These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In North Carolina For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in North Carolina have the most for people looking to make the move to North Carolina.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is North Carolina a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in North Carolina.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Tar Heel State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of North Carolina, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 73 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Tar Heel State for 2018:

  1. Orange County (Photos)
  2. Wake County (Photos)
  3. Cabarrus County (Photos)
  4. Polk County
  5. Moore County (Photos)
  6. Chatham County (Photos)
  7. Durham County (Photos)
  8. Iredell County (Photos)
  9. Union County (Photos)
  10. Onslow County (Photos)

Orange County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in North Carolina. And you might want to avoid Robeson County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move North Carolina, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in North Carolina and the best places to raise a family in North Carolina.

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How do you determine which North Carolina county is the best?

To give you the best county in North Carolina, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in North Carolina across each of the criteria from one to 73, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In North Carolina’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Tar Heel State.

Read on to see why Orange County is the best county, while Robeson County is probably in contention for being the worst county in North Carolina.

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1. Orange County

Carrboro, NC

Biggest Place: Durham
Population: 139,807
Median Income: $61,130 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $281,700 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (4th best)
More on Orange County: PhotosData

2. Wake County

Angier, NC

Biggest Place: Raleigh
Population: 998,576
Median Income: $70,620 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $241,600 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (3rd best)
More on Wake County: PhotosData

3. Cabarrus County

Concord, NC

Biggest Place: Concord
Population: 192,296
Median Income: $58,970 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $171,000 (37th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (24th best)
More on Cabarrus County: PhotosData

4. Polk County

Columbus, NC

Biggest Place: Tryon
Population: 20,324
Median Income: $47,396 (19th best)
Median Home Price: $208,000 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (21st best)
More on Polk County: Data

5. Moore County

Aberdeen, NC

Biggest Place: Pinehurst
Population: 93,070
Median Income: $51,873 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $205,300 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (16th best)
More on Moore County: PhotosData

6. Chatham County

Cary, NC

Biggest Place: Cary
Population: 68,778
Median Income: $58,555 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $243,900 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (21st best)
More on Chatham County: PhotosData

7. Durham County

Chapel Hill, NC

Biggest Place: Raleigh
Population: 294,618
Median Income: $54,093 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $186,800 (34th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (9th best)
More on Durham County: PhotosData

8. Iredell County

Davidson, NC

Biggest Place: Mooresville
Population: 167,493
Median Income: $53,937 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $169,300 (38th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (29th best)
More on Iredell County: PhotosData

9. Union County

Indian Trail, NC

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Indian Trail
Population: 217,614
Median Income: $67,194 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $206,000 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (11th best)
More on Union County: PhotosData

10. Onslow County

Surf City, NC

Biggest Place: Jacksonville
Population: 185,755
Median Income: $46,786 (21st best)
Median Home Price: $153,300 (42nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (63rd best)
More on Onslow County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In North Carolina To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in North Carolina can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in North Carolina according to the data:

  1. Robeson County
  2. Anson County
  3. Scotland County

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In North Carolina

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Orange County 1 139,807 $61,130 $281,700
Wake County 2 998,576 $70,620 $241,600
Cabarrus County 3 192,296 $58,970 $171,000
Polk County 4 20,324 $47,396 $208,000
Moore County 5 93,070 $51,873 $205,300
Chatham County 6 68,778 $58,555 $243,900
Durham County 7 294,618 $54,093 $186,800
Iredell County 8 167,493 $53,937 $169,300
Union County 9 217,614 $67,194 $206,000
Onslow County 10 185,755 $46,786 $153,300
Transylvania County 11 33,062 $43,918 $203,100
Henderson County 12 110,905 $48,138 $185,800
Buncombe County 13 250,112 $46,902 $198,100
Brunswick County 14 119,167 $49,356 $189,500
Haywood County 15 59,577 $43,097 $165,800
Watauga County 16 52,745 $39,443 $230,700
Catawba County 17 155,461 $45,450 $137,600
New Hanover County 18 216,430 $51,232 $215,800
Dare County 19 35,187 $54,787 $283,000
Craven County 20 104,190 $47,957 $154,000
Franklin County 21 62,989 $44,272 $134,500
Mecklenburg County 22 1,011,774 $59,268 $192,700
Carteret County 23 68,537 $50,599 $197,600
Pender County 24 56,358 $46,580 $160,300
Forsyth County 25 364,691 $46,283 $151,300
Davidson County 26 164,058 $44,469 $132,000
Johnston County 27 182,155 $51,980 $147,500
Nash County 28 94,385 $43,804 $120,500
Alamance County 29 156,372 $43,209 $143,500
Granville County 30 58,341 $50,317 $141,200
Cumberland County 31 325,841 $44,810 $129,000
Gaston County 32 211,753 $44,288 $126,000
Stanly County 33 60,610 $44,140 $129,300
Jackson County 34 41,227 $40,278 $172,800
Harnett County 35 126,620 $47,930 $140,800
Avery County 36 17,633 $35,891 $130,900
Rutherford County 37 66,701 $36,144 $107,600
Warren County 38 20,324 $33,913 $95,100
Beaufort County 39 47,513 $40,906 $122,100
Greene County 40 21,241 $37,190 $88,300
Pitt County 41 175,150 $42,308 $135,000
Yadkin County 42 37,819 $38,623 $126,900
Jones County 43 10,074 $34,080 $91,000
Ashe County 44 26,992 $37,360 $143,700
Hoke County 45 51,853 $42,704 $134,100
Montgomery County 46 27,475 $34,819 $95,700
Bertie County 47 20,324 $31,129 $79,900
Rockingham County 48 91,898 $40,003 $107,200
Randolph County 49 142,588 $43,010 $118,900
Rowan County 50 138,694 $44,494 $130,500
Martin County 51 23,510 $34,957 $84,000
Bladen County 52 34,454 $30,408 $85,700
Caldwell County 53 81,623 $37,118 $108,900
Cleveland County 54 97,113 $39,134 $108,100
Hertford County 55 24,285 $34,523 $86,900
Wilkes County 56 68,888 $34,846 $119,100
Edgecombe County 57 54,669 $32,298 $82,200
Sampson County 58 63,713 $36,742 $87,900
Duplin County 59 59,121 $35,364 $88,200
Cherokee County 60 27,226 $35,284 $140,700
Surry County 61 72,767 $37,345 $119,300
Chowan County 62 14,556 $41,156 $131,500
Burke County 63 89,082 $39,759 $113,600
Mcdowell County 64 45,013 $37,590 $104,500
Halifax County 65 52,849 $32,549 $87,700
Lenoir County 66 58,343 $36,956 $93,400
Washington County 67 12,503 $33,286 $82,400
Vance County 68 44,508 $32,733 $96,700
Wayne County 69 124,447 $40,457 $114,200
Richmond County 70 45,710 $32,526 $80,500
Scotland County 71 35,711 $30,013 $83,200
Anson County 72 25,883 $34,656 $79,900
Robeson County 73 134,576 $31,298 $71,000

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