the World by area

Cities in North Carolina

Welcome to our comprehensive guide featuring a list of cities and towns in North Carolina! Known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, North Carolina offers a diverse array of cities and towns that cater to different lifestyles and interests. Whether you’re seeking a bustling urban environment or a charming small-town atmosphere, this state has something for everyone.

North Carolina is home to numerous cities that showcase its unique character. One of the prominent cities is Charlotte, the state’s largest city and financial hub. With its thriving economy, world-class amenities, and a population exceeding 870,000, Charlotte is a dynamic urban center that offers a blend of cultural attractions, professional opportunities, and a bustling downtown area.

North Carolina State Flag
North Carolina State Flag

Another notable city in North Carolina is Raleigh, the state capital. As part of the Research Triangle region, Raleigh is known for its high-tech industry, prestigious universities, and a vibrant arts and music scene. It boasts a population of over 470,000 and offers a mix of historic charm and modern development.

Asheville, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a city renowned for its natural beauty, vibrant arts community, and thriving food and craft beer scene. With a population of approximately 92,000, Asheville attracts visitors and residents alike with its stunning mountain views, outdoor recreational opportunities, and unique cultural experiences.

Exploring the smaller towns in North Carolina is equally rewarding. From the picturesque coastal towns like Wilmington and Beaufort to the historic towns of New Bern and Chapel Hill, each place has its own distinct charm and character. These towns offer a slower pace of life, friendly communities, and a chance to experience the rich history and natural beauty of the state.

List of Cities in North Carolina

NamePopulation (2021)Population (2020)ChangeTypeCounty
Raleigh469,124467,665+0.31%CityWake (seat), Durham
Durham285,527283,506+0.71%CityDurham (seat), Wake , Orange
Cary176,987174,721+1.30%TownWake , Chatham
Wilmington117,643115,451+1.90%CityNew Hanover
High Point114,086114,059+0.02%CityGuilford , Randolph , Davidson , Forsyth
Chapel Hill61,12861,960−1.34%TownOrange , Durham
Kannapolis54,44653,114+2.51%CityCabarrus , Rowan
Rocky Mount53,95754,341−0.71%CityEdgecombe , Nash
Wake Forest49,65747,601+4.32%TownWake , Franklin
Hickory43,53243,490+0.10%CityCatawba , Burke , Caldwell
Holly Springs43,52441,239+5.54%TownWake
Indian Trail40,95339,997+2.39%TownUnion
New Bern31,34631,291+0.18%CityCraven
Morrisville31,27829,630+5.56%TownWake , Durham
Clayton28,30626,307+7.60%TownJohnston , Wake
Thomasville27,20327,183+0.07%CityDavidson , Randolph
Kernersville26,79326,449+1.30%TownForsyth , Guilford
Mint Hill26,63326,450+0.69%TownMecklenburg , Union

Source and more Table details on List of municipalities in North Carolina

Cities in North Carolina Map

To help you navigate North Carolina and plan your next adventure, we provide a detailed map highlighting the cities and towns across the state. The map showcases the geographic distribution of cities, making it easier for you to explore different regions and plan your itinerary accordingly.

Whether you’re looking for the excitement of a major city or the tranquility of a small town, North Carolina offers a multitude of options. Each city and town has its unique appeal, and we invite you to delve into our comprehensive guide to discover more about the cities in North Carolina and find the perfect place to call home or visit.

So, grab a cup of sweet tea, prepare to be inspired, and embark on a journey to explore the diverse cities and towns that make North Carolina a captivating destination.

Cities in North Carolina Frequently Asked Questions

What are the major cities in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to several major cities that contribute to the state’s vibrant culture, economic growth, and diverse communities. Here are some of the prominent cities in North Carolina:

  1. Charlotte: As the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte is a major financial center and boasts a bustling downtown area. Known for its vibrant arts scene, professional sports teams, and diverse culinary offerings, Charlotte attracts residents and visitors from around the country.
  2. Raleigh: As the state capital, Raleigh is a thriving city known for its vibrant culture, high-tech industry, and renowned universities. The city offers a mix of historic landmarks, modern developments, and a strong emphasis on innovation and research.
  3. Greensboro: Located in the heart of the Piedmont Triad region, Greensboro is a diverse and dynamic city with a rich history. It is known for its vibrant arts community, historic sites, and numerous educational institutions.
  4. Durham: Home to Duke University and the Research Triangle Park, Durham is a hub for innovation, education, and research. The city is known for its world-class medical facilities, thriving music scene, and historic neighborhoods.
  5. Winston-Salem: Famous for its rich tobacco heritage and contributions to the arts, Winston-Salem offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. The city is home to Wake Forest University and is known for its vibrant arts district and historic sites.

These major cities in North Carolina serve as economic and cultural centers, offering a wide range of amenities, employment opportunities, and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike. Each city has its own distinct character and attractions, contributing to the overall diversity and vibrancy of the state.

Where is the best place to live in NC?

