These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Carolina For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for . This is our fourth time ranking the worst small places to live in North Carolina.

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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 286 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:

These are the worst small towns in North Carolina for 2019:

  1. Woodland
  2. Chadbourn
  3. North Wilkesboro (Photos)
  4. Yanceyville
  5. Enfield
  6. East Rockingham
  7. Magnolia
  8. Andrews
  9. East Spencer
  10. Jonesville

So what is the worst small town to call home in North Carolina for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Woodland is the worst small town to live in North Carolina.

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.

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

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 determined the worst small towns to live in North Carolina for 2019

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 286 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.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,118
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $69,700 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 23.1% (5th worst)
More on Woodland:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,110
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $61,800 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.3% (14th worst)
More on Chadbourn:  Data

North Wilkesboro, NC

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 4,217
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $112,500 (106th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.2% (10th worst)
More on North Wilkesboro:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,297
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $83,800 (42nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.4% (9th worst)
More on Yanceyville:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,588
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $73,700 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.0% (7th worst)
More on Enfield:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,397
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $48,500 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (94th worst)
More on East Rockingham:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,377
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 17)
Median Home Value: $61,300 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (18th worst)
More on Magnolia:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,971
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $81,300 (39th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.7% (15th worst)
More on Andrews:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,558
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 9)
Median Home Value: $84,100 (44th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 28.3% (1st worst)
More on East Spencer:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,376
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $91,600 (62nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (88th worst)
More on Jonesville:  Data

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. Wrightsville Beach (Pop. 2,545)
  2. Alamance (Pop. 1,034)
  3. Fearrington Village (Pop. 2,784)

For more North Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In North Carolina

