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The 50 Safest Cities in North Carolina- 2015

50 Safest Cities in North Carolina

From the Atlantic coast to the Blue Ridge Mountains, those who call the safest cities in North Carolina home enjoy a crime rate that’s much lower than the national average. The average violent crime rate of the cities on our list is 1.87 per 1,000 residents, which is roughly half the national average. The safest cities in North Carolina also boast a property crime rate that’s nearly 20 percent less than the typical U.S. city.

According to the most recent FBI Crime Report data, many of the safest cities in the Tar Heel state reported less than a dozen incidents of violent crime. When we further analyzed the FBI data, we discovered that 75 percent (or 38 of the 50 cities on our list) reported no murders, and one city, Rutherfordton, cited no violent crimes at all.
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An affordable cost of living, vibrant economic areas, and moderate climate are a few of the reasons two of North Carolina’s largest cities, Charlotte and Raleigh, are expected to grow faster than any other U.S. cities of similar size over the next 15 years.

If you’re considering a move to the booming state of North Carolina, you’ll find the information in our North Carolina Safety Directory useful.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in North Carolina

We created our 50 safest cities in North Carolina list by analyzing the most recent FBI Crime Report data of cities with 4,000 residents or more in 2013. Next, we examined the number of Violent Crimes, consisting of murder, robbery, forcible rape and aggravated assault, as well as Property Crimes, which include burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft, and larceny-theft. Then, we determined how often these crimes were reported per 1,000 people.

The FBI Crime Report is a well respected source for crime data, but not all North Carolina cities reported complete data to the FBI. Cities that didn’t report crime data, or reported incomplete crime data, were removed from eligibility. If you think there’s a city missing from our list that could be why.

These are the 50 safest cities in North Carolina.

1. Davidson

The quaint college town of Davidson offers residents an enviable quality of life, where neighbors know each other’s names. In fact, Davidson ranked number one in a national citizen survey for its “sense of community.”

In addition to friendly folks, Davidson offers abundant green space, a vibrant economy, and first-rate schools. Plus, it’s the safest city in North Carolina. The violent crime rate in Davidson is 75 percent less than the national average, and the property crime rate is roughly 70 percent less. With all Davidson has to offer, we weren’t surprised to learn that it’s population increased by more than 50 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .94
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.72

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: Cscdavidson; CC BY-SA 3.0

2. Pinehurst

Settle in Pinehurst and you’ll want to join the Newcomers of the Pinehurst Area, an organization that helps transplants meet friends and learn what their new hometown offers.

For the second year in a row, Pinehurst residents can brag that they live in one of the safest cities in the Tar Heel state. When we compared this year’s FBI data with last year’s, we discovered that Pinehurst’s already low violent crime rate dropped by 35 percent. If you’re looking for a safe community that boasts history, charm, and southern hospitality, you’ve found it.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.27

pinehurst is the second safest city in north carolina!
Image: Village of Pinehurtst Facebook Page

3. Elon

Elon is a great example of when law enforcement and citizens working hand-in-hand to keep crime at bay. Through programs like ride-a-longs, Neighborhood Watch, and the Special Olympics, the Elon Police Department goes to great lengths to build relationships and maintain trust with the community it protects.

The department’s proactive, community policing philosophy could be why Elon was honored as the third safest city in North Carolina both this year and last year. Add to it that its violent crime rate went from .41 incidents per 1,000 people to an impressive .20 incidents per 1,000.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.82

Elon is the third safest city in north carolina
Image: Magicpiano; CC 2.0

4. Winterville

Winterville’s tag line is “slice of the good life” and we can see why. People who call Winterville home enjoy small town living with easy access to the larger city of Greenville. If you need another reason to pack your bags for Winterville, it’s safe. Reporting just eight violent crimes in a full year, Winterville residents can be proud that their hometown moved up a position on our safe cities list from last year. Plus, the community reduced violent crime by 25 percent.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .83
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.80

5. Holly Springs

Holly Springs constantly receives positive press. Not only has it been honored as one of the state’s most affordable places to purchase a home and one of the best cities for young families, Holly Springs also made our safe cities list two years in a row.

