Oriental is incorporated as a village with a population of 900, which increases greatly during the summer. The land area at 10 feet above sea level covers 1.15 square miles and the village includes .23 square miles of water for marinas, beaches and private waterfront. Oriental's population amounts to about 6.8% of the Pamlico County population of 13,144, with a disproportionate number of retirement-aged people having migrated from New York and New Jersey and other Northern states to enjoy sailing and sunshine in Oriental and in the luxury development on Pamlico Sound called River Dunes. In fact, 90 per cent of the current town population moved into Oriental subsequent to 1999.
The crime rate is very low in Oriental and the volunteer rate is very high in literacy programs, Hope Clinic, the hospital, Guardian ad Litem, First Responders and other organizations.
Oriental household median annual income stands at $61,000, with median single family home values of $389,000, reflecting a village population quite different from greater Pamlico County. Oriental's tax rate is $.20 per $100 valuation while the county rate is $.65 per $100 valuation.
Pamlico County, with a greater population having been born and raised within its borders, reflects 16% of its people below poverty level, with 75% of of the population having graduated high school and 14% having achieved a bachelor's degree. Workers who do not commute to Cherry Point or New Bern are logging, fishing and farming families or build or service boats, or work in one of the 1,156 county businesses. The county government is the largest single Pamlico County employer.
Business dollars in the economy come from, in the order of greatest to least: retail sales, construction, professional services, accommodations and food sales. Of the Oriental adults in the labor force at all, the greatest number work in professional and scientific capacities.