Raeford is a city in Hoke County, North Carolina, United States. Its population was 4,611 at the 2010 census, and in 2018, the estimated population was 4,962. It is the county seat of Hoke County.
John McRae and A.A. Williford operated a turpentine distillery and general store, respectively. Each took a syllable from his name and came up with the name Raeford for the post office they established. The McRae family, who lived at the "ford of the creek", was at one time made up primarily of old Highland Scot families. Likewise, the Upper Cape Fear Valley of North Carolina was, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the largest settlement of Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots in North America. Today, many of these old families continue to live in the area, though their presence is noticeably diminished by the great numbers of newcomers to the area as a result of Fort Bragg. Since World War II, many Lumbee Indian families have moved northward from Robeson County and now constitute a significant element of the population that is otherwise European and African American.
The Hoke County Courthouse and Raeford Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Raeford is located in central Hoke County at 34°58′54″N 79°13′39″W (34.981800, -79.227469). It is bordered to the northeast by Rockfish Creek, an east-flowing tributary of the Cape Fear River.