10 Safest Cities In North Carolina For 2019

We used data and science to determine the places in North Carolina where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2019. This is our fifth time rankings the safest places to live in North Carolina.
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North Carolina is best known as the Tar Heel State, but many are familiar with other famous North Carolinian fun facts.

Like the number of fun things to do, see, and eat: the Outer Banks, the Blue Ridge Mountains, NASCAR, college basketball, and BBQ just to name a few.

There is some pretty good pig pickin' in the Tar Heel State and it wouldn't be right if we didn't mention the BBQ battle between Western and Eastern North Carolina. East says vinegar based is best and the West says they'll stick to their red sauce. We'll let you be the judge.

And when a Tar Heel needs something cold to wet their whistle after their favorite BBQ, they don't need to look any further than one of North Carolina's finest craft beers. It is to no avail that the Tar Heel State boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the American South with more than 260 breweries. No complaints here.

In North Carolina, you choose a NASCAR driver and a local college team like you choose Coke or Pepsi. Allegiances to universities like UNC, Duke, and NC State are born every day. Sometimes families are divided because rivalries run deep.

US News ranks The Tar Heel State 23rd in public safety. The Tar Heels like to think that Barney Fife had something to do with that. However, while not every city in North Carolina can be compared to Mayberry, there is a lot of competition.

So, grab yourself a glass of fresh sweet tea and enjoy some deep porch sittin' while we take a look at North Carolina's Safest Cities.

Here are the 10 safest places to live in North Carolina for 2019:

  1. Pinehurst (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Holly Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Elon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Davidson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Cary (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Apex (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Rolesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Fletcher (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Wendell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Stallings (Homes For Sale)

What city is the safest place to live in North Carolina for 2019? Well according to the FBI data we crunched, Pinehurst is the safest place to live in North Carolina if you care about low crime.

I'm sure it is no surprise to the residents of Pinehurst that they ranked number one.

It is, however, very crowded at the top: the list of safe and comfortable places to live in North Carolina is quite long.

So, read on to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city compared to the top ten.

Note: Lumberton and several other mainstays on this list did not report data to the FBI last year, so they will not appear in the data.

For more reading on safe places to live in and around North Carolina, check out:

The 10 Safest Cities In North Carolina For 2019

Pinehurst, NC
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 16,145
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 30 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 805 (2nd safest)
More on Pinehurst: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Welcome to Pinehurst, the safest place to live in North Carolina for 2019.

Pinehurst managed to topple Holly Springs this year and claim the number one overall spot in the Tarheel State thanks to the second lowest property crime rate and third lowest violent crime rate in the state.

So you know what that means? You can leave your car unlocked and doors open when you go out for your daily round of golf.

And make sure to stop in at Betsy's for a crepe. I literally drive an hour each way at least twice a year to eat breakfast there -- it's awesome.

Holly Springs, NC
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 34,897
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 45 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 908 (3rd safest)
More on Holly Springs: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Holly Springs has been dethroned for the first time in a couple of years, but still manages to rank as the second safest city in North Carolina.

A slight increase in violent crimes did the trick, but it's still WAY safe to live here compared to most every other place in NC. And the property crime rates are still super low.

As a forebear of places to come, Holly Springs is a suburb of Raleigh right in the middle of the state. By the end of this article, you'll have read a line similar to that many times over.

Elon, NC
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 10,283
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 58 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 505 (1st safest)
More on Elon: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Starting a back-to-back string of college towns, Elon cracks the top three for the second year in a row.

Home to Elon University, you can be sure your college aged kids are safe here -- it ranks in the top five for both categories of crime we analyzed.

And don't be fooled by the seeming higher than average poverty rate -- those pesky college kids can't technically work full time jobs which messes with the national statistics.

Elon is located basically at the midway point between Greensboro and Durham off of route 40.

Davidson, NC
Overall SnackAbility
10
/10

Population: 12,723
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 31 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,233 (8th safest)
More on Davidson: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Let me say that I'm totally biased in favor of Davidson -- it's an awesome little college town on the north side of Charlotte. I suggest you spend a day walking around campus, eating on main street, and just taking it all in.

IMO, it's the ideal place to live in the state based on my six plus years living here.

And, since it places fourth here, you also know it's safe. It has a top safety rating for both violent and property crime.

So pack your bags and feel confident in your move to Davidson -- if you can afford the price of entry to this safe haven.

Review Of Davidson by HomeSnacks User

ive. Does have some problems, but at least it has not run all its middle class and minority people away like Davidson. Lived in Davidson from 1980 to 2015. Loved it! Well, loved it most of the time. Was a great small town for most of that time, but in the last 10 years or so, my ability to live there was not financially viable.

Couldn't retire there.

When I moved to Davidson, I might see a dozen cars between Exit 30 and Sunset Road. I am happy that Davidson is moving in the direction their citizens embrace. Change is always happening. And I am sure my friends, long time residents and new arrivals are thrilled to be there.