A well respected school system, excellent job opportunities in the science and health sectors, and close proximity to the state capital of Raleigh are more reasons why those who settle in the growing community of Holly Springs are glad they did so.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .83
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.53

Safest cities in North Carolina
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6. Trent Woods

Less than 60 minutes from several of the state’s most beautiful beaches, Trent Woods is a primarily residential community that’s perched along the Trent River.

The Trent Woods Police Department deserves a shout-out for its effectiveness. Guided by a community policing philosophy that’s founded in open communication, transparency, and accountability, the law enforcement officers of the Trent Woods Police Department have done an outstanding job of keeping violent crime at a minimum. According to the recent FBI Crime Report, the community experienced no murders, forcible rapes, or robberies in 2013.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .70
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.52

7. Apex

Apex enjoys a reputation as a fine place to live, and it’s only getting better. Since Apex last appeared on our safe cities, the Apex Police Department received advanced accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). On average, fewer than five percent of U.S. law enforcement agencies have earned CALEA accreditation, and only 55 agencies in North Carolina are CALEA accredited. Over the last year, the city also purchased 92 acres of land to expand its already prolific recreational programming.

The capital city suburb reported just two dozen aggravated assaults, which is remarkable for a city of more than 40,000.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.93

8. Cary

A strong economy, first-class cultural experiences, and endless recreation opportunities are just a few reasons why Cary frequently receives rave reviews. In fact, on more than one occasion, Cary was named one of the country’s best places to live by “Money” magazine. It’s also noted as one of the best cities in the U.S. to raise a family, and recognized as an excellent place to retire. As if you need more reasons to fall for this well-to-do Raleigh suburb, it’s also one of the safest cities in North Carolina.

On last year’s report, Cary’s violent crime rate was .81 incidents per 1,000 citizens, which is well below the national average, and especially impressive for a city of nearly 150,000. According to the most recent FBI Crime Report, Cary managed to reduce violent crime by almost 20 percent, citing .68 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .68
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.93

9. Black Mountain

Located in Western North Carolina, and only 20 minutes from the larger city of Asheville, you’ll find the unique community of Black Mountain. Black Mountain’s family values, numerous historic sites and picture perfect setting lure those who want to break away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The fact that Black Mountain’s violent crime rate is 75 percent less than the national average only makes this all-American community that much more appealing.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.72

Safest cities in North Carolina
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10. Valdese

Valdese is located in the lovely foothills of Western North Carolina. Designated as a Small Town Main Street Community, Valdese has a vibrant downtown that exudes entrepreneurial spirit. Plus, it’s a safe place to live. Valdese reported just two incidents of violent crime, one aggravated assault and one robbery. Only two other safe cities in N.C., Elon and Rutherfordton, reported less violent crime than Valdese.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .44
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.35

11. Waxhaw

If you’re looking for peaceful community that provides easy access to some of the state’s major cities, you’ve found it. Located a mere two miles from the South Carolina boarder, and only 20 minutes from Charlotte, Waxhaw residents enjoy excellent medical facilities, an array of business opportunities, and top-rated schools.

Another perk of living in Waxhaw are its safe streets. The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Waxhaw is 60 percent less than the typical American community.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.36

12. Stallings

Stallings is a relatively small city of 15,000 residents, but its police department offers programs and initiatives that rival much larger communities. For example, Stallings offers the online tool Map Nimbus to let citizens view where crimes have been reported within the town limits. We also appreciate that the Stallings Police Department’s Community Officers team up with Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the town. The strong partnership between Stalling’s law enforcement officers and its residents is likely one reason why the community’s crime rates are much lower than the national average.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.03
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.29

13. Gibsonville

Gibsonville is a safe community located near the center of the state, just 17 miles east of Greensboro and 40 miles west of Durham.

