2015 Safest Places in North Carolina Study

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

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.

Factor

Value

Population 9,627

Crime Score 193

2. Pinehurst, NC

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.

Factor

Value

Population 15,100

Crime Score 208

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.

Factor

Value

Population 11,657

Crime Score 230

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.

Factor

Value

Population 9,539

Crime Score

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!

Factor Value

Population 27,557

Crime Score 298

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:

Safest Places in North Carolina

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!

Full List of North Carolina Cities

Methodology

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 misrepresenting 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.

RankCityPopulationViolent Crime per 100kProperty Crime per 100kCrime Score

51

Aberdeen6,7603404,5121,175

68

Albemarle15,9464395,5371,459

6

Apex41,356871,298329

21

Archdale11,524692,603576

71

Asheboro25,6653206,4131,538

55

Ayden5,0655334,0871,244

8

Black Mountain8,012871,473364

17

Boiling Spring Lakes5,5461801,767498

18

Boone17,9982221,678513

35

Brevard7,5361333,769860

75

Burlington51,4017045,1341,590

33

Butner7,6612613,054820

40

Carolina Beach5,9371854,3121,011

31

Carrboro20,7092562,781761

7

Cary148,905691,396334

19

Chapel Hill58,7441212,181533

53

Charlotte-Mecklenburg837,6386083,6751,221

36

Cherryville5,8183093,214890

25

Clayton17,3151622,391608

82

Clinton8,7747075,7331,712

30

Concord82,8991473,082734

15

Cornelius26,6831571,788483

3

Davidson11,65794772230

47

Eden15,2823734,1361,126

58

Elizabeth City18,3955933,9301,260

1

Elon9,62721883193

80

Fayetteville202,5245786,0781,678

14

Fletcher7,320962,008478

85

Forest City7,3942707,9251,801

43

Garner27,0211924,3631,027

77

Gastonia73,0496985,3181,622

9

Gibsonville6,632451,749386

86

Goldsboro37,2307606,3011,868

54

Graham14,2705264,0851,238

56

Greensboro279,3435194,1701,249

62

Greenville88,0186314,3991,384

72

Hamlet6,6257404,8751,567

27

Havelock20,7652122,432656

98

Henderson15,3091,3989,4583,010

76

Hendersonville13,3423976,3711,592

67

Hickory40,1094165,5321,440

57

High Point107,2615184,2071,256

5

Holly Springs27,557831,154298

81

Hope Mills15,6994716,6561,708

13

Huntersville50,162981,880454

22

Kannapolis44,1501972,093576

48

Kernersville23,5533654,3481,162

64

Kill Devil Hills6,8696114,6591,421

38

King6,8601904,140980

94

Kinston21,6191,2637,0082,412

34

Knightdale13,1531443,558827

92

Laurinburg15,7401,3476,0672,291

26

Leland15,5351542,523628

44

Lexington18,9394493,3741,034

63

Lincolnton10,6864874,9881,387

100

Lumberton21,8281,75514,0004,204

89

Marion7,9453788,2571,953

29

Matthews29,1781992,838727

61

Mebane13,1293435,4311,360

16

Mint Hill24,3501851,688485

45

Mocksville5,0972164,3561,044

70

Monroe33,8956025,2461,531

41

Mooresville33,6762294,1631,016

78

Morehead City9,1596225,8191,662

32

Morganton16,8522792,914806

12

Morrisville21,229571,978441

59

Mount Airy10,4503835,0141,309

24

Mount Holly13,8142611,875583

60

New Bern30,5143935,1421,343

39

Newton12,9804083,4051,008

42

Oak Island7,0643823,5961,025

91

Oxford8,6079996,7152,142

2

Pinehurst15,10053828208

96

Pineville8,02738613,2432,958

37

Raleigh428,9933923,076929

74

Reidsville14,2863716,4471,586

84

Roanoke Rapids15,6865876,3301,735

93

Rockingham9,48039010,1692,346

90

Rocky Mount57,0211,0505,7731,995

87

Roxboro8,3109155,8481,901

83

Salisbury33,6267795,4751,718

66

Selma6,2176114,7131,432

50

Shelby20,2616173,3611,166

46

Siler City8,2433283,9431,051

79

Smithfield11,4516205,8601,668

65

Southern Pines12,8466854,3671,421

10

Stallings14,5441031,636410

88

Statesville25,1997426,6471,923

52

Tarboro11,2974694,1341,202

49

Thomasville26,8664354,0871,166

95

Wadesboro5,6731,4106,8752,503

20

Wake Forest33,8521272,165535

11

Waxhaw10,4811431,536422

28

Wendell6,2482082,721711

99

Whiteville5,4661,77511,4893,718

97

Williamston5,3901,18710,1112,972

69

Wilmington110,9856195,0151,498

73

Winston-Salem235,8116055,4811,580

4

Winterville9,53984891245

23

Woodfin6,1782751,781576

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