The Unifour

The Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or "The Unifour", as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of four counties in the Catawba Valley region of western North Carolina. Local residents often refer to the area as the Unifour, although this name is largely unknown outside of the region.

Hickory Metro
Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area
Country United States
State North Carolina
Principal cities  - Hickory
 - Lenoir
 - Morganton
  MSA 1,666 sq mi (4,310 km2)
  Land 1,637.72 sq mi (4,241.7 km2)
  Water 34.28 sq mi (88.8 km2)
Elevation 305-2,560 ft (93-780 m)
Population (2012 Census estimate)
  Density 220/sq mi (80/km2)
  Urban 120,656
  Metro 365,949
Time zone EST
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC)
Area code(s) 704,828

As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 341,851 (though a July 1, 2009 estimate placed the population at 365,364).[1]



Anchor city

Principal cities

Suburban cities over 5,000 in population

(Including county and 2010 census bureau population)

Suburban towns and cities under 5,000 in population

(Including county and 2010 census bureau population)

Unincorporated communities

(2010 Census figures)


Mass transit


The Hickory region is served by the major interstate highway I-40 which passes through the center of Catawba and Burke counties.

Other important US highways in the region include: US 70 (east to Morehead City, west to Asheville and Marion), and US 321 (through Catawba, and Caldwell Counties).

Primary state routes include NC 10, NC 16, NC 10, NC 150, NC 18, NC 127, and NC 90.


The county's primary commercial aviation airport is Hickory Regional Airport.


With approximately twenty freight trains a day, Catawba County is a freight railroad transportation center. This is largely due to the areas strong manufacturing based economy, and its placement along the Norfolk Southern Railway line. The Caldwell County Railroad also serves the county and interchanges with Norfolk Southern in Hickory. Conover has been designated a stop on the future Western NC Rail service.[2]

Higher education


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 341,851 people, 133,966 households, and 95,583 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 87.47% White, 6.91% African American, 0.25% Native American, 2.31% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.95% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.05% of the population.

The median income for a household in the MSA was $37,647, and the median income for a family was $44,236. Males had a median income of $29,273 versus $22,266 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $18,404.

See also


  1. "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009 (CBSA-EST2009-01)" (CSV). 2009 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  2. Infrastructure, Caldwell County Economic Development Commission (retrieved 16 June 2014)
  3. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.

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