The 20 Safest Cities in North Carolina—2017

Jan 2, 2018 |

North Carolina is taking a strong stand against sexual assault and rape culture. The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault has implemented the LIVERESPECT on Campus program, which aims to prevent sexual assault in high schools and colleges across the state. In addition, the organization recently joined with antiviolence group A Call to Men to offer a free two-day conference to help educate and implement the LIVERESPECT initiative.

The twenty cities that made our list this year exemplify the state’s overall commitment to fight sexual assault. Seven of our safest cities reported zero incidents of rape, and only one reported more than three incidents, as of the FBI’s 2015 crime data report.

These cities also report low numbers of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. In fact, every city on our list boasts a lower violent crime rate than the national average. North Carolina as a whole beats the national violent crime rate, ranking twenty-fourth among all states.

Of North Carolina’s safest cities, 60% did a better job on crime in 2015 than the year before. Twelve of our safest cities moved up the list this year, and Pinehurst, our top city, moved from second place to first. This city helps rally citizens to look out for one another and take pride in their community through the Village of Honor, a program that regularly honors the city’s many active and veteran military residents.

If you’re looking for ways to help make your town safer, civic pride is one way to make a difference. Find other home and neighborhood safety resources and tips in our North Carolina Safety Directory. Learn everything from what to do during a natural disaster to how to prevent crime in your neighborhood—and even get involved in crime prevention activities in your North Carolina city.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in North Carolina

To identify the safest cities in North Carolina, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2015, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 4,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

1. Pinehurst 

Previous Rank: 2

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.70
Property Crime per 1,000: 5.83

2. Waxhaw 

Previous Rank: 5

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.74
Property Crime per 1,000: 7.72

3. Holly Springs

Previous Rank: 3

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.57
Property Crime per 1,000: 9.07

4. Trent Woods 

Previous Rank: 1

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.24
Property Crime per 1,000: 10.16

5. Havelock 

Previous Rank: 18

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.24
Property Crime per 1,000: 10.54

6. Stallings 

Previous Rank: 9

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.79
Property Crime per 1,000: 10.49

7. Davidson 

Previous Rank: 6

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.82
Property Crime per 1,000: 10.53

8. Cary

Previous Rank: 8

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.51
Property Crime per 1,000: 11.87

9. Valdese 

Previous Rank: 17

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.22
Property Crime per 1,000: 12.36

10. Woodfin 

Previous Rank: 14

Violent Crime per 1,000: 2.05
Property Crime per 1,000: 10.56

11. Black Mountain 

Previous Rank: 12

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.73
Property Crime per 1,000: 11.92

12. Wendell 

Previous Rank: 26

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.28
Property Crime per 1,000: 12.62

13. Cornelius 

Previous Rank: 10

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.24
Property Crime per 1,000: 13.79

14. Fletcher 

Previous Rank: 11

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.53
Property Crime per 1,000: 15.74

15. Morrisville 

Previous Rank: 22

Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.67
Property Crime per 1,000: 16.24

16. Leland 

Previous Rank: 23

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.17
Property Crime per 1,000: 16.11

17. Gibsonville 

Previous Rank: 13

Violent Crime per 1,000: 2.66
Property Crime per 1,000: 15.23

18. Huntersville 

Previous Rank: 21

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.38
Property Crime per 1,000: 17.01

19. Mint Hill 

Previous Rank: 24

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.21
Property Crime per 1,000: 17.38

20. Winterville 

Previous Rank: 16

Violent Crime per 1,000: 1.88
Property Crime per 1,000: 16.72

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 20?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

21. Rolesville 22. Boone 23. Clayton
24. Wake Forest 25. Cramerton 26. Brevard
27. Mount Holly 28. Bessemer City 29. Carrboro
30. Creedmoor 31. Kannapolis 32. Archdale
33. Newport 34. King 35. Matthews
36. Jacksonville 37. Concord 38. Pittsboro
39. Cherryville 40. Beaufort 41. Butner
42. Kings Mountain 43. Waynesville 44. Burgaw
45. Tarboro 46. Rutherfordton 47. Lexington
48. Farmville 49. Edenton 50. Belmont
51. Southern Pines 52. High Point 53. Carolina Beach
54. New Bern 55. Conover 56. Lincolnton
57. Mebane 58. Garner 59. Greensboro
60. Greenville 61. Newton 62. Graham
63. Burlington 64. Erwin 65. Mocksville
66. Charlotte-Mecklenburg 67. Raeford 68. Aberdeen
69. Shelby 70. Spring Lake 71. Thomasville
72. Wilson 73. Lenoir 74. Mount Airy
75. Albemarle 76. Rocky Mount 77. Durham
78. Morehead City 79. Wallace 80. Mount Olive
81. Hickory 82. Wilmington 83. Salisbury
84. Long View 85. Selma 86. Asheville
87. Clinton 88. Hamlet 89. Siler City
90. Granite Falls 91. Gastonia 92. Hope Mills
93. Roxboro 94. Ahoskie 95. Wadesboro
96. Laurinburg 97. Smithfield 98. Reidsville
99. Washington 100. Zebulon

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.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems of 2018 or select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

Share with your awesome friends.

  • Millie Cox

    I live in Charlotte in an Express Homes community and I have loved it here, I feel very safe and we have little to no crime in my area. I am surprised Charlotte ranks 66! is that a mistake?