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10 Safest Cities in North Carolina

safest cities in north carolina

Are you planning to relocate to the Old North State? 

North Carolina is an attractive state, combining Southern charm with vibrant cities and a beautiful coastline. It is also home to the Great Smoky Mountains and other national parks. Safety is sure to be one of your main concerns when choosing a new place to live. You will want to make sure that you can safely explore the city late at night and can enjoy it without concern. 

So, let’s take an in-depth look at the 10 safest cities in North Carolina and what they have to offer.

Holly Springs 

The first on my rundown of the safest North Carolina cities is Holly Springs. This small city boasts pretty free-flowing springs that merge into a small lake. The lake is surrounded by several large and mature holly trees. This makes Holly Springs a popular place among nature lovers.

It can be found in Wake County and hosts a large number of events throughout the year. The downtown area is rapidly developing and boasts a thriving nightlife scene. Residents of Holly Springs are sure to agree that this is a safe place to explore and have fun after dark.

Warm weather and open-air markets…

The city boasts a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and the open-air markets are great places for residents to meet. Several of the districts of the city boast charming homes dating back to the Civil War. There are also plenty of modern homes to choose from.

The population of Holly Springs is around 43,000 people. The crime rate is 70% below the national average, making this a very safe place to live. There are just 857 non-violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. The violent crime rate is even lower and stands at 57 reported violent crimes.


Golf lovers are sure to be in their element in this small and friendly city as it is home to Pinehurst Resort. This large golf course has hosted several prestigious golf tournaments over the years. This is the perfect place for golf-loving residents to meet and get back into the swing of things.

Pinehurst has been awarded the title of The Safest Place to Live in North Carolina for two years running. Many of the areas boast large and lovely homes set on well-lit tree-lined streets. The city is a great place to raise a family and enjoy small-city living.

Low unemployment rate…

Around 15,600 people choose to call Pinehurst home. The city boasts several pretty parks to unwind in, as well as excellent schools. The unemployment rate is very low here, which also helps to keep the crime rate low. 


With a population of around 174,000 people, it is the second-largest city in Wake County. Although Cary is fairly densely populated, the crime rate is still low. The crime rate here is 60% below the national average.

Cary is the perfect place for nature-loving families and young professionals to relocate to. A large number of natural attractions, such as mountain resorts and beaches, are just a short drive away. It also boasts some of the best public schools in the whole United States.


The cost of living is rather high…

Although the cost of living is a little higher than the national average, Cary boasts excellent amenities. Millions of dollars have recently been invested in the city’s public transit infrastructure. This makes traveling to work and school and exploring the city very easy and safe.

The violent crime rate for every 100,000 residents is just 56, making the risk of being a victim very low. There are just 947 non-violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. Larceny and property account for the majority of the crimes throughout Cary. 


Also known as the Queen City, the vibrant city of Charlotte boasts plenty of southern charm. At the same time, this is one of the most progressive and modern cities in the region. Skyscrapers have flourished alongside the local art scene making this a fascinating place to live. 

Charlotte has some 14,000 acres of parks, and the most unique is the Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary. It boasts a variety of different gardens attracting a vast array of bird species. In fact, over 140 species of migrating birds have been spotted in the Upper, Lower, Main, Wild, Herb, and Rose gardens.

Whether you like the indoors or outdoors…

The shopping is of the highest quality, with Charlotte being the biggest retail center in the Carolinas. Many bargains can be found in numerous malls and shopping centers. Nature lovers are also well catered to as the city is surrounded by parks, nature preserves, and scenic landscapes.

McDowell Park and Nature Preserve is located just fifteen miles to the south of the city. This is a magical retreat situated on the white sand shores of Lake Wylie. This is a perfect place for residents to spend a few nights camping in the wild. There are also over eight miles of lovely nature trails in the area surrounding the lake.

Don’t leave your car unlocked!

Nearly 875,000 people choose to call the city of Charlotte home. The city covers an area of 312 square miles, and there are plenty of pretty areas to choose from. The crime rate is fairly low, largely because of the large number of sworn police officers and volunteers. The main hazard is vehicle theft, and around 5,000 vehicles are reported stolen each year. 


The beautiful city of Asheville is located scenically in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Although the city is rapidly becoming a very popular resort town, it is still quiet enough for residents to enjoy. Packed with great arts and crafts shops and restaurants, this city’s friendly population is eager to please.  

Many residents are drawn to Asheville by its close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains. Formed hundreds of millions of years ago, they are the oldest mountains in the world. This spectacularly scenic area has a variety of animal and plant life that has few equals in the temperate climatic zone. 


Truly a sight to see!

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park protects this amazing environment and is open for hiking, mountain biking, and camping. Designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve, more than 100 species of trees thrive in the park. Boasting abundant wildflowers, wildlife, and waterfalls, it is no wonder this is one of the most popular parks in America. 

For more natural beauty, residents can head to Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the East. It has a museum, a tower, and an observation lodge. Camping and picnicking facilities are also available in the park. Asheville covers an area of 45 square miles, and the population is around 94,500. The crime rate has been falling steadily in recent years. This makes Asheville one of the safest metropolises to live in throughout North Carolina.


