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:
- Best Places To Live In North Carolina
- Best Counties To Live In North Carolina
- Cheapest Places To Live In North Carolina
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In North Carolina For 2020
The most dangerous city in North Carolina goes to Whiteville.
And much like a walk in a major city park, you need to watch for muggers and property theft as it ranks as having the highest rate of property theft in the Tar Heel State. You had a 1 in 11.5 chance of being a victim of a property crime in 2018 in Whiteville.
It’s not totally clear why the property crime rate is so high. People live spread out, unemployment is relatively high — but not super high — and poverty isn’t as bad as in some other parts of the state.
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.
Albemarle ranked 6th overall for property crime, while 10th for violent crime.
Reidsville takes the 5th spot in our analysis of the most dangerous cities in North Carolina.
The rough and tumble nature of the town leaks into the crime stats.
The city ranks 9th for violent crime and 10th for property crime.
Oxford has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.
Between 2017-2018, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Oxford residents a 1 in 129 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2018.
Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.
Today, Siler City is the 7th most dangerous city in the state.
Unlike other cities on the list, Siler City has seen a recent boom in crime, with violent crime going up from 2017-2018, and property crime also going up.
Watch your wallet in Siler City, because there’s a 1 in 22.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.
Today, Rockingham is the 8th most dangerous city in the state.
Unlike other cities on the list, Rockingham has seen a recent boom in crime, with violent crime going up from 2017-2018, and property crime also going up.
Watch your wallet in Rockingham, because there’s a 1 in 14.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.
A city in Gaston County, Gastonia has seen crime become a problem over the last decade.
Perhaps that has something to do with the high rate of violent crime, with residents facing a 1 in 147 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
On the bright side, instances of property crime fell during this time period.
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.
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In North Carolina
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 North Carolina 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:
- Best Places To Raise A Family In North Carolina
- Best Places To Retire In North Carolina
- Richest Cities In North Carolina
- Safest Cities in North Carolina
- Worst Places To Live In North Carolina
Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In North Carolina?