Gastonia is the largest city and county seat of Gaston County, North Carolina, United States. It is also the third largest suburb of the Charlotte Area, behind Concord and Rock Hill. The population was 71,341 as of July 2011 (35% of the population of Gaston County)1. It is part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, officially designated the Charlotte-Concord-Rock Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Gastonia has experienced steady growth, with a population increase between 2000 and 2010 (according the US Census Bureau) of nearly 8.2%.
Gastonia is located at 35°15′19″N 81°10′49″W / 35.25528°N 81.18028°W / 35.25528; -81.18028 (35.255220, -81.180249). at the geographic center of Gaston County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.3 square miles (119.8 km²), of which, 46.1 square miles (119.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.43%) is water. It occupies 13% of the total area of Gaston County.