The 10 Worst Places To Live In North Carolina For 2024

The worst places to live in North Carolina are Wadesboro and Zebulon for 2024 based on Friday Night Science.

If you’re from North Carolina, you know how great you have it there. It’s not quite the deep south, a little bit of east coast, and a lot of awesome. If you just moved here, join the party! You now realize that the Tar Heel State is one of America’s finest states.

You have the mountains, the ocean, and some of the best college basketball teams in the nation. What else could you want? Oh yeah, great barbecue. South Carolina can’t hold a candle to it.

But is it all cheery in North Carolina? Of course not. Just like every other state, North Carolina has its issues. There are some places that are having a hard time right now. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which North Carolina cities need a little tender loving care.

After analyzing 132 of the Tar Heel State’s most populous cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state:

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 Worst Places To Live In North Carolina For 2024

  1. Wadesboro
  2. Zebulon
  3. Smithfield
  4. Roxboro
  5. Monroe
  6. Lumberton
  7. Laurinburg
  8. Marion
  9. Reidsville
  10. Statesville

Worst Places To Live In North Carolina Map

Where are these places, you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small towns in North Carolina, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in North Carolina is Davidson.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), the state has far better options for making a place home. And the worst place to live in North Carolina? The worst place to live in North Carolina is Wadesboro.

Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2024.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In North Carolina For 2024

Wadesboro, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Indy beetle | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 5,004
Average Home Price: $102,065
Median Income: $32,022
Unemployment Rate: 12.9%
Crime Per Capita: 0.1045
More on Wadesboro: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Built in the south-central part of the state, Wadesboro sits in a mostly rural section of North Carolina. It takes more than an hour to drive to Charlotte, the closest big city. As a result, Wadesboro suffers from a lack of economic opportunity – the main strike against the community as it ranks at number 1 on the list of the state’s worst hometowns.

The economic struggles are obvious in the statistics. Wadesboro suffers a 12.9% unemployment rate and a 24.2% poverty rate. The median income sits at $32,022. This financial structure leads to other deficiencies, like high crime and a troubled school system.

It’s not all gloom and doom for Wadesboro’s 5,004 residents. The town boasts a quaint downtown and numerous historical points of interest.

Zebulon, NC

Source: Wikipedia User James Willamor | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 7,421
Average Home Price: $341,201
Median Income: $50,934
Unemployment Rate: 9.0%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0446
More on Zebulon: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Zebulon, a town located in Johnston County, North Carolina, ranks as the second-worst place to live in the state for 2023. While Zebulon may have its charm, it also faces significant challenges that contribute to its unfavorable ranking. One of the main concerns is the crime rate, with a relatively high number of violent crimes and property crimes reported. This makes safety a major concern for residents. Additionally, Zebulon struggles with poverty and unemployment rates that exceed the state average. However, it is important to note that with concerted efforts and investment in community development, Zebulon has the potential to improve and become a better place to live in the future.

Smithfield, NC

Source: Public domain
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Population: 11,527
Average Home Price: $283,417
Median Income: $37,000
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0603
More on Smithfield: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Roxboro, NC

Source: Wikipedia User FotoDawg | CC BY 2.0
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Population: 8,131
Average Home Price: $197,436
Median Income: $39,787
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0567
More on Roxboro: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Roxboro faces significant economic hardships. Thanks to a daunting poverty rate, high crime, and issues surrounding housing and education, the community sits at number 4 on the list of North Carolina’s worst hometowns.

The unemployment rate stands at 4.8%, while median incomes only reach $39,787. As a result, fully 32.2% of the community scrapes by below the poverty line. Meanwhile, the crime rate comes in at more than double the national average.

Life isn’t completely dreary in Roxboro, however. Located in the north-central part of the state, it serves as a local cultural hub. You can check out its regular farmers markets, or stick around for annual events, like the Willow Oak Bluegrass Festival.

Monroe, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Mpbusyb | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 34,897
Average Home Price: $320,941
Median Income: $63,982
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0477
More on Monroe: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Monroe could count as an outer suburb of Charlotte, located about 40 minutes from the city. However, this hasn’t saved the town from becoming one of the least attractive places in North Carolina.

