Weddington, Oak Ridge, Marvin: 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.
Weddington in particular houses the richest residents in the state thanks, in part, to a median household income of $125,966 and a ridiculously low poverty rate of 1.4%.
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.
How did we come up with these mega wealthy cities? We analyzed Census data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey for the 134 places in North Carolina with more than 5,000 people.
At the end of the day, here’s the set of the 10 richest places in North Carolina for 2018:
- Weddington (Photos)
- Oak Ridge
- Holly Springs
- Pinehurst (Photos)
- Apex (Photos)
- Cary (Photos)
- Morrisville (Photos)
- Davidson (Photos)
For more on how we calculated the top ten, read on or skip to the end for the full list of the richest cities in North Carolina.
How We Determined The Richest Places In North Carolina For 2018
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 2012-2016 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 134 places with more than 5,000 people in North Carolina, we ranked each place from 1 to 134 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 Place In North Carolina For 2018’.
You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 134 places.
Population: 10,254Median Income: $125,966
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 1.4%
2. Oak Ridge
Population: 6,617Median Income: $109,509
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
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 (24 km) northwest of the center of Greensboro, North Carolina’s third-largest city, and it is a part of the Piedmont Triad urban area.
Population: 6,056 Median Income: $185,862
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
Population: 10,758 Median Income: $100,724
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 2.2%
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.
5. Holly Springs
Population: 30,126Median Income: $98,041
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
Holly Springs is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 24,661, over 2½ times its population in 2000.
Population: 15,522Median Income: $78,338
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
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 (by Frederick Law Olmsted) and its significance in the history of golf in the United States.
Population: 43,893Median Income: $95,283
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
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.
Population: 155,822Median Income: $94,617
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
Cary /kæri/ 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 (an increase of 43.1% since 2000), 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 (behind only Gilbert, Arizona) in the United States.
Population: 22,600Median Income: $92,769
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 6.3%
Morrisville is a town located in both Wake and Durham counties of the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 18,576 at the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town’s population to be 21,932 as of July 1, 2013. Morrisville is part of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The regional name originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located midway between the cities of Raleigh and Durham. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau’s Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Raleigh-Durham-Cary. The estimated population of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary CSA was 1,565,223 as of July 1, 2006, with the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) portion estimated at 994,551 residents. The U.S. headquarters of Chinese multinational Lenovo are located in the municipal limits.
Population: 12,076Median Income: $109,907
Unemployment Rate: 5.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
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.
There You Have It – The Richest Places In North Carolina For 2018
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:
2nd Poorest: Roxboro
3rd Poorest: Henderson
For more North Carolina reading , check out:
Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In North Carolina
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