Princeville is a town in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, and is the oldest town incorporated by African Americans in the United States. It was established by freed slaves after the Civil War and incorporated in 1885. It is part of the Rocky Mount, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 2,082. A 2018 special census recount placed the town's population at 1,939 residents. The town is on the opposite bank of the Tar River from Tarboro. The city of Rocky Mount is 16 miles (26 km) to the west.
In July 2012, the State Treasurer's Office took control of the books for financially strapped Princeville, only the fifth time the state has taken over for a local municipality since the 1930s. Princeville has been taken over twice – the state also assumed control of its books in 1997.
Princeville experienced severe flooding in September 1999 by the Cape Verde-type Hurricane Floyd and in October 2016 by the Category 5 Atlantic Hurricane Matthew.
Princeville School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
Princeville is located at 35°53′13″N 77°31′14″W (35.886974, -77.520584).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.53 square miles (3.95 km2), of which 1.51 square miles (3.92 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.69%, is water.
The 2000 census data reflect the town shortly after 1999's Hurricane Floyd; a 2004 census recount had been conducted, doubling the town's reported population (see above).
As of the census of 2000, there were 940 people, 346 households, and 255 families residing in the town.