North Carolina’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022

North Carolina Safest Cities badge
Bell
Be prepared for hurricane season

Hurricane Ian is continuing its path of destruction and heavy rains through Florida and into other southern and MidAtlantic states. Stay on top of the latest hurricane advisories, watches, and warnings to keep your home and loved ones as safe as possible.

Plus, find resources to help:


The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.

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).

Bar chart of violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people where the national average is 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 19.6 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Image: SafeWise

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%.

Pictogram showing the percentage of state residents that are concerned about their safety on a daily basis, as well as which type of crime they are concerned about the most, and which crimes they have experienced within the past 12 months. Crimes include violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

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.

Bar chart showing percentages of how concerned state residents are about crime compared to the national averages for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

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.
Line graph of violent and property crime rates over the past three years in the state compared to national crime rates per 1,000 residents for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

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%.

Image: SafeWise

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.
Map of state with markers and labels highlighting the cities with the lowest crime rates.

Image: SafeWise

The 20 safest cities in North Carolina

Rolesville, NC
#1
Rolesville
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    9,304
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $119,615
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, N/A, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    4.0, N/A, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Elon, NC
#2
Elon
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    12,609
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $65,313
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.8, 0.7, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    4.8, 6.7, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Davidson, NC
#3
Davidson
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,313
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $124,853
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.4, 0.6, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.8, 9.2, 9.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Winterville, NC
#4
Winterville
(
+4
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    10,010
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $74,527
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.9, 0.9, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    6.9, 8.7, 9.3
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Waxhaw, NC
#5
Waxhaw
(
+7
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    18,222
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $111,642
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 1.5, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    9.4, 9.1, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Cary, NC
#6
Cary
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    174,441
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $106,304
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.7, 0.7, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    9.5, 9.0, 9.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Fuquay-Varina, NC
#7
Fuquay-Varina
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    32,091
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $79,000
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.7, 0.8, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    9.4, 9.5, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Holly Springs, NC
#8
Holly Springs
(
-7
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    39,600
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $112,029
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.8, 0.6, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    9.3, 6.6, 7.2
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Pinehurst, NC
#9
Pinehurst
(
-6
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,837
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $82,081
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.1, 0.7, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.9, 6.8, 6.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Stallings, NC
#10
Stallings
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,426
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $85,193
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 1.2, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    10.5, 12.3, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Apex, NC
#11
Apex
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    62,320
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $111,435
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.9, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    11.2, 9.4, 12.6
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Wake Forest, NC
#12
Wake Forest
(
-8
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    47,738
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $92,210
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.4, 0.5, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    10.9, 8.5, 14.7
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Wendell, NC
#13
Wendell
(
-6
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,951
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $59,236
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.3, 0.7, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    11.6, 9.5, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Boone, NC
#14
Boone
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    19,975
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $22,434
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.2, 1.3, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    13.5, 13.1, 14.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Concord, NC
#15
Concord
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    98,411
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $67,984
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.2, 1.2, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    14.0, 16.5, 17.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Gibsonville, NC
#16
Gibsonville
(
+9
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,437
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $66,761
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.0, 2.3, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    12.0, 18.5, 9.7
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Mint Hill, NC
#17
Mint Hill
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    28,209
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $75,084
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.1, 2.1, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    12.8, 13.8, 17.2
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Huntersville, NC
#18
Huntersville, NC
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    59,470
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $102,016
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.7, 1.4, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    14.8, 16.2, 15.3
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Brevard, NC
#19
Brevard
(
+10
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,954
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $42,213
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.6, 2.3, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    16.7, 23.7, 19.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Chapel Hill, NC
#20
Chapel Hill
(
-6
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    64,853
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $73,614
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.4, 0.9, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    17.6, 15.1, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime

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.

Light Bulb
Get a home security system

Find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems—and learn the basics with our guide on Everything You Need to Know About Home Security

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 info@safewise.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.

Curious about crime and safety in your area?
We've got the goods. Sign up for our weekly newsletter emails to get the latest news and tips to make your life safer.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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


Sources

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.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

Recent Articles

safewise's best home security systems
10 Best Home Security Systems of 2022
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
Senior woman hugging dog
8 Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022
See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one...
couple sitting on floor with moving boxes and a dog
2022 Best Home Security Systems for Renters
These renter-friendly home security systems keep your house or apartment safe and require less commitment...
Neighbourhood homes in the United Kingdom
The Best Home Alarm Systems in the UK
Find the right alarm system to protect your UK home. SafeWise recommends security systems for...