These Are The 10 Richest Cities In North Carolina


We analyzed over 147 places in North Carolina to determine where the 1% live.

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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:

  1. Oak Ridge (Photos)
  2. Porters Neck
  3. Summerfield (Photos)
  4. Holly Springs (Photos)
  5. Pinehurst (Photos)
  6. Morrisville (Photos)
  7. Royal Pines
  8. Apex (Photos)
  9. Marvin (Photos)
  10. 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.

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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.

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1. Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge, North Carolina

Source: Oak Ridge Nc City Hall. From The Townӓ Facebook Page.

Population: 6,435
Median 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%

3. Summerfield

Summerfield, North Carolina

Source: Google Maps

Population: 10,477
Median Income: $102,713
Poverty Level: 2.6%
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%

4. Holly Springs

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Source: Village Of Pinehurst On Facebook

Population: 27,339
Median Income: $91,755
Poverty Level: 2.9%
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%

5. Pinehurst

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Source: The Village Of Pinehurst Nc. From The Villageӓ Facebook Page.

Population: 15,052
Median Income: $75,284
Poverty Level: 3.2%
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

6. Morrisville

Morrisville, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,728
Median 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%

8. Apex

Apex, North Carolina

Source: Town Of Morrisville On Facebook

Population: 40,631
Median Income: $89,392
Poverty Level: 3.0%
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%

9. Marvin

Marvin, North Carolina

Source: Marvinnc.Org

Population: 5,806
Median Income: $158,246
Poverty Level: 4.3%
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%

10. Cary

Cary, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 146,041
Median 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:

Poorest: Roxboro
2nd Poorest: Boone
3rd Poorest: Selma
For more North Carolina reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Richest Places In North Carolina

