These Are The 10 Best Small Towns In North Carolina


We used science and data to determine which small towns in North Carolina are the best of the best.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in North Carolina, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Tar Heel State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in North Carolina based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in North Carolina ranked the based–you know, based on science. Here are the 10 Best Small Towns in North Carolina (in which to live):

  1. Washington Park
  2. Alamance
  3. Walnut Creek
  4. Forest Hills
  5. Bath
  6. Oriental
  7. Cedar Rock
  8. Webster
  9. Caswell Beach
  10. King (Photos)

If you live in one of these small towns like Washington Park, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list. Or feel free to check out the worst small towns in North Carolina.

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How We Determined The Best Small Towns In North Carolina

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • High School Dropouts (Lower is better)
  • Crime Rates (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 188 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 188, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in North Carolina. Top of that list — Washington Park.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 10 best small towns in North Carolina.

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1. Washington Park


Population 2014: 470
Median Income: $63,897
Median Home Price: $232,400
Crime Per 100k: 2,921

2. Alamance


Population 2014: 807
Median Income: $84,432
Median Home Price: $267,200
Crime Per 100k: 1,837

3. Walnut Creek


Population 2014: 922
Median Income: $121,250
Median Home Price: $371,100
Crime Per 100k: 1,837

4. Forest Hills


Population 2014: 455
Median Income: $60,625
Median Home Price: $257,000
Crime Per 100k: 2,239

5. Bath


Population 2014: 237
Median Income: $70,625
Median Home Price: $220,800
Crime Per 100k: 2,286

6. Oriental


Population 2014: 861
Median Income: $60,391
Median Home Price: $341,400
Crime Per 100k: 1,837

7. Cedar Rock


Population 2014: 338
Median Income: $120,625
Median Home Price: $338,000
Crime Per 100k: 1,837

8. Webster


Population 2014: 386
Median Income: $72,625
Median Home Price: $235,400
Crime Per 100k: 2,777

9. Caswell Beach


Population 2014: 486
Median Income: $73,594
Median Home Price: $459,500
Crime Per 100k: 1,837

10. King

King, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 6,659
Median Income: $52,305
Median Home Price: $145,200
Crime Per 100k: 3,359

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 10 small towns in North Carolina are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in North Carolina:

  1. Stonewall
  2. Hoffman
  3. Casar

For more North Carolina reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In North Carolina

City Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price Crime Per 100k
Washington Park 1 470 $63,897 $232,400 2,921
Alamance 2 807 $84,432 $267,200 1,837
Walnut Creek 3 922 $121,250 $371,100 1,837
Forest Hills 4 455 $60,625 $257,000 2,239
Bath 5 237 $70,625 $220,800 2,286
Oriental 6 861 $60,391 $341,400 1,837
Cedar Rock 7 338 $120,625 $338,000 1,837
Webster 8 386 $72,625 $235,400 2,777
Caswell Beach 9 486 $73,594 $459,500 1,837
King 10 6,659 $52,305 $145,200 3,359
King 11 6,659 $52,305 $145,200 3,359
Faith 12 806 $53,462 $148,600 4,901
Sims 13 296 $53,250 $136,200 5,497
Bethania 14 308 $59,500 $211,700 2,963
Duck 15 449 $70,938 $633,400 1,837
Dillsboro 16 220 $36,000 $243,200 2,989
Warrenton 17 1,354 $34,088 $114,500 1,999
Gatesville 18 501 $49,000 $171,300 4,632
Montreat 19 743 $44,948 $440,900 1,837
Beech Mountain 20 606 $49,875 $321,700 1,837
Ossipee 21 702 $52,083 $108,200 5,635
Askewville 22 242 $51,555 $159,400 3,836
Seven Devils 23 198 $71,250 $230,800 2,311
Pikeville 24 663 $43,688 $116,800 5,368
Saluda 25 649 $42,813 $235,400 3,349
Bogue 26 776 $64,659 $181,900 4,133
Harrellsville 27 131 $42,292 $132,500 5,020
White Lake 28 757 $45,714 $221,700 6,084
Newland 29 703 $30,278 $164,300 2,478
Crossnore 30 206 $38,977 $129,200 5,677
Ocean Isle Beach 31 728 $57,411 $580,200 1,837
Salemburg 32 553 $39,018 $143,400 4,985
Topsail Beach 33 366 $48,988 $529,800 1,837
Kittrell 34 260 $39,583 $115,600 5,978
Winfall 35 672 $50,066 $186,900 3,392
Holden Beach 36 939 $67,500 $530,100 13,548
Mcadenville 37 541 $43,438 $160,300 4,233
Sugar Mountain 38 490 $40,833 $217,500 1,837
Tar Heel 39 101 $83,333 $93,100 5,567
Parkton 40 557 $44,083 $98,600 5,788
Halifax 41 328 $54,219 $79,100 5,870
New London 42 607 $43,162 $120,400 4,884
Indian Beach 43 121 $44,444 $412,900 7,895
Proctorville 44 131 $57,500 $112,500 5,081
Pollocksville 45 311 $29,191 $106,300 5,847
Colerain 46 185 $48,750 $98,000 5,408
Arapahoe 47 466 $41,875 $153,500 5,281
Jackson 48 687 $53,977 $79,400 5,955
Alliance 49 888 $45,588 $115,600 5,652
Godwin 50 154 $45,625 $88,300 5,878
Whitakers 51 875 $27,212 $82,400 2,585
Stovall 52 277 $40,781 $118,800 5,586
Falcon 53 336 $42,188 $116,300 6,041
Goldston 54 227 $45,357 $117,000 4,807
Walstonburg 55 369 $61,250 $102,500 5,592
Red Cross 56 726 $47,500 $148,100 4,762
Catawba 57 598 $52,000 $106,300 3,896
Simpson 58 373 $34,861 $144,200 5,212
Newton Grove 59 699 $42,500 $125,600 5,302
Danbury 60 250 $53,750 $79,600 6,163
Cleveland 61 872 $39,875 $133,200 2,755
Sedalia 62 717 $41,875 $127,800 5,358
Stem 63 1,018 $57,917 $132,000 2,037
Whitsett 64 706 $46,250 $152,300 4,745
Peletier 65 696 $43,594 $127,800 5,486
Creswell 66 369 $50,417 $127,600 5,413
Mesic 67 289 $30,982 $141,700 5,469
Aurora 68 477 $44,250 $111,400 5,421
Sandy Creek 69 421 $40,000 $103,100 6,059
Richfield 70 770 $42,750 $94,100 6,371
Stantonsburg 71 641 $28,281 $90,300 6,243
Dublin 72 298 $31,016 $77,000 6,478
Momeyer 73 393 $48,438 $118,100 5,451
Chimney Rock Village 74 147 $45,625 $191,700 4,279
Harmony 75 669 $48,542 $101,300 5,559
Hayesville 76 414 $26,364 $149,300 5,062
Lansing 77 174 $31,429 $161,100 5,009
Eureka 78 206 $33,542 $87,300 5,853
Lattimore 79 423 $42,500 $85,000 6,813
Rosman 80 716 $18,368 $110,300 6,349
Cove City 81 527 $40,833 $79,000 6,233
Fallston 82 616 $37,361 $93,500 6,141
East Bend 83 524 $32,500 $104,500 5,609
Norlina 84 873 $30,938 $83,000 6,438
Marshall 85 1,039 $22,674 $131,300 2,075
Severn 86 263 $31,875 $102,600 5,681
Conway 87 1,124 $29,583 $111,900 2,091
Micro 88 338 $22,083 $84,400 6,244
Bunn 89 530 $37,344 $87,400 8,989
Macclesfield 90 427 $32,500 $79,600 5,696
Pantego 91 145 $46,250 $112,500 5,724
Misenheimer 92 616 $40,000 $125,000 6,229
Bridgeton 93 291 $49,107 $130,700 5,078
Atkinson 94 322 $27,473 $62,500 6,006
Milton 95 175 $28,500 $98,300 5,849
Everetts 96 109 $42,500 $67,500 6,265
Chocowinity 97 922 $31,842 $92,600 6,313
Linden 98 118 $47,813 $87,000 6,325
Star 99 948 $31,528 $87,000 2,517
Wade 100 523 $32,778 $144,400 5,512

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