Boasting one of the lowest violent crime rates of the all the safe cities on our list, Gibsonville locals can feel good knowing that their hometown reported just three violent crimes to the FBI last year; one murder, one robbery, and one aggravated assault.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .45
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.18

14. Mint Hill

Located just outside of Charlotte, Mint Hill is a safe place to raise healthy, active kids. The Mint Hill Athletic Association offers everything from cheerleading to football, giving residents the opportunity to stay active.

The Mint Hill Police Department does an outstanding job of building relationships through community programs, like Coffee with a Cop and Police Explorers. Residents who want to keep in the loop about crime in the region can tune into Public Affairs Talk Radio, which provides crime prevention tips and information from patrol officers about current crime trends.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.84
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.67

15. Boone

You’ll find Boone, which is named after Daniel Boone, in the western part of the state, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The community boasts a wealth of year-round recreation, a quality school system, good medical facilities, and a hometown vibe that’s not easy to find these days. All this, plus Boone’s crime rate is one of the lowest in the Tar Heel state.

The Boone Police Department does an excellent job of keeping the community informed about local crime. In fact, its news page is one of the most informative we’ve ever come by. Boone is a great example of a community where prideful citizens and dedicated police officers work in tandem to proactively address crime concerns.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.22
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.77

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: Gage; CC by 2.0

16. Cornelius

Situated along beautiful Lake Norman, Cornelius boasts nearly 70 miles of waterfront property. A vibrant business hub, 10 public parks, and an array of housing options are just a few reasons why the safe city of Cornelius is particularly attractive to families. Plus, since Cornelius last ranked on our safe cities list, its violent crime was reduced by more than 30 percent.

Cornelius’ public safety officials earn our kudos for leveraging technology to help citizens stay safe. Recently, Cornelius became one of the first 911 centers in the state to adopt text-to-911 capabilities. This technology allows callers to send a text to the 911 center, if for some reason they can’t make a call.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.57
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.87

Safest cities in North Carolina
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17. Boiling Spring Lakes

It’s no wonder active families are flocking to the safe city of Boiling Spring Lakes. More than 50 bodies of water, miles of nature trails, and easy access to the waves of the Atlantic make this up and coming North Carolina community a great place to settle down. Call Boiling Spring Lakes home and you’ll rest soundly at night knowing its violent crime rate is half that of most American communities.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.80
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.67

18. Huntersville

If you’re looking for big city conveniences, but don’t want to sacrifice the ambiance of a tightly knit community, you’ll want to get to know Huntersville. Noted as one of the state’s fastest growing cities, programs like “Huntersville 101” help hundreds of transplants learn more about their new hometown.

Since our last safe cities list was released, violent crime in this welcoming Charlotte suburb has decreased from 1.75 to .97 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .97
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.73

19. Morrisville

Not only is Morrisville often ranked among the state’s safest cities, it’s also honored as one of the best places to own a home in North Carolina.

According to the recent FBI Crime Report, Morrisville reported a mere 12 incidents of violent crime. Morrisville has one of the lowest crime rates on our list, and it’s safer than 85 percent of communities across America. We weren’t surprised to learn that, according to a citizen survey, Morrisville residents gave the police department an impressive grade of A-.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .56
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.78

20. Woodfin

Built along the banks of the French Broad River, Woodfin is located just five minutes from downtown Ashville. Thanks to Woodfin’s close proximity to the Appalachian Mountains and Pisgah National Forest, the community is a recreation enthusiasts dream.

Affordable, gorgeous, and decidedly relaxed, Woodfin also has an impressively low property crime rate. The chance of being the victim of a property crime in Woodfin is 30 percent less than the national average.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.75
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.80

21. Fletcher

Offering residents affordable homes, safe streets, and small-town character, Fletcher was recently named by NerdWallet as one of the top 20 “Best Places in North Carolina for Young Families.” And moms and dads will be happy to hear Fletcher’s school system just received a score of 9 out of 10 from GreatSchools.

