Considering moving to the tar heel state? Charlotte is one of the best places to live in North Carolina. Let’s explore why Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina, is a great town to live in. Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States with approximately 2 million people calling the Charlotte metro area home. A recent study says the cost of living in Charlotte is affordable; a fact confirmed by a separate Harvard study ranking it among the top five most affordable cities to live in the US. The median household income in Charlotte is $62,817.

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Half of Charlotte’s population is white with a rapidly growing minority population composed of a blend of African-American, Latino and Asian residents. Charlotte is ranked 18th in the “Diversity Index,” just behind New York.


Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina followed by Greensboro and Raleigh, the state’s capital. Is home to many colleges and universities, most notably North Carolina Central University, Charlotte School of Law, UNC Charlotte, and Duke University; a member of the research triangle alongside two other major research universities: North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There are more than 30,000 students presently enrolled in the city’s public schools.

Fun Things To Do

The city is home to the Charlotte Knights, the Single-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. That said, baseball lovers are in for a real treat. Charlotte has many parks and recreational facilities that are open for outdoor activities.


The city is conveniently located in Forsyth County, 7-minutes from downtown Raleigh, 50 minutes to Charlotte, and 55 minutes to Greensboro. It is among the best cities to live in and run a small business thanks to its central location which allows its residents an easy commute to work. The city has a relatively low crime rate and is among the safest and best places to live in North Carolina. Source

The city is ranked 25th nationally in terms of low cost housing according to a June 2019 index. The household income average is approximately $71,423 while the city has a median home value of $182,500 for a single-family home.


Winston-Salem is a growing, culturally diverse city with a population of 250,765. The racial composition by percentage is as follows;

  • White: 56.61%,
  • African American: 34.88%,
  • Mixed race: 2.83%, while other races came in at 2.83%.
  • Asian and Native American numbers came in at 2.50% and 0.25% respectively

Education in Winston-Salem

The city has excellent public schools and has the fourth-largest school system in the state of North Carolina. The city is home to five colleges and universities with a combined enrollment of more than 15,000 college students. These include Wake Forest University

Fun Things to Do

Winston-Salem boasts more than 75 family-owned restaurants that offer an incredible fine dining experience. The Arts District, Innovation Quarter, Industry Hill, and Old Salem’s renowned historic district offer unique cultural options to explore. The town has roots in furniture making and strong ties to the tobacco industry, but what Winston-Salem is known for is its wine. The city plays host to the wine country, home to over 70 wineries making it a great place for wine lovers to live.

North Carolina boasts a high quality of life with an affordable cost of living and plenty of job opportunities for young professionals. Winston-Salem in particular has a rich history and is best known for producing the South’s first African-American attorney practice in a North Carolina courtroom.


Greensboro is the 3rd largest city in North Carolina (after Charlotte and Raleigh). So what makes the area one of the best places to live in North Carolina? Let’s break it down. Source

How Affordable is Living in Greensboro?

Compared to other major cities in North Carolina, Greensboro’s rent prices are significantly lower. The Greensboro housing market is also seeing steady growth, with median home prices averaging at $192,488. The average household income in Greensboro is $71,453. The median rental costs recently average $877 a month, with a median house value of $156,300.


The 5 largest ethnic groups in Greensboro by percentage are African American 42.2%, White 38.3%, Asian 5.77%, Hispanic 4.81%, and Mixed Race at 3.5%. The residents come from different cultures, and parts of the country to which the result is a diverse and vibrant community.


Greensboro North Carolina offers a thriving educational community where opportunities for growth and innovation abound. It is home to five colleges and universities, a community college, and a law school. With an abundance of quality schools all focused on building career opportunities and a sustainable knowledge-based economy, Greensboro is yet another example of why you might want to live in North Carolina.

Fun Things to Do in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The area offers a choice of museums, public gardens, and interesting attractions. For nature lovers, there are several nature parks and scenic places to hike, nightclubs, boutique restaurants, shops, museums, and historic places you can visit and spend time in. Greensboro’s steady economic growth makes it a magnet for professionals and young families alike. Living in the city is relatively safe with an abundance of family-friendly neighborhoods and spaces.

Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina is a town renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, unique attractions, parks, and great restaurants. It offers the experience of city living with a wholesome small-town vibe that is unmatched.

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Is Chapel Hill Affordable for Young Professionals?

The cost of living in this part of North Carolina is 4% lower than the national average. The median income per household is $73,614. The cost of living is 108% that of the U.S. norm. This means the cost of basic consumables is 8% higher than the U.S. average. The median home price being around $330,000 which is still higher than the U.S average.

The city is home to one of the oldest public universities in the entire country, UNC-Chapel Hill. It has a student body made up of more than 24,000 college students which are nearly half of the city’s population. The city has also produced some top-ranked high schools in the state of North Carolina.