The community suffers from a sluggish economy. Meanwhile, some of the big city’s problems (like crime) have seeped into Monroe. The 34,897 residents face a 6.2% unemployment rate and a median income of $63,982. Meanwhile, the median home price sits at $320,941.

Still, there are lots of benefits to life in Monroe. There are plenty of amenities (including a vineyard). The town also features a picturesque county courthouse, complete with a quaint clock tower.

Lumberton, NC

Source: Public domain
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Population: 19,099
Average Home Price: $138,892
Median Income: $41,314
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.1326
More on Lumberton: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Lumberton, located in Robeson County, North Carolina, has unfortunately earned its reputation as one of the worst places to live in the state. With a population of 19,099, this city struggles with various issues that contribute to its ranking. One of the main concerns is its high crime rate, with a significant number of violent crimes reported each year.

The safety of residents is a major concern, as Lumberton experiences a disproportionately high rate of violent crimes per capita, including murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. In fact, it ranks as the 2th most dangerous city in North Carolina. Property crimes are also prevalent, with a substantial number of burglaries reported annually.

Additionally, Lumberton faces economic challenges, with a median income of $41,314 and a poverty level that ranks 123.0th in the state. This financial strain contributes to the overall poor quality of life in the city. However, it’s important to note that with dedicated efforts and community involvement, there is potential for positive change and improvement in Lumberton’s living conditions.

Laurinburg, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Gerry Dincher from Hope Mills, NC | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 14,971
Average Home Price: $130,067
Median Income: $38,015
Unemployment Rate: 11.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0612
More on Laurinburg: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Now a lot of people in North Carolina haven’t heard of little Laurinburg, located near the South Carolina border in Scotland County. The LBG. The Burg.

A whopping one third of this community of 16,000 people lives at or below the poverty line, and it’s super cheap to live here, too. Meaning it’s a very poor place with little opportunity – it’s really just churches and fast food outlets. That’s just one reason that this small city loses 100 people every year. 15% of the population here is out of work, and most of them, chronically.

It’s also the 5th most violent place in the state, and it has the 13th highest burglary rate in the state, too. Like every single day here, there’s a burglary. For such a tiny community, that’s just so sad.

The school taxes are high, but they’re still closing schools down here. The County can’t afford to build new ones. Or so they say. A home is $38,015, which is bottom of the barrel for this state. Again, small town rural North Carolina folks. You get what you pay for.

But hey Laurinburg, at least you dont have some weird legs sculpture like they do in Henderson. Which is also a bad place to live in this state.

Marion, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Upstateherd | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 7,652
Average Home Price: $232,538
Median Income: $48,520
Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0434
More on Marion: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Reidsville, NC

Source: Wikipedia User Indy beetle | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 14,526
Average Home Price: $188,591
Median Income: $35,061
Unemployment Rate: 10.1%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0481
More on Reidsville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

A mid-sized town of 14,526 residents in the north-central part of the state, just south of the Virginia border, Reidsville once received a significant economic boost from the tobacco industry. That source of cash dried up in the 1990s, leaving significant economic turmoil. At this point, Reidsville counts as the number 9 least inviting location in North Carolina.

The economic dislocation has led to an unemployment rate of 10.1% and a median income of $35,061. It has also undermined other civic services. The crime rate sits about 190% off the national norm and the educational system is below average.

Still, there are pleasant aspects to life in the area. Locals have sponsored a revitalization effort for the cute downtown area. Also, nearby Lake Reidsville provides access to fun water activities.

Statesville, NC

Source: Public domain
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Population: 28,576
Average Home Price: $276,418
Median Income: $51,784
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0499
More on Statesville: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in North Carolina for 2024

To figure out the worst places to live in North Carolina, we used Saturday Night Science to idenift what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 132 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 132 for all the criteria, with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score.”

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score,” with the lowest score being the worst city in North Carolina — Wadesboro. Read on for a detailed look at the ten worst cities in North Carolina. This article is an opinion based on facts meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024. This list is our tenth time ranking the worst places to live in North Carolina.

Summary: Wrapping Up The Worst In North Carolina

If you’re looking at areas in North Carolina with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime and little to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Wadesboro ranks as the worst city to live in North Carolina for 2024.

The worst cities in North Carolina are .

