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The 10 Richest Cities in North Carolina

North Carolina's state motto is "Esse Quam Videri," to be rather than to seem, which fits a well-rounded state and offers not only idyllic scenery but some of the best business and education opportunities. According to the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, they are focused on making business opportunities accessible and "fosters a pro-business environment."

The state was ranked number one for business in 2018 and has remained in the top ten for twelve years. Additionally, Site Selection named it the Top Competitive State for Business. So, it's only natural that North Carolina would have many affluent cities. These are the top ten richest cities in North Carolina.


10. Pinehurst

The village is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in the state of North Carolina. It continues to stay close to its roots instead of constantly expanding and changing. The town is small with a population of just under 17000, which gives it a rural feel.

St. James

9. St. James

St. James is an exclusive community in North Carolina which features some of the countries most renowned golf courses, including The Gauntlet, The Members club, and The Players Club. It is also located near Southport, a city known for filming multiple tv shows and movies, including Dawson's Creek and I Know What you Did Last Summer. Its history dates back to the 1500s, when Spanish explorers first discovered the area.


8. Stallings

This is a medium-sized city near the Catawba River. Over the years, the city has seen substantial growth. Currently, the population is 12,000 people with approximately 500 businesses. As Stallings continues to grow, they are making changes in the city to preserve the town's history and accommodate the influx of population.

Oak Ridge

7. Oak Ridge

This city is located just north of Greensboro in Guilford County. It's one of the most scenic cities on this list. According to their website Oak Ridge, "Oak Ridge boasts a rich history of agrarian culture known for such gems as the Old Mill of Guilford and Oak Ridge Military Academy."

Currently, the city is working on a plan for the town that encompasses its natural beauty and creating a family community centered on its historic resources and beautiful scenery.


6. Waxhaw

Waxhaw is located twenty minutes from Charlotte, near the South Carolina state line. The city dates back to the 1700s, making it one of the oldest towns in Union County. The name is taken from the Waxhaw Indians. Over the last decade, the town has seen a 100% increase in population, increasing business opportunities substantially.


5. Apex

The town began attracting more people after the Research Triangle Park was built in 1959. Forty years later, the dot com industry also contributed to the town's growth. Over the years, it has maintained its small-town feel making it a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the nearby city.

However, it experienced significant population growth in the 1990s, from 5,000 to 60,000. Money magazine has recognized it as one of the best places to live in America several years back.


4. Marvin

This city was incorporated on July 1, 1994, and is one of the fastest-growing cities in North Carolina, even though it only covers approximately 6 square miles. Additionally, it is close to Charlotte and Ballantyne. Yahoo!

Has named the city the best town to live in North Carolina for two years running. Moreover, it has the highest median income for the state. Education in Marvin is something that also sets the village apart. It has three of the state's best high schools: Cuthbertson High School and Marvin High School.


3. Davidson

According to Charlotte Stories, in 2019, this city was one of only two in the state where most households earned a six-figure income. Additionally, it is also home to some of the most well-educated citizens in the state.

The average North Carolina income is just under fifty thousand, and Davidson's median income is $109,907. In fact, most of the city's statistics are double the state average, including the median home value.

Moreover, 69% of the residents have a bachelor's or master's degree compared to 29% for the rest of the state. The city is also committed to ecological sustainability since the city's infrastructure is centered around bike rides and walkability. Additionally, they do not allow drive-thrus within the city limits.


2. Weddington

According to The Center Square, the median home value in this city is $443600. Additionally, the poverty rate is less than 2%. Much like other affluent cities in North Carolina, this city also has a higher percentage of college graduates.

One interesting thing about the city is that only a small portion is dedicated to business, where most of the town is single-family homes. Additionally, Weddington has a storied history dating back to 1842 and, despite its expansion, has worked diligently to maintain its small-town feel.

1. Cary

This city is located 20 minutes outside Raleigh. Three billionaires call this city home with a combined net worth of 15 billion dollars. Additionally, Cary is one of the most rapidly expanding cities in the South. According to Visit Raleigh, Money magazine voted it one of the "Best Places to Live." The city is also home to the USA Baseball National Training Complex and the North Carolina Football.


There are many different reasons why North Carolina is such a beautiful state to live in. The scenery is breathtaking, and many cities preserve their early history. It's also a state known for educational and business opportunities.

So, it's easy to see why upper-class people have flocked to the state and helped boost the economy of many different cities. These ten cities represent several of the most beautiful locations in the state and some of the best opportunities for education and affluence.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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