Economic Life Western North CarolinaWhat is it like to live in the area of Western North Carolina? At one time I had the album titled as Byways and Hiways. I've renamed it - Western North Carolina Economics. Because it is all about the area of Haywood and Buncombe Counties Economics. There are real differences between the "Haves" and "Have Nots". Not much industry exists in Western North Carolina especially in Haywood County. Both counties thrive on the tourist trade which has driven up the cost of real estate though has kept the bread and butter costs quite low.
Haywood County was labeled, in 2017 and 2018, as the poorest county in North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 59,036. The 2019 population was 62,317. The county seat for Haywood is Waynesville with a population of 10,112 as of 2018. Waynesville is the largest city in Haywood County.
Buncombe County is much better off economically because of tourism, medical facilities, and a regional airport. The population was 238,318 in 2019 census with a 2019 population of 261,191. Asheville is the county seat and has a population of 92,452 as of 2018. It is the Art Center for Western North Carolina.
While Canton has a very large paper mill for its industry, it also has a vibrant downtown for its population. The citizens of Canton will always find a way to throw huge "parties" and parades and is known throughout the Carolinas for such public events. Canton is the second largest city in WNC.
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