Next on my list of the 10 Safest Cities in North Carolina, this vibrant city is the final corner of the state’s world-famous Research Triangle. Durham may be a high-tech city on the rise, but its heart is still in old-time tobacco country. The capital city of Raleigh is just 23 miles away and makes a great day trip destination for residents.

Durham’s most popular tourist site is the Duke Homestead State Historic Site. This is the original homestead where the American tobacco industry got its start. The homestead is now a museum recounting the history of tobacco and its growing and manufacturing history.  

Go, Team Go!

During the right season, it is also a great place to take in some spectator sports. It is home to Duke University and its great basketball team, and the minor league Durham Bulls baseball team.  

Also within driving distance is bustling Charlotte, the state’s largest city. This hi-tech center boasts several spectacular new skyscrapers and the Mint Museum. This is an exquisite building designed by William Strickland and hosting one of the South’s premier art collections.  

Getting safer every day…

Durham boasts a population of around 283,000 residents. Over the last decade, the crime rate across the city has been reduced by an impressive 45%. The local government has also launched a ten-year plan to end homelessness in the city. 


This medium-sized city can be found just a short drive to the west of Raleigh. Apex is ideal for people who enjoy the small-town feel but also want to be close to excellent amenities. In addition to historic buildings and pretty parks, Apex boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.

It is steadily expanding and offers a wealth of employment opportunities. The school system is known for being excellent, and there are plenty of options for children of all ages. Several brand-new residential areas have been created in recent years that are particularly safe and quiet.

Why not take in a show…

Many of the landmarks are proudly placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Residents can spend time riding the restored steam engines at the North Carolina Railway Museum. The city also boasts a thriving art scene and several theaters.

While the population stands at around 58,000, the poverty rate is less than 4%. This translates to a very low crime rate which is 47% under the national average. The city is particularly popular with young professionals who are planning to start a family. 

Wake Forest 

Home to Wake Forest University, this is a small yet very vibrant city. It is rapidly expanding and is currently home to around 49,000 people. Many residents travel here for university and decide to stay after they graduate.

Most people will find that walking the streets of Wake Forest is very safe and uplifting. There are several open-air markets and other attractions to explore. There are plenty of job opportunities, and the unemployment rate here is particularly low.

Wake Forest 

Expanding neighborhoods…

There are several new residential areas for people to relocate to. These areas often boast pretty parks and other green zones for residents to make use of. The non-violent crime rate in Wake Forest is 1,140 per 100,000 residents. Violent crime is particularly low, and there are just 113 reported incidents per 100,000 residents. 


The small city of Fayetteville is a popular place for people who relocate to the state to live. Evening entertainment can be found at the Mash House Brewery, which is located on Sycamore Road. Fayetteville’s main attraction is Fort Bragg, which is a U.S. Army post located to the northwest of the city. Fayetteville’s Festival Park is popular on weekends as free concerts and festivals are often held there when the sun is shining.  

It is set on the Cape Fear River and boasts a population of around 208,000 residents. There are several charming suburban areas where the crime rate is particularly low. These include Fort Bragg, Spring Lake, Hope Mills, Rockfish, Raeford, Eastover, Pope Field, and Stedman.


The last on the list of the 10 safest cities in North Carolina is Raleigh, the state’s capital and most colorful city. It has been home to exciting and bizarre happenings for over one hundred years. 

With traditional southern tree-lined streets and a modern downtown shopping district, this city is a fascinating place to live.


Affordable transport system…

This university town features a large number of bars and restaurants and is a good place to eat. The population is around 470,000, and there are several charming neighborhoods to choose from. The city boasts an excellent and affordable transportation system, which is provided by the GoRaleigh bus company.

Although the population density is fairly high, the crime rate is reasonably low. The non-violent crime rate is around 2,029 for every 100,000 residents. The violent crime rate is just 314 for every 100,000 residents, and most residents remain safe when exploring at night.

Still Haven’t Found Your Perfect Place?

Then why not find out more about the Safest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia, the Safest Cities In Texas, and the Safest Neighborhoods In Atlanta, along with the Safest Places To Live In Florida and the Safest Cities In California?

In addition, we’ve also included the Best Neighborhoods In Brooklyn, the Best Neighborhoods In Long Island, the Best Cities To Live In Connecticut, and the Best Places To Live In Florida For Families in 2023.

If you’re wondering about which places to avoid for the sake of your family’s safety, then check out the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago, or the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Los Angeles, as well as the Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio, and the 10 Most Dangerous States In The US.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, the crime rate in North Carolina is relatively low. There are several charming cities to choose from where new residents are treated to a warm welcome. These metropolises boast an excellent range of attractions and amenities for residents to make use of.

When choosing the right city to move to, you need to take your unique needs and desires into account. It’s best to make a list of the things you are looking for in a new home to help guide you. Take the time to explore different cities and see which one feels most like home.

Hope you love and feel safe in your new home!

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About Calvin Miller

Calvin has over 20 years of experience in a leading employment agency in Tucson, Arizona, and is passionate about finding the perfect position for everyone who uses the company’s services.

He lives with his wife, Annette, and their two sons Jake and Joseph.

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