These Are The 10 Biggest Failures In North Carolina


These are the cities in North Carolina that are the most unsuccessful, according to government data.

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Are you a total failure?

It’s really sad that in America these days, our measure of success is tied to our bank accounts. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best daddy in the world, or Teacher of the Year. If you’re broke, you’re not a success. At least in most people’s minds.

While karma goes a long way in making people personally happy, we have to be real here – the comfort and freedom that comes with a successful job goes a long, long ways in today’s world.

These are total failures all over the place in North Carolina. Especially in these 10 places:

  1. Roxboro
  2. Selma
  3. Wadesboro
  4. Forest City
  5. Whiteville
  6. Henderson
  7. Laurinburg
  8. Kinston
  9. Elizabeth City
  10. Ahoskie

Now we’re not so full of ourselves as to just come up with this list from nowhere. We actually analyzed 132 cities in the state in order to bring you these places. And don’t get yourself all stressed out and miserable over this list. This is all in good fun.

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How We Determined the Biggest Failures in North Carolina

Like we said, to come up with this list, we strictly relied on data; not our own opinions or biases.
So we started by making a list of all of the places in North Carolina with 5,000 people or more, and then we looked at each in terms of these loserville qualities:

  • Number of people in poverty
  • Number of people without jobs
  • Lowest household incomes

Then we ranked each place with a score from one to 133 in each category. We averaged these up into one overall score for each place, and the lowest of those scores went to our 10 cities that are the biggest failures in North Carolina.

Now let’s take a look at just what makes you so unsuccessful, and if you’d like to see how more cities in North Carolina ranked, just scroll to the bottom of the post for a more complete list.

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1. Roxboro

Wikipedia.

Population:8,330
Unemployment rate: 22%
Medium income: $21,076
Poverty level: 47%

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Well congratulations to the city of Roxboro. All of your parents must be so proud of you.

Nearly half the city’s population lives in poverty, and nearly 1 in 4 residents is out of work.

Roxboro is out in the middle of nowhere way up near the Virginia state line.

2. Selma

Wikipedia.

Population: 39,381
Unemployment rate: 22%
Medium income: $23,236
Poverty level: 38%

Selma, in Johnston County, has the motto, “A Charming Place To Be,” but the success level of its residents is certainly nothing to be admired. The residents of Selma are a little wealthier than those in Roxboro, but about 4 in 10 earn about $25,000 a year, which the government says is outright poverty.

3. Wadesboro

Wikipedia.

Population: 5,711
Unemployment rate: 31%
Medium income: $29,236
Poverty level: 36%

Wadesboro is in Anson County, way down by the South Carolina border, which is traditionally one of the worse areas in North Carolina, economically speaking.

A whopping 3 in 10 residents here is out of work.

4. Forest City

Wikipedia.

Population: 7,387
Unemployment rate: 18%
Medium income: $26,098
Poverty level: 35%

Another city near the South Carolina border, Forest City is a cute, quiet place that’s really trying hard. For instance, this is the site of a newly-built Facebook expansion center.

However, when you look at the data, it’s clear that a large percentage of the population is very unsuccessful at this point.

5. Whiteville

Wikipedia.

Population: 5,465
Unemployment rate: 18%
Medium income: $25,000
Poverty level: 38%

It seems like long stretches of the South Carolina are the areas where North Carolina’s biggest failures live. Here in Whiteville, in Columbus County, the average family brings in poverty level numbers each month, and about 1 in 5 doesn’t currently have a job at all.

6. Henderson

Wikipedia.

Population: 15,235
Unemployment rate: 18%
Medium income: $24,203
Poverty level: 34%

Henderson, along I-85 in the northern part of the state, is also where lots of unmotivated people live. The city’s motto is, “Progress, Pride, Potential,” but a large part of the community isn’t living up to its potential.

This is also the boyhood home of Charlie Rose, who did manage to make something of himself. So there’s no excuses, Henderson.

7. Laurinburg

Wikipedia.

Population: 15,799
Unemployment rate: 17%
Medium income: $28,293
Poverty level: 33%

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Another southern border city, Laurinburg is not only a pretty poor place, but also a dangerous one.

However, there are several notable former and current Major League Baseball players from the LBG, which means at least there’s some hope for residents who are unmotivated to succeed at this time.

8. Kinston

Wikipedia.

Population: 21,857
Unemployment rate: 18%
Medium income: $28,000
Poverty level: 28%

Kinston has popped up on several of our lists before. One of the only cities not on the Virginia or South Carolina border, Kinston was named as an All-American City way back in 2009. While this data doesn’t take into account the factors used in the All-America City ranking, it does shed light on the economic plight of a large percentage of its residents.

Kinston is also the largest city to make this list.

9. Elizabeth City

Wikipedia.

Population:18,343
Unemployment rate: 19%
Medium income: $31,118
Poverty level: 28%

Elizabeth City seems to be a city of the have’s and have not’s. While nearly 3 in 10 residents lives in poverty, the average income for Elizabeth City residents is the highest of all cities in this ranking.