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in North Carolina:

  1. Apex (Pop. 65,541)
  2. Cary (Pop. 174,880)
  3. Davidson (Pop. 15,199)

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Worst Places To Live In North Carolina

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Price Median Income Crime Per Capita
1 Wadesboro 5,004 12.9% $102,065 $32,022 0.1045
2 Zebulon 7,421 9.0% $341,201 $50,934 0.0446
3 Smithfield 11,527 6.5% $283,417 $37,000 0.0603
4 Roxboro 8,131 4.8% $197,436 $39,787 0.0567
5 Monroe 34,897 6.2% $320,941 $63,982 0.0477
6 Lumberton 19,099 6.7% $138,892 $41,314 0.1326
7 Laurinburg 14,971 11.2% $130,067 $38,015 0.0612
8 Marion 7,652 9.5% $232,538 $48,520 0.0434
9 Reidsville 14,526 10.1% $188,591 $35,061 0.0481
10 Statesville 28,576 7.2% $276,418 $51,784 0.0499
11 Lexington 19,595 6.6% $243,908 $36,868 0.0362
12 Henderson 14,997 6.7% $168,052 $37,670 0.0587
13 Albemarle 16,444 6.6% $230,975 $51,673 0.0421
14 Clinton 8,362 4.6% $130,559 $38,880 0.0441
15 Lenoir 18,301 6.8% $187,671 $44,802 0.0386
16 Williamston 5,224 14.2% $117,948 $41,182 0.0557
17 Selma 6,449 4.8% $260,426 $29,325 0.0239
18 Hamlet 6,043 10.6% $122,140 $34,798 0.0504
19 Rockingham 9,174 7.2% $124,284 $38,750 0.0504
20 Sanford 30,373 5.7% $276,198 $52,951 0.0345
21 Dunn 8,549 3.7% $213,087 $41,843 0.0536
22 Lincolnton 11,225 7.4% $273,540 $41,614 0.0417
23 Kinston 19,704 13.6% $129,381 $35,653 0.0388
24 Oxford 8,685 6.8% $232,049 $42,016 0.0291
25 Morganton 17,457 5.4% $233,341 $47,715 0.0376
26 Sawmills 5,026 8.0% $206,732 $63,388 0.0458
27 Asheboro 27,117 5.5% $229,584 $44,405 0.0427
28 Kings Mountain 11,246 6.8% $218,463 $45,301 0.0283
29 Butner 8,374 6.1% $258,713 $68,604 0.0204
30 Mount Airy 10,621 7.2% $196,528 $34,089 0.0304
31 Gastonia 80,615 5.6% $275,514 $58,047 0.0480
32 Eden 15,349 6.0% $135,635 $43,607 0.0300
33 Burlington 56,951 5.7% $223,842 $52,963 0.0486
34 Rocky Mount 54,260 7.8% $188,742 $50,092 0.0361
35 Goldsboro 33,566 7.5% $185,899 $44,196 0.0604
36 Roanoke Rapids 15,143 6.2% $102,080 $45,732 0.0529
37 Winston-Salem 249,571 6.2% $241,673 $54,416 0.0510
38 Salisbury 35,437 7.0% $259,125 $48,888 0.0461
39 Wilson 47,767 8.4% $200,278 $46,891 0.0296
40 Angier 5,348 3.4% $318,115 $54,936 0.0337
41 Conover 8,457 3.6% $254,865 $49,978 0.0441
42 Long View 5,029 5.3% $183,003 $44,740 0.0292
43 Wesley Chapel 8,763 4.1% $595,551 $133,333 0.0477
44 Spring Lake 11,710 8.3% $219,908 $44,447 0.0360
45 Unionville 6,694 3.6% $400,244 $90,904 0.0477
46 Graham 17,136 8.1% $259,204 $51,482 0.0252
47 Fayetteville 208,697 8.4% $198,110 $53,424 0.0444
48 Shelby 21,712 3.7% $181,135 $46,176 0.0349
