When deciding where to live, safety is a top priority. Our team at ValuePenguin has analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine the safety of cities in North Carolina. These 100 cities ranged in a crime score from 193 to 4,204. Generally, the larger cities had more violent crimes compared to cities with fewer residents. Raleigh, the capital of NC, ranked on the safe side for the largest cities and in the middle overall for North Carolina. For more insight, take a look at the report below:
5 Safest Towns and Cities in North Carolina
These cities have an average crime score of 235, 81% higher than the typical town in North Carolina. All of these towns have populations of less than 20,000, with the exception of Holly Springs. With some of the state’s lowest total violent crime rates, these 5 towns are the safest places in North Carolina.
1. Elon, NC
Once called “Elon College”, Elon takes the top spot with a crime score of 193. With only 2 violent crimes reported to the FBI, it is the safest place in North Carolina. Known for its small-town charm and rich history, Elon is located in the Piedmont area of Central North Carolina. Home to Elon University, the basis of the Elon’s economy, Phoenixes and business owners can be proud to live in the safest town in North Carolina.
2. Pinehurst, NC
Second on the safest places in North Carolina is Pinehurst with a crime score of 208, which is 83% lower than the typical North Carolina town. Located in the Sandhills, this village is known for its historic golf course, the Pinehurst Resort. The Pinehurst Resort has nine famous golf courses, the most popular being Pinehurst No. 2 designed by Donald Ross, and other facilities for residents, golfers, and visitors. The Village of Pinehurst and the Resort have been given National Landmark status.
3. Davidson, NC
Located on Lake Norman, Davidson, another college town, is the third safest place in North Carolina. Surrounding Davidson College, Davidson has a crime score of 230. Although the population was originally dependent on the railroad and shipping, Davidson College has become a large part of the economy and community. Prospective and current college students and parents will be glad to know that it is one of the safest places in North Carolina.
4. Winterville, NC
Winterville takes fourth place with a crime score that is 80% higher than the average North Carolina city. This town of over 9,000 is known for its relaxed and family-oriented community. Winterville is home to Pitt Community College as well as an amphitheater and 4 baseball fields. Its residents will rejoice as it has one of the lowest rates of violent and property crimes, with a crime score of 245.
5. Holly Springs, NC
Coming fifth on this list is Holly Springs. Originally a hunting ground for the Tuscarora Indians, Holly Springs was developed around fresh water springs. Because the town was destroyed by the Civil War and both World Wars, the town was not completely revived until a sewage plant was built in 1987. Since then, many people have flocked to Holly Springs, bringing today’s total population to over 27,000 - the largest town on this Top 5 list!
North Carolina's Safest Place by Population
Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations smaller than 15,000, midsize cities with populations between 15,000 and 30,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 30,000. Here are our findings:
Map of the Safest Places in North Carolina
This is an interactive map of the 100 cities and towns that were analyzed in our study as well as the 2013 FBI Report. Roll your cursor over each dot for the city name and crime score.
Full List of North Carolina Cities and Towns in Our Study
Below is the entire list of towns and cities that we included in our “Safest Places in North Carolina” study. The cities are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your town ranks!
We sourced our data from 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent data available. The raw data report included violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) from all law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program. We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100k, to account for population. We then aggregated a "crime score". In order to calculate this, we weighted violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%; though property crime is far more prevalent, we believe that the violent crime data points are more relevant when calculating the relative safety of these cities. From there we calculated the logarithm of each towns population and multiplied it by the original (non-log) crime score. We then ranked the cities relative to each other based on their crime scores. Additionally, we only looked at cities/towns in North Carolina that had populations larger than 5,000. We did that because anomalies in the data can often skew things too much for smaller towns, effectively mispresenting their levels of crime relative to other cities.
Can't easily find your town or city above? Here's a list of the 100 cities in alphabetical order to make them easier to locate.
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crime per 100k||Property Crime per 100k||Crime Score|
|17||Boiling Spring Lakes||5,546||180||1,767||498|
|64||Kill Devil Hills||6,869||611||4,659||1,421|