Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is North Carolina a good place?
The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in North Carolina.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Tar Heel State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.
So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of North Carolina, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 100 counties in the state.
After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Tar Heel State for 2022.
The 10 Best Counties To Live In North Carolina For 2022
Wake County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in North Carolina. And you might want to avoid Jones County if you can — at least according to the data.
So if you’re thinking of making the move North Carolina, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.
Or, check out the best places to live in North Carolina and the cheapest places to live in North Carolina.
The Best Counties To Live In North Carolina For 2022
1. Wake County
Biggest Place: Raleigh
Median Income: $83,567.0 (best)
Median Home Price: $301,600.0 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (14th best)
More on Wake County: Photos | Data
2. Chatham County
Biggest Place: Cary
Median Income: $69,799.0 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $310,000.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (16th best)
More on Chatham County: Photos | Data
3. Moore County
Biggest Place: Pinehurst
Median Income: $63,324.0 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $229,400.0 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (22nd best)
More on Moore County: Photos | Data
4. Iredell County
Biggest Place: Mooresville
Median Income: $62,551.0 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $200,800.0 (2best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (28th best)
More on Iredell County: Photos | Data
5. Cabarrus County
Biggest Place: Concord
Median Income: $71,177.0 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $219,100.0 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (35th best)
More on Cabarrus County: Photos | Data
6. Orange County
Biggest Place: Durham
Median Income: $74,803.0 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $331,800.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (11th best)
More on Orange County: Photos | Data
7. Currituck County
Biggest Place: Moyock
Median Income: $73,741.0 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $263,400.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (3rd best)
More on Currituck County: Data
8. Brunswick County
Biggest Place: Leland
Median Income: $59,763.0 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $220,400.0 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (58th best)
More on Brunswick County: Photos | Data
9. Union County
Biggest Place: Indian Trail
Median Income: $82,557.0 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $254,100.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (24th best)
More on Union County: Photos | Data
10. Dare County
Biggest Place: Kill Devil Hills
Median Income: $65,420.0 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $297,200.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (47th best)
More on Dare County: Photos | Data
Methodology: How do you determine which North Carolina county is the best?
To give you the best county in North Carolina, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.
With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.
We paid particular attention to:
- Violent Crime Rates
- Property Crime Rates
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Unemployment Rates
- Adult Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty Rates
We then ranked each county in North Carolina across each of the criteria from one to 100, with one being the best.
Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In North Carolina”.
The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Tar Heel State.
Read on to see why Wake County is the best county, while Jones County is probably in contention for being the worst county in North Carolina.
Summary: The Best Counties In North Carolina To Call Home For 2018
It turns out living in North Carolina can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?
But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.
Here’s a look at the worst counties in North Carolina according to the data:
- Jones County
- Halifax County
- Robeson County
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In North Carolina
- Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina
- Richest Cities In North Carolina
- Best Places To Raise A Family In North Carolina