Determining the best place to live in North Carolina is subjective and depends on individual preferences and priorities. However, there are several cities and towns in NC that are often regarded as desirable places to live. Here are a few notable options:

  1. Raleigh: Known for its strong job market, excellent schools, and thriving cultural scene, Raleigh consistently ranks high as a desirable place to live. The city offers a mix of urban amenities and natural beauty, with access to parks, green spaces, and nearby lakes.
  2. Charlotte: As the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte offers a diverse and vibrant community. It boasts a strong economy, numerous entertainment options, and a lively arts scene. The city’s neighborhoods offer a range of housing options to suit different lifestyles.
  3. Cary: Located near Raleigh, Cary is often ranked as one of the safest and most family-friendly places to live in the state. It offers excellent schools, a high standard of living, and a strong sense of community. Cary’s well-maintained parks and greenways contribute to its appeal.
  4. Asheville: Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its natural beauty, artistic community, and thriving food and craft beer scene. The city offers a laid-back atmosphere, access to outdoor recreation, and a range of cultural events.
  5. Chapel Hill: Home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this college town has a lively and intellectual atmosphere. Chapel Hill is known for its excellent education options, historic charm, and a variety of cultural and sporting events.

These are just a few examples of the many great places to live in North Carolina. It’s important to consider factors such as job opportunities, cost of living, educational options, and personal preferences when choosing the best place to live in the state.

Is North Carolina a good place to live?

Yes, North Carolina is often considered a great place to live for various reasons. Here are some factors that contribute to its reputation:

  1. Quality of Life: North Carolina offers a high quality of life with a balance of urban amenities and natural beauty. The state is known for its diverse landscapes, including the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, beautiful coastlines, and vibrant cities.
  2. Strong Job Market: North Carolina has a thriving economy with diverse industries such as technology, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing. The state is home to many major corporations and research institutions, providing ample job opportunities.
  3. Affordability: Compared to some other states on the East Coast, North Carolina generally has a lower cost of living. Housing prices, utilities, and everyday expenses tend to be more affordable, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
  4. Education: North Carolina has a strong educational system, with renowned universities, colleges, and schools throughout the state. It offers excellent educational opportunities for students of all ages, including top-ranked public universities like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.
  5. Outdoor Recreation: The state’s diverse geography provides abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. Whether it’s hiking in the mountains, exploring national parks, or enjoying water sports along the coast, North Carolina offers something for nature enthusiasts.
  6. Cultural and Social Scene: North Carolina is rich in culture and history, with vibrant arts scenes, museums, music festivals, and a variety of cultural events. The state also hosts numerous sports events and is passionate about college basketball.

However, it’s important to note that everyone’s preferences and priorities may differ. It’s always a good idea to research and visit different areas of the state to determine if North Carolina aligns with your specific needs and lifestyle.

Is North Carolina cheap to live?

North Carolina is generally considered an affordable state to live in. While costs can vary depending on the specific city or region, here are some factors that contribute to the overall affordability:

  1. Housing: The cost of housing in North Carolina is typically lower than in many other states, especially when compared to major cities on the East Coast. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, there are a variety of options available at relatively affordable prices.
  2. Utilities and Services: Utility costs in North Carolina, including electricity, water, and internet services, are often lower compared to national averages. This helps keep monthly expenses more manageable.
  3. Transportation: The cost of transportation, including gas prices and vehicle registration fees, is generally lower in North Carolina. The state also has an extensive road network and public transportation systems in urban areas, providing affordable options for getting around.
  4. Taxes: North Carolina has a relatively moderate tax burden compared to some other states. The state income tax rates are progressive, and the sales tax is in line with the national average. Additionally, property taxes vary by county but are generally reasonable.

However, it’s important to consider that the cost of living can vary depending on factors such as your lifestyle, location within the state, and individual circumstances. Urban areas like Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville may have higher living costs compared to smaller towns. It’s advisable to research and compare living expenses in different areas of North Carolina to determine what suits your budget and preferences.

What are the biggest risk of living in North Carolina?

While North Carolina offers many advantages, there are some risks and challenges associated with living in the state. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Weather Events: North Carolina is prone to various weather events, including hurricanes, tropical storms, and severe thunderstorms. Coastal areas are particularly susceptible to hurricane impacts, such as high winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges. Inland regions can also experience flooding and strong storms. It’s important to stay informed about weather conditions and have a plan in place to ensure your safety.
  2. Natural Disasters: Apart from hurricanes, North Carolina is also prone to other natural disasters such as tornadoes and occasional earthquakes. While the frequency of these events is relatively low, it’s important to be prepared and have an emergency plan in place.
  3. Healthcare Access: Access to healthcare can be a challenge in some rural areas of North Carolina. Availability of medical facilities, specialists, and healthcare services may vary, particularly in remote or underserved regions. It’s important to consider healthcare access when choosing a place to live within the state.
  4. Education System: While North Carolina has a variety of educational opportunities, the quality of public schools can vary across different areas. It’s advisable to research school districts and consider factors such as academic performance, extracurricular activities, and other educational resources when choosing a location.
  5. Traffic Congestion: Some urban areas in North Carolina, particularly in the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) and Charlotte regions, experience traffic congestion during peak hours. It’s important to consider commuting times and traffic conditions when selecting a place to live, especially if you plan to work in a city center.

It’s worth noting that these risks are not unique to North Carolina and are aspects that many regions face. With proper planning, preparedness, and awareness, these challenges can be managed effectively.

Go back to List of States in USA