We think Fletcher also deserves two thumbs up for keeping a handle on crime. When we last reported about Fletcher, its violent crime rate was 1.09 incidents per 1,000 residents. We were pleased to see that Fletcher reduced it’s already enviably low crime rate to .95 incidents per 1,000 citizens.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.08

22. Mount Holly

Mount Holly is perfectly located for fun. Named as a Playful City USA, Mount Holly offers six well maintained parks, including two that are located along the waterfront. Plus, there are more than a dozen family oriented activities within a 15 mile radius of Mount Holly, and Charlotte is just a five minute drive away. If you call Mount Holly home, you’re sure to appreciate that that violent crime has been reduced by my more than 25 percent over the last year.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.67

23. Rolesville

Situated just outside of the capital city of Raleigh, Rolesville is one of North Carolina’s hidden gems. Quiet and quaint, its citizens are full of pride and go out of their way to welcome newcomers. Rolesville is also the kind of place where neighbors look out for one another, and that’s probably one reason why the community reported just four violent crimes, and less than 100 property crimes. With all that Rolesville has to offer, we weren’t surprised to learn its one of the state’s fastest growing cities.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .90
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.24

Safest cities in New York
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24. Creedmoor

Creedmoor is a small town committed to its children. In addition to being designated a “Playful City” eight years in a row, Creedmoor also takes an innovative approach to high school education which allows students to pursue their field of interest while capitalizing on technology.

The Creedmoor Police Department is guided by a community policing philosophy which gives citizens of all ages the opportunity to help keep their community safe. That could be why despite the fact the community grew by 85 percent from 2000 to 2010, Creedmoor enjoys low crime rates and reported no vehicle thefts or arsons.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.98

25. Kannapolis

Kannapolis’ strategic location provides a healthy mix of jobs. Not only is it just 30 minutes northeast of Charlotte, it’s also adjacent to the North Carolina Research Campus, a $1.5 billion life sciences campus that includes a variety of major corporations as well as eight universities. And recently, members of the Kannapolis City Council resolved to purchase 46 acres of property in Downtown Kannapolis and develop it into a mix of office and residential space, retail stores, restaurants, and places that will draw its community together, like a baseball stadium and a performing arts center.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.97
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.77

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: Jon Platek; CC BY-SA 3.0

26. Wake Forest

Located 30 minutes from the state capital, Wake Forest has a reputation as a progressive, family friendly community. From catching up with friends at Art After Hours to camping at Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Wake Forest offers an assortment of activities that appeal to citizens of all ages.

The Wake Forest Police Department’s community policing philosophy brings citizens and law enforcement together to help fight crime. Plus, its online Police to Citizen (P2C) program ensures residents are kept in the loop about recent arrest, 911 calls for service, missing persons and more.

Wake Forest residents enjoy a violent crime rate that’s 30 percent less than the average safe city in North Carolina.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.27
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.59

27. Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill consistently receives a wealth of accolades. Since it appeared on our list last, Chapel Hill was honored by Movoto.com as number one of the “10 Best Small Cities for Education in America” and number one of the “10 Most Exciting Places in North Carolina.”

Hands down, Chapel Hill is a place where kids come first. Two youth related programs, Chapel Hill 4 YOUth and the Chapel Hill Youth Council, offer Chapel Hill’s young residents the opportunity to initiate programs and projects that benefit kids and serve the community as a whole. The groups also give youth the chance to develop leadership skills and have input into civic matters.

With a population of roughly 60,000, we’re impressed Chapel Hill’s violent crime rate is 70 percent less than the national average.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.20
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.77

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: Wgreaves; CC BY 3.0

28. Clayton

A dynamic business community, good medical facilities and high achieving schools are just a few perks of living in Clayton, North Carolina. Another benefit of calling Clayton home is access to quality parks that offer plenty of open space. Soon, there will be one more park for families to enjoy. Clayton is teaming up with businesses and dedicated citizens to build the Universal Playground. Designed to allow children of all abilities to play together, the pioneering playground will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and include strength building activities as well as a number of opportunities for social interaction.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.61
Property Crimes per 1,000: 23.85

29. Havelock

Situated in Eastern North Carolina, Havelock is less than an hour drive from the beautiful beaches of the famed Crystal Coast. As home of the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, it’s a decidedly diverse and patriotic community that welcomes newcomers with open arms.