49 Trinity 7,012 3.6% $268,416 $70,368 0.0427
50 Thomasville 27,130 5.2% $214,034 $48,457 0.0292
51 Charlotte 875,045 4.7% $387,529 $74,070 0.0970
52 Mocksville 5,908 5.9% $254,179 $46,553 0.0198
53 Waynesville 10,307 2.3% $355,984 $44,920 0.0384
54 Hickory 43,352 6.2% $277,464 $58,251 0.0407
55 Hillsborough 9,534 7.2% $440,106 $86,250 0.0625
56 Lewisville 13,509 3.6% $358,604 $86,641 0.0510
57 Washington 9,759 5.6% $222,313 $42,821 0.0320
58 Hope Mills 17,671 7.8% $227,508 $57,864 0.0421
59 High Point 114,120 6.2% $229,659 $58,582 0.0324
60 Greensboro 297,202 5.5% $248,523 $55,051 0.0463
61 Newton 13,173 6.7% $237,137 $57,918 0.0232
62 Indian Trail 40,325 5.3% $408,207 $95,101 0.0477
63 Pineville 10,532 3.9% $390,836 $55,450 0.0970
64 Mills River 7,100 5.2% $503,109 $79,802 0.0418
65 Boiling Spring Lakes 6,032 6.2% $309,998 $57,969 0.0161
66 Aberdeen 8,674 3.7% $315,702 $69,758 0.0331
67 Cramerton 5,294 4.7% $282,370 $89,313 0.0480
68 Tarboro 10,696 3.3% $150,964 $43,523 0.0361
69 Dallas 5,889 4.1% $255,650 $55,979 0.0217
70 Kill Devil Hills 7,658 6.1% $490,281 $73,036 0.0304
71 Southern Pines 15,701 6.7% $460,376 $81,867 0.0233
72 Mount Holly 17,644 6.5% $341,383 $73,923 0.0172
73 Marvin 6,421 4.4% $1,073,504 $238,875 0.0477
74 Durham 284,094 4.3% $395,610 $74,710 0.0404
75 Kannapolis 53,314 6.1% $259,607 $66,487 0.0233
76 Asheville 93,695 4.1% $451,444 $63,810 0.0607
77 Carolina Beach 6,583 8.9% $582,789 $87,159 0.0272
78 Oak Ridge 7,637 3.8% $514,942 $146,131 0.0463
79 Garner 31,684 5.8% $374,654 $77,171 0.0404
80 Jacksonville 71,908 8.9% $233,373 $50,185 0.0241
81 Greenville 87,894 8.7% $229,462 $47,485 0.0335
82 Clemmons 21,281 5.0% $353,229 $75,667 0.0510
83 New Bern 31,373 4.5% $262,377 $55,673 0.0257
84 Cherryville 6,113 3.5% $231,051 $57,137 0.0204
85 Stokesdale 5,900 0.4% $349,634 $118,159 0.0463
86 Belmont 14,842 4.4% $403,471 $84,274 0.0387
87 Kernersville 27,177 3.0% $302,017 $66,151 0.0385
88 Wilmington 116,933 4.9% $390,034 $58,908 0.0346
89 Woodfin 7,901 2.0% $400,598 $59,144 0.0129
90 Weddington 13,173 2.2% $936,823 $171,810 0.0970
91 Hendersonville 15,102 2.2% $395,150 $50,198 0.0418
92 Mebane 17,899 3.5% $339,769 $78,419 0.0342
93 St. James 6,566 3.5% $705,540 $113,507 0.1594
94 Summerfield 10,986 2.9% $467,749 $148,182 0.0463
95 Leland 24,473 3.8% $383,768 $82,651 0.1594
96 Raleigh 465,517 4.5% $431,992 $78,631 0.0287
97 Mint Hill 26,537 4.9% $471,547 $92,102 0.0106
98 Clayton 26,837 1.8% $366,122 $71,698 0.0151
99 Brevard 7,777 5.6% $431,629 $42,843 0.0159
100 Knightdale 19,127 5.9% $363,028 $79,364 0.0284
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

