2019’s Best Places to Raise a Family in North Carolina

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With sweeping demographic changes transforming North Carolina from an agrarian state into a thriving tech-and-finance economy over the last 50 years, the personal-finance website WalletHub took an in-depth look at 2019’s Best Places to Raise a Family in North Carolina.

In order to help families find the best North Carolina cities for settling down, the website compared 87 cities in the state across 21 key metrics. They range from “number of attractions” to “median family income” to “school-system quality.”

Charlotte landed directly in the middle at #48, combining the following rankings;

Raising a Family in Charlotte (1=Best; 43=Avg.)

  • 26th – % of Families with Children Aged 0 to 17
  • 35th – Median Family Income (adjusted for cost of living)
  • 54th – Quality of School System
  • 64th – High School Graduation Rate
  • 50th – Violent-Crime Rate per Capita
  • 44th – Housing Affordability
  • 41st – % of Families Living in Poverty
  • 18th – Unemployment Rate
  • 36th – Divorce Rate
  • 38th – Playgrounds per Capita

The top city in the state was Cary, but the next 3 are all part of the Charlotte region;

Overall Rank City Total Score ‘Family Life & Fun’ Rank ‘Education, Health & Safety’ Rank ‘Affordability’ Rank ‘Socioeconomics’ Rank
1 Cary, NC 75.87 6 6 5 5
2 Davidson, NC 75.17 8 4 1 14
3 Morrisville, NC 74.77 12 11 7 2
4 Waxhaw, NC 74.66 15 8 9 4
5 Holly Springs, NC 72.18 48 9 4 7
6 Apex, NC 72.15 35 5 3 16
7 Huntersville, NC 71.18 16 22 6 6
8 Mooresville, NC 68.75 1 20 26 18
9 Wake Forest, NC 68.69 49 12 13 9
10 Weddington, NC 67.26 73 41 12 1
11 Pinehurst, NC 66.88 84 3 20 3
12 Stallings, NC 66.05 61 14 17 8
13 Fuquay-Varina, NC 65.84 42 15 18 12
14 Summerfield, NC 64.60 80 10 10 19
15 Matthews, NC 64.42 66 16 21 11
16 Lewisville, NC 64.29 82 18 2 23
17 Indian Trail, NC 63.86 36 52 16 10
18 Harrisburg, NC 63.67 29 47 14 13
19 Chapel Hill, NC 63.33 22 21 19 27
20 Knightdale, NC 62.94 65 17 8 29
21 Concord, NC 62.82 4 29 31 25
22 Clemmons, NC 62.46 60 42 11 21
23 Mebane, NC 61.50 26 31 23 28
24 Murraysville, NC 61.16 7 25 39 20
25 Myrtle Grove, NC 60.68 53 1 47 17
26 Cornelius, NC 57.97 67 68 15 24
27 Archdale, NC 57.01 78 24 27 31
28 Raleigh, NC 56.87 19 55 32 32
29 Mint Hill, NC 56.86 87 27 30 15
30 Leland, NC 55.81 86 13 46 33
31 Southern Pines, NC 55.64 45 34 24 51
32 Clayton, NC 55.58 40 32 29 49
33 Carrboro, NC 55.17 58 19 41 43
34 Garner, NC 54.80 79 39 22 30
35 Havelock, NC 54.18 5 33 73 22
36 Boone, NC 54.06 3 2 77 63
37 Winston-Salem, NC 54.00 2 66 38 58
38 Hickory, NC 53.45 21 51 42 37
39 Durham, NC 53.37 32 74 28 41
40 Kernersville, NC 51.77 62 61 25 47
41 Belmont, NC 51.74 37 62 36 36
42 Greensboro, NC 51.21 24 57 37 54
43 Kannapolis, NC 51.01 70 44 49 34
44 Wilmington, NC 50.83 11 36 65 44
45 Sanford, NC 50.34 47 69 33 57
46 Mount Airy, NC 50.26 33 38 55 50
47 Newton, NC 50.05 83 26 44 55
48 Charlotte, NC 49.81 41 79 34 35
49 Morganton, NC 49.17 27 46 52 59
50 Burlington, NC 49.03 43 59 43 53
51 Mount Holly, NC 48.77 74 28 59 40
52 Asheville, NC 48.03 39 64 75 26
53 Greenville, NC 47.31 31 53 50 70
54 Piney Green, NC 47.15 30 7 79 38
55 Hendersonville, NC 46.96 25 37 83 48
56 New Bern, NC 46.87 28 43 70 56
57 Hope Mills, NC 46.82 34 48 58 60
58 Thomasville, NC 46.80 55 63 53 52
59 Jacksonville, NC 46.70 14 30 86 42
60 High Point, NC 46.46 59 65 48 61
61 Lenoir, NC 45.73 69 49 51 65
62 Statesville, NC 45.59 20 40 67 64
63 Monroe, NC 45.44 51 76 57 39
64 Albemarle, NC 44.47 77 60 35 78
65 Kings Mountain, NC 44.20 71 23 71 73
66 Lincolnton, NC 44.04 54 35 69 72
67 Asheboro, NC 43.57 46 75 68 45
68 Spring Lake, NC 43.41 9 67 80 62
69 Eden, NC 42.93 81 70 40 67
70 Wilson, NC 42.91 50 80 56 69
71 Fayetteville, NC 42.90 13 72 72 66
72 Rocky Mount, NC 42.04 52 71 54 74
73 Gastonia, NC 41.64 38 81 78 46
74 Shelby, NC 41.56 18 45 66 84
75 Elizabeth City, NC 41.17 64 58 60 76
76 Reidsville, NC 40.70 76 77 45 79
77 Tarboro, NC 40.61 75 50 74 68
78 Graham, NC 39.09 23 54 76 80
79 Lexington, NC 38.99 44 56 62 82
80 Salisbury, NC 38.21 17 84 61 75
81 Goldsboro, NC 35.92 56 83 63 77
82 Roanoke Rapids, NC 33.29 57 87 81 71
83 Henderson, NC 32.46 63 73 82 86
84 Kinston, NC 31.82 72 85 64 83
85 Lumberton, NC 31.49 10 86 85 85
86 Smithfield, NC 28.04 85 78 87 81
87 Laurinburg, NC 27.73 68 82 84 87

The study also found that the top 3 towns with the lowest divorce rates are all around the Charlotte region;

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