Hickory is a city in Catawba County, North Carolina. Hickory has the 162nd largest urban area in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a Metropolitan Statistical Area population of 341,851, making it the 4th largest metropolitan area in North Carolina. The city's population was 37,222 at the 2000 census. The MSA, which includes Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba counties, is often referred to as the "Unifour," although this name is largely unknown outside the region.