These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Carolina For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in NC are the pits.

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Most Americans have never been to North Carolina. However, as the people who live there know, North Carolina is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, North Carolina has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Tar Heel State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 239 of North Carolina’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in North Carolina where you’d never want to live:

  1. Mcfarlan
  2. Norman
  3. East Arcadia
  4. Old Hundred
  5. Casar
  6. Everetts
  7. Fountain
  8. Morven
  9. Keener
  10. Woodland

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since North Carolina has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in North Carolina or the worst places to live in North Carolina.

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How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in North Carolina, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 239 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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1. Mcfarlan


Population: 146
Median Income: $20,938
Median Home Value: $76,900

2. Norman


Population: 107
Median Income: $19,688
Median Home Value: $27,500

3. East Arcadia


Population: 595
Median Income: $25,556
Median Home Value: $57,500

4. Old Hundred


Population: 325
Median Income: $23,864
Median Home Value: $61,100

5. Casar


Population: 275
Median Income: $24,583
Median Home Value: $69,400

6. Everetts


Population: 167
Median Income: $25,694
Median Home Value: $73,600

7. Fountain


Population: 341
Median Income: $18,472
Median Home Value: $93,000

8. Morven


Population: 452
Median Income: $21,111
Median Home Value: $31,400

9. Keener


Population: 811
Median Income: $25,238
Median Home Value: $108,100

10. Woodland


Population: 977
Median Income: $19,129
Median Home Value: $72,400

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In North Carolina

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Tar Heel State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in North Carolina, according to science.

  1. Best: Alamance
  2. 2nd Best: Deercroft
  3. 3rd Best: Walnut Creek

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In North Carolina
  • These Are The 10 Safest Cities in North Carolina
  • These Are The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In North Carolina
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In North Carolina

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Mcfarlan 1 146 $76,900
    Norman 2 107 $27,500
    East Arcadia 3 595 $57,500
    Old Hundred 4 325 $61,100
    Casar 5 275 $69,400
    Everetts 6 167 $73,600
    Fountain 7 341 $93,000
    Morven 8 452 $31,400
    Keener 9 811 $108,100
    Woodland 10 977 $72,400
    Waco 11 281 $87,500
    Hollister 12 887 $75,300
    Castalia 13 350 $40,000
    Greenevers 14 857 $87,500
    Boardman 15 244 $65,000
    Pleasant Hill 16 671 $95,300
    High Shoals 17 703 $92,500
    Rennert 18 355 $65,800
    Hoffman 19 687 $67,700
    Pinnacle 20 902 $92,900
    East Laurinburg 21 327 $41,900
    Lansing 22 209 $95,000
    South Weldon 23 542 $55,000
    South Henderson 24 932 $90,600
    Conway 25 723 $88,500
    Brunswick 26 922 $67,500
    Roper 27 399 $74,200
    Gibson 28 537 $75,000
    King 29 730 $85,000
    Peletier 30 740 $117,700
    Dobbins Heights 31 875 $49,400
    Kelford 32 233 $60,600
    Light Oak 33 837 $72,700
    Lawndale 34 760 $74,200
    Robbinsville 35 636 $38,500
    Macclesfield 36 601 $75,600
    Roxobel 37 315 $64,200
    Patterson Springs 38 721 $71,100
    Jamesville 39 578 $86,900
    Aulander 40 857 $69,100
    Dublin 41 358 $81,400
    Calypso 42 569 $63,300
    Brookford 43 393 $87,800
    Garland 44 552 $65,000
    Fair Bluff 45 848 $78,600
    Winton 46 871 $69,600
    Riegelwood 47 572 $87,600
    Love Valley 48 103 $74,400
    Garysburg 49 983 $57,000
    Hobgood 50 344 $55,000
    Parmele 51 295 $67,400
    Ansonville 52 698 $65,200
    Ronda 53 581 $68,100
    Hot Springs 54 589 $125,000
    Severn 55 195 $132,500
    Momeyer 56 284 $74,000
    Conetoe 57 246 $66,600
    Camden 58 689 $251,700
    Rosman 59 673 $107,900
    Grimesland 60 451 $64,000
    Hamilton 61 413 $57,000
    Aurora 62 520 $94,800
    Watha 63 182 $106,800
    Vandemere 64 261 $55,000
    Trenton 65 348 $75,000
    Harmony 66 527 $102,100
    Candor 67 886 $86,300
    Ashley Heights 68 473 $137,500
    Sandyfield 69 408 $84,100
    Cofield 70 297 $80,000
    Peachland 71 397 $85,800
    Bolton 72 801 $80,100
    Clarkton 73 686 $77,300
    Oak City 74 333 $76,000
    Seagrove 75 286 $106,300
    Powellsville 76 221 $75,000
    Vann Crossroads 77 463 $137,500
    Whitakers 78 874 $68,600
    Raemon 79 173 $65,600
    Vass 80 666 $113,900
    Staley 81 302 $91,000
    Bunn 82 384 $100,700
    Grantsboro 83 867 $103,100
    Belvoir 84 706 $106,600
    Black Creek 85 685 $82,800
    Castle Hayne 86 999 $246,700
    Butters 87 249 $67,300
    Dover 88 268 $71,200
    Creswell 89 276 $94,300
    Lewiston Woodville 90 674 $80,000
    Marietta 91 134 $66,000
    Stonewall 92 191 $86,700
    Belwood 93 972 $93,200
    Maysville 94 937 $76,500
    Swan Quarter 95 300 $68,100
    Lowgap 96 468 $131,400
    Winfall 97 662 $126,300
    Cove City 98 422 $81,500
    Micro 99 661 $81,000
    Atkinson 100 359 $92,900

