Capital Community Benchmark Study
Community Highlights For Guilford County, NC
Highlights] [Press Release]
- The Community Foundation
of Greater Greensboro
- The Joseph M. Bryan
- Cemala Foundation
- The Hillsdale Fund
- News & Record
- The Moses Cone-Wesley
Long Community Health Foundation
- The Tannenbaum-Sternberger
Melissa M. Staples
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
100 S. Elm St., Suite 307
Greensboro, NC 27401-2638
Guilford County, including city of Greensboro and city of High Point
This area is a mix of medium size city and suburbs
(U.S. Census Bureau)
White- (Total) 71.0%
White (non-Hispanic) 69.6%
Hispanic 1.7%* (Significant undercount)
Other-(Native American) 1.8%
(U.S. Census Bureau data)
(U.S. Census Bureau data)
Guilford County is located in the north central, or Piedmont, section
of North Carolina. Two cities, High Point (74,000 pop.) and Greensboro
(205,000 pop.), make up the bulk of the county population but there are
many smaller towns and rural areas as well. The countywide public school
system serves 60,000 students and there are eight colleges serving 29,000
Located just a few hours from both the mountains and the coast, the Piedmont
enjoys a mild climate that is conducive to many outdoor sports and activities.
It is considered an attractive, livable area with many parks and green
spaces, minimal traffic and short commutes, as well as a wide variety
of arts and cultural activities.
It is interesting to note that the Piedmont is home to the largest Montegnard
(Vietnamese) population outside their native land.
A recent study, commissioned by several foundations and produced by McKinsey
& Co., shows that between 1994-99 a fundamental shift has occurred
in the county's economy.
While the economy has grown by 2.4%, it has not kept pace with the state
as a whole, trailing in population growth, employment growth and per-capital
The county has lost jobs in its traditional manufacturing sector (textiles,
apparel, furniture & tobacco) and replaced these higher wage jobs
with lower paid service sector jobs. The service sector now constitutes
29% of the county's economy (up from 26%), while manufacturing has declined
from 26% to 23% during the five-year period.
Guilford County is
a very compassionate giving community with high levels of giving to charities
and volunteering. The community ranked 2nd out of 40 communities surveyed
on this scale. Residents are highly engaged in faith-based activity and
formal group activities, and there is broad distribution of civic leadership
throughout the community. However, Guilford County ranks below average
in terms of social trust and informal socializing. "Our time spent
in formal group activities has not translated into building strong personal
relationships across economic, racial or educational lines," notes
Walker Sanders, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.
"We need to build on the strong assets we have to get to know one
another better and increase social trust throughout our community.
What do you intend to do about it?
We are taking the survey results into our community through public forums
and presentations to civic groups, community leaders and others. During
March and April, we hope to discuss issues raised and solicit input from
a broad cross section of Guilford County. Ultimately, we hope citizens
and groups will choose to address specific areas this study highlights
and bring about lasting change.
From a community foundation
perspective, we expect to focus on ways we can be more intentional in
building social capital through our grantmaking activities. Specifically,
we want to encourage more resources aimed at expanding "bridging"
social capital in our community.