74 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In North Carolina For 2024

  1. I lived in Hamlet N.C from birth until I turned 24 years old and my entire family still lives there. Hamlet is a wonderful place to live and I always feel safe when I go home to visit. Just like every other town there are bad people and Hamlet does have some. For the most part people in Hamlet and Rockingham are good people and a tight knit community. Just because the Facebook page doesn’t have a lot of likes means nothing. No one in my family has ever been robbed in Hamlet or Rockingham and I will always feel safe there.

    1. Lol. Hamlet? Growing up there I was assaulted multiple times, had a knife pulled on me in school for lunch money and even had a gun pulled on me and robbed several times. And I grew up on the better side of the tracks. Never had anything like this in the next 30 years in my current town. After getting my degree, I couldn’t wait to leave.

    2. Those towns suck so bad. This analysis is so spot on. I would not live in any of them trash dumps. Some towns in Brunswick county should have been in that list. Nothing but drug addicts.

  2. I was looking on here and I was curious about where my city was ranked but I didn’t see it on here anywhere. I live in Dallas, North Carolina. Anything you could tell me about my city?

  3. How could you leave Laurinburg (with the highest unemployment in the state and now also without a middle school in the city limits) off the list? Oh and did I mention the high poverty rate, even higher taxes (yes that’s mostly the county govt, but that also needs to be considered), and all the raw sewage that is spilled into the water table every time it rains and the fact that ther eis nothing to do here but eat fast food and go to church, which a good number of people go outside of the county for anyway. And the crime rate is not as high because noone got shot last summer, but the summer before we had like 4-5 murders. And you leave out the $85 per person extra tax that just got passed that is going to raise a lot of people’s property taxes to MORE than a week’s worth of full time pay. At my house this tax “fee” is going to raise the property tax by 45%. Then factor in that our new hope is a Zaxby’s where even the manager will striggle to hit $30k/yr. How much did they pay you to keep them off of your list?

  4. Where are you getting home values? I am familiar with Eden and Reidsville. Median home values are around $82,500 and $112,100 respectively.

  5. Wow my city is #1. We have high crime? That’s news to me. Someone is very sloppy in their research. I live pretty nicely. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. People who live in our county are very nice and polite. Has the person who wrote this actually visited these places? I’m guessing…no.

    1. I live in F.C. too. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I really think this is non-sense! I read the paper daily & I don’t see anything reported as they are claiming!

    2. I moved from the west coast to live in Forest City 20 yrs ago. I chose Forest City because of the lack of density of population. Great people, great little town

  6. Sounds like some people are butt hurt. You “I’ve lived in this town my whole life and I disagree” people. Yeah, I guess you would if that’s all you know. This is accurate.

  7. You are totally right about my hometown of Whiteville!, it is horrible and there is nothing to do here but do drugs and rob people, the minimum wage is 7.25 and with taxes and child support I end up paying my employer to work there, I’d be better off sitting on my ass like everyone else in the city and living off the government!

    1. I think Whiteville has great potential. The fact that higher-end restaurants like the Southern Kitchen and Sophie’s have been able to thrive, and that the downtown is really pretty busy are good indications that this is a place where good things could happen. Yes, minimum wage is $7.25, but that’s true everywhere in NC! If only people would support their downtown a bit more, it would attract more businesses, and create more jobs in the process.

      1. Whiteville has always had a lot of potential, most of which has been blocked repeatedly by the criminal element who could not tolerate any outside eyes on their affairs. If anyone came in from outside, they might notice all the money laundering (like the unfortunate preacher in The Devil in Pew Number Seven) or the misuse of public funds (our water and sewer projects).

        1. Many things have changed for the better in the last 5 years. As I said in my other comment, the “good old boy” system is no longer in place, and this gives everyone a better chance at succeeding. From all the construction going on, you can tell things are really happening downtown, and this little town is about to experience a new economic boom. Just saying.

  8. I’ve lived in Eden most of my life. I did move to Rock Hill,SC for 10+ years & it was a shock to me when I moved back in 2005 at how many of my highschool friends that were going places are addicted to crack cocaine and narcotic pain medications. Really pitiful situations. But my immediate family all live in Eden & I’ve always felt safe. U just have to stay out of certain neighborhoods and/or areas.

  9. Hendersonville north Carolina should be in the top five for sure. Nothing but crack heads, pill heads, and meth heads.

    1. Hendersonville NC is trash talk city. They trash peoples reputations until they have to leave. It’s a miserable little town.

  10. My wife is a teacher at these underfunded schools in Dunn, what the article does not mention is the awesome teachers that we do have in this community that does great with the kids they have… we have an All American City and despite the high crime rate which you will find in most cities today, I have raised five children and would not trade Dunn for any of the the top ten cities mentioned in the best category, we have a small hometown atmosphere that attracts big name corporations like Food Lion and Rooms to Go. My family loves Dunn, NC. Please bring your statistics and just visit with us for a week, I am sure you will rethink your standings. Like any other city, we have our hiccups, but Dunn, NC is one of North Carolina’s best kept secrets, we really are a great community and a place I am thankful to have raised my children.

