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North CarolinaHome to over 10 million residents, North Carolina is the 9th most populous state in the country and has one of the most diverse landscapes.  From its coastal areas along the Atlantic to the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi, those wishing to make the Tar Heel State their home are sure to find a desirable location.  To help out, we’re giving you the 50 safest cities in North Carolina for 2016.

Related: Check out our North Carolina Public Records guide.
Our list was compiled based on FBI violent crime stats and proprietary BackgroundChecks.org research data.  Rates are normalized per 100,000 residents with the state average being 330 for violent crime and 2,873 for property crime.  This is calculated by taking (# of crimes/population) * 100,000.

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#1 Holly Springs

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A fast-growing town in Wake County, Holly Springs is home to 24,600 residents.  Just 18 miles from the thriving Research Triangle Park, the town has attracted some large businesses and has been named by CNNMoney as one of the best small towns to live in.  It is also the safest place to live in North Carolina, with a violent crime rate of 54.4 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 1.1%.

#2 Morrisville

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Also located in Wake County, Morrisville is a town with a current population of 21,900 residents.  The town is considered a suburb of Raleigh-Durham and is a part of the Research Triangle Park with companies such as Lenovo (headquarters) and Oracle located there.  Morrisville is a safe place in North Carolina to call home, with a violent crime rate of 56.8 and the chance of being affected by property crime here just 1.8%.

#3 Pinehurst

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A village in Moore County, Pinehurst is home to 13,100 residents.  Best known for its historic golf resort by the same name, the community also has a vibrant downtown district and an active equestrian community.  Living in Pinehurst is also a safe choice, with a violent crime rate of 80 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just .07%.

#4 Cary

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Located in Wake and Chatham counties, Cary is a town that is home to 151,000 residents.  This community is considered one of the fastest-growing in the state and has been named by Money Magazine as a best place to live in the U.S.  The violent crime rate in Cary is 81.6, and residents have a  1.3% chance of being affected by property crime here.

#5 Apex

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Another Wake County town, Apex is considered a suburb of Raleigh and is home to 43,900 residents.  Known for its top schools and thriving downtown, Apex was also rated #1 on Money’s list of best places to live in 2015.  It is also a safe place to live, with a violent crime rate of 84.4 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 1.4%.

#6 Concord

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A city in Cabarrus County, Concord is home to 83,500 residents.  The largest city in the county and the county seat, Concord is just 20 miles northeast of Charlotte and is the home of Charlotte Motor Speedway as well as several NASCAR driver headquarters.  Also a safe place to live, the violent crime rate in Concord is 104.4, and residents have a 3.2% chance of being affected by property crime.

#7 Archdale

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Located in Guilford and Randolph counties, Archdale has a current population of 11,400 residents.  Originally a Quaker settlement, this quaint town in the heart of the state provides a scenic landscape and a safe environment.  The violent crime rate in Archdale is 112.3, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here is 2.4%.

#8 Waxhaw

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A town located in Union County, Waxhaw is home to 9,800 residents.  The town sits just north of the South Carolina state line and is considered a southern suburb of Charlotte.  Also known as the site of the first gold discovery in the U.S., this community is a safe place to call home.  The violent crime rate here is 137.7, and residents have a 2.8% chance of being affected by property crime.

#9 Chapel Hill

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A city in Orange County, Chapel Hill has a current population of 57,200 residents.  Best known as the home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the city also has a rich history, well-performing schools, and a vibrant culture.  The violent crime rate in Chapel Hill is 148.5, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here is 2.5%.

#10 Clayton

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Located in Johnson County, the town of Clayton is home to 16,100 residents.  Considered a satellite town of Raleigh, Clayton is close to the Research Triangle and is served by large local employers such as Caterpillar and Grifols.  Clayton is a safe place to call home, with a violent crime rate of 150.3 and the chance of being affected by property crime here just 2.3%.

#11 Leland

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A town in Brunswick County, Leland is home to 13,500 residents.  Considered a suburb of Myrtle Beach, the town sits west of the Brunswick River and encompasses 19.9 square miles.  Living in Leland is a safe choice, with a violent crime rate of 155.5 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 3%.

