Banner Elk, North Carolina

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Banner Elk is a town in Avery County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 811 at the 2000 census.



The area surrounding the Elk River was inhabited by Cherokee Indians before western settlement, although no evidence of a permanent Cherokee settlement has ever been found. It is likely the area was used for hunting and fishing. The first permanent settlement was established by Martin L. Banner 1848. Although the Banner family originally came from Wales, Martin Banner moved from Forsyth County located in the piedmont region of North Carolina. Eventually, the Banner family grew to 55 members, and the area where they lived became known as Banner’s Elk. This name was later shortened to Banner Elk when the town was incorporated in 1911 (Heritage, 1976).


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 811 people, 215 households, and 124 families residing in the town. The population density was 679.8 people per square mile (263.1/km²). There were 290 housing units at an average density of 243.1/sq mi (94.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.26% White, 3.95% African American, 0.62% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.

There were 215 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the town the population was spread out with 10.7% under the age of 18, 47.8% from 18 to 24, 16.8% from 25 to 44, 14.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

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