    1. I totally agree. I was raised in erwin. For those that dont know where erwin is we are basically the same city. Although I left the area when my husband whose is in the army was transfered. My whole family still lives there and love it. Yes you have to drive to go to the movies a few mins and mall. But Ive lived in big cities like Indianapolis and it still took is 20 mins to get to the movies or mall. So I think its a fair trade off to have our kids in a safe place with small town values.

      1. Wow, both of you must have lived in a completely different Dunn and Erwin than I did. The schools there are a joke and as far as small town values, you must be referring to the darker side of the values. The “good ol boy club” and the Christians women’s club values because if you aren’t apart of either of those then there’s no one to get your kids in the good classes with the one or two good teachers in the school. Dunn is a black hole where only the lucky get to leave and Erwin is its crackhead laden twin with old money mentality and no future

    2. My name is renee hall i work at your wifes school to she wonderful tell her I said hi lol small world

  11. This site is made for rich fancy folks who think their high class its not about the town it’s about who the person is me I love my small town USA they can kiss my ass lol its how u grow up that’s not on a stats sheet

    1. Cornelius is on the list and that’s a rich town with mansions on the lake. Michael Jordan’s mother lives there, so, there goes your rich fancy folks theory :/

  12. I am astonished by the accuracy of your report. You knocked the ball out of the park. After all the bad, thanks for mentioning the good. I have a thorough knowledge of the towns of North Carolina. I have completed four Cycle North Carolinas (bike ride mountains to the coast), and had an ambulance company for eight years that transported patients from UNC Hospitals to all parts of the state. I agree 110 percent.
    Not online, I can tell you a hilariously funny Forest City story. “Dog Town”. Thanks for your great work.

  13. Lots of assumptions made due to the numbers. Lots of things raw data can’t tell you. Of course towns that’s don’t have uber wealthy crowds and neighborhoods are going to statistically look worse.

    Yet another example of how easy it is to make numbers say whatever you want them to.

  14. This article is terrible. There are a lot of great attributes to each of these towns that weren’t taken into effect. I don’t know about many of the others, but based off of what I know about Kinston and Goldsboro [which was pretty close to being on the list] not all of these have been properly vetted. Kinston has much more than a Walmart, they have a growing downtown with a large following for the Mother Earth Brewery. And Goldsboro has a huge military population which has contributed a lot to the town and the state. And there are towns that are worse that could have been put on that list.

    Also, in 2013, Gallup-Healthways surveyed hundreds of thousands of Americans in 189 metropolitan areas using many of the same qualifications you did (they used financial, employment, health, and social indicators) and came up with Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton ranking #5 nationally as one of the most miserable areas in the nation. I didn’t see any of those cities on your list. The closest you got was Statesville.

    I completely disagree and will not be sharing on Fb to perpetuate your biased and practically unfounded opinions.

  15. I’ve lived in both Hamlet & Rockingham. They are horrible little towns. There are generations of the same families living there. No one wants to leave or get an education. Also, the powers that be won’t let any companies move in to help the economy. The county is a black hole.

  16. I was looking over the data list that was compiled of all the cities/towns in North Carolina and there were barely any places noted that are west of Asheville. I saw Waynesville, but there are about over 2 hours more west of Asheville that definitely have statistics. Towns that I know have unemployment rates that are high and low market values for housing. I appreciate the work you did to compile this information, but if you are going to do it for all towns in North Carolina, do ALL the towns since there are many more you left off.

  17. Onion Light. No surprise that a Triangle start up doesn’t include any of their own in this “report”. As others have mentioned, there is much more to a place than city based stats. And until you actually go to any of these places, it is unfair to lump them in this article. Finally, great way to kick rural areas. How does that actually help anyone? I really like my 12 minute commute, low stress, and low cost of living in one of the towns listed. I suppose you have that short travel time also, from your parent’s basement up to their computer in the kitchen.

