Gastonia is the largest city in and county seat of Gaston County, North Carolina, United States. It is the second-largest satellite city of the Charlotte area, behind Concord. The population was 71,741 at the 2010 Census. In 2019, the population had increased to 77,273. Gastonia is the 13th most populous city in North Carolina. It is part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, officially designated the Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
The city is a historic center for textile manufacturing and was the site of the Loray Mill Strike of 1929, which became a key event in the labor movement. While manufacturing remains important to the local economy, the city also has well-developed healthcare, education, and government sectors.
Gastonia is named for William Gaston, member of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
The City Hospital-Gaston Memorial Hospital, Craig Farmstead, Downtown Gastonia Historic District, First National Bank Building, Gaston County Courthouse, Gastonia High School, David Jenkins House, Loray Mill Historic District, Robinson-Gardner Building, Third National Bank Building, and William J. Wilson House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Loray Mill strike of 1929 in Gastonia was one of the most notable strikes in the labor history of the United States. The role of organizers for Communist Party-affiliated National Textile Workers Union alienated religious leaders in Gastonia, who denounced the organizers' ideology, undermining support for the strike.