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Woodland 1,118 23.1% $69,700
2 Chadbourn 2,110 17.3% $61,800
3 North Wilkesboro 4,217 19.2% $112,500
4 Yanceyville 2,297 20.4% $83,800
5 Enfield 2,588 22.0% $73,700
6 East Rockingham 3,397 9.5% $48,500
7 Magnolia 1,377 16.0% $61,300
8 Andrews 1,971 16.7% $81,300
9 East Spencer 1,558 28.3% $84,100
10 Jonesville 2,376 9.8% $91,600
11 Maxton 2,538 19.0% $75,300
12 Cricket 2,035 3.9% $79,800
13 Gaston 1,046 11.1% $58,800
14 Light Oak 1,023 15.3% $69,500
15 Robbins 1,725 14.9% $68,100
16 Garysburg 1,085 11.1% $62,000
17 Franklinville 1,125 10.3% $72,000
18 Vanceboro 1,224 11.8% $79,400
19 Rowland 1,223 15.1% $66,800
20 Stony Point 2,021 12.6% $77,700
21 Mount Olive 4,675 18.8% $88,900
22 Scotland Neck 1,484 10.8% $83,200
23 Belhaven 1,997 11.0% $79,700
24 Ramseur 1,848 12.2% $99,200
25 Ellenboro 1,171 8.0% $76,100
26 Pembroke 3,059 13.4% $79,400
27 Bayboro 1,378 10.1% $70,900
28 Flat Rock 1,306 1.5% $80,900
29 Hertford 2,533 14.1% $110,600
30 Rhodhiss 1,011 11.2% $80,200
31 Polkton 3,265 24.7% $73,800
32 Pinetops 1,123 9.9% $64,300
33 Bryson City 1,519 12.3% $113,300
34 Plymouth 3,599 9.2% $80,300
35 Lucama 1,073 7.0% $75,100
36 Fairmont 2,659 8.3% $69,100
37 Red Springs 3,462 9.9% $73,400
38 Millers Creek 1,560 14.4% $111,100
39 Fairplains 2,118 8.0% $96,700
40 Snow Hill 1,820 11.3% $85,800
41 Fremont 1,258 10.7% $84,300
42 Sparta 1,726 4.3% $104,800
43 Connelly Springs 1,531 8.6% $97,900
44 Warsaw 3,141 3.5% $69,600
45 Tabor City 3,916 6.5% $89,400
46 Navassa 1,556 7.8% $114,400
47 Spruce Pine 2,089 5.6% $119,300
48 Elroy 3,405 14.9% $87,300
49 Brogden 2,349 14.1% $78,800
50 St. Pauls 1,897 8.0% $72,800
51 Northwest 1,065 10.6% $85,300
52 Icard 2,890 11.1% $129,100
53 Faison 1,137 15.5% $81,800
54 Ahoskie 4,895 14.2% $103,000
55 Hildebran 2,160 16.6% $139,900
56 Kenly 1,935 8.1% $96,200
57 South Rosemary 2,488 4.7% $85,300
58 Edenton 4,800 20.6% $126,400
59 Cherokee 2,309 4.9% $104,000
60 Franklinton 2,248 12.7% $100,000
61 Elizabet 3,530 5.5% $100,000
62 Candor 1,147 2.2% $90,100
63 Wallace 3,957 14.8% $111,700
64 Bladenboro 2,037 11.1% $62,200
65 Green Level 1,878 8.5% $73,100
66 Mayodan 2,700 11.6% $86,200
67 Gamewell 3,979 11.1% $92,600
68 Dobson 1,467 4.8% $113,900
69 Mount Gilead 1,110 7.2% $96,500
70 Troy 3,372 1.8% $94,500
71 Princeville 2,208 14.0% $73,900
72 Grifton 2,782 14.6% $85,900
73 Weldon 1,793 11.7% $99,000
74 Princeton 1,046 8.3% $87,000
75 Wilson’s Mills 2,504 6.8% $111,600
76 Bethel 1,656 15.3% $83,900
77 Murphy 1,954 11.9% $155,300
78 Lillington 3,477 7.0% $139,600
79 Rose Hill 2,026 7.8% $84,400
80 Robersonville 1,588 8.3% $88,600
81 Sharpsburg 2,208 13.1% $77,500
82 Mulberry 2,132 11.2% $155,800
83 Elm City 1,496 15.1% $85,500
84 Raeford 4,859 13.9% $106,500
85 Four Oaks 1,862 5.5% $113,000
86 Spring Hope 1,567 8.6% $103,800
87 Taylorsville 2,189 7.2% $106,900
88 Walnut Cove 1,551 6.6% $132,300
89 La Grange 2,723 9.5% $107,500
90 Biscoe 2,420 6.0% $93,400
91 Burgaw 4,028 9.4% $138,600
92 Fruitland 2,275 6.1% $72,500
93 Franklin 3,934 6.7% $140,900
94 Roseboro 1,383 11.1% $105,000
95 Beulaville 1,516 10.6% $135,800
96 West Jefferson 1,357 6.4% $152,500
97 Glen Raven 2,841 11.1% $145,700
98 Jefferson 1,543 8.5% $200,400
99 Coats 2,255 10.0% $94,600
100 Tyro 4,252 8.6% $125,300

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10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Carolina For 2019

  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.

  7. In my view, I feel the article is directed, perhaps unconsciously, but it doesn’t feel unconscious frankly – is directed at predominately white people to warn them of towns that are predominately black. Yes, I do find it frankly offensive and under the banner of white privilege – and I wonder too how many of the towns listed as the “worst” have sizable minority populations.

    I don’t feel we can necessarily take a purely statistical approach and also say in a pejorative sense, that e.g. “Yanceyville” is one of the “worst” towns or the “pits” – and then have links to data that show it has a black majority in terms of residents.

    Maybe the fact there is higher unemployment has also something to do with the reinforcement of negativity in terms of the language chosen to use when describing the statistics? Potential businesses ostensibly review such info – and I find Bud Tapman to be essentially aiding and abetting social and economic racial injustice.

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