The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
North Carolina’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022
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Here are the 10 Safest Cities in North Carolina for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
In our 2022 State of Safety survey, 56% of respondents in North Carolina said they worried daily about their safety, which is a slight drop compared to last year (57%) but still higher than the national average of 47%.
This makes sense since the state's violent crime rates rose above the regional and national averages and property crime rates remained above regional and national averages.
In this report
2022 North Carolina crime rates
North Carolina's violent crime rate went up this year, going from 3.8 per 1,000 people to 4.2. The state's property crime rate saw a slight decline from 23.9 per 1,000 to 22.3.
In the South Atlantic region, North Carolina's violent crime rate was higher than the regional average of 3.8 per 1,000. As for property crime, North Carolina’s rate is substantially higher than the region (18.9).
Level of concern and experience with crime in North Carolina
Compared to last year's survey, North Carolinians were slightly less concerned about their safety on a daily basis—but still above the national average.
Respondents to our State of Safety survey told us they experienced less crime. That said, violent crime and gun violence made only incremental improvements in the 12 months prior to the survey. Experiences with property crime, however, saw a big downward swing, from 24% to 10%.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in North Carolina
We asked North Carolina residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if North Carolina residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in North Carolina: Fear vs. reality
North Carolina’s violent crime has hovered near the national average for the last three years, which could explain why a majority of residents feel safe in their home state. But survey respondents do express slightly higher levels of concern for gun violence and police violence happening to them.
- 56% of residents in North Carolina reported feeling safe in their state, which is close to the sentiment of Americans as a whole (47%).
- 10% of North Carolinians reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the 12 months prior to the report—down from 11% last year.
- As with most states, murder is the least common violent crime in The Old North State, making up 2% of violent crimes (US 2%)—the state's 20 safest cities also averaged 2%.
- Rape makes up 7% of violent crimes in North Carolina (US 10%).
- 35% of residents in North Carolina report using some form of personal protection like pepper spray—just above the US average (34%).
- 44% of survey participants say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19, matching the national average.
Attitudes about gun violence in North Carolina
- 55% of North Carolina residents cited gun violence as a top safety concern—just above the US average of 53%.
- 39% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
- 6% of survey respondents reported experiencing gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey, a decrease from 7% last year.
- There were 22 mass shootings in North Carolina in 2021, and this number has been increasing year over year.
Property crime in North Carolina: Fear vs. reality
North Carolina residents in our survey reported far fewer personal experiences with property crime year over year. This reflects a downward trend in the state's property crime rate over the past few years. But burglary does appear to be more common in North Carolina than in other states.
- North Carolinians reported 2.4 times fewer personal experiences with property crime this year (10%) compared to last year (24%).
- Burglary accounts for 21% of all property crimes in The Tar Heel State (US 16%).
- 16% of participants reported experiencing package theft, putting North Carolina below the US average of 20%.
- 60% of people in North Carolina use some form of property protection—the same as the national average of 60%.
- The top form of property protection in North Carolina this year was security systems with 29% of survey participants using them. Firearms come in a close second at 28%.
- 28% of residents in North Carolina say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property compared to the US average of 29%.
A closer look at the safest cities in North Carolina
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- Every safest city reported no more than 2.1 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.
- 90% of safest cities (18) reported fewer than 100 total violent crimes.
- 12 of the safest cities in North Carolina (60%) reported 0 murders.
- Every safest city falls below state, region, and US property crime rates.
- All safest cities reported fewer than 18 property crimes per 1,000 (US 19.6).
- Cary, the largest city on the list with almost 175,000 people, held steady at number 6 year over year despite a slight increase in property crimes year over year.
- Rolesville, the number 1 city, reported 0 murders, robberies, and rapes this year.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city in the top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email email@example.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.