Settle down in Havelock and you can expect to enjoy a lower than average cost of living and old fashioned Southern charm.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.31

30. Archdale

Archdale’s population has grown considerably over the last decade, but its crime rate has remained consistently low. In fact, according to the recent FBI Crime Report, Archdale cited a total of just eight violent crimes, consisting of two robberies and six aggravated assaults. Moreover, the residents of Archdale can be proud that the chance of being a victim of violent crime in their hometown is 82 percent less than the national average. That’s a decrease of almost 50 percent since the city last appeared on our list.

A number of recreation opportunities, easy driving to several institutes of higher learning, and close proximity to Duke University Hospital are more reasons why Archdale is a popular place for families.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .69
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.77

31. Leland

The Leland Police Department proves that Community Problem Oriented Policing can go a long way to keeping crime at bay. Based on the concept of partnership and open communication, the department works hand in hand with citizens to improve the quality of life in Leland. In addition to fighting crime, Leland’s police officers can be found checking on the well being of at risk citizens through the department’s “Are You Okay?” program, and providing courtesy house checks while homeowners are on vacation.

We’re impressed that Leland moved from position 43 to position 31 since our last safest cities of North Carolina report.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.54
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.23

32. Newport

Thanks to low crime, Newport is the kind of place where neighborhood kids still ride their bikes and play tag. In fact, according to the latest FBI crime statistics, Newport reported a mere eight violent crimes, consisting of three robberies and five aggravated assaults.

Its innovative Volunteers in Policing (VIP) program may help keep a handle on crime. Over the last nine years of working with police, VIP volunteers have contributed almost 16,000 hours of service, and saved the community an estimated $300,000. Congratulations to the law enforcement and citizens of Newport for their collaborative approach to community safety.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.67
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.32

33. Wendell

Wendell is approximately 10 miles east of Raleigh, making it the perfect place for families who want access to big city jobs and amenities, but appreciate a laid-back pace of life. Visit Wendell and you’ll be impressed with its historical business district which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wendell cherishes its unique historic qualities, but it’s also dedicated to ensuring a vibrant future. For example, it’s part of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, a business-driven partnership that helps communities like Wendell remain economically competitive in the 21st century.

According to the recent FBI Crime Report, Wendell reported no murders, robberies, or arsons, and a nominal 12 aggravated assaults.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 27.20

34. Matthews

Matthews is a large suburban community located just outside of Charlotte, and it’s been showered with positive press. Named as one of the “Most Exciting Suburbs in the U.S.,” one of the “Top Ten Places to Retire in N.C.,” and one of the “Top Ten Best Cities in N.C.,” Matthews citizens have every reason to boast about their hometown.

We were thrilled to learn that Matthews goes above and beyond to encourage citizen involvement in their community. For example, Matthews is preparing to conduct a citizen survey which will ask residents to help government leaders prioritize community projects. Those who call Matthews home also benefit from the My Matthews Mobile App which allows citizens to do things like report neighborhood nuisances, sign up for parks and recreation classes and search the community events calendar.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 28.20

Safest cities in North Carolina
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35. Carrboro

If you want to play an active role in your community, you’re going to love all the opportunities Carrboro offers. For example, Carrboro’s Engage Carrboro program seeks feedback from a wide range of residents regarding a number of community topics, including what the town might do to encourage start-up businesses and what action should be taken to improve Carrboro’s Town Commons.

A progressive community that values citizens input, Carrboro also earns our praise for reducing violent crime by almost 20 percent since it appeared on our list last.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.55
Property Crimes per 1,000: 27.71

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: Ethomsen; CC BY 2.5

36. Burgaw

Small, charming and friendly are just a few ways to describe the safe community of Burgaw. Call Burgaw home and you’ll enjoy tree-lined streets, good neighbors, and a downtown that’s bursting with character. Plus, Burgaw is home to the North Carolina Blueberry Festival, which draws more than 30,000 visitors annually. Burgaw cited just nine violent crimes, and only four cities on our list reported fewer burglaries than Burgaw’s 18.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.24
Property Crimes per 1,000: 28.96

37. Morganton

From farmer’s markets to festivals, free outdoor concerts to art walks, Morgantown is Americana through and through. Downtown Morganton serves as the hub of this safe community, and it’s the place to go if you’re looking for a fresh latte, handcrafted jewelry or a quality brew. In fact, in a contest sponsored by the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association, Morganton was recognized for its Great Main Street.

