Gastonia is a city in North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat and largest city of Gaston County. The population was 66,277 according to the 2000 census (35% of the population of Gaston County). It is part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, officially designated the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As the second-largest city (in population) in the MSA after Charlotte, Gastonia has experienced steady growth, with a population change during the 1990s of more than +10%.