Carrboro is a town in Orange County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 19,582 at the 2010 census. The town, which is part of the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan statistical area, was named after North Carolina industrialist Julian Shakespeare Carr.
Located near Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina, Carrboro has a reputation as one of the most liberal communities in the Southern United States. It was the first municipality in North Carolina to elect an openly gay mayor, Mike Nelson, in 1995 and the first municipality in the state to grant domestic-partner benefits to same-sex couples. In October 2002, Carrboro was among the first municipalities in the South to adopt resolutions opposing the Iraq War and the USA PATRIOT Act.
Known originally as West End because of its location west of Chapel Hill, Carrboro was settled in 1882 around the State University Railroad. The local merchants stipulated that the railroad station had to be at least two miles (3 km) outside of town in order to discourage students from leaving on the weekends and spending their money elsewhere.