North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th most extensive and the 9th most populous of the 50 United States. North Carolina is known as the Tar Heel State and the Old North State. The state is composed of 100 counties. Its two largest metropolitan areas are among the top ten fastest-growing in the country: its capital, Raleigh, and its largest city, Charlotte.