#12 Wake Forest

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Located in Franklin and Wake counties, the town of Wake Forest is home to 34,700 residents.  The community was the original home of Wake Forest University until it relocated to Winston-Salem. Now the campus is the site of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the town has many historical locations.  The violent crime rate here is 156.1, and residents have a 2.1% chance of being affected by property crime.

#13 Mint Hill

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A suburban town in Mecklenburg and Union counties, Mint Hill has a current population of 23,300 residents.  Considered a Charlotte suburb, the town encompasses 21.3 square miles and is served by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District.  Also a safe place to call home, the violent crime rate here is 165.5, and residents have a 1.7% chance of being involved in a property crime.

#14 Matthews

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Located in Mecklenburg County, the town of Matthews is home to 27,100 residents.  Also considered a suburb of Charlotte, the town has several companies that have chosen to headquarter there such as Family Dollar Stores, Harris Teeter, and Pokertek. The violent crime rate in Matthews is 166.6, and the chance of being affected by property crime here is 3.1%.

#15 Huntersville

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Another town in Mecklenburg County, Huntersville is home to 26,700 residents.  Located just 12 miles north of downtown Charlotte, Huntersville is known as a lake community for its proximity to Lake Norman and as the headquarters of Joe Gibbs Racing.  The violent crime rate here is 175.2, and residents of Huntersville have a 2.1% chance of being involved in a property crime.

#16 Boone

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Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Watauga County, Boone has a current population of 17,100 residents.  The town is home to Appalachian State University and was listed by U.S. News as one of the top places in the U.S. to retire.  Another safe place to call home, the violent crime rate here is 195.9 and the chance of being affected by property crime in Boone is just 2.3%.

#17 Havelock

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A city in Craven County, Havelock is home to 20,700 residents.  The city has a rich history and is known as the site of the world’s largest Marine Corps air station at Cherry Point and home to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.  The violent crime rate in Havelock is 198.4, and residents have a 2.8% chance of being involved in a property crime.

#18 Newton

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A Catawba County city of 12,900 residents, Newton also serves as the county seat.  The city encompasses 13.8 square miles and has ten locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places including its downtown district and courthouse.  The violent crime rate here is 206.4, and residents have a 3.4% chance of being affected by property crime.

#19 Knightdale

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Located in Wake County, the town of Knightdale is home to 13,400 residents.  Considered a suburb of Raleigh, this fast-growing community is served by the Wake County Public School System and has several large parks.  The violent crime rate in Knightdale is 210.2, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here is 3.8%.

#20 Jacksonville

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A city in Onslow County, Jacksonville has a current population of 70,100 residents.  Home to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station, Jacksonville has been named as one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities and one of the demographically youngest.  It is also very safe, with a violent crime rate of 212.6 and the chance of being affected by property crime here just 2.4%.

#21 Cornelius

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A Mecklenburg County town of 24,800 residents, Cornelius is also considered a suburb of Charlotte.  The community sits on the shores of Lake Norman and encompasses just 12.1 square miles.  Living here is a safe choice, with a violent crime rate of 228.7 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 2.3%.

#22 Garner

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Located in Wake County, the town of Garner is home to 27,800 residents.  Also considered a suburb of Raleigh, the community’s downtown district is listed as historic and the town is home to headquarters of Butterball.  The violent crime rate here is 242.1, and residents have a 4.5% chance of being affected by property crime.

#23 Kannapolis

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A city in Cabarrus and Rowan counties, Kannapolis has a current population of 42,600 residents.  The city home to the North Carolina Research Campus, the Earnhardt racing family, and a Class-A minor league baseball team.  The violent crime rate in Kannapolis is 247.3, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here is 2.5%.

#24 Lenoir

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Located in Caldwell County, the city of Lenoir is home to 18,200 residents.  Also the county seat, Lenoir sits in the Blue Ridge foothills to the southwest of the Brushy Mountains.  The city has a history in the furniture business, but currently wholesale nurseries thrive here, and Google has built a data center in the town as well.  The violent crime rate in Lenoir is 279.1, and residents have a 5.1% chance of being affected by property crime.

