The population was 36,910 at the 2000 census. It is the home of the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

In 2004, a silent film about Kannapolis, showing the everyday behavior of ordinary people, which was made in 1941 by itinerant filmmaker H. Lee Waters, was selected by the Library of Congress for listing in the United States National Film Registry, as a representative of this kind of filmed "town portrait" popular in the 1930s and 1940s.

 

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