These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In North Carolina For 2019


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2019.

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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.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in North Carolina for 2019:

  1. Wrightsville Beach (Photos | Homes)
  2. Trent Woods (Homes)
  3. Biltmore Forest (Homes)
  4. Royal Pines (Homes)
  5. Avery Creek (Homes)
  6. Fearrington Village (Homes)
  7. Walnut Creek (Homes)
  8. St. James (Homes)
  9. Flat Rock (Homes)
  10. Blowing Rock (Homes)

If you live in one of these small towns like Wrightsville Beach, 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.

For more reading on the Tar Heel State check out:

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In North Carolina

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 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)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 293 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 293, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in North Carolina. Top of that list — Wrightsville Beach.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in North Carolina.

Wrightsville Beach, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,545
Median Income: $80,560 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $759,700 (2nd Best)
More on Wrightsville Beach: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 4,117
Median Income: $77,527 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $220,700 (51st Best)
More on Trent Woods: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 1,517
Median Income: $143,750 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $848,700 (1st Best)
More on Biltmore Forest: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,829
Median Income: $65,893 (35th Best)
Median Home Value: $229,500 (49th Best)
More on Royal Pines: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,320
Median Income: $72,538 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $208,700 (57th Best)
More on Avery Creek: Data | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,784
Median Income: $70,370 (28th Best)
Median Home Value: $305,200 (21st Best)
More on Fearrington Village: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,062
Median Income: $126,250 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $366,500 (11th Best)
More on Walnut Creek: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,747
Median Income: $105,486 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $450,200 (5th Best)
More on St. James: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,267
Median Income: $69,732 (30th Best)
Median Home Value: $398,400 (8th Best)
More on Flat Rock: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 1,152
Median Income: $67,500 (33rd Best)
Median Home Value: $533,200 (3rd Best)
More on Blowing Rock: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,738
Median Income: $59,688 (57th Best)
Median Home Value: $259,300 (33rd Best)
More on Laurel Park: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,540
Median Income: $77,581 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $236,300 (46th Best)
More on Bermuda Run: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,942
Median Income: $108,412 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $446,700 (6th Best)
More on Westport: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,034
Median Income: $79,712 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $282,300 (25th Best)
More on Alamance: Data | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,836
Median Income: $62,778 (47th Best)
Median Home Value: $222,200 (50th Best)
More on Jame: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,829
Median Income: $96,912 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $446,500 (7th Best)
More on Southern Shores: Data | Homes For Sale

Weaverville, NC

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 3,857
Median Income: $57,440 (64th Best)
Median Home Value: $257,700 (35th Best)
More on Weaverville: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 3,165
Median Income: $73,322 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $289,900 (24th Best)
More on Whispering Pines: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 1,409
Median Income: $76,771 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $364,200 (12th Best)
More on Pine Knoll Shores: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,271
Median Income: $68,272 (32nd Best)
Median Home Value: $231,400 (48th Best)
More on Bent Creek: Data | Homes For Sale

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 20 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. Woodland
  2. Chadbourn
  3. Enfield