The good news – there’s a lot of tradition and culture in this coastal community.

10. Ahoskie

Wikipedia.

Population: 18,343
Unemployment rate: 16%
Medium income: $25,203
Poverty level: 29%

Last but most certainly not least of our biggest failures in North Carolina is Ahoskie, in Hertford County way up near Virginia.

Unfortunately, about 1 in 8 residents is out of work, and 3 in 10 lives at or below the poverty line.

Wrapping it all up

When it comes to failures, these places in North Carolina certainly seem to be heading ever downward. People in these communities are out of work and broke.

If you’re curious, the most successful cities in North Carolina are Oak Springs, Holly Springs and Summerfield.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Not at all.

City Unemployment rate Rank
Roxboro 21.57% 1
Selma 22.40% 2
Wadesboro 31.00% 3
Forest City 18.93% 4
Whiteville 18.18% 5
Henderson 17.81% 6
Laurinburg 17.23% 7
Kinston 17.75% 8
Elizabeth City 19.31% 9
Ahoskie 16.02% 10
Lexington 18.50% 11
Siler City 18.46% 12
Washington 18.67% 13
Marion 17.46% 14
Eden 18.33% 15
Shelby 16.63% 16
Lincolnton 15.68% 17
Statesville 16.57% 18
Rockingham 15.95% 19
Dunn 15.28% 20
Salisbury 15.51% 21
Goldsboro 18.73% 22
Lenoir 16.35% 23
Williamston 17.27% 24
Newton 12.72% 25
Clinton 12.59% 26
Greenville 12.62% 27
Ayden 14.20% 28
Albemarle 13.25% 29
Hamlet 21.17% 30
Hendersonville 12.29% 31
Asheboro 12.70% 32
Rocky Mount 17.67% 33
Smithfield 12.98% 34
Thomasville 15.61% 35
Mount Airy 12.38% 36
Bessemer City 17.36% 37
Graham 11.05% 38
Oxford 14.98% 39
Lumberton 8.81% 40
Morganton 11.73% 41
Spring Lake 16.10% 42
Wilson 13.74% 43
Kings Mountain 15.48% 44
Gastonia 13.56% 45
Roanoke Rapids 10.65% 46
Sawmills 10.62% 47
New Bern 15.18% 48
Tarboro 13.81% 49
Wilmington 11.35% 50
Reidsville 11.23% 51
Woodfin 9.43% 52
Winston-Salem 11.40% 53
Pineville 10.31% 54
Morehead City 9.06% 55
Sanford 12.88% 56
Mocksville 10.16% 57
Kannapolis 13.22% 58
High Point 12.57% 59
Elon 8.09% 60
Fayetteville 13.77% 61
Monroe 12.31% 62
Burlington 10.58% 63
Cherryville 13.66% 64
Greensboro 9.95% 65
Jacksonville 13.01% 66
Nashville 12.86% 67
Conover 10.34% 68
Waynesville 6.89% 69
Havelock 11.65% 70
Southern Pines 11.32% 71
Brevard 9.13% 72
Boiling Spring Lakes 11.80% 73
Asheville 7.85% 74
Chapel Hill 6.98% 75
Black Mountain 7.37% 76
Hickory 7.73% 77
Aberdeen 7.02% 78
Charlotte 10.83% 79
Oak Island 11.87% 80
Butner 8.74% 81
Concord 11.68% 82
Durham 8.29% 83
Mount Holly 10.81% 84
Hope Mills 9.82% 85
Hillsborough 7.79% 86
Belmont 9.29% 87
Carolina Beach 9.79% 88
Raleigh 8.33% 89
Mooresville 11.93% 90
Winterville 9.65% 91
Mebane 7.18% 92
Garner 9.07% 93
Fuquay-Varina 9.72% 94
Archdale 8.27% 95
Leland 8.46% 96
Kernersville 6.44% 97
Trinity 4.91% 98
Carrboro 4.80% 99
Wendell 5.09% 100
Clayton 8.28% 101
Fletcher 5.87% 102
Waxhaw 10.72% 103
Lewisville 9.01% 104
King 7.51% 105
Kill Devil Hills 5.80% 106
Stokesdale 8.21% 107
Indian Trail 9.01% 108
Mint Hill 6.52% 109
Mills River 5.29% 110
Matthews 7.46% 111
Cornelius 6.98% 112
Stallings 6.92% 113
Gibsonville 3.89% 114
Wesley Chapel village, North Carolina 8.47% 115
Clemmons village, North Carolina 4.64% 116
Wake Forest 6.45% 117
Davidson 6.91% 118
Unionville 5.93% 119
Huntersville 6.57% 120
Harrisburg 5.60% 121
Knightdale 4.45% 122
Weddington 7.21% 123
Cary 5.11% 124
Marvin village, North Carolina 6.54% 125
Apex 6.36% 126
Morrisville 5.00% 127
Pinehurst village, North Carolina 3.83% 128
Summerfield 6.30% 129
Holly Springs 5.40% 130
Oak Ridge 2.76% 131
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