You’ll be hard pressed to find a good dose of southern hospitality in most of North Carolina’s dangerous cities: these cities are more concerned with cleaning up their neighborhoods and fighting crime.
We’re not talking about choosing tomato based BBQ sauce instead of vinegar; or even worse, not being a Durham Bulls fan kind of crime, we’re talking about the type of crime that will get you on Raleigh’s WRAL at six. And lucky for you, RoadSnacks is here to tell you where the most crime is committed in the TarHeel State: we’ve created a list of the top ten most dangerous places in North Carolina for 2020.
In order to compile our list, we looked at FBI data for violent crimes and property crimes in Texas cities with a population of 5,000. That left us with 74 cities. We discovered that the state as a whole had 363 violent crimes and 2,545 property crimes reported per capita. And while that doesn’t seem like that many for the ninth largest state in the country in population, it is above the national average; and coincidentally one of the top 25 most dangerous states in the country.
Gone are the days that parents can let their children run wild until the street lights come on. Heck, parents shouldn’t let their kids out of their sight in the most dangerous cities in North Carolina. So, you must be wondering, how does one navigate these dangerous North Carolina cities when trying to make an informed decision on where you should call home?
We suggest that you take a look at our list below before you make any life changing decisions.
Do we think the problems in North Carolina’s most dangerous places are directly related to high unemployment, low wages, and lack of rehabilitation programs? Absolutely. Not to mention, rent in most of North Carolina’s safest places and best places to live is out of reach for most people, making it difficult for people to make a move. This keeps the people in these places feeling angry, defeated, and more likely to commit a crime.
So, what is the most dangerous place in North Carolina? That would be, Whiteville.
To see how the rest of your favorite places in North Carolina faired, take a look below; and if you don’t find your favorite there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in North Carolina.
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In North Carolina
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In North Carolina
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In North Carolina
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In North Carolina For 2020
Unlike some of the other cities on this list, Whiteville has been working towards reducing the rate of violent crime, with impressive results.
Whiteville experienced a drop in violent crime between 2017-2018, which is cause for celebration, unlike the increase in property crime.
Residents of Whiteville has a 1 in 11.5 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
The hometown of Charlie Rose isn’t so rosy right now when you look at the recent crime numbers. There were more than 200 violent crimes in this small town in 2018, and as of the recent criminal rankings, the numbers are climbing steadily.
If you live in Henderson, NC, you have a 1 of 10 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
Coming in 3rd is Kinston, a city of over 20,341.
With residents facing a 1 in 90 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018, Kinston ranked 2nd for that criteria.
Property crime now ranks 4th in North Carolina.
It seems that the Albemarle is a hub of crime.
Though residents of Albemarle had a 1 in 134 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018, that’s not too bad relative to other cities of its size.
Property crime now stands as the 6th worst in North Carolina.
Coming in at number 5 on our list of most dangerous places in North Carolina, residents of Reidsville had a 1 in 17.3 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Located in the southeastern corner of the state, on the Atlantic coast, Oxford ranks 6th for its danger.
In 2011, Oxford wouldn’t have made this list, but a whopping increase in violent crime between 2017-2018 changed that.
In 2018, residents faced a 1 in 129 chance of being the victim of violence, which would put Oxford at 8th for the year in North Carolina.
Siler City is the 5th most violent city, with residents facing a 1 in 126 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
Progress has been made in recent years, however, reflected by a 12% drop in violent crime, and an 11% drop in property crime between 2017-2018.
Rockingham is way out on Route 26 near Wyoming. If you’re passing through, lock your car doors. Residents here have a 1 in 14.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime, which is the second highest in the state.
Job growth is negative here, which isn’t a good sign. Crime is typically contained on the south end of town.
Gastonia earns a 9th place ranking overall.
Between 2017-2018, violent crime and property crime increased, leaving Gastonia residents with a 1 in 20.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
Also home to grocery chain giant Food Lion, Salisbury has seen its violent crimes tick upwards over the last few years, and its residents have a 1 in 128 chance of being the victim of a robbery, rape, murder or attack.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in North Carolina for 2020?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 74 cities in North Carolina.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 74 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in North Carolina — Whiteville. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in North Carolina.
Locking It All Up In North Carolina
The latest FBI crime data shows that Whiteville ranks as the most dangerous city in North Carolina for 2020.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Whiteville and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in North Carolina:
- Cary (Pop. 170,518)
- Pinehurst (Pop. 16,213)
- Holly Springs (Pop. 37,008)
For more North Carolina reading, check out: