North Carolina (i /ˌnɔrθ kærəˈlaɪnə/) is a state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the Southern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte. North Carolina is now ranked as one of the top 3 leading States for Green Technology, Bio-Chemical Engineering, Medical Sciences, and Computer Engineering through the long-range research and development programs of Research Triangle Park (RTP), UNC Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State.
North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet (2,037 m) in the mountains. The coastal plains are strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical zone. More than 300 miles (500 km) from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate.
Between 2007 and 2008, North Carolina was the third-fastest growing state in the United States, and the fastest growing state east of the Mississippi River.[