Topsail Island Economic Profile

The stretch of Topsail Island may be one single strip of shimmery sands, yet along these shores there are unique towns each with their own economic make-up. At the southern end of the island is Topsail Beach, a small coastal town that has a median household income of about $56,000. The top occupations of the area are in management, professional, sales and office positions. These are presumably held in either the retail trade or the field of arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services, which are the top two industries of the area. The prominence of these two industries is due to the popularity of tourism in the town, and each experiences a hearty increase during the peak season.

Surf City holds one of the larger populations of the island chain with 2,057 residents. Citizens have an average household income of $40,500. The main occupations are again management, professional, sales and office positions, with the top industry of the town is educational, health and social services. Construction is also a large industry of the area, as the region is ever-expanding.

Farther to the north is North Topsail Beach, an island town where the average household income is around $53,000. Most of the occupations are held in the management and professional fields, with educational, health and social services being the leading industry. North Topsail also has an interestingly high amount of commuters in the area: roughly 60 percent of all employed persons commute to their jobs.

Holly Ridge, located just off the island, may have a small population, but it possess an impressive employment rate at 70 percent and a median household income of $25,600. Holly Ridge’s main industries are manufacturing, warehousing and transportation, which can all be attributed to one major business, Truss Building, Inc. The factory is responsible for the production and shipping of building structures and is also linked to the prominence of the second largest industry, construction.

The northern most town of the Greater Topsail area, Sneads Ferry has the largest population with 2,428 full time residents. Of this number, 72% are currently employed and the median household income is $34,500. The most commonly held occupations are in management, sales and professional positions. The largest industry is fishing and tourism related, with the arts, entertainment, recreation and accommodation and food services field. Educational, health and social services ring in second due to the demand placed on them by the larger population.

Major Employers

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Wilmington, NC 28401
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Combining the beauty of the coastal seascape and the relaxation of small, family-friendly towns makes Topsail Island an ideal vacation destination for tourists looking for an escape from the traditional, resort-style beach towns. This has not gone unnoticed. Beginning around March and April and tapering off in September, Topsail Island experiences a peak tourism season when an influx of visitors come to the area. Due to this trend, virtually all businesses in the area reap the benefit of hearty revenue increases, and seasonal jobs always become available.

Real Estate

Tying in directly with the pronounced tourism industry, real estate is also a flourishing field, especially during the peak tourist season. Vacationers utilize all of the area’s real estate services and agencies, giving the business a bountiful boost in sales, revenue and overall productivity.

Demographics and Statistics

The Topsail Island area includes the towns of Surf City, North Topsail Beach, Topsail Beach, Holly Ridge, and Sneads Ferry and is located within both Pender and Onslow counties. According to the 2008 U.S. census, the area has 7,000 full time residents. Sneads Ferry holds the majority of this number with 2,428 residents and coming in a close second is Surf City, with 2,057 residents. North Topsail Beach has 955 residents and Holly Ridge has 908. Topsail Beach, the southernmost town on the island, is the least inhabited area with only 508 residents. During the summer months, these numbers swell with an influx of tourists ready to hit the area’s sun-soaked shores.

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