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Shelby, North Carolina
—  City  —
Nickname(s): City of Pleasant Living
Location of Shelby, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°17′18″N 81°32′16″W / 35.28833°N 81.53778°W / 35.28833; -81.53778Coordinates: 35°17′18″N 81°32′16″W / 35.28833°N 81.53778°W / 35.28833; -81.53778
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Cleveland
 - Total 18.2 sq mi (47.0 km2)
 - Land 18.1 sq mi (47.0 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 869 ft (265 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 19,477
 Density 1,073.8/sq mi (414.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 28150-28152
Area code(s) 704
FIPS code 37-61200[1]
GNIS feature ID 0994631[2]

Shelby is a city in Cleveland County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 19,477 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Cleveland County[3].



Shelby is located at 35°17′18″N 81°32′16″W / 35.28833°N 81.53778°W / 35.28833; -81.53778 (35.288272, -81.537787)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.0 km²), of which, 18.1 square miles (47.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.11%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 19,477 people, 7,927 households, and 5,144 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,073.8 people per square mile (414.6/km²). There were 8,853 housing units at an average density of 488.1/sq mi (188.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.88% White, 40.97% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.

There were 7,927 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 20.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 83.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,345, and the median income for a family was $38,603. Males had a median income of $30,038 versus $21,362 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,708. About 14.3% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.7% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.[5]

Cleveland County School System

Burns Zone

Elementary schools
  • Casar Elementary School
  • Fallston Elementary School
  • Union Elementary School
  • Washington Elementary School
Middle schools
  • Burns Middle School
High schools
  • Burns High School

Crest Zone

Elementary schools
  • Boiling Springs Elementary School
  • Springmore Elementary School
  • Township 3 Elementary School
  • Elizabeth Elementary School
Middle schools
  • Crest Middle School
High schools
  • Crest High School

Kings Mountain Zone

Elementary schools
  • Bethware Elementary School
  • East Elementary School
  • Grover Elementary School
  • North Elementary School
  • West Elementary School
Middle schools
  • Kings Mountain Middle School
Intermediate Schools
  • Kings Mountain Intermediate School
High schools
Kings Mountain High School

Shelby Zone

Elementary schools
  • Graham Elementary School
  • James Love Elementary School
  • Jefferson Elementary School
Middle schools
  • Shelby Middle School
Intermediate Schools
  • Marion Intermediate School
High schools
  • Shelby High School

District Wide Schools

  • Davidson School
  • North Shelby School
  • Cleveland Early College High School

Post-Secondary Schools

Annual events

  • Cleveland County Fair - October 1, 2009 marks the 85th anniversary of the Cleveland County Fair. The Cleveland County Fair is one of the biggest in the state. Around 200,000 visitors attend each year and more and more people are coming every year.
  • Livermush Expo - Shelby, North Carolina hosts an annual Livermush Exposition, which began in 1987 to celebrate the unique delicacy. In that year the Cleveland County Commissioners and the Shelby City Council passed resolutions proclaiming that "livermush is the most delicious, most economical and most versatile of meats." The area around Cleveland County is the only place you can find Livermush. Other places may have Liver pudding but it is not the same as Liver Mush
  • Cline's Nursery Expo - At the end of the growing season Cline's Nursery on Fallston Road tends to be a place where many people congregate and look at the different plants that are grown.
  • Alive After Five Outdoor Concerts- Live music on the court square, presented by the Uptown Shelby Association and its community partners. Food and beverage vendors on site, Uptown restaurants open late for dinner.

In popular culture

A fictionalized version of the city is the setting of HBO comedy show, Eastbound & Down. Filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, it bares little geographic or cultural resemblance to the real place. Actor-writer Danny McBride chose the location as an inspiration because of its size, attitude, and name.[6]

In the 10th episode of the TV show Make It or Break It, Shelby is mentioned as being the location of Lauren Tanner's mother.

On the 41st episode of the TV show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, the host travels to the annual Livermush festival in Shelby.[7]

Notable persons from Shelby


External links


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