Richest Cities In North Carolina For 2020


We analyzed 132 places in North Carolina to determine where the 1% live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our fifth time ranking the richest cities in North Carolina.

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We're just going to leave this right here: if you're the home to many, many old tobacco farms and factories, you better believe you house some crazy rich cities. And, yes, we're talking about you North Carolina.

Now, not every city on our top ten richest cities in North Carolina for 2020 can compare to Beverly Hills, CA, there are a ton of wealthy North Carolina gems on this list that definitely know how to roll out the bourgeois southern charm.

To create this list, we asked ourselves, what is important to rich people? Besides the obvious: high paying jobs, safe cities and neighborhoods, gold star schools, and high-end amenities, we know that the 'one percent' like to be catered to on a different level. There are North Carolina cities on our richest cities list that do just that. Cities on our list like Apex and Cary are the playground of North Carolina's rich and famous with great parks, amazing schools, and posh shopping. And if you live in Pinehurst, your friends will think that you are super rich with 20 golf courses to show off within ten minutes of your house.

Now, it's not lost on us that there are multiple cities on our ten best places to live in North Carolina for 2020 that are also on our richest list. Wealthy cities tend to have it all. To see which cities make the dolla' holla' on our top ten richest cities in North Carolina for 2020, take a look at the list below.

How does one get their hand on one of these super rich, Tar Heel cities? Well, a couple of things have to fall into place for you.

First off, you need to find a job that pays on average $100,000/year. Might we suggest a job in real estate in our number one richest city? The average median home price in this wealthy city is close to $500,000. Secondly, you have to be a hard worker. Unemployment rates and poverty rates in these North Carolina cities are all below 4%.

So what city in North Carolina is the wealthiest? That would be Weddington according to the most recent Census data we analyzed.

So, if you care about living where there are great jobs and wealthy people, take a look the list below. The state where the North meets the South is calling.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out some more reading about North Carolina:

The 10 Richest Cities In North Carolina For 2020

Weddington, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,574
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $132,587
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on Weddington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Review Of Weddington by HomeSnacks User

Chapel Hill - Born and Raised - we are snobs because we lived in ShangriLa.

However....it has turned into a bad bedroom community of Raleigh. It is also infiltrated with Yankees. 40 years ago, it was a great town.

Now it s***s....except for the Heels!

Carrborro - The place is a dump. The people are not snobs at all. They are gay, and maybe snobbish in the gay community, however not relevant to anyone else. People in Chapel Hill do not even go to Carrboro....ever.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,298
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $178,194
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 2.3%
More on Marvin: Real Estate | Data

Oak Ridge, NC

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,829
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $124,342
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Oak Ridge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Oak Ridge is a town in northwestern Guilford County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 6,185 at the 2010 census, up from 3,988 at the 2000 census. As of 2015 the population had risen to an estimated 6,671. Oak Ridge is 15 miles northwest of the center of Greensboro, North Carolina's third-largest city, and it is a part of the Piedmont Triad urban area.

Davidson, NC

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 12,666
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $128,255
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
More on Davidson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Davidson is a lakeside town on Lake Norman in northern Mecklenburg County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 10,944 at the 2010 census. It is home to Davidson College. The town is centered on the college from which it takes its name.

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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,133
Rank Last Year: -
Median Income: $101,563
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Rate: 1.8%
More on St. James: Real Estate | Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,633
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 9)
Median Income: $120,673
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 0.9%
More on Wesley Chapel: Real Estate | Data

Pinehurst, NC

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 15,821
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $80,128
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Pinehurst: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pinehurst is a village in Moore County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,124. It is home of the historic golf resort, Pinehurst Resort. A large portion of the central village, including the resort complexes, is a National Historic Landmark District, designated in 1996 for its landscape design and its significance in the history of golf in the United States.

Summerfield, NC

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,044
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Income: $104,883
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.8%
More on Summerfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Summerfield is a town in Guilford County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 7,018 at the 2000 census. At the 2010 census, the population had risen to 10,232. The official town limits of Summerfield is entirely located within Guilford County.

Apex, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 48,254
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $105,404
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.1%
More on Apex: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Apex is a town in Wake County, North Carolina and a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town's population to be 43,907 as of July 1, 2014.

Cary, NC

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 163,266
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $101,079
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.6%
More on Cary: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cary is the seventh-largest municipality in North Carolina. Cary is predominantly in Wake, with a small area in Chatham counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is the county's second-largest municipality and the third-largest municipality in The Triangle after Raleigh and Durham. The town's population was 135,234 as of the 2010 census, making it the largest town and seventh-largest municipality statewide. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town's population to be 159,769 as of July 1, 2015. Cary is the second most populous incorporated town in the United States.

Review Of Cary by HomeSnacks User

I grew up in Cary and lived there until I moved away for college. It is a town that I would recommend to anyone for any reason. Cary is a place for everyone, great for seniors, great for raising kids, and great for young adults and professionals. The schools are fantastic, there is a great selection of food, activities, and experiences. It was a wonderful place for me to grow up and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for their forever home.

The schools in Cary were excellent, providing high quality education and service to the community. There are also various restaurants catering to different national cuisine. The only issue I've had as a young adult going back to Cary is that there is very little nightlife and the young adult population is on the lower end, mostly being kids coming home from college while on breaks. This is not unmanageable, as a city with a bustling nightlife is nearby, about 15 minutes away.

How We Determined The Richest Places In North Carolina For 2020

Map Of The Richest Places To Live In North Carolina
The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the richest places is to simply identify personal incomes. After all, rich people have really high salaries.

However, we don't believe that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "richest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2014-2018 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income
  • Unemployment Rate

Median household income is the most digestible way to understand how rich a place really is. The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for more people to become rich. If more people are employed, the richer the future looks.

After we collected the data for all 136 places with more than 5,000 people in North Carolina, we ranked each place from 1 to 136 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the richest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Rich Score" with the place having the lowest overall Rich Score, Weddington, crowned the "Richest City In North Carolina For 2020". You can download the data here.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 136 places.

There You Have It - The Wealthiest Places In North Carolina For 2020

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the richest places in North Carolina, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in North Carolina.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very top of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the poorest cities in North Carolina, according to data:

Poorest: Boone
2nd Poorest: Wadesboro
3rd Poorest: Forest City

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In North Carolina

Rank City RichScore Median Income
1 Weddington 4.0 $132,587
2 Marvin 4.67 $178,194
3 Oak Ridge 6.33 $124,342
4 Davidson 6.67 $128,255
5 St. James 8.67 $101,563
6 Wesley Chapel 10.0 $120,673
7 Pinehurst 10.33 $80,128
8 Summerfield 12.33 $104,883
9 Apex 14.33 $105,404
10 Cary 15.67 $101,079
11 Holly Springs 16.67 $104,822
12 Waxhaw 18.0 $107,356
13 Huntersville 18.33 $97,320
14 Morrisville 19.0 $96,489
15 Matthews 20.0 $78,971
16 Winterville 20.67 $72,584
17 Carolina Beach 21.67 $74,091
18 Knightdale 23.33 $70,376
19 Stallings 23.67 $82,753
20 Mills River 24.0 $63,953
21 Fletcher 25.67 $63,673
22 Lewisville 26.0 $77,449
23 Cornelius 26.0 $88,366
24 Unionville 26.67 $74,706
25 Oak Island 26.67 $64,778
26 Wake Forest 27.0 $88,394
27 Clemmons 29.67 $70,918
28 Indian Trail 31.67 $79,010
29 Mint Hill 32.67 $70,425
30 Fuquay-Varina 33.67 $74,618
31 Stokesdale 34.33 $76,436
32 Clayton 34.33 $62,059
33 Harrisburg 35.67 $100,399
34 King 37.67 $63,913
35 Mooresville 39.33 $67,656
36 Rolesville 42.0 $114,107
37 Belmont 42.0 $70,506
38 Boiling Spring Lakes 42.67 $57,984
39 Wendell 43.0 $56,011
40 Trinity 43.67 $52,255
41 Pineville 45.33 $48,324
42 Raleigh 45.67 $63,891
43 Asheville 46.0 $47,803
44 Garner 46.33 $61,873
45 Mount Holly 47.33 $55,880
46 Leland 48.0 $66,996
47 Zebulon 48.0 $53,676
48 Gibsonville 49.0 $61,311
49 Carrboro 49.33 $59,202
50 Concord 49.67 $63,707
51 Aberdeen 50.0 $53,757
52 Chapel Hill 51.67 $68,640
53 Elon 52.0 $59,962
54 Kernersville 52.67 $49,407
55 Archdale 54.0 $52,117
56 Southern Pines 54.67 $58,453
57 Black Mountain 55.67 $45,573
58 Hendersonville 56.0 $38,412
59 Hillsborough 56.33 $56,038
60 Cherryville 56.33 $42,299
61 Charlotte 56.33 $60,886
62 Nashville 58.0 $54,505
63 Mebane 58.33 $54,157
64 Durham 59.0 $55,851
65 Kill Devil Hills 63.0 $53,000
66 Angier 63.33 $45,775
67 Waynesville 68.67 $41,032
68 Conover 68.67 $51,568
69 Kannapolis 70.67 $52,980
70 Woodfin 72.67 $46,992
71 Greensboro 73.33 $46,702
72 Mocksville 73.33 $39,829
73 Havelock 74.33 $49,138
74 Morehead City 74.67 $43,847
75 Butner 74.67 $47,647
76 Sawmills 75.33 $44,401
77 Newton 77.67 $42,320
78 Hope Mills 79.33 $47,083
79 Hickory 80.33 $46,390
80 Gastonia 81.33 $46,301
81 Sanford 81.67 $46,067
82 High Point 83.0 $45,373
83 Brevard 84.33 $40,511
84 Wilmington 85.33 $45,450
85 Marion 85.67 $35,277
86 Bessemer City 85.67 $41,389
87 Morganton 87.0 $41,459
88 Winston-Salem 87.33 $44,311
89 Walke 88.33 $40,375
90 Jacksonville 89.0 $41,936
91 Burlington 89.33 $40,061
92 Monroe 89.33 $47,303
93 New Bern 89.67 $42,222
94 Smithfield 92.33 $36,579
95 Fayetteville 92.67 $44,057
96 Graham 94.67 $35,152
97 Roanoke Rapids 95.0 $36,495
98 Mount Airy 95.33 $33,988
99 Rocky Mount 95.33 $40,665
100 Thomasville 96.33 $38,764

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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