When it comes to finding a new home, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. How good are the school systems in the area? How expensive is it—and, perhaps most importantly, how safe is it?
Today, the Movoto Real Estate
Blog is going to focus on the latter, specifically in the great state of North Carolina. Which place in the Tarheel State was the safest? According to our analysis, it was the Village of Pinehurst, closely followed by nine others.
Here are the 10 safest places in North Carolina:
1. Village of Pinehurst
2. Town of Cary
3. Town of Stallings
4. Town of Morrisville
5. Town of Apex
6. Town of Mint Hill
7. Town of Clayton
8. Town of Huntersville
8. City of Archdale
10. Town of Boone
If you’re wondering how we got this order, just keep reading. We’ll go over how we came up with this list and just what makes each place safer than the rest.
Of course, if you’re already mentally packing your bags to move to one of these 10 safest places, Movoto Real Estate
can help you find the perfect home.
In order to create this last of safest places, we started by gathering a list of all of the places in North Carolina with populations of 10,000 or more, which totaled 68 in all. Then we collected crime data from the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report
for the following criteria:
- Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
From there, we calculated the crime rates for each locale per 100,000 people in order to fairly compare places with large and small populations. Then, we ranked each place in each category from one to 68, with the lower scores being the safest places.
Finally, we weighted the score for each category so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, where total crimes made up 10.
We averaged these adjusted rankings into one overall Big Deal Score
, where the lowest score was our safest place, which in this case was Pinehurst.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a closer look at why each of our top 10 was safer than the rest, then you can check out the table at the bottom including the top 50 safest places in the state.
Source: Village of Pinehurst
This village in Moore County may be best known for its famous Pinehurst Resort, but the underlying reason for the tranquil feeling at this golfer’s paradise may well be the area’s safety.
Along with our others in the top 10, and in fact, most of the top 25, Pinehurst had no murders in 2012. Where it really stood out, though, was for its incredibly low number of crimes overall—just 880 per 100,000 people. That included 800 property crimes (the lowest out of all the places we looked at), and just 80 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
This gave Pinehurst residents the very lowest odds of being the victim of a crime: just a 1 in 114.
Source: Flickr user Bobistraveling
With over 141,000 residents, this town clearly proves that a larger size doesn’t necessarily mean a place is more dangerous. In 2012, Cary had just 1,436 crimes per 100,000 people; that’s the third lowest in the state.
Out of those, 1,354 were property crimes (including 45 vehicle thefts, 1,047 thefts, and 262 burglaries), and 82 per 100,000 were violent (53 assaults, 21 robberies, eight rapes, and no murders).
Just compare that to the similarly-sized Wilmington where there were 5,404 property crimes and 565 violent crimes, including seven murders per 100,000, and you’ll see that Cary is clearly doing something right.
Source: Town of Stallings
Stallings ranked well in our analysis for its particularly low number of violent crimes per 100,000—just 70 in 2012. Of those violent crimes, there were, of course, no murders, seven rapes, seven robberies, and 56 assaults.
Additionally, Stallings reported 273 burglaries, 1,101 thefts, and 63 vehicle thefts, for a total of 1,507 crimes per 100,000 people, the fourth lowest in the state.
Source: Town of Morrisville
This town may be close to Raleigh, but its crime rate is nowhere near its larger neighbor’s.
For instance, in 2012, where Morrisville had just 57 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the second lowest in the state, Raleigh reported 423, including four murders.
Again, when it came to property crime, Morrisville’s rate was much lower, with just 1,895 crimes per 100,000, whereas Raleigh saw 3,276.
Clearly, with a total of just 1,952 crimes versus Raleigh’s 3,699 per 100,000, Morrisville is the safer option for the area.
Source: Town of Apex
This town’s motto is “The Peak of Good Living,” and for good reason.
Not only did we recently find Apex to be the best place
in the state overall, but now, looking more closely at its safety, it again ranks among the top.
That’s because in 2012, Apex had just 1,425 property crimes (38 vehicle thefts, 1,162 thefts, and 225 burglaries) and 85 violent crimes (51 assaults, 26 robberies, eight rapes, and no murders) per 100,000, for a total of just 1,510 crimes per 100,000 people.
To put that into perspective, just take a look at Hickory, a similarly sized place located in Catawba County. Here, in 2012 there were a total of 7,198 crimes per 100,000 people, 657 of which were violent.
6. Mint Hill
This Charlotte suburb ranked well on our list for its particularly low number of property crimes—just 1,731 per 100,000. These included 89 vehicle thefts, 1,218 thefts, and 424 burglaries.
Additionally, Mint Hill had a reported 76 assaults, 89 robberies, no rapes, and no murders, making 165 violent crimes, for a total of 1,896 crimes per 100,000 people for the year.
To see how low this really is, just take a look at Lumberton, the place that ranked the very lowest in our analysis, which had 16,850 crimes per 100,000 in 2012.
Source: Town of Clayton
Clayton is one of the faster-growing communities in North Carolina, and after looking at these numbers, one reason is clear: the safety, and particularly the lack of violence.
In 2012, Clayton had a reported total of just 2,506 crimes per 100,000 people. This included 2,356 property crimes and 150 violent crimes, the ninth lowest violent crime rate in the state.
Of those violent crimes, there were 96 assaults, 30 robberies, 24 rapes, and no murders.
Source: Flickr user Brett VA
The first of our two No. 8 spots went to Huntersville. This town of nearly 50,000 residents is yet another example of why a larger population doesn’t always mean more crime.
In 2012, for example, Huntersville had just 2,166 property crimes per 100,000 people. That’s the eighth lowest in this category. It also had 175 violent crimes per 100,000 people, making it the 14th least violent.
Of course, this is quite a few more violent crimes than, say, our next place where there were just 113; but compared to a majority of the places in North Carolina, where there were at least 300 violent crimes per 100,000 people (and in some places like Henderson, over 1,000), Huntersville is looking pretty safe.
Source: Flickr user Brett VA
Where our first No. 8 ranked well for its particularly low property crime rate, our second ranks well for its low number of violent crimes: just 113 per 100,000 people.
Of those 113, there were 95 assaults, nine robberies, nine rapes, and no murders per 100,000 people. These are some of the lowest rates of both robbery and rape in the state.
Additionally, Archdale had only a reported 535 burglaries, 1,831 thefts, and 121 vehicle thefts in 2012, for a total of 2,600 crimes per 100,000 people for the year.
Source: Flickr user DebMomof3
Home to Appalachian State University, Boone is not just a good place for higher learning, but a great place for students to feel safe.
Unlike some college towns where it seems you can’t walk down the street without seeing a car’s window smashed in, Boone had a very low number of property crimes: just 2,311 per 100,000.
This included a low 58 vehicle thefts, 1,688 thefts, and 565 burglaries. Additionally, Boone reported 150 assaults, 29 robberies, 17 rapes, and no murders, for a total of 196 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
Finding Safety In North Carolina
Staying safe in North Carolina shouldn’t be too hard; just look at the list above. If you’re more curious about where your own hometown ranked, you can look at the table below with the top 50 safest places in the state.
If you don’t see your city, town, or village in this table, it may be that it didn’t report its crime data to the FBI, it may be too small, or, it may just not have made the cut.
If that’s the case, perhaps it’s time that you look into moving to someplace safer? We hear Pinehurst is just lovely this time of year.