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:
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.
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.
Population: 146 Median Income: $20,938
Median Home Value: $76,900
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
Population: 275 Median Income: $24,583
Median Home Value: $69,400
Population: 167 Median Income: $25,694
Median Home Value: $73,600
Population: 341 Median Income: $18,472
Median Home Value: $93,000
Population: 452 Median Income: $21,111
Median Home Value: $31,400
Population: 811 Median Income: $25,238
Median Home Value: $108,100
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.
- Best: Alamance
- 2nd Best: Deercroft
- 3rd Best: Walnut Creek
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