If you’re in the market for a new home in North Carolina, you’re in luck. Based on the information provided by the likes of Niche, and Livability, there seems to be no shortage of places offering an excellent standard of living, great job opportunities, and excellent public amenities. Of course, we all have different ideas of what constitutes a great neighborhood; young professionals may prioritize a great nightlife above all else, while young families may be happy to swap a great night out for a low crime rate. That said, it’s simple enough to build an overall picture of an area by looking at all the different factors (crime rate, median household income, home value, school system, local amenities, etc.) that indicate prosperity, safety, and happiness. Here, we’ve done just that. Starting at number 20, here’s our rundown of the best places to live in North Carolina.
20. Third Ward
If you want to live in the 20th most desirable area in North Carolina, you’ll need to head on down to the small neighborhood of Third Ward in Charlotte. With a population of just 3,709, there’s no denying Third Ward is one of the smallest entries to our list. That said, it offers an excellent range of public amenities and recreational facilities that belies its diminutive size. In addition to the great range of shops, bars, restaurants, and cultural activities on offer, Third Ward is within easy reach of a number of first-class schools, as well as the booming job market in Charlotte. If you want to live somewhere that bridges the divide between city living and small-town friendliness, Third Ward may be just the place.
Chantilly is a small neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina that boasts a population of just 1,685. Despite its small size, there’s no shortage of great amenities on offer, including a range of excellent dining establishments, coffee shops, bars, and shops. Most residents (73%, to be precise) own their own homes, lending the neighborhood a stable, family-friendly feel. In addition to the low crime rate, Chantilly has an excellent school system and a wealthy population (the average household income is $98,875) of highly educated residents: 37% have earned a bachelor’s degree, while a further 36% have earned a master’s degree or higher.
18. Myers Park
Myers Park in Charlotte may not be the largest of neighborhoods, but there’s plenty on offer to keep its population of 12,588 happy, nevertheless. The average resident can expect to own their own property valued at a mammoth $854,384, enjoy next to no crime, a median household income of more than double the national average ($160,432 to be exact), and access to some first-rate leisure and public service amenities (including exceptional schools such as Myers Park High School, Cato Middle College High School and Charlotte Engineering Early College).
17. Freedom Park
The only thing preventing Freedom Park from enjoying a higher-ranking position is its ethnic and economic diversity, which ranks as a “must-do” better C+ according to Niche. Other than that, its 4003 residents can enjoy an excellent quality of life thanks to the neighborhood’s abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, and green spaces. Other great features include a top-rated school system (Myers Park High School, Cato Middle College High School and Charlotte Engineering Early College all score particularly highly), a low crime rate, a median household income of $125,762, and a suburban feel that offers the best of big-city amenities and small-town friendliness.
16. Beverly Woods
If you want to live in a small, family-friendly community that offers excellent access to the job opportunities and leisure pursuits in Charlotte, you may like to consider the small neighborhood of Beverly Woods. With a suburban feel, a median home value of $321,115, a close-knit population of 6705, a median household income of $101,902 and a good percentage of college-educated folk (48% have earned a bachelors and a further 26% have sat their masters), it makes an excellent home for families, seniors and young professionals alike.
15. Providence Park
With a population of just 2,582, Providence Park may be small, but it packs a mighty punch when it comes to offering an excellent standard of living to its residents. The job market in the surrounding area is particularly strong in food services, banking, and hospitality, while the school system offers the many families that call Providence Park home a number of excellent options, including the highly-rated Myers Park High School and Cato Middle College High School. Residents can expect to enjoy a median household income of $80,257, a low crime rate, and access to a full range of shops, bars, and dining opportunities.
14. Ballantyne East
If you want to join the 67% of Ballantyne East’s 9,064 population that own their own home, you’ll need to have $440,712 (the median price of a property in the neighborhood) at your disposal. If you do, you can expect to enjoy an excellent range of public services and amenities, a crime rate that’s one of the lowest in the county, a median household income of $110,305, and some scintillating conversation with the neighborhood’s close-knit community of supremely well-educated residents (of whom 46% have a bachelors degree and 24% have a masters).-
13. Olde Providence North
Clean, safe and offering great access to the delights of the city, Olde Providence North is up next. Its population of 5,731 enjoys access to world-class dining options, excellent shopping areas, and plenty of cultural and recreational pursuits. A whopping 90% of residents own their own homes, while another 33% have young families (attracted, no doubt, by the highly-rated public-school system, low crime rates, and easy commuting distance to the metropolitan).