The city is home to a population of 61,000 people, from which 91.2% are citizens. As of 2019, 13,700 people, representing about 22.5% of the local population, were persons born outside of the United States. Asians and Black or African American residents are the second and third most common ethnic groups respectively.

Fun Things To Do in The Blue Ridge Mountains Area

The city has an abundance of museums, the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountain area and botanical gardens. There are fine dining establishments, a lively performing arts scene, and all the amenities one would expect from a green living, small-town feel community. With a higher spending power compared to most towns its size in South Carolina, residents have access to the best recreational facilities such as the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, the Ackland Art Museum, and more attractions. There are multiple beaches in the area you can visit to soak up some sun.

The tar heel state, best known for its natural beauty, and warm southern charm, attracts a sizable number of visitors who immediately fall in love with Chapel Hill. It may not be a large city but its feel-free attitude, close proximity to the great smoky mountains and more make it one of the best places to live in North Carolina.


Durham is a fast-growing hub of technology and medicine and an overall great place to live in North Carolina. As part of the research triangle, the schools and hospitals form Durham’s economic backbone. The Triangle area boasts one of the best unemployment rates with Amazon and Google having recently set up new warehouses and offices. Source

Durham’s cost of living is cheaper than the US average. Utility costs are 13% lower than the national average, part of the reason why it is among the best places to live in North Carolina. If you’re looking to buy or invest in real estate, Durham offers a more competitive value than similarly sized metros when comparing housing costs vs. average household income.


According to a Forbes report, Durham is the second in the top three most educated cities in the United States, alongside Raleigh. The focus on high-quality education is a top priority in the Triangle area and with names like Duke, UNC, and NC State, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The universities are all 30-minutes away from each other.

Fun Things to Do

If you love music, living in any of the cities in the Triangle area promises a steady supply of diverse live music. The Pinhook, the Motorco Music Hall, and the Blue Note Grill are popular attractions offering live music performances, drinks, and lots of southern food! Durham has plenty of fun places you can visit from coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants.

Durham is a great place to raise a family. The schools are excellent, and there are tons of family-oriented activities and outdoor events you can indulge in all year long.


Known as the “Paris of the South,” Asheville, North Carolina is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city has a vibrant creative community, beautiful historic architecture, and rich cultural diversity. It’s more than just its historic downtown area, thriving art and music scene, fine dining experiences, and scenic landscapes, the city is one of the best places to live in North Carolina.

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The area is ranked 14th nationally in the top 100 best places to live. The real estate market in Asheville is quite active so it’s not surprising that housing isn’t exactly cheap compared to Holly Springs. The average cost of living in the city is about 4% higher than the state average. The average household income in the area is $70,949. The median rental cost in Asheville averages $1,463 per month. The area has a median home value of about $325,000.


Asheville is home to several schools ranked among the top 100 high schools in the state of North Carolina’s according to newly released rankings from the U.S. News & World Report. Asheville is also home to the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNCA) and the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR).

Asheville is more diverse compared to most US cities. 79.2% of residents, the majority race, are white followed by black or African American at 10.1%. 6.8%. Asians form 1.2% of the population while Native American, Hawaiian, and mixed-race persons were at 0.3%, 0.2%, and 2.2% respectively.

From local historic landmarks cited in the National Register of Historic Places, scenic architecture that lines the streets, to mountain hiking trails, the queen city of North Carolina also boasts a booming culinary and craft beer scene that has attracted national attention.

Henderson County

Last but not least this county is among the best places to live in North Carolina and for a good reason. Aside from other factors, the county is home to many small towns and cities that offer affordable housing, and considering the average annual income for a family is $75,000. Source

This picturesque County boasts an incredibly low crime rate and is right alongside Holly Springs in crime statistics, both among the best places to raise a family. The small rural community of Mills River, Henderson County NC also offers affordable real estate options averaging $382,800.

The suburbs of Fletcher, Balfour, Barker Heights, and East Flat Rock are the most diverse places to live in NC. The county has a population of 114,913 whose makeup is 83.1% White, 8.1% Hispanic, 3.36% Black or African American, 1.64% Hispanic, and about 1.46% for mixed-race individuals.


The County is home to 6 high schools, 16 colleges, and several top-ranked universities in the Triangle Research Area.

Fun Things to Do

Rural communities in North Carolina such as Hendersonville, Bordered by Greenville County South Carolina in the south, the county has a cooler climate largely thanks to its elevation. This makes the county North Carolina’s apple-growing capital.

A location near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, sets it apart as prime property but the numerous communities have nonetheless remained the most affordable, and safest towns to live in.

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