  18. Yeah, well — if a town has a Cook Out, it’s all right by me. I detour off I-95 to hit the one in Dunn all the time.

  19. Funny, I thought Dunn would be higher on the list. I was born and raised there. School system is horrendous, crime is bad, drugs rampant, horribly entitled minority, and full of pseudo conservative christian “10 cent millionaires”. The only positive that I can see, is there are a few good places to work in and around town, and they have a good mayor. It’s laughable that this town actually has a tourism authority for it’s one museum. All other “attractions” (using that term loosely) are found miles out of town. If you’re lucky enough to stay in one of the town’s few acceptable hotels…(the one’s not infested with bedbugs or about to be condemned) you’ll pay a hefty occupancy tax to fund the ever growing I95 billboard portfolio.

  20. What in the world were your criteria? Obviously you didn’t grow up in the warm nest of a caring small town. There’s some charming architecture, especially the smashingly wonderful Victorian train station. The Main Street was a movie set. Someone appreciated it! Hamlet schools were very good. The town has a well established hospital, and has had one for 100 years, along with a nursing school. Extreme cases could easily be sent to teaching hospitals. Fire and police protection was good. Everyone knew everyone and looked out for each other. As kids, we had tremendous freedom, especially once you could ride a bicycle. I always felt safe. Why not look for the positive? There’s a lot there in all of these places.

    1. Curlylocks, Hamlet schools are absolutely dreadful. I was educated in them. My family’s kids go to these schools. I’ve worked in them. They’re drastically under-funded and under-staffed, and sadly, some of that is due to poor distribution of funds at the local level, as well as under-funding from state and federal. Rockingham is no better, with the high school being the worst excuse for an educational institution I have ever seen in my life. That school has a massive drug and alcohol problem in the student body.
      As for the architecture, yes. We have some beautiful examples of Victorian architecture. I wouldn’t use the train station as a representative example, however. I live on 74. Disrepair does not even begin to describe what has happened to what was once absolutely picturesque when I was a child. Covering up problems by ignoring the flaws and seeing what was instead of what is – that’s the Richmond County I have lived in most of my life. And the one I am working hard to leave – permanently.

    2. The “warm nest” of my “caring town” closed ranks to block the murder investigation of a local nurse because her “christian” family didn’t want it to come out that she was a lesbian.

  21. You know what? I’ve been around the world and haven’t found anywhere more beautiful and safer than Forest City. I raised three boys here and my family has owned multiple businesses here over the last 50 years. Your study is BS.

  22. Gastonia has FAR more crime than most of these places mentioned, so it really makes me wonder about your criteria… I know people who live in Tarboro and love it – have heard good things about Forest City, and Statesville is as exciting as a root canal, but the terrible high crime they talk about must be the drug busts in the South side, since violent crime is very rare. The places they list as ‘good’ are all high rent and expensive homes – and hordes of Yankees who moved there and ‘improved things’ like the terrible traffic.

  23. Rutherford County is the WORST place to live or die in all of North Carolina. Its a death sentence on those who depend on their county health care and services related to health care. Its a death sentence!

  24. Why would you have a survey like this? I moved from Asheville…yes Asheville back to my hometown of Forest City. I got tired of the unfriendly people on Asheville, the traffic, the incredibly high cost of living, etc. I love being back in “Small Town Friendly.”

  25. Whiteville is the most dangerous place listed because it puts such a pretty face on the absolute utter depths of depravity. There is no way to expose the corruption in this tiny version of 1800’s Sicily, because so many people are in on it. Its like one big mob family. That’s why they were so effective at blocking the Colcor investigation. Its always been what they call a “closed shop” in criminal terms. Since no one can point fingers, murderers walk free and child abuse is not investigated. This has been going on forever. One of the most noted citizens, who’s name graces a public building in town, openly had a child with his own daughter. Its a great town for late night high stakes gambling, cheap hookers and gun running.

    1. I’m not from Whiteville, but I conduct business there. I can tell you the “good old boy” system is no longer in place. It has been both easier and harder to get things done (easier because you now have to meet all code/requirements of the law so you know what is expected, harder because you can’t bribe anyone if you don’t), but it is no longer the corrupt little town it once was. The past couple of town managers did a great job at making things more transparent and efficient. Unfortunately, some people like to rehash the bad things over and over and turn a blind eye to the good things, especially when they didn’t come up with them.

      1. Some of use have family members who’s murders were never properly investigated and resent that, deeply, but its nice that the bribery requirement is reduced and coffee shops are opening.