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In North Carolina

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Wrightsville Beach 2,545 $80,560.0 $759,700.0
2 Trent Woods 4,117 $77,527.0 $220,700.0
3 Biltmore Forest 1,517 $143,750.0 $848,700.0
4 Royal Pines 4,829 $65,893.0 $229,500.0
5 Avery Creek 2,320 $72,538.0 $208,700.0
6 Fearrington Village 2,784 $70,370.0 $305,200.0
7 Walnut Creek 1,062 $126,250.0 $366,500.0
8 St. James 4,747 $105,486.0 $450,200.0
9 Flat Rock 3,267 $69,732.0 $398,400.0
10 Blowing Rock 1,152 $67,500.0 $533,200.0
11 Laurel Park 2,738 $59,688.0 $259,300.0
12 Bermuda Run 2,540 $77,581.0 $236,300.0
13 Westport 3,942 $108,412.0 $446,700.0
14 Alamance 1,034 $79,712.0 $282,300.0
15 Jame 3,836 $62,778.0 $222,200.0
16 Southern Shores 2,829 $96,912.0 $446,500.0
17 Weaverville 3,857 $57,440.0 $257,700.0
18 Whispering Pines 3,165 $73,322.0 $289,900.0
19 Pine Knoll Shores 1,409 $76,771.0 $364,200.0
20 Bent Creek 1,271 $68,272.0 $231,400.0
21 Oriental 1,003 $62,031.0 $282,300.0
22 Cedar Point 1,735 $81,071.0 $311,700.0
23 Northlakes 1,332 $86,161.0 $194,300.0
24 River Bend 3,095 $64,286.0 $176,900.0
25 Lake Park 3,706 $72,222.0 $181,800.0
26 Belville 2,137 $62,159.0 $181,200.0
27 Cramerton 4,274 $76,833.0 $216,700.0
28 Swepsonville 1,637 $70,108.0 $194,300.0
29 White Lake 1,152 $51,146.0 $149,100.0
30 Seven Lakes 4,512 $71,004.0 $282,100.0
31 Creedmoor 4,372 $74,755.0 $151,400.0
32 Holden Beach 1,037 $89,250.0 $396,500.0
33 Highlands 1,079 $63,550.0 $492,900.0
34 Nags Head 2,855 $56,875.0 $319,300.0
35 Claremont 1,584 $62,596.0 $153,700.0
36 Bayshore 3,790 $52,350.0 $296,300.0
37 Boiling Springs 4,645 $56,650.0 $160,200.0
38 Neuse Forest 1,742 $78,667.0 $218,400.0
39 Brices Creek 4,006 $93,814.0 $237,100.0
40 Kure Beach 2,295 $68,977.0 $390,100.0
41 Sunset Beach 3,769 $56,689.0 $263,300.0
42 Cape Carteret 2,217 $77,917.0 $258,400.0
43 Red Oak 3,421 $77,885.0 $198,500.0
44 Cove Creek 1,022 $45,855.0 $194,600.0
45 Southport 3,452 $54,813.0 $251,000.0
46 Clyde 1,295 $55,785.0 $156,500.0
47 Kitty Hawk 3,422 $62,000.0 $321,300.0
48 Emerald Isle 3,705 $65,541.0 $363,000.0
49 Northchase 3,500 $48,184.0 $168,400.0
50 Forest Oaks 3,467 $71,783.0 $246,300.0
51 Dortches 1,016 $61,875.0 $168,800.0
52 Swansboro 3,090 $46,841.0 $184,900.0
53 Lake Lure 1,418 $63,125.0 $331,700.0
54 Foxfire 1,204 $66,685.0 $233,700.0
55 Mars Hill 2,595 $44,886.0 $190,000.0
56 Moyock 3,227 $91,211.0 $265,900.0
57 Lowesville 2,971 $63,973.0 $247,000.0
58 Valley Hill 1,923 $44,304.0 $273,700.0
59 Carolina Shores 3,771 $50,541.0 $180,900.0
60 Lake Junaluska 3,108 $49,522.0 $251,400.0
61 Atlantic Beach 1,763 $54,362.0 $359,100.0
62 Rockwell 1,839 $51,369.0 $121,000.0
63 Manteo 1,485 $50,169.0 $310,800.0
64 Stedman 1,362 $53,819.0 $155,000.0
65 Oakboro 1,958 $53,657.0 $154,100.0
66 Sylva 2,612 $47,337.0 $137,100.0
67 Pittsboro 4,037 $49,277.0 $237,200.0
68 Stanley 3,614 $50,048.0 $139,000.0
69 Tobaccoville 2,597 $59,167.0 $143,800.0
70 Fairfield Harbour 3,044 $63,941.0 $209,500.0
71 Mountain View 3,308 $58,474.0 $115,100.0
72 Murfreesboro 2,952 $42,148.0 $128,600.0
73 Stem 1,029 $74,063.0 $151,300.0
74 Balfour 1,490 $32,236.0 $158,400.0
75 Hoopers Creek 1,268 $53,929.0 $204,000.0
76 Wilkesboro 3,488 $31,875.0 $166,000.0
77 Sea Breeze 1,775 $54,410.0 $257,000.0
78 Wingate 3,867 $43,398.0 $139,300.0
79 Fairview 2,939 $64,954.0 $197,400.0
80 Rockfish 3,476 $63,776.0 $147,700.0
81 Tryon 1,669 $42,976.0 $173,600.0
82 Banner Elk 1,451 $53,750.0 $295,500.0
83 Horse Shoe 2,455 $58,661.0 $210,300.0
84 Landis 3,076 $53,672.0 $144,600.0
85 Granite Quarry 2,947 $51,528.0 $159,700.0
86 Archer Lodge 4,688 $64,845.0 $151,000.0
87 Mountain Home 3,458 $37,326.0 $154,000.0
88 Pinebluff 1,340 $52,292.0 $160,200.0
89 Wallburg 3,061 $59,469.0 $159,000.0
90 Midway 4,749 $58,278.0 $153,200.0
91 Lake Waccamaw 1,583 $50,345.0 $252,900.0
92 Pleasant Garden 4,762 $54,635.0 $158,500.0
93 Boonville 1,215 $35,987.0 $123,700.0
94 Surf City 3,251 $72,250.0 $281,900.0
95 Drexel 1,828 $38,300.0 $111,700.0
96 Wanchese 1,619 $46,813.0 $195,300.0
97 Beaufort 4,170 $41,894.0 $193,000.0
98 Mount Pleasant 2,064 $59,960.0 $175,200.0
99 Pine Level 2,078 $42,500.0 $121,900.0
100 Newport 4,631 $39,076.0 $147,500.0

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