Morganton moved from being the 41st safest city in North Carolina last year to the 37th safest, and reduced violent crime by 10 percent.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.78
Property Crimes per 1,000: 29.13

38. Concord

Perhaps no other city on our list works harder to get citizens of all ages participating in their community. Concord’s citizens’ academy, Concord 101, offers residents the chance to learn more about their local government, and encourages them to take their knowledge back to their neighborhoods. Concord’s Public Safety Academy allows citizens to get involved in the community’s public safety departments and evaluate their services.

And Concord hasn’t forgotten about it youngest citizens. In addition to amazing park and recreation programming, Concord offers a Youth Council which helps members build leadership skills though community events.

Concord residents can be proud that their hometown has one of the lowest violent crime rates of any city on our list. In fact, only seven cities in North Carolina reported less violent crime than Concord.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.47
Property Crimes per 1,000: 30.74

Safest cities in North Carolina
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39. Butner

Just minutes from North Carolina’s famed Triangle region, Butner blends the best of small town living with access to good jobs, quality health care, and higher education. It’s the kind of place generations of families call home, and rest assured, with just over 4,000 residents you can count on your neighbor knowing your name in Butner.

Butner moved from the 48th safest city in N.C. to the 39th since our last report, and reduced violent crime by 20 percent over the same period.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.61
Property Crimes per 1,000: 29.76

40. Rutherfordton

Where old time charm meets modern day conveniences, you’ll find the safe city of Rutherfordton. Rutherfordton is the only city on our list to report no incidents of violent crime whatsoever. On top of that, no burglaries or arsons were reported in Rutherfordton.

In addition to being one of the state’s safest cities, Rutherfordton is one of the oldest towns in Western North Carolina, and its people are full of pride. Relocate to Rutherfordton and you’ll enjoy an abundance of cultural and creative arts, endless outdoor recreation, and a downtown that still serves as the heart of the community.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: .00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 33.28

41. Erwin

If you’re a people person, you’ll love the friendly and inviting community of Erwin. Whether you’re exploring Cape Fear River Park and the Dunn-Erwin Trail, or perusing downtown shops, locals say “you never meet a stranger in Erwin.”

Erwin used to be a milling town and the mill provided housing for its workers. Today, those cottage style houses give Erwin a unique appeal, and their porches serve as gathering places. “Porch talk” is one way Erwin residents keep their close ties, and that’s good for fighting crime. In fact, Erwin cited just nine violent crimes according to the latest FBI Crime Report, and its violent crime rate is almost half the national average.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.94
Property Crimes per 1,000: 31.38

Safest cities in North Carolina
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42. Raleigh

People often think big cities and high crime go hand in hand, but Raleigh proves that’s not always the case. Raleigh’s violent crime rate is on par with the national average, despite the fact that it has more than 400,000 residents. Also, Raleigh lowered its violent crime rate by 10 percent since the last time it appeared on our list.

The capital city is famous as the home to Research Triangle Park, which is emerging as one of the most innovative research parks in the world. But it also boasts impressive culture, arts, and a commitment to the environment. Plus, in just three hours, Raleigh residents can be nestled in a cabin the mountains, or sitting in the sand next to the Atlantic Ocean. And Raleigh is receiving a wealth of accolades, including being named one of America’s “Six Fastest Growing and Most Affordable Cities” and “America’s Most Family Friendly City” among the country’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.92
Property Crimes per 1,000: 30.62

Safest cities in North Carolina
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43. Cherryville

Situated in North Carolina’s western Piedmont region, Cherryville locals are surrounded by nature’s bounty yet they’re only one hour from downtown Charlotte. The heart of Cherryville is its historic downtown, which offers eclectic shops and a friendly entrepreneurial environment that’s improving every year. In fact, Cherryville’s Small Town Main Street Program is carrying out a comprehensive Master Work Plan that’s strengthening and expanding downtown’s current economic base.

