Banner Elk, NC
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Living in Banner Elk


Banner Elk is a very small town located in the state of North Carolina. With a population of 1,138 people and two constituent neighborhoods, Banner Elk is the 397th largest community in North Carolina. Banner Elk has seen a significant amount of newer housing growth in recent years. Quite often, new home construction is the result of new residents moving in who are middle class or wealthier, attracted by jobs, a healthy local economy, or other amenities as they leave nearby or far away areas for greener pastures. This seems to be the case in Banner Elk, where the median household income is $57,222.00.

Banner Elk is neither predominantly blue-collar nor white-collar, instead having a mixed workforce of both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Overall, Banner Elk is a town of sales and office workers, service providers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Banner Elk who work in sales jobs (14.22%), food service (12.25%), and management occupations (12.04%).

Also of interest is that Banner Elk has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 14.77% of the workforce. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce this is high compared to the rest of the county. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

Banner Elk is a small town where college students really create the town feel and character. So many small towns have lost population over the last 20-30 years that having the local college presence in the Banner Elk area, with all of the energy of the students filling area dorms and apartments each fall, really helps Banner Elk maintain a good economy.

Another notable thing is that Banner Elk is an extremely popular destination for tourists and seasonal residents. So much of the population is seasonal such that the town’s population swells significantly during the vacation season, and drops again when the season ends. Because of this, much of the local economy is centered around tourism; some businesses may be operated only during the high season. During the low season, year-round residents will notice that the city is a substantially quieter place to live.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of Banner Elk spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 16.14 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the town are less than they would otherwise be.

As is often the case in a small town, Banner Elk doesn't have a public transportation system that people use for their commute.

The population of Banner Elk is very well educated relative to most cities and towns in the nation, where the average community has 21.84% of its adult population holding a 4-year degree or higher: 36.99% of adults in Banner Elk have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in Banner Elk in 2010 was $19,074, which is lower middle income relative to North Carolina and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $76,296 for a family of four. However, Banner Elk contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Banner Elk is a somewhat ethnically-diverse town. The people who call Banner Elk home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Banner Elk residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Banner Elk include Italian, Irish, Scottish, and English.

The most common language spoken in Banner Elk is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Hungarian.