#25 Mooresville

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A town in Iredell County, Mooresville is home 32,700 residents.  The town sits on Lake Normal and is best known as the headquarters of Lowes and the home of several NASCAR and IndyCar racing teams and drivers.  Mooresville remains a safe place to call home, with a violent crime rate of 290.4 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 4.3%.

#26 Asheboro

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Located in Randolph County, the city of Asheboro is home 21,600 residents.  Also the county seat, Asheboro is the site of the state-owned North Carolina Zoo and has many properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The violent crime rate here is 301.5, and residents have a 7% chance of being affected by property crime.

#27 Morganton

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A city in Burke County, Morganton has a current population of 16,900 residents.  Also the county seat, the city is home to the Joara archeological site and has a rich history.  This is also a safe place to call home, with a violent crime rate of 304.4 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 3.2%.

#28 Sanford

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A Lee County city of 28,500 residents, Sanford also serves as the county seat.  At one point, the city was one of the major producers of bricks in the U.S. and was named “Brick Capital of the USA”. Today, larger employers are in the technology and textile industry.  The violent crime rate here is 305.5, and residents of Sanford have a 2.8% chance of being affected by property crime.

#29 Carrboro

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Located in Orange County, the town of Carrboro is home to 19,500 residents.  The town sits just west of Chapel Hill and is considered one of the most progressive communities in the South.  The town has an active cultural scene and a vibrant historic district.  It is also a safe place to live, with a violent crime rate of 308.7 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 2.9%.

#30 Kings Mountain

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A city in Cleveland and Gaston counties, Kings Mountain is home to 10,200 residents.  Considered a suburb of Charlotte, the city encompasses 12.6 square miles and features the Kings Mountain National Military Park.  The violent crime rate here is 309.2, and the chance of being affected by property crime in the city is 4.2%.

#31 Belmont

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Also located in Gaston County, the city of Belmont has a population of 10,000 residents.  Located just 15 miles west of Charlotte, the city features Belmont Abbey College, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, and is flanked by two rivers.  The violent crime rate in Belmont is 313.1, and residents have a 4.1% chance of being involved in a property crime.

#32 Lexington

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A city in Davidson County, Lexington is home to 18,900 residents.  Also the county seat, the city serves as a bedroom community to Winston-Salem and Greensboro, and is known as the “Barbecue Capital of North Carolina.”  Living in Lexington is a safe choice, with a violent crime rate of 329.9, and the chance of being affected by property crime here just 3.1%.

#33 Mount Holly

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A suburban city in Gaston County, Mount Holly is home to 13,600 residents.  Located just west of the Catawba River, the city is served by the Gaston County School District and has a historic downtown district.  The violent crime rate in Mount Holly is 346.4, and residents have a 2.2% chance of being involved in a property crime.

#34 Lincolnton

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Located in Lincoln County, the city of Lincolnton is home to 10,600 residents.  Considered a northwest suburb of Charlotte, the city sits on the south fork of the Catawba River and also serves as the county seat.  The violent crime rate in Lincolnton is 356, and the chance of being affected by property crime here is 5.2%.

#35 Hope Mills

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A town in Cumberland County, Hope Mills is home to 15,100 residents.  The town with a rich history sits adjacent to Hope Mills Lake and features a variety of parks and recreation opportunities for its citizens.  The violent crime rate here is 359.1, and the chance of being involved in a property crime in Hope Mills is  6.8%.

#36 Reidsville

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Located in Rockingham County, the city of Reidsville is home to 14,500 residents.  Originally a tobacco and textile economy, the city has seen growth and revitalization in recent years.  It is also a safe place to call home, with a violent crime rate of 362.6, and the chance of being affected by property crime here just 5.5%.

#37 Raleigh

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The largest city on our list, Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and is the 2nd largest city in the state.  Home to 439,800 residents, the city, also known as the “City of Oaks,” is an early example of a planned city in the U.S.   Home to numerous cultural, educational, and historic sites, Raleigh is a safe place to live.  The violent crime rate here is 423.2, and the chance of being involved in a property crime in the city is just 3.2%.