Cary, NC
Overall SnackAbility
9.5
/10

Population: 166,986
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 64 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,074 (4th safest)
More on Cary: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Speaking of pricey places -- Cary is basically as pricey as they come in North Carolina (which isn't all that pricey compared to the rest of the country) -- but well, well worth it.

Cary ranked as our best place to live in North Carolina for 2018 and finished in the top ten nationally. It's also one of the most expensive places in the state.

But all those money signs equal safety as Cary has one of the lowest property crime rates you'll find and a top ten violent crime rate.

Located Southwest of Raleigh, it's probably the nicest 'burb around. Make sure to stop by La Farm bakery -- I love the monkey bread, but most people rave about the white chocolate baguettes.

Review Of Cary by HomeSnacks User

Teacher's in cary are very kind and helpful, and can give you the best education you can get. So far as a child I've lived in cary all my life and I want it to stay like that, you can also get very kind, respectful and caring Neighbors.

My favorite places are either restraints because I love.. food or trampoline parks because they are very fun and enjoyable for about anyone. There isn't really anything to watch out for because Cary, NC is the most safest city in America.


Apex, NC
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9.5
/10

Population: 49,159
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 48 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,308 (9th safest)
More on Apex: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

While you might think Apex has the apex of living, it always seem to be just a notch behind Cary in our rankings.

And while Cary is the probably the nicest 'burb around, Apex might give it a run for its money in some ways.

The city of some 40,000 plus people has less violent crime, but a bit more property crime than it's neighbor. It also costs a bit less to live here, doesn't rank quite as high on our other rankings, and has a longer commute to Raleigh.

Some might call Apex UNC-Chapel Hill to Cary's Duke.

Just saying.

Rolesville, NC
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 7,709
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 25 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,387 (13th safest)
More on Rolesville: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Rolesville is the seventh safest city on our list and the fourth Raleigh suburb.

While this suburb is a little more out in the boonies to the northeast of Raleigh, it still packs a safe punch for a city of its size. It has the second safest violent crime rate in the state, so you don't have to worry about getting in a fight with your neighbors.

The median income in town stands at $91,000 and the median home will set you back $259,000. That's actually pretty cheap for a median income that high (anything under 3 to 1 home price to income is solid).

Fletcher, NC
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 8,237
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 24 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,444 (15th safest)
More on Fletcher: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Stopping the streak of Raleigh suburbs is Fletcher, a safe town on the west side of the state.

Unlike all those fancy burbs, you can actually afford to live here. And that's great news because it has the lowest violent crime rate in the state which helped propel it into the top ten for the first time. It's one of two new cities in the top ten.

Interestingly, compared to other states, North Carolina's safest cities are really stable from year to year.

Wendell, NC
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 6,901
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 16)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 57 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,362 (11th safest)
More on Wendell: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

I'll let you guess what city Wendell is a suburb of... and it's not a trick question... yep... Raleigh. The fifth and last time we see a Raleigh 'burb.

A smaller, less well known suburb, Wendell sky rocketed up the rankings to number nine this year from twenty-five last year. That's a sixteen position jump for those playing from home.

The town deserves this spot as it has the seventh safest violent crime rate and a well above average property crime rate. Seems like the town has figured some secret out these last couple of years.

Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 15,656
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 76 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,156 (6th safest)
More on Stallings: Search Homes For Sale | Data

Stallings rounds out the top ten safest cities in North Carolina for 2019.

A Charlotte suburb that's basically in South Carolina, the city of over 15,00 boasts a very low property crime rate and basically resembles the fictional Pleasantville. It has a Family Night once a year in September, a town wide easter egg hunt, and a Christmas tree lighting.

If you're looking to snuggle up in your afgan, drink some tea, and feel safe and sound in your home with your family, then Stallings has your name written all over it.

How we calculated the safest cities in North Carolina for 2019

Safest Cities in North Carolina Graph

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2018) in North Carolina.

Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
10 Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina

For example, there were a total of 135 crimes committed in Pinehurst which had a reported population of 16,145. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0084 which translates into a 1 in 119 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2017. This left us with a total of 99 of the biggest cities in North Carolina to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 99 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In North Carolina".

The safest city, based on our criteria, is Pinehurst. The most dangerous city in North Carolina? Whiteville, where residents had a 1 in 10 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Tar Heel State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Pinehurst is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most North Carolina residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in North Carolina according to the data:

  1. Whiteville
  2. Wadesboro
  3. Kinston
For more reading, check out:

Where Are The 10 Safest Cities In North Carolina For 2019?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Pinehurst, NC 16,145 30 805
2 Holly Springs, NC 34,897 45 908
3 Elon, NC 10,283 58 505
4 Davidson, NC 12,723 31 1,233
5 Cary, NC 166,986 64 1,074
6 Apex, NC 49,159 48 1,308
7 Rolesville, NC 7,709 25 1,387
8 Fletcher, NC 8,237 24 1,444
9 Wendell, NC 6,901 57 1,362
10 Stallings, NC 15,656 76 1,156

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In North Carolina

Safest Cities in North Carolina Breakdown

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HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.

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We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.

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