10 Safest Cities in North Carolina 2016

Nobody brags about living in a city where you can’t leave your car door unlocked for 10 minutes without having something stolen.

To that end, we’ve compiled the safest cities in North Carolina to help you find a great place to live

Want to see what towns we recommend for a low crime rate?

Check out our list of the safest town in North Carolina and explore the data for OVER 100 towns embedded in the map down below.

North Carolina – The Old Star State

North Carolina, a state in the southeastern part of the United States, officially became a state on November 21st, 1789 as the twelfth state. North Carolina is ranked as the ninth most populous state in the country. It is bordered on the north by Virginia, on the south by South Carolina and Georgia, on the west by Tennessee, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. The state’s motto, which in Latin is “Esse quam videri,” is translated into English as “First in Flight.”
The state flower for North Carolina is Flowering Dogwood, which can be seen in abundance throughout the many beautiful park areas throughout the state. The state tree is the Longleaf Pine. For bird watching enthusiasts, the state bird of North Carolina is the Cardinal. The state dog is the Plott Hound, and the state insect is the Western Honey Bee. North Carolina’s state mammal is the Eastern Gray Squirrel.
Kitty Hawk, the small town that became incredibly famous for the Wright brothers’ first airplane flights, is located in the northeastern part of the state, and is often a tourist location for those interested in history. The state is also known for its cultural festivals and activities that go on throughout the year. Many popular beaches are in North Carolina, including the most popular, Outer Banks. The small town of Seagrove is also famous, as it is the handmade pottery capital of the United States. The state is also famous for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which originated here.
North Carolina has the first top sweet potato grower in the entire United States, and it has the second largest highway system. North Carolina was also the first state in the country to focus on learning standards in education and create student tests to go along with them.

How we ranked the cities

To come up with the safest placesin Oregon, we:

  1. started with reported crime data collected and published by the FBI for 2014 (the latest year available)
  2. filtered out tiny towns (<5k residents, sorry folks!)
  3. looked at crime rates per 1,000 residents
  4. weighted violent crimes more than property crimes to establish a final, composite score
  5. ranked the towns based on that score

Of course, other factors go into the best places to live, but a low crime rate seems like a great place to start!

We were even surprised in a few places. Often, smaller towns are safer, as shown by our burglary risk calculator.  But, even Minneapolis made the list!

That brings up another point, there is a delay in the data for it to get compiled, normalized, and released by the FBI.  So, the 2014 data that we had available does lag reality by a bit.  And unfortunately, not all localities report this data, so some nice places may have been left out.

#1 Lumberton

Population: 21,542 (2010 census)

Lumberton is located in the south-central part of North Carolina, and was founded in 1859 by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Lumberton, which can be found on the Lumber River, which has many miles of scenic park and water, which gives residents a chance to swim, bike, fish, canoe, and camp.  In addition, the town has several other beautiful parks and recreation centers, as well.  There are playgrounds around the town for children, and sports parks (such as a soccer field and baseball diamond) for those who wish to participate in sports.

#2 Pineville

Main_Street, Pineville, second safest city in North CarolinaPicture from Wikimedia
Population: 7,479 (2010 census)

Pineville is a small suburban town located in the southern part of the state, and while the population isn’t very high now, it has rapidly increased since the introduction of Interstate 485, which passes through Pineville.  Over the years, the areas around Pineville were transformed into shopping centers – and now is part of the Carolina Place Mall, which is the largest shopping center in North Carolina.

Pineville has a community center, various parks, playgrounds, and places to spend time with family and neighbors.  The town of Pineville has a full community calendar, with events going on throughout the year.  Pineville is also home to the amusement park Adventure Landing, as well as Sky Zone, a large trampoline park.

It's OK to brag about your city . . . just don't overdo it!

#3 Whiteville

Population: 5,394 (2010 census)

Whiteville, North Carolina, is a small town located in Columbus Country, in the southern part of the state.  It was founded in 1810 by James B. White, and was named for him.

Whiteville has their own school system, including several public and private schools for all ages.  For those interested in college, Southeastern Community College can be found just a few miles away from the town.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville, which is a satellite branch of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, can also be found here.  The News Reporter newspaper has been published since 1896.

Whiteville has several community events going on throughout the year, including the beloved annual North Carolina Pecan Festival.



Don’t Stop Here!

Be sure to tinker with the map below to see all of the data on property and violent crimes for all the cities that we ranked to make our list.

#4 Rockingham

Population: 9,558

Rockingham is nestled into the southern part of North Carolina, and was originally known for the NASCAR race that happened at the Rockingham Speedway each year.  While the speedway is no longer a stop on the NASCAR race tour, it is still known for the race.

Rockingham has two radio stations, including an adult contemporary station and a station that plays oldies.  The newspaper for the town, The Richmond Country Daily Journal, is published several times during the week.

