Oak Ridge, Porters Neck, Summerfield: These cities aren’t just some of the best places to live in North Carolina. They are also home to some of the richest people in the Tar Heel State.
Oak Ridge in particular houses the richest residents in the state thanks, in part, to a median household income of $101,667 and a ridiculously low poverty rate of 1.9%.
If you’re thinking of moving to one of these towns, you’ll probably need to start saving. The richest places in North Carolina share common characteristics such as having a genius level populous, sky high home prices, and a Pleasantville level of married couples.
After analyzing Census data from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey for the 147 places in North Carolina with more than 5,000 people, we were left with this set of the ten richest places in the Tar Heel State:
- Oak Ridge (Photos)
- Porters Neck
- Summerfield (Photos)
- Holly Springs (Photos)
- Pinehurst (Photos)
- Morrisville (Photos)
- Royal Pines
- Apex (Photos)
- Marvin (Photos)
- Cary (Photos)
For more on how we calculated the top ten, read on or skip to the end for the full list. Oh, and the poorest place in North Carolina? That would be Roxboro.
How We Determined The Richest Places In North Carolina
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the richest places is simply how much people earn. After all, rich people have really high salaries.
However, we don’t think 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 2010-2014 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 147 places with more than 5,000 people in North Carolina, we ranked each place from 1 to 147 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, Oak Ridge, crowned the “Richest Place In North Carolina”.
You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 147 places.
1. Oak Ridge
Population: 6,435Median Income: $101,667
Poverty Level: 1.9%
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
2. Porters Neck
Population: 6,476 Median Income: $102,083
Poverty Level: 3.5%
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
Population: 10,477Median Income: $102,713
Poverty Level: 2.6%
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
4. Holly Springs
Population: 27,339Median Income: $91,755
Poverty Level: 2.9%
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Population: 15,052Median Income: $75,284
Poverty Level: 3.2%
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Population: 20,728Median Income: $84,301
Poverty Level: 3.9%
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
7. Royal Pines
Population: 5,124 Median Income: $63,268
Poverty Level: 1.8%
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Population: 40,631Median Income: $89,392
Poverty Level: 3.0%
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Population: 5,806Median Income: $158,246
Poverty Level: 4.3%
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Population: 146,041Median Income: $91,481
Poverty Level: 6.4%
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
There You Have It – The Richest Places In North Carolina
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 NC, according to data:
2nd Poorest: Boone
3rd Poorest: Selma
For more North Carolina reading , check out:
- 8 People Taste Test North Carolina Beers. Their Reactions Are Out Of Control
- These Are The 10 Best Cities For Hippies In North Carolina
- The 10 Bona Fide Happiest Cities In North Carolina
Detailed List Of Richest Places In North Carolina
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