City Rank Population Median Income Poverty Level Unemployment Rate
Oak Ridge 1 6,435 $101,667 1.9% 2.8%
Porters Neck 2 6,476 $102,083 3.5% 2.5%
Summerfield 3 10,477 $102,713 2.6% 6.3%
Holly Springs 4 27,339 $91,755 2.9% 5.4%
Pinehurst 5 15,052 $75,284 3.2% 3.8%
Morrisville 6 20,728 $84,301 3.9% 5.0%
Royal Pines 7 5,124 $63,268 1.8% 4.5%
Apex 8 40,631 $89,392 3.0% 6.4%
Marvin 9 5,806 $158,246 4.3% 6.5%
Cary 10 146,041 $91,481 6.4% 5.1%
Weddington 11 9,906 $129,695 2.8% 7.2%
Knightdale 12 12,692 $72,591 6.1% 4.5%
Harrisburg 13 13,549 $82,135 6.5% 5.6%
Huntersville 14 49,279 $85,258 5.7% 6.6%
Davidson 15 11,492 $94,551 6.6% 6.9%
Unionville 16 6,180 $63,455 4.2% 5.9%
Wake Forest 17 33,319 $77,173 6.5% 6.5%
Clemmons 18 19,101 $66,680 7.8% 4.6%
Wesley Chapel 19 7,882 $91,463 3.6% 8.5%
Stallings 20 14,185 $77,374 7.5% 6.9%
Gibsonville 21 6,565 $56,961 7.6% 3.9%
Matthews 22 28,677 $71,361 5.7% 7.5%
Cornelius 23 26,246 $81,059 7.7% 7.0%
Lake Norman of Catawba 24 7,331 $67,897 3.7% 7.6%
Murraysville 25 14,305 $58,940 6.9% 6.3%
Mills River 26 6,917 $57,326 7.5% 5.3%
Mint Hill 27 23,934 $70,530 9.2% 6.5%
Myrtle Grove 28 9,030 $69,028 8.1% 7.6%
Stokesdale 29 5,177 $76,691 9.2% 8.2%
Indian Trail 30 34,950 $67,338 4.5% 9.0%
King 31 6,732 $55,325 6.5% 7.5%
Lewisville 32 13,037 $73,403 7.1% 9.0%
Kill Devil Hills 33 6,810 $54,861 10.0% 5.8%
Ogden 34 6,653 $70,192 10.0% 8.2%
Waxhaw 35 10,878 $74,650 5.8% 10.7%
Fletcher 36 7,320 $47,451 9.5% 5.9%
Clayton 37 17,274 $56,941 8.6% 8.3%
Wendell 38 6,085 $45,220 10.7% 5.1%
Carrboro 39 20,337 $51,310 15.6% 4.8%
Kernersville 40 23,522 $49,066 12.1% 6.4%
Leland 41 15,316 $61,823 11.5% 8.5%
Trinity 42 6,648 $47,878 14.6% 4.9%
Archdale 43 11,322 $51,418 9.3% 8.3%
Fuquay-Varina 44 20,246 $59,592 9.2% 9.7%
Mebane 45 12,509 $51,751 12.6% 7.2%
Garner 46 26,723 $58,107 10.7% 9.1%
Winterville 47 9,424 $58,801 10.0% 9.7%
Kings Grant 48 8,504 $53,070 9.2% 9.3%
Mooresville 49 34,466 $61,458 8.8% 11.9%
Raleigh 50 423,287 $54,581 15.4% 8.3%
Belmont 51 10,346 $51,167 12.1% 9.3%
Carolina Beach 52 5,888 $57,592 13.9% 9.8%
James City 53 5,635 $47,823 13.2% 8.6%
Hillsborough 54 6,256 $46,082 14.6% 7.8%
Hope Mills 55 16,024 $47,332 11.6% 9.8%
St. Stephens 56 9,052 $45,116 10.8% 10.0%
Mount Holly 57 13,815 $48,290 11.7% 10.8%
Concord 58 82,266 $52,901 12.5% 11.7%
Durham 59 240,107 $49,585 18.8% 8.3%
Oak Island 60 7,051 $47,761 10.2% 11.9%
Butner 61 7,661 $47,067 17.1% 8.7%
Charlotte 62 774,807 $53,274 15.8% 10.8%
Aberdeen 63 6,702 $38,721 15.9% 7.0%
Chapel Hill 64 58,379 $62,620 28.5% 7.0%
Wrightsboro 65 5,780 $40,067 10.9% 9.2%
Black Mountain 66 7,977 $40,185 16.3% 7.4%
Hickory 67 40,108 $42,393 17.4% 7.7%
Asheville 68 85,783 $44,077 18.9% 7.9%
Boiling Spring Lakes 69 5,529 $46,000 11.9% 11.8%
Brevard 70 7,651 $38,686 13.9% 9.1%
Waynesville 71 9,770 $35,708 18.2% 6.9%
Havelock 72 20,850 $44,258 13.6% 11.6%
Southern Pines 73 12,782 $46,385 15.9% 11.3%
Silver Lake 74 6,024 $48,261 18.3% 11.0%
Nashville 75 5,469 $48,375 14.7% 12.9%
Conover 76 8,200 $42,974 16.3% 10.3%
Jacksonville 77 69,300 $41,293 11.5% 13.0%
Etowah 78 6,862 $44,918 12.8% 13.8%
Cherryville 79 5,826 $40,980 10.9% 13.7%
Greensboro 80 276,225 $41,518 19.1% 10.0%
Half Moon 81 8,655 $50,056 15.7% 15.9%
Piney Green 82 13,701 $46,935 14.6% 15.5%
Burlington 83 51,740 $37,316 18.2% 10.6%
Monroe 84 33,588 $43,328 18.4% 12.3%
Elon 85 9,516 $42,545 28.6% 8.1%
Fayetteville 86 202,421 $44,514 16.3% 13.8%
High Point 87 106,797 $43,015 19.2% 12.6%
Kannapolis 88 43,865 $41,453 17.5% 13.2%
Morehead City 89 9,030 $38,508 23.6% 9.1%
Mocksville 90 5,086 $37,484 22.0% 10.2%
Sanford 91 28,798 $44,391 19.9% 12.9%
Pineville 92 7,855 $32,492 18.0% 10.3%
Winston-Salem 93 234,469 $40,480 22.3% 11.4%
Woodfin 94 6,167 $35,186 22.7% 9.4%
Reidsville 95 14,249 $36,900 21.3% 11.2%
Tarboro 96 11,323 $34,267 12.6% 13.8%
Wilmington 97 110,100 $42,130 24.9% 11.3%
New Bern 98 30,171 $41,238 18.7% 15.2%
Sawmills 99 5,164 $38,280 24.7% 10.6%
Roanoke Rapids 100 15,653 $36,477 23.6% 10.7%

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