        1. Coffee shops are opening, and would you believe it has become a gourmet destination? One of the best restaurants I ever ate at is located in the heart of downtown Whiteville and is doing very well indeed. Who knew, right?

      2. What do you think about doing business there? I was thinking of putting a warehouse there, but called the Economic Development Committee, they were pretty unfriendly almost to the point of being rude.

        1. I don’t know who you talked to at the EDC. I haven’t personally dealt with them, so I can’t talk for them, but when I went to city hall, they were all like “how can we help you?” and when what I wanted to do didn’t quite fit what they allowed in their city ordinances, they told me what to do to have that modified in a reasonably timely manner so I could move my business there, and they helped me through the process. All in all, a very pro-business attitude, and a bunch of good people working there. Plus, you can’t beat the low rent and proximity to bigger cities, and the train is running again. I would give them another try. And not to open another can of worms, but EDC is “Columbus County”, whereas City Hall is “City of Whiteville”. But I really don’t have any problems with anyone there. Maybe they just had a bad day.

  26. No,no,no here is the most accurate list.
    1. Kinston 6. Shelby
    2. Goldsboro 7. Wadesboro
    3. Lumberton 8. Charlotte
    4. Henderson 9. Hendersonville
    5. Forest City 10. Grifton

  27. You haven’t considered some of the environmental factors. Some mountain cities should rank high due to the clean water and air and short hikes to stunning views. Jefferson in the high country is a good example. At the poor end are towns where the prisons, hog sewage lagoons, and pulp mills are concentrated. Just follow your nose to those places which have some of the worst air in the country. Most are producing warehouse meats for out-of-state producers like Smithfield pork and Purdue chicken. One horrible neighbor is across the state line from South of the Border. I hope that a future hurricane will destroy the tacky billboards there. You would think that one billboard would be enough to announce their presence, but SOB seems to think that they need hundreds.

  28. I grew up in Southern Pines. Lived in Boone and Asheville. Now live in Morganton. I would agree with a lot of this review. Morganton is the worst place I have ever lived in every way listed above. I hate it here and will be moving asap and never looking back. Barely a friend to have around here, no jobs, poor attitude, people tip an avg of 5% The latin and black population here are far more friendly than any redneck you’ll meet. SO much ego here for no reason at all. Ive watched a dozen businesses close in the past year. Its so depressing.

  29. This subject has been in play since before Hurricane Florence. We have had another major pollution spill from factory hog farms in SE NC by just adding water. From Duplin County, greedy growers found a way to pollute the Pamlico, Cape Fear and Onslow County waters, and the regulators have been bought off, setting the scene for another pollution disaster, and another,and another… If you don’t include Beulaville, Kenansville, Warsaw, Rose Hill and a few other pig manure towns in nearby Sampson and Lenoir Counties as unliveable, your list is lacking.

  30. I’ve got a place in Hamlet. I agree with the tone of your comment. No wonder people are leaving and stores are closing because of a lack of business. Also, people get tired of being given the cold shoulder.

  31. I could go into great detail with this. Everything in Cumberland County is a scam. The power companies scam you. The mortgage companies and banks will engineer foreclosures and take your house. You can up grade your property and the real estate companies will not give you credit, but then take your house after you have paid in enough to equal the cost, or are near paying it off. Every business there is scamming the soldiers from the military base, and the civilian residents, and you can complain to the governor himself, and nothing will ever be done about the situation. The local hospital, Cape Fear Valley, is a virtual butcher shop. People die there like mad because the doctors pass you around to their friends, so they all may take turns leveling extortion fees against your insurance, who in turn, return the kind favor with another patient. Crime there is off the chain. The whole county is a virtual violent third world gangster infested subhuman ghetto. My best advice is to hit the gas pedal and keep on trucking passed.

  32. What!! How could leave the anus of North Carolina off the list – Lumberton! The city feels forgotten and abandoned.

  33. There are plenty of dying little towns in every state. I come from one and don’t regret leaving. It’s sad but changing patterns of economic job engines, determine whether there are jobs where you live. So people want to be where they can get a decent job and be comfortable. And people gravitate to bigger communities or those that have a short commuting distance to a job. Some small towns in NC have benefited geographically, like Mebane which is midway between the Research Triangle and Greensboro Triad area.

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