Nags Head, North Carolina

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Nags Head is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,700 at the 2000 census.



Early maps of the area show Nags Head as a promontory of land characterized by high sand dunes visible from miles at sea. The origin of the town's name is obscure but it may have been named after Nag's Head Island, an island in the River Thames in England at Abingdon.[citation needed] Another possible source of the name was in reference to the lights hung on mules' heads by "wreckers" who would lead ships to be shipwrecked near shore where the economically challenged could loot the ships of their valuables.

Around 1830, Nags Head became known as a resort area, and so remains today. Jockey's Ridge is the last vestige of the sand dunes seen by the first explorers, as the area is now highly developed.


Nags Head is located at 35°55′55″N 75°36′54″W / 35.93194°N 75.615°W / 35.93194; -75.615 (35.932004, -75.615085).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.6 square miles (17.2 km²), of which, 6.5 square miles (16.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.51%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,700 people, 1,138 households, and 726 families residing in the town. The population density was 413.2 people per square mile (159.4/km²). There were 4,149 housing units at an average density of 634.9/sq mi (244.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.96% White, 1.33% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.

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