Durham is perfectly located halfway between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic, making it an ideal location for those who want to have plenty of options. And this city has the benefits of both a rich history and modern advances.
Nicknamed “The City of Medicine” and “Bull City,” Durham is a prime location for those with a taste for culture, history and fun. In the 1800s Blackwell Tobacco Company launched its product “Bull” Durham Tobacco. That name stuck and as manufacturing and tobacco industries grew, so did “Bull City.”
Today Durham houses the American Tobacco District, the arts and entertainment hub of Durham. Come watch the Durham Bulls triple-A baseball team hit home runs or ride your bike on one of the biking trails on the Tobacco campus. The Durham Performing Arts Center is located right there, too and regularly hosts Broadway musicals and great live entertainment. The Carolina Theater, located in downtown Durham also is a great spot to check out acts from around the country and world.
Duke University also provides great opportunities to learn and be entertained. See a performance or attend a visiting lecture on campus. Duke is also among the top rated institutions in the country for academics, especially medicine. It is also steeped in basketball tradition and is part of one of the greatest college rivalries in the nation with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But the accolades for Durham don’t end with Duke. In 2010 the League of American Bicyclists named Durham the third most bicycle friendly community. The city was also named one of the top 100 cities for young people by ING.
Durham County Schools
Durham is served by the Durham Public Schools system. With 54 schools, the district teaches more than 32,500 students and employs 4,600 people. Durham serves a diverse student population; 52.1 percent of students are African American, 21.1 percent are white and 20.9 percent are Hispanic. The district is also the 8th largest in North Carolina.
There are 29 elementary schools, 10 middle and 12 high schools in the district. Additionally there is a secondary school serving grades 6-12, a hospital school at Duke Hospital and an alternative school. The system aims to work with the community and parents to provide its students with outstanding education. It furthermore hopes to enable students to discover interests and pursue them through success in college and in the workforce. While the district is always concerned with improving test scores, the vision of the system goes beyond that to creating an environment where students are excited to learn.
Durham is best known historically for its tobacco industry and recently for medicine with research companies and Duke Medicine. Part of the Research Triangle, Durham is distinguished by the high educational achievements of its citizens. 43 percent of adults over 25 in Durham County have at least a bachelor’s degree. 80 percent of Research Triangle Park is located in Durham County and that has brought innovation and jobs in the life science, pharmaceutical, research and technology industries.
In 2008, Durham had a median household income of $49,958. The largest employers are Duke University and Health, Durham Public Schools, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Durham City Government. Durham’s business climate is largely driven by the Research Triangle and the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry in addition to IT/Communications and manufacturing. New clusters of industry are still continuing to emerge as the staple industries expand.
Durham offers a dynamic business climate that changes as rapidly as the technologies companies are using and developing. Because of its flexibility, Durham offers workers unique opportunities to work with intelligent individuals in one of the highest educated regions of the country. Bull City Forward is an organization fostering entrepreneurship in Durham. Greenfire Development, is an example of the redevelopment going on in hip and vibrant downtown Durham.