These Are The 10 Best Cary Suburbs For 2019


We analyzed over 26 places around Cary to identify the most kickass place to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best Cary suburbs.

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Big city living isn’t for everyone–but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There’s the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There’s traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing–pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you’re looking at.

But that’s where the suburbs come in–they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Cary are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

Here are the 10 best suburbs around Cary for 2019:

  1. Apex (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Holly Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Morrisville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Wake Forest (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Rolesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Chapel Hill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Carrboro (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Creedmoor (Homes For Sale)
  9. Knightdale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Raleigh (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you happen to be a resident of Apex, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Cary ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Or feel free to check out some more reading about North Carolina:

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the best in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Cary for 2019

Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Cary was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data (2013-2017) to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Cary.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 25 suburbs to evaluate around Cary.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 25 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the “Best Suburb near Cary.” We’re lookin’ at you, Apex.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Apex, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 45,899
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $100,305
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Apex: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Apex is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Cary area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Apex.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $100,305 a year, which is the 2nd highest in the Cary region. And only 390.0% are out of work. Homes average more than $289,300 each.

Holly Springs, NC

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 31,827
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $101,341
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.0%
More on Holly Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Holly Springs is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Cary for 2019.

It ranks 1st for incomes in the area and only 4.5% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Morrisville, NC

Source: Town of Morrisville
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 23,873
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $95,763
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 5.1%
More on Morrisville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Morrisville, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Cary metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Morrisville.

Wake Forest, NC

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 38,473
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $85,155
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Poverty Rate: 6.2%
More on Wake Forest: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wake Forest ranks as the 4th best suburb of Cary for 2019.

You won’t find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Wake Forest and the schools are some of the best around.

Rolesville, NC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,308
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $96,384
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.5%
More on Rolesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Rolesville.

Rolesville gets kudos for having the 6th most expensive homes in the Cary area, where houses sell for an average of $273,900. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Chapel Hill, NC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 59,234
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $67,426
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 20.3%
More on Chapel Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chapel Hill is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here’s why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 490.0% which is 9th best in the area.

According to online reports, Chapel Hill is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Cary area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Carrboro, NC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 21,099
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $56,573
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 16.4%
More on Carrboro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Carrboro.

Carrboro schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it’s only 18.3 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,372
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Income: $74,755
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 10.5%
More on Creedmoor: Real Estate | Data

Creedmoor is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 3.8% of people lack insurance, good for 2nd in the area.

Knightdale, NC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,363
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $70,540
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Knightdale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is ‘Everything Better In Knightdale?’

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it’s really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Raleigh, NC

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 449,477
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $61,505
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Rate: 14.0%
More on Raleigh: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 is Raleigh.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It’s far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Welcome to the Best Cary ‘Burbs of 2019

We said it once and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you’re hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Cary, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cary Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Apex 45,899 $100,305
2 Holly Springs 31,827 $101,341
3 Morrisville 23,873 $95,763
4 Wake Forest 38,473 $85,155
5 Rolesville 6,308 $96,384
6 Chapel Hill 59,234 $67,426
7 Carrboro 21,099 $56,573
8 Creedmoor 4,372 $74,755
9 Knightdale 14,363 $70,540
10 Raleigh 449,477 $61,505
11 Archer Lodge 4,688 $64,845
12 Garner 28,048 $60,797
13 Clayton 19,306 $59,338
14 Durham 257,232 $54,284
15 Wendell 6,516 $53,730
16 Hillsborough 7,033 $51,640
17 Pittsboro 4,037 $49,277
18 Angier 5,151 $45,428
19 Zebulon 4,943 $50,267
20 Sanford 29,051 $45,417
21 Butner 7,709 $48,870
22 Coats 2,255 $35,625
23 Lillington 3,477 $29,390
24 Wilson’s Mills 2,504 $43,558
25 Franklinton 2,248 $35,714

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