Clayton is a town in Johnston County, North Carolina, and considered a satellite town of Raleigh. As of 2010, Clayton’s population was 16,116 people. Much of that growth can be attributed to the town’s close proximity to the Research Triangle area and access to major highways such as I-40, U.S. 70, and NC 42.
In 2006, construction began on the Highway 70 Clayton Bypass, a 10.5-mile (16.9 km) stretch from Interstate 40 along the southern portion of Clayton to Highway 70 business in Smithfield. It was completed in June 2008.
The Town Hall is located at 111 East Second Street in Downtown Clayton. The Town Hall complex is shared with The Clayton Center Auditorium and Conference Center.
The community which has grown into the Town of Clayton was built on a road cut by Governor Tryon’s troops around 1770 as they marched North from New Bern to Hillsborough against the Regulators. Nearly 100 years later the railroad came through and the community had its first name—Stallings’ Station, since the depot for the North Carolina Railroad was in the home of Mrs. Sarah Stallings. The name lasted only three years, however, before officially becoming Clayton. Incorporation followed in 1869.
The state began to change during the 1970s. An industrial base began taking shape and residential growth was increasing in the Raleigh area nearby. Clayton’s workforce adapted, shifting to a more service/trades-oriented economy and the town began to grow once again. By 1980, the population had grown to 4,091 and to 4,756 by 1990. The population then jumped to 6,973 in the year 2000 census. Today, manufacturers like Caterpillar and bio-pharmaceutical companies like Grifols (formerly Talecris) and Novo Nordisk are big local employers. In 2010, the population had increased to 16,116.
The highest elevation is 370 feet, near Clayton and the city is located in the east-central part of North Carolina; bounded by Wilson, Wayne, Sampson, Harnett, Wake and Nash counties.
The population of Clayton was 174,938 (2012) the fastest growing county in North Carolina in the last ten years and in the top 100 fastest growing counties in United States during same period.