Local Economy

The economy on Topsail Island is driven mainly by the Vacation Rental and Real Estate markets, and additionally, by the hospitality and food service industries – all are a result of tourism and the big draw the island has as a vacation destination for families across North Carolina and Virginia. Of the three towns on the island, Surf City and Topsail Beach have the larger number of retail outlets, with Surf City having the biggest year around population of about 1,850 residents.

For comparison, to the north of Surf City, North Topsail Beach has a year around population of 750, and to the south, Topsail Beach with about 370 residents.

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