#38 Fuquay-Varina

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Located in Wake County, the town of Fuquay-Varina is home to 18,600 residents.  Formerly two towns, hence the hyphenated name, the town has seen a good deal of recent growth due to its proximity to the Research Triangle Park.  The violent crime rate here is 438.2, and residents have a 3% chance of being affected by property crime.

#39 Tarboro

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A city in Edgecombe County, Tarboro has a current population of 13,100 residents.  Also the county seat, the city now has a 45-block historic district that includes over 300 structures and many historic churches.  The violent crime rate in Tarboro is 446.3, and residents have a 3.7% chance of being involved in a property crime.

#40 Kernersville

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Located in Forsyth County, the town of Kernersville is home to 17,100 residents.  Considered a suburb of both Greensboro and Winston-Salem, the community has become the site of many housing developments and shopping centers as it has continued to expand.  The violent crime rate here is 461, and the chance of being affected by property crime in Kernersville is 4.8%.

#41 Asheville

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The largest city in Western North Carolina, Asheville is home to 83,300 residents.  Located in Buncombe County, this unique city shows up in a variety of national rankings such as “most romantic cities in the South”, “Hippest City in the South”, and “Most Beautiful Places in America”.  Living in this historic spot is also a safe choice, with a violent crime rate of 495.9 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 5.7%.

#42 Graham

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Located in Alamance County, the city of Graham is home to 14,100 residents.  Also the county seat, Graham sits to the south of Burlington and has six locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including its Main Street.  The violent crime rate in Graham is 517.3, and residents have a 3.9% chance of being affected by property crime.

#43 High Point

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A city in Guilford, Randolph, Davidson, and Forsyth counties, High Point has a current population of 108,600 residents.  Located in the Piedmont Triad region of the state, the city is home to three universities but is most known for its furniture manufacturing, giving it the name the “Furniture Capital of the World.”  The violent crime rate here is 520.6, and residents have a 4.1% chance of being involved in a property crime.

#44 Thomasville

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Located in Davidson County, the city of Thomasville is home to 26,700 residents.  Also noted for its furniture industry, the city is the site of the state’s oldest railroad depot, the state’s oldest festival, called “Everybody’s Day”, and a landmark called “The Big Chair.”  The violent crime rate here is 522.3, and the chance of being affected by property crime in Thomasville is 4.9%.

#45 Greenville

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The county seat of Pitt County, the city of Greenville is home to 89,100 residents.  The city is the site of East Carolina University and is home to many top BMX riders.  It was named by Forbes as one of the best small places for business and careers.  It is also a safe place to live, with a violent crime rate of 523.8 and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 4.4%.

#46 Wilson

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Located in Wilson County, the city of Wilson has a current population of 49,600 residents.  Also the county seat, Wilson is about 40 miles east of Raleigh and seen significant growth in recent years with the diversification of its economy.  The violent crime rate here is 426.3, and residents have a 4.6% chance of being affected by property crime.

#47 Albemarle

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A city in Stanly County, Albemarle is home to 15,900 residents.  Also the county seat, the city encompasses 15.8 square miles and administers five parks, with Morrow Mountain State Park nearby.  The violent crime rate in Albemarle is 535.1, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here is 5.8%.

#48 New Bern

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Located in Craven County, New Bern is home to 30,200 residents.  Also the county seat, the city sits at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers near the coast.  New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola and has dozens of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The violent crime rate here is 539.8, and residents of New Bern have a 6.1% chance of being affected by property crime.

#49 Mount Airy

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A city in Surry County near the Virginia state line, Mount Airy is home to 10,300 residents.  Settled as a stagecoach stop in the 1750’s, the city was later thought to be the basis for Mayberry in the famous Andy Griffith Show and holds an annual “Mayberry Days” celebration each September.  The violent crime rate here is 542.8, and the chance of being involved in a property crime in Mount Airy is 5%.

#50 Greensboro

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The 3rd largest city in the state, Greensboro is home 277,000 residents.  Located in Guildford County, the city has an active arts community and a diverse business economy.  The city is considered a part of the Piedmont Triad region of the state and is a safe place to call home, with a violent crime rate of 563.1 and the chance of being affected by property crime here just 4.3%.

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