The 10 Best Cary Suburbs To Live In For 2024

The best Cary suburbs are Apex and Holly Springs for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

While big cities like Cary offer culture, cuisine, and charisma, they also deliver terrible traffic, towering expenses, and a taxing quality of life.

With that in mind, we wanted to uncover the best suburbs around Cary. These burbs have all of the benefits of being near Cary without actually having to be in the city.

Of course, not all suburbs of Cary are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. Using Saturday Night Science, we delve into the factors that matter most, from commutes and housing costs to community vibes, to help you uncover the perfect suburban spots in the Greater Cary area.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

What’s the best suburb of Cary? Apex ranks as the best suburb of Cary for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Apex, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Cary ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Feel free to check out some more reading about North Carolina:

The 10 Best Cary Suburbs To Live For 2024

Apex, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 65,541
Median Income: $129,688
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
More on Apex: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Apex is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Cary area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Apex.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $129,688 a year, which is the 2nd highest in the Cary region. And only 4.08% are out of work. Homes average more than $591,542 each.

Holly Springs, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Jon Harrison | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 42,023
Median Income: $127,755
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on Holly Springs: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Holly Springs is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Cary for 2024.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 4.35% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Rolesville, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Mkrpowers | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,696
Median Income: $145,166
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on Rolesville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Here in Rolesville, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Cary metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Rolesville.

Morrisville, NC

Source: Town of Morrisville
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 29,756
Median Income: $114,075
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 5.8%
More on Morrisville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Morrisville ranks as the 4th best suburb of Cary for 2024.

You won’t find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Morrisville and the schools are some of the best around.

Wake Forest, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,047
Median Income: $115,159
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
More on Wake Forest: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coming in as the fifth best is Wake Forest.

Wake Forest gets kudos for having the 5th most expensive homes in the Cary area, where houses sell for an average of $513,842. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Chapel Hill, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Caroline Culler (User:Wgreaves) | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 58,919
Median Income: $85,940
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 18.6%
More on Chapel Hill: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Chapel Hill is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here’s why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 4.69%.

According to online reports, Chapel Hill is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Cary area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Carrboro, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Elizabeth B. Thomsen Ethomsen | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,242
Median Income: $76,933
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 11.7%
More on Carrboro: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Carrboro.

Carrboro schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it’s only 18.3 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,428
Median Income: $94,142
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 10.6%
More on Fuquay-Varina: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Fuquay-Varina is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 5.8% of people lack insurance, good for 9th in the area.

Pittsboro, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Gerry Dincher | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,555
Median Income: $62,513
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 8.6%
More on Pittsboro: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Is ‘Everything Better In Pittsboro?’


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it’s really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Wendell, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Nicholas Oren Rawlings | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,575
Median Income: $91,316
Unemployment Rate: 0.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.7%
More on Wendell: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

And rounding out the top ten for 2024 is Wendell.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It’s far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Cary for 2024

Figuring out the best suburbs around Cary was simple. We used Saturday Night Science to find things people like about living in the suburbs and then locate the suburbs with those things.

We analyzed the newest American Community Survey data for 2018-2022 to research each suburb. We decided upon the following criteria:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college-educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Cary.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 27 suburbs to evaluate around Cary.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 27 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.

Finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index, the “Best Suburb near Cary.” We’re lookin’ at you, Apex.

This result may differ from our state-wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a more extensive selection of suburbs.

We updated the data for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the best Cary suburbs. Skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Summary: Welcome to the Best Cary ‘Burbs of 2024

We said it once, and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.

The best suburbs of Cary are .

So if you’re craving the amenities of a larger city like Cary but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might be for you.

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Table: Best Cary Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Average Home Price
1 Apex, NC 65,541 $129,688 $591,542
2 Holly Springs, NC 42,023 $127,755 $550,787
3 Rolesville, NC 9,696 $145,166 $497,136
4 Morrisville, NC 29,756 $114,075 $486,190
5 Wake Forest, NC 48,047 $115,159 $513,842
6 Chapel Hill, NC 58,919 $85,940 $603,034
7 Carrboro, NC 21,242 $76,933 $438,237
8 Fuquay-Varina, NC 35,428 $94,142 $496,644
9 Pittsboro, NC 4,555 $62,513 $534,931
10 Wendell, NC 10,575 $91,316 $361,432
11 Knightdale, NC 19,127 $79,364 $363,028
12 Garner, NC 31,684 $77,171 $374,654
13 Youngsville, NC 2,421 $73,472 $402,931
14 Clayton, NC 26,837 $71,698 $366,122
15 Raleigh, NC 465,517 $78,631 $431,992
16 Hillsborough, NC 9,534 $86,250 $440,106
17 Durham, NC 284,094 $74,710 $395,610
18 Creedmoor, NC 4,871 $78,750 $343,602
19 Archer Lodge, NC 4,894 $73,750 $323,187
20 Lillington, NC 4,566 $57,774 $276,877
21 Angier, NC 5,348 $54,936 $318,115
22 Franklinton, NC 2,477 $59,911 $342,186
23 Zebulon, NC 7,421 $50,934 $341,201
24 Coats, NC 2,324 $42,566 $230,306
25 Sanford, NC 30,373 $52,951 $276,198
26 Butner, NC 8,374 $68,604 $258,713
27 Wilson’s Mills, NC 2,581 $59,309 $272,732
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.