The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In North Carolina For 2022

We used science and data to determine which cities in North Carolina have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Childhood. This time in people's lives is most often referred to as the most magical time of life.

Remember stopping by Krispy Kreme on the way home from middle school to get freshly made donuts filled with Cheerwine-flavored jelly? Or maybe you spent your long, hot summer nights chasing fireflies as the heat lightning chased across the sky. Perhaps you spent time studying with an order of Chick-fil-A waffle fries next to your textbooks. Or maybe you set up an Eno under the piers scattered along the beaches. Or, like me, your favorite summer activity was driving up to Boone in the summer for a weekened in the mountains.

If this preamble didn't bring up fond memories, you may not be from North Carolina, a state that can make childhood truly magical. Why else is North Carolina a great state for families? North Carolina is an affordable state with lots of job prospects and amazing colleges. Vacations are diverse, cheap, and close by. You can live out in the country in North Carolina and live within 15 minutes of a city. You can have houses with a lot of land or live in downtown apartments. You can send your kids to public school, private school, charter school, or even join the NC masses in homeschooling.

No matter where you pick, North Carolina is a great choice for raising your kids. But which cities are the best of the best for the family?

The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In North Carolina For 2022

  1. Chapel Hill
  2. Concord
  3. Davidson
  4. Cary
  5. Wake Forest
  6. Stallings
  7. Apex
  8. Salisbury
  9. Holly Springs
  10. Waxhaw

We looked at 54 cities in terms of "family-friendliness," i.e. crime levels, schools, etc. What's the best place for families in North Carolina? Wwe had a clear winner: Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

If you are from North Carolina, you probably would have guessed Chapel Hill in an instant. It is one of the safest cities in America and is like one large, happy suburb packed with other happy families. The schools are great, the jobs are excellent, and the neighborhoods are safe. What more could you ask for?

If you are looking for the small-town vibe, Davidson, NC, ranks well on our list, followed by Concord, NC. These towns are close to Charlotte so you can have a night on the town without driving a few hours.

Interested in seeing how your favorite North Carolina city ranked? Read on to learn more about our methodology and to see why each of our top cities are the best for families for 2022.

Check out some more reading about North Carolina and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In North Carolina For 2022

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 61,912
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Durham
Households with kids: 28.3%
More on Chapel Hill: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Chapel Hill, NC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 94,147
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 36.5%
More on Concord: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Concord, NC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,920
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 34.5%
More on Davidson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Davidson, NC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 169,177
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Raleigh
Households with kids: 38.6%
More on Cary: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cary, NC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 44,068
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Raleigh
Households with kids: 43.2%
More on Wake Forest: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wake Forest, NC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,781
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 41.9%
More on Stallings: Homes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 55,220
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Raleigh
Households with kids: 48.0%
More on Apex: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Apex, NC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,961
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Winston-Salem
Households with kids: 33.3%
More on Salisbury: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Salisbury, NC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 36,595
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Raleigh
Households with kids: 59.1%
More on Holly Springs: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Holly Springs, NC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,165
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 61.3%
More on Waxhaw: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Waxhaw, NC

Methodology: How do you determine which place is best for families in North Carolina anyways?

To give you the places in North Carolina which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Tar Heel State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of North Carolina, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For North Carolina, that meant a total of 54 cities. You can download the data here.

Summary: The Best Places To Raise A Family In North Carolina

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in North Carolina ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles North Carolina according to the data:

  1. Reidsville
  2. Kernersville
  3. Burlington

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In North Carolina?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Chapel Hill, NC 61,912 78
2 Concord, NC 94,147 52
3 Davidson, NC 12,920 34
4 Cary, NC 169,177 49
5 Wake Forest, NC 44,068 49
6 Stallings, NC 15,781 48
7 Apex, NC 55,220 46
8 Salisbury, NC 33,961 51
9 Holly Springs, NC 36,595 33
10 Waxhaw, NC 16,165 52

How Is The Area In ?

Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best cities for families in North Carolina.

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.