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    9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Carolina For 2018

    1. As a resident outsider to Casar (from Miami, FL) I have to say that whomever (Bud Tapman) wrote this is an idiot and knows nothing about our town. First, our population is 298, not 410. Second, despite the fact that our average median income is under $20,000, there is not one single resident that would ever allow a neighbor to go to bed hungry. We pull together as a community to help one another in one way or another. This town is built on generations of kindness, humility, and hard working people. The folks her have strong roots in faith, love, and compassion. So when you say that we are number three on the your uninformed list of places to live, stay out if you don’t like the type of people I have described.

    2. My husband and I have lived here our entire marriage(43) yrs. In 2005 our home burned to the ground. Neither of is we’re home that day. He is a minister, was in Gastonia that day. I worked for a dermatologist, was off that day at a Dr’s appt. picked my granddaughter up. When I pulled in the fire department was trying to save our hpme. The fire men worked so hard to some actually passed out. Strangers showed up with clothes for us. My sister in law Carol fixed us a meal that night, stayed the night with my mother. Came the next morning to our burnt home and fireman had came back to check on us. Neighbors, strangers brought us money, food and clothes to wear. We lost everything, even a car sitting on the carport. This little town you describe as third came in first that day. It might be small and poor in your estimation but when it comes to a tragedy or needing a helping hand, its number one. Faith, living right, and being a good neighbor is all around us. Rethinking your status of #3 might be in order. No, we are not perfect. Come check is put in person.

    3. This must be another Gay rights Activist writing these articles, who is supported by our Attorney General, Roy Cooper!

    4. Lewiston is not a poor town with a lot of dropouts. There’s 36 teachers, doctors, parents of am NBA star, nurses, and prominent business owners within a 4 mile radius of my childhood home. It’s quiet and most people are related or friends. People need not write about things they truly don’t know.

      1. It very much is a poor town. I could not believe how bad it looks now compared to when I was a teenager. It’s gone downhill.

    5. I love living in Stonewall. Unlike these demographics, I have a job (often more than 3-4!) a college eduation (plus a grad degree!) and am not a criminal. Yes, we have some uneployment here.. but there are MANY retirees who chose to stay in Stonewall.
      SHEESH!

    6. THANK You For all the Great Info, and the Great replies too. Does anyone here happen to know the area or areas of Mt. Airy, NC.? From what im hearing about the drug scene, Andy has left the building. Have considered moving there for the good home prices, but there’s always a minus for a plus, understood, but druggies and violence in my face, ain’t worth it. I may have to redneck it on over to Robbinsville, Lol.

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