17th St.
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 343-7000

With more than 4700 employees in the region, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is a not-for-profit health care system serving southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. A teaching hospital, regional referral center, and Level 2 Trauma Center, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is joined in the network by Cape Fear...more about New Hanover Health Network

Southport, NC 28461
(910) 457-2900

Duke Energy Progress owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides about 12,900 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.5 million customers in a 32,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in...more about Duke Energy Progress - Brunswick Plant

3901 Castle Hayne Rd
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 675-5000

Wilmington is fortunate to have a Fortune 500 company such as General Electric as one of its major employers. Housing components of both the nuclear energy business and aircraft engine business, the Castle Hayne facility employs more than 2000 people. In addition to providing stable, high-payng employment and benefits, the company...more about GE Wilmington

230 Government Center Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
(910) 798-7184

With more than 1300 employees, New Hanover County is one of the largest local employers. Five commissioners govern New Hanover County and appoint a county manager to serve as chief executive officer. The county serves its citizens through nearly 30 departments. In 2011, the US Census estimated the county's population at...more about New Hanover County Government

6410 Carolina Beach Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 763-5431

New Hanover County's public school system is one of the largest employers in the region. With 43 schools, the district employs approximately 3700 people in the areas of instruction, administration and support positions. Open positions can be viewed on the county's web site. NHC school employees are considered employees of the...more about New Hanover County School System

929 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 251 0081

PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing drug discovery, development and lifecycle management services. Their clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations.

Founded in Wilmington, the company has offices in 46 countries with more than 12,000 professionals worldwide. Their international headquarters is in downtown Wilmington....more about PPD

5135 Carolina Beach Road
Wilmngton, NC
(910) 452-0944

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 9,700 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than two million associates worldwide....more about Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.


Temperate climate, refreshing breezes and picturesque waterways make Wrightsville Beach a popular destination for travelers across the states. All year round, you'll find people meandering to this coastal gem to enjoy a laid-back pace and pastel sunsets. Even though visitors wander on and off the island during all months, there is a peak season. This begins roughly around March and April with the on-set of spring breaks and Easter vacations and levels off around September with the passing of Labor Day. During this time, it is estimated that the population swells to around 80,000.

With such a drastic increase in population, all of the town's businesses experience a hearty increase in revenue for those months. Hotels, restaurants and retail services reap most of the benefits, giving tourism the title of economic powerhouse. With the service industry of the island being so lucrative,that is where most of the jobs on Wrightsville Beach exist.

Real Estate

Wrightsville Beach's productive real estate industry is derived from a combination of factors, the most noticeable being the beauty and serenity of the waterfront properties. People are attracted to the residential character of the island because it prevents it from turning into the typical, carnival-like atmosphere of a beach resort town; it is a haven for relaxation and laid-back reflection. Many people purchase property solely as secondary escapes from reality and rent them out to vacationers the rest of the time. In fact, 45 percent of the homes on Wrightsville Beach are rentals. Real estate brokers and vacationers alike benefit due to the trend, and the profit in this industry is high.

Due to the exclusive atmosphere, Wrightsville Beach is one of the most expensive real estate markets on North Carolina's southern coast. Properties for sale on the island used to be few and far between, but due to the recent economic downturn more have become available. They are highly sought after and pricey, but recessions always end, and a coastal property could turn quite a nice profit in the future. If you’re interested in seeking more information on purchasing property during this time of opportunity, head over to Real Estate.

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