The military is an important part of North Carolina’s economy. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains exactly how important.
“You can measure (the military’s impact on our state) in a number of ways. We have almost 110,000 troops in North Carolina. That surprised me, that number. Most of them, of course, are at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville and Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. But 110,000: a very large number.
“We also have 770,000 retired military who live in our state. I think that says a lot about the attractiveness of our state. People who retire from the military want to stay here.
“Defense contracts are also big. We take in $3 to $4 billion … in defense contracts annually.
“And if you put all this in the one number — the defense contracts, the spending by the military, the spending by retirees, et cetera — the total impact, estimated, of the military in North Carolina comes to over $10 billion dollars a year.”