The suburban atmosphere of tiny Cherry in Charlotte comes from the neighborhood’s combination of family-friendly facilities and abundance of shops, bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Despite its small population of 1712, there’s more than enough on offer to make it one of the most appealing areas to live in North Carolina, including a low crime rate, an excellent school system, a low median rent of just $690 (a factor in why the neighborhood attracts so many young professionals) and its close proximity to the jobs and nightlife of the metropolitan
11. Providence Crossing
Just missing out on a place in our top ten (but still highly desirable, none-the-less) is the Providence Crossing neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. With low crime rates and an excellent school system, its easy to understand why so many families choose to call Providence Crossing their home. This isn’t to say it’s not an equally attractive proposition to young professionals: the area is booming, providing more than enough job opportunities and prospects to satisfy the needs of its highly educated population (not to mention ensure their median household income of $129,367).
10. Ballantyne West
The highly desirable neighborhood of Ballantyne West makes it into our top ten with a population of 17,939, a highly rated public school system (Ardrey Kell High School, Cato Middle College High School, and South Mecklenburg High School come particularly recommended), a low crime rate, a highly educated citizenship (33% have a bachelors degree while another 23% have a masters degree), and plenty of shops, leisure facilities and green spaces for residents to spend their average household income of $98,856 at
9. First Ward
The average resident of First Ward, Charlotte, rents their home (usually for around $1119 per month), has a bachelor’s degree, a median household income of $47468 (admittedly, that’s slightly below the national average but is reflective more of the youthfulness of its demographic than its low prospects), access to first-rate job opportunities and a highly rated school system, and an almost 0% chance of being the victim of a crime.
Hembstead, a neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina with a population of 4,167, scores well across the board: 76% of residents own their own properties (which, considering their average value of $467,717, is no mean feat); 48% have a bachelors degree (another 33% have a masters); and most enjoy a median household income of $152,393. Given the low crime rates and excellent school system, its little wonder the neighborhood is so desirable among young families: of its population, 46% have young children.
7. Fourth Ward
If you’ve got money to burn ($231,007, to be precise), you may want to join the 37% of Fourth Ward residents that own their own home. Otherwise, you’ll have to contend yourself with shelling out $1454 to rent a residence in this prestigious district of low crime rates, highly educated residents, excellent amenities, and highly rated schools.
6. Providence Park
Up next is Providence Plantation, a small neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina with a population of 11,503. The overwhelming majority (85%, to put an exact figure on it) own their own homes, despite the average home price sitting high above the national average at $389,892. As a whole, the residents of Providence Park are some of the most highly educated in Charlotte, with 44% having a bachelor’s degree and a further 24% having a master's. The median household income of $136,243 translates into an above-average disposable income, while the low crime rate ensures a safe environment for the 44% of residents raising a young family.
Cary is a large suburb of Raleigh with a population of 159,715. Served by top-rated schools such as Green Hope High School, Panther Creek High School and Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School, it’s a natural draw for families looking to enjoy an excellent school system in a safe environment (despite is size, it has some of the lowest crime rates in Raleigh- 59% lower than the national average according to Area Vibes. The highly educated population (37% have a bachelors and another 28% have a masters) enjoy a fantastic array of shops, coffee bars, and restaurants, while most can expect to enjoy a median household income of $97,755. As an added bonus, Cary offer access to a great range of outdoor pursuits; as Livability notes, its 36 greenway trails are perfect for recreation
4. Sharon Woods
Wondering how the small neighborhood of Sharon Woods in Charlotte, North Carolina managed to make it to 4th place position on our list? Then check out its stats: 65% of its lucky residents own a home with a median value of $286,718; there’ve been no violent or property crimes reported within the past year; most residents enjoy a household income of around $92,160, and 42% have a bachelor’s degree.
When it comes to the important things like pubic amenities, crime rate, schools, household income, and average home value, Morrisville (a mid-sized suburb of Durham in Wake County) scores top marks across the board. Of its 23,873 residents, 51% own their own property (which typically come with a median value of $304,500); 38% have a bachelor’s degree (a further 29% have a master’s degree or higher); most enjoy a household income that at $95,763, sits high above the national average (and, as Crazy Tourist notes, has seen everyone from McDonald's to Walmart move-in in the hope of exploiting the local dollar); and all get to benefit from a low crime rate and excellent schools.
Just missing out on a place at the top of our list is Dilworth, a small neighborhood in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County. Key facts about Dilworth: it enjoys one of the best school systems in the state; 49% of residents own a home with a median value of $487,790; it boasts a crime rate of zero; 43% of its residents have a bachelor’s degree (another 37% have a masters degree or higher); its median household income is almost twice the national average at $101,980; it’s well served with leisure and recreational services; it’s the 2nd best place to live in the state of North Carolina.
Ranking as the very best place in North Carolina to live in the small neighborhood of Uptown in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County. A quick glance at the stats quickly reveals the reasons behind its position: of its 7828 residents, 25% own a property with a median value of $263,826. The remainder rent for an average monthly cost of $1,401. 47% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, while a further 29% have a master's. The median household income of $86,080 allows the population a far more comfortable lifestyle than the average American (who can claim a median income of just $55322), while the many bars, restaurants, shopping facilities and recreational pursuits in the district provides plenty of places for residents to spend their considerable disposable incomes.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson