New Bern is centrally located along the coast of North Carolina. It is the largest city in Craven County, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is home to approximately 30,101 people. Research gathered in 2016 indicates that about 24% of city residents are under the age of 18 and about 17% are age 65 or older. Race data shows 57% of city residents are white, 31% black, 4% Asian, and less than 1% Native American.
Visitors say we're a forward-thinking community, and our business landscape is evidence of that. Major employers in Craven County include the Fleet Readiness Center East aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (located in Havelock) and Carolina East Medical Center. Fleet Readiness Center East plays an important part in national defense, and employs more than 4,100 people who mostly live in Craven and Carteret counties. FRC East provides maintenance, engineering and logistics support for Navy and Marine Corps aviation, as well as other armed services, governments and federal agencies. Carolina East employs 2,350 people including hundreds of physicians and more than 500 volunteers who are dedicated to providing excellent medical care and leading the way toward advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services. The medical center has dedicated units for heart care, critical care, intensive care, women's care, pediatric care, orthopedic care, surgical care and cancer care. These two organizations are towers in the community, and are huge contributors to New Bern's growth. We couldn't ask for better neighbors.
And there's plenty of opportunity here. Craven County Schools, B/S/H Home Appliances, Moen, Inc., and Weyerhaeuser Company are also major employers across Craven County. Top industries, based on total number of employees, include limited-service eating places, full-service restaurants, physicians offices, grocery stores, employment services, home health care services, religious organizations and architectural/engineering sectors. Nursing care facilities are also one of Craven County's top industries.
Access to quality education plays a major role in the economic and social development of our community. Here, students are challenged and encouraged academically, and the learning continues once school lets out. Craven County Schools are home to about 15,000 students and 2,300 employees. The school district is comprised of 25 schools; 15 elementary, 5 middle, 3 traditional and 2 early college high schools. The annual dropout rate is 2.13%, slightly lower than the state average of 2.45%.
New Bern is also home to Craven Community College and the University of Mount Olive. Craven Community College's two campuses feature a wide range of programs including college transfer courses, two-year degree offerings, partnerships with four-year universities and specialized workforce training and development options. University of Mount Olive is a liberal arts college designed to offer programs and scheduling to fit any lifestyle. Bachelor's degree programs include Criminal Justice & Criminology, Business Management, Early Childhood Education, Religious Studies, Human Resource Management, and Healthcare Management. A General Studies degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing are also offered.
New Bern is a place of tremendous opportunity. We're moving forward, exploring new ideas and innovative approaches in the classroom and on the job. We're a city of progressive thinkers with a vision toward the future and beyond.