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. Much of the housing stock in Banner Elk was built relatively recently. The construction of new real estate can often be taken as an indication that the local Banner Elk economy is robust, and that jobs or other amenities are attracting an influx of new residents. This seems to be the case in Banner Elk, where the median household income is $60,000.00.

Banner Elk real estate is some of the most expensive in North Carolina, although Banner Elk house values don't compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

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 service providers, sales and office workers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Banner Elk who work in food service (16.10%), management occupations (12.20%), and office and administrative support (11.71%).

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.

A relatively large number of people in Banner Elk telecommute to their jobs. Overall, about 13.03% of the workforce works from home. While this may seem like a small number, as a fraction of the total workforce it ranks among the highest in the country. 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 with a large college student population. Because of this, there is a real youthful, hip vibe to the place, and much of the life in the town is centered on the college. This has helped Banner Elk to buck the trend of other small towns that have suffered declining populations over the past 20 to 30 years. Spending by students, and faculty and staff jobs, are a big part of the local economy.

Another notable thing is that Banner Elk is a major vacation destination. Much of the town’s population is seasonal: many people own second homes and only live there part-time, during the vacation season. The effect on the local economy is that many of the businesses are dependent on tourist dollars, and may operate only during the high season. As the vacation season ends, Banner Elk’s population drops significantly, such that year-round residents will notice that the city is a much 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 14.77 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the town are less than they would otherwise be.

Banner Elk is a small town, and as such doesn't have a public transit system that people use to get to and from their jobs every day.

The citizens of Banner Elk are among the most well-educated in the nation: 43.19% of adults in Banner Elk have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree, whereas the average US city has 21.84% holding at least a bachelor's degree.

The per capita income in Banner Elk in 2010 was $18,318, which is lower middle income relative to North Carolina and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $73,272 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 Irish, English, Italian, and Scottish.

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