A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Rutherfordton, North Carolina

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Various Identification Codes ...

GNIS Codes ...

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) was created to address the problems caused by spelling and naming variations. The BGN will usually recognize an existing name or, when necessary, establish a new name for a geographic feature (such as a mountain, lake, river, stream, city, town, village, dam, bridge, etc).

The BGN names are kept in a database called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and it is the official Federal repository. The GNIS is operated and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

A unique and permanent number has been assigned for each name in the GNIS database. These names and identifiers are definitive and it is intended that they are to be used by all departments of the Federal Government:

GNIS ID for Rutherfordton: 2407262

GNIS ID for Rutherford County: 1008584

GNIS ID for North Carolina: 1027616

FIPS Codes ...

In a past effort, various federal agencies created a set of codes with a purpose similar to the GNIS codes. These codes are called the Federal Information Processing Standard (or the FIPS 55 codes). Although they are still used by some organizations, the FIPS codes are obsolete and will ultimately be replaced by the GNIS codes.

The following FIPS codes apply to Rutherfordton:

Place (Community) Code:  58460
State Code:  37 (North Carolina)
County Code:  161 (Rutherford County)

Since the Place and County FIPS codes are not unique and can be repeated in other States, it's necessary to combine the State code with the Place and County FIPS codes to uniquely identify them - for example:

State/Place Code:  37/58460
State/County Code:  37/161

As already mentioned, the FIPS codes are to be replaced by the GNIS codes. The following reflect those changes:

 FIPS Code   translates to   GNIS Code
State of North Carolina:    37   1027616
Rutherford County:    37/161   1008584
Rutherfordton:    37/58460   2407262

GPS Location - GNIS vs Census ...

An important aspect of the GNIS code is that it assigns a GPS location (the latitude/longitude) to the geographic feature. This location is simply a point on the map and does not represent the size or shape of the feature. In the case of Rutherfordton, it is a point within Rutherfordton that might be a post office, the city hall or simply an intersection - the point should really be considered arbitrary and only indicating a general location.

For Rutherfordton, the GNIS GPS location is given as:

Lat:   35° 21' 51"   (or 35.36°)

Lon:   -81° 57' 40"   (or -81.96°)   [Map]

Determined by its statistical needs, the Census Bureau has defined a sampling area for Rutherfordton - this area also contains a map point. As with the GNIS code, the location of the Census point should be considered as being arbitrary within the sampling area.

For Rutherfordton, the Census 2010 GPS location is given as:

Lat:   35° 21' 51"   (or 35.36°)

Lon:   -81° 57' 41"   (or -81.96°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 78.1 feet to the west<1> of the point given by the GNIS (see above).

You might note that the GPS location given for the 2010 Census is different than the location that was specified by the 2000 Census:

Lat:   35° 21' 58"   (or 35.37°)

Lon:   -81° 57' 32"   (or -81.96°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 1,045 feet to the northeast<2> of the point given by the 2010 Census.

Regional Codes ...

For statistical purposes, the US Census Bureau has divided the country into four Regions. Rutherfordton is located in Region #3 (the South Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Rutherfordton is located in Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Rutherfordton is located in Region IV (Region 4).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Rutherfordton is located in Region IV (Region 4).

ZIP Codes ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a town like Rutherfordton, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Rutherfordton. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code are defined by the needs of the USPS and can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for Rutherfordton: 28139<3>

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #1022450   (Name of Record: Rutherfordton)

Class: populated place

A place or area having clustered or scattered buildings and a permanent population (such as a city, settlement, town or village). The boundaries may or may not coincide with the perceived population.

A 'populated place' record may have a corresponding 'census' or 'civil' record. The information contained in the 'populated place' record applies only to the class and should not be confused with either the 'census' and 'civil' classes.

County: Rutherford

Map Name: Rutherfordton South

Lat: 35.3692877       Lon: -81.9567716   [Map]

Elev: 295 ft.

GNIS ID #2407262   (Name of Record: Town of Rutherfordton)

Class: civil

A political division formed for administrative purposes (such as a borough, county, incorporated place, parish, town or township).

A 'civil' record may have a corresponding 'census' or 'populated place' record. The information contained in the 'civil' record applies only to the class and should not be confused with either the 'census' and 'populated place' classes.

County: Rutherford

Map Name: Rutherfordton South

Lat: 35.3642758       Lon: -81.961183   [Map]

Elev: 281 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 37/58460   (Place Name: Rutherfordton)

County: Rutherford     (FIPS State/County: 37/161)

Class: C1

Identifies an incorporated place (ie- Rutherfordton) that does not serve as a primary county division - or in other words, it is included in and is part of a primary county division (ie- Rutherford County).

GSA Code: 4040

MRF Code: 2180

Other Roadside Stops ...

Find a Community located in North Carolina

About Rutherford County

About North Carolina

Off-the-Road Links ...

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Rutherfordton. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for Rutherford County:

The official website for State of North Carolina:

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

The official website of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Footnotes ...

<1>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS-supplied location is 104 degrees and a distance of 78.1 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 316 degrees and a distance of 1,045 feet.
<3>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Rutherfordton or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).




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This page was last modified: 27 Apr 2022