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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 278 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in north carolina for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Garland 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.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Carolina For 2020
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $67,100 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (58th worst)
More on Garland: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $88,400 (50th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.8% (10th worst)
More on Yanceyville: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $51,300 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.1% (16th worst)
More on Chadbourn: Data
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $60,900 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (19th worst)
More on Gaston: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $70,000 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (20th worst)
More on Andrews: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $59,100 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (21st worst)
More on Magnolia: Data
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $75,600 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.8% (5th worst)
More on Enfield: Data
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 11)
Median Home Value: $85,000 (42nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.7% (43rd worst)
More on Vanceboro: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $53,000 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (73rd worst)
More on East Rockingham: Data
Rank Last Year: 39 (Up 28)
Median Home Value: $110,600 (96th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.1% (15th worst)
More on Millers Creek: Data
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 2020
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 2014-2018 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 - 278 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.
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:
- Trent Woods (Pop. 4,081)
- Wrightsville Beach (Pop. 2,536)
- Westport (Pop. 4,119)
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In North Carolina