According to the FBI Crime Report, Cherryville reported no murders or arsons, and just two robberies.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.09
Property Crimes per 1,000: 32.14

44. Knightdale

Family friendly, affordable and safe, we weren’t surprised to learn that Knightdale’s population has more than doubled since 2000. Its low crime rates, expansive recreation opportunities, and close proximity to Raleigh make it perfect for couples who want to raise a family.

Since Knightdale appeared on our list last, the community managed to reduce it’s already impressively low violent crime rate from 2.10 to 1.44 crimes per 1,000 residents. That’s a 30 percent reduction, and means those who call Knightdale home are 60 percent less likely to experience violent crime than the average American.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.44
Property Crimes per 1,000: 35.42

45. Newton

Friendly neighborhoods, locally owned shops and restaurants, and a mild year-round climate make life in Newton enviable. And, thanks to the efforts of the Downtown Newton Development Association, Newton’s historic hub is being carefully preserved.

If you’re looking to start a business or relocate one, Newton offers a number of perks. In fact, Newton has been recognized by “Business North Carolina” magazine as having the second-best business environment among the Tar Heel state’s 50 largest communities and by “Inc. Magazine” as one of the top entrepreneurial areas in America. All this, plus Newton is a safe place to live, work and play.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 33.97

46. Lexington

Lexington is situated roughly 30 minutes south of Winston-Salem, in central North Carolina. Locals are proud of their hometown’s world famous barbecue, award winning wines and historic Uptown district.

We were impressed to discover that the Lexington Police Department holds Community Watch meetings every month, in various city neighborhoods. This community centered, proactive approach to safety and security is surely one reason why Lexington residents enjoy low crime rates.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.48
Property Crimes per 1,000: 33.58

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: Dennis Brown; Public Domain

47. Farmville

In the heart of Eastern North Carolina, you’ll find the historic community of Farmville. It’s a small town where residents work hard to preserve the community’s rich past while simultaneously pursuing a vibrant future. Only an hour from Raleigh and just 10 minutes from Greenville, Farmville is perfectly positioned to support a variety of commercial and industrial opportunities.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 7.32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 31.04

48. Brevard

Located in the stunning western region of North Carolina, outdoor enthusiasts flock to Brevard.

From bird watching at Pisgah National Forest to hiking at DuPont State Forest or Gorges State Park, Brevard’s mild summer temperatures lure residents to experience Mother Nature’s bounty.

When residents aren’t busy exploring, they head downtown to meet up with friends and enjoy one of the community’s many festivals and events.

Low crime rates only add to Brevard’s hometown charm. Not only did Brevard report no murders or robberies, it reduced its already low violent crime rate from 2.62 to 1.32 incidents per 1,000 citizens since it appeared on our list last. Congratulations to Brevard for cutting violent crime in half.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 37.55

Safest cities in North Dakota
Image: FlickreviewR; CC by 2.0

49. Shelby

Shelby appeals to those who want to live close to Charlotte, but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of life small town living offers. It’s also ideal for families who want their kids to be raised in a community that works together to solve problems. For example, the Shelby Police Department operates under a community based policing philosophy that unites citizens and law enforcement officers to help fight crime. Have no doubt, Shelby lives up to its tag line, “the city of pleasant living.”

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 6.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 33.46

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: OptimumPx; Public Domain

50. Oak Island

Noted as the most populated beach community in the state of North Carolina, Oak Island’s off-season population is roughly 7,000, but when summer arrives, that number more than quadruples. A significant increase in population often straps law enforcement resources, but thanks to the Oak Island Police Department’s partnership with the community, the safety and security of residents and visitors is a priority year-round.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.82
Property Crimes per 1,000: 35.81

Safest cities in North Carolina
Image: Dincher; CC BY-SA 3.0

How safe is your home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.



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Alexia Chianis

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