Rockingham is home to Discovery Place KIDS, which is a children’s museum.  The town prides itself on providing a safe, fun environment for children that fosters learning.  The town also has a lake, a farmer’s market, and a community theater.

#5 Williamston

Population: 5,511 (2010 census)

Located in the northeastern part of North Carolina, Williamston is a small, quiet town that focuses itself on being family friendly.

Williamston has several parks, including Gaylord Perry Park, which has hiking trails, fishing, picnic areas, and a community center that includes a gym and fitness room.  Most of the parks have sports fields, such as soccer fields and baseball diamonds.  The town has a brochure full of summer program for kids and families, including activities such as art classes, Zumba classes, a health fair, and even scheduled nights for Movies in the Park.  Special events, such as Patriotic Day Camp, are held here, as well, along with sports camps and school events.


#6 Henderson

Henderson NC Central Business Historic District, safest town in North Carolina
Picture from Wikimedia

Population: 15,3689 (2010 census)

A medium size town located in the northern part of the state, Henderson is known as The Gateway City, and was named after Leonard Henderson, who was a former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Along with a full recreation center, complete with pool, fitness room, and gym, Henderson offers several programs, such as water aerobics, swim classes for all ages, and even an indoor track for those interested in walking or running, and can be used all year long, regardless of the season.  Henderson also has several parks, including Fox Pond Park, which has tennis courts, a playground, a baseball and softball field, picnic areas, and plenty of nature trails to explore.


How Safe are You? Use our calculator to asses your risk.

#7 Marion

Population: 7,838 (2010 census)

Founded in 1844, Marion is a city located in the western part of North Carolina. Marion has a beautiful Main Street Historic District that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Marion is located right by the Blue Ridge Mountains, with a town motto of “Where Main Street Meets the Mountains.”

Marion has several parks – including the Joseph McDowell Greenway, Lake James, and The Blue Ridge Parkway. There is plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing, hiking, biking, and camping. Marion also has three golf courses located nearby, and playgrounds scattered throughout the town. There are two water parks right outside the town, as well.

#8 Forest City

Forest City Christmas Festivities 8th safest place in NC
Population: 7,404 (2013)

Forest City, a town once known as Burnt Chimney, is located in the southwest part of North Carolina.  It is a family friendly community, with the motto of “Small town friendly.”

Forest City lives up to its motto of being a friendly place, as well, with many different attractions throughout the entire year.  Forest City is known for its beautiful Christmas celebration that consists of hundreds of thousands of lights on display and has horse and carriage rides through the sparkling scenery of the city.  The event is so popular, people residing in other parts of the state come to see it.  Also in the city are several museums, such as the Rutherford County Farm Museum and the Bennett Classical Auto Museum.

The Forest City Owls, who have been ranked as the number one collegiate summer team in America, is a baseball club that is also located in Forest City.


#9 Kinston

Population: 21,677 (2010 census)

Located in central North Carolina, Kinston is a medium sized city that was formed in 1791.  Since then, Kinston has come a long way, making itself known for its lovely southern charm and hospitality.

Kinston is most well known for the fact that it is the home of the PBS television show Chef’s Life, in which chef Vivian Howard features her restaurant, Chef & The Farmer Restaurant and goes through some of her food preparations and day-to-day restaurant activity.  The town of Kinston is also known for its other well-known places to eat, such as Boiler Room Oysters and Burgers and East Coast Wings.  It is also the home of the Mother Earth Brewery.

Along with beautiful scenic parks and playgrounds, Kinston also has a dog park and several museums for those seeking to learn more about the area and its history.  The town has a performing arts center, art gallery, and even a train that goes around the city that is great family entertainment!  The city is also known for its sports, such as baseball, and has facilities with pools, water slides, and even a skating rink and bowling alley.

Education in the Kinston area is important, and the city is home to several schools, public and private.  Along with elementary, high schools, and middle schools, Kinston also has two colleges – Lenoir Community College, which is a public school, and United American Free Will Baptist Bible College, which is a private college.

#10 Wadesboro

Population: 5,813

Wadesboro, North Carolina was first called Newtown, and it had its name changed to Wadesboro in 1783. It is located in southern North Carolina. It has several places listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including The Wadesboro Downtown Historic District and the town’s United States Post Office.

The horror film Evil Dead II was filmed in Wadesboro, North Carolina, and an old farmhouse located in the area was used as the exterior of the house in the film adaptation The Color Purple.

From children’s story time at the town library to summer fun festivities, there is something for everyone year round in the town of Wadesboro. The City Park and City Pond both offer activities such as picnic areas, fishing areas, and hiking trails that are lovely and peaceful during all times of the year. The Summer Jam Concerts and Fall Festival both are family friendly activities. Wadesboro is a great family friendly community!

Safest Places Map

Kentucky’s safest cities in a nutshell! Feel free to leave a comment if you care to add.

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Be sure to check out our articles for other states too!

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