Jacksonville is located in Onslow County (of which it is the county seat) between Wilmington and New Bern along US Highway 17 on the banks of the New River near Richlands, Swansboro, and the Croatan National Forest. The town was incorporated in 1842 and named Jacksonville after President Andrew Jackson. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 68,380, a decrease of 9,651 since 1990.
Jacksonville is home to the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and the Marine Corps Air Station New River, the largest Marine force in the world.
Jacksonville is part of the Jacksonville, North Carolina metro area.