Is North Carolina a good place to live?
North Carolina, located in the United States’ southeastern region, has beautiful landscapes, friendly locals, and plenty of great opportunities.
Its population of almost 10.7 million people makes it the ninth most populous state in the country. North Carolina boasts a diverse economy with large technology, finance, agriculture, and tourism sectors.
However, like any state or region, there are both pros and cons to living in North Carolina.
So, let’s dive into the pros and cons of living in North Carolina, so you can decide if it is the right place for you.
- Pros of Living in North Carolina
- Beautiful Scenery and Climate
- Outdoor Activities
- Great Surfing
- Higher Education Opportunities
- Lots of Shopping and Tourist Activities
- Nightlife and Entertainment
- Southern Hospitality
- Low Cost of Living
- Jobs and Economic Opportunity
- Cons of Living in North Carolina
- Heavy Traffic
- Natural Disasters
- High Humidity
- High Taxes
- Political Instability
- Crime Rate
- Is North Carolina a Good Place to Live?
Pros of Living in North Carolina
North Carolina is a state that is rich in culture, outdoor activities, and beautiful scenery.
It has been named one of the top states for quality of life and for good reason. Here is what it’s like to live in this state:
Beautiful Scenery and Climate
North Carolina’s climate is moderate, with mild winters and warm summers. It is particularly famous for its mountains and beaches, making a stunning backdrop for any outdoor activity.
The state is also famous for its fall foliage, which is particularly spectacular in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
If you’re looking to live near the beach, there are many affordable beach towns in North Carolina.
North Carolinians enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping.
Whether you prefer the mountains or the beach, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the state’s natural beauty.
The state’s parks system is second to none, with excellent facilities and many options for all skill levels.
North Carolina is home to some of the best surfing on the East Coast. The Outer Banks, in particular, are renowned for their excellent surf conditions, with waves stretching for miles.
Surfing communities along the coast are well-established and supportive of newcomers. North Carolina’s surfing culture is a great way to get involved in the community and stay fit.
Higher Education Opportunities
North Carolina has many excellent colleges and universities, including the University of North Carolina, Duke University, and Wake Forest University.
Access to higher education opportunities is essential when considering a place to live.
Lots of Shopping and Tourist Activities
North Carolina has many unique and exciting boutiques and shops, especially in larger cities like Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham. Whether looking for fine art or handmade crafts, you will find something to suit your taste.
The state is home to many popular tourist destinations, such as the Biltmore Estate, the Wright Brothers National Memorial, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Nightlife and Entertainment
North Carolina has a great nightlife, especially in the larger cities. Whether you’re looking for gourmet restaurants, hip bars, or live music venues, there is something to suit everyone’s taste.
The state has many talented musicians and performers and plenty of opportunities to catch a show or concert.
One of the significant pros of living in North Carolina is the famous Southern hospitality.
People in North Carolina are known for being friendly, courteous, and welcoming.
It is easy to make new friends and connect with others in the community; this sense of community is an integral part of everyday life.
Low Cost of Living
North Carolina has the 24th-lowest cost of living compared to other states, making it an attractive option for anyone looking to save some money.
Housing is affordable, and plenty of affordable entertainment options and activities exist. With $45,000 a year, one can find life easygoing in North Carolina.
Jobs and Economic Opportunity
North Carolina is a hotbed for job opportunities, especially in tech and finance.
The state’s economic growth has created a well-paying job market, making it an excellent place for career advancement.
The cost of living and the taxes are low, increasing residents’ disposable income.
Cons of Living in North Carolina
While there are undoubtedly many advantages associated with living in North Carolina, there are also some drawbacks that are worthy of consideration. Below are the cons of living in North Carolina:
North Carolina is notorious for its heavy traffic, especially around major cities such as Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham.
The state’s infrastructure is improving, but the increasing number of people moving to cities for work has worsened traffic congestion.
Traffic drivers in North Carolina are some of the country’s worst, with many refusing to use turn signals and tailgating people on the highway.
Additionally, the state has limited public transportation, so many people have to rely on their cars to get around. This situation makes traffic problems even more problematic.
North Carolina is prone to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.
The state has been hit by several tropical storms and hurricanes in recent years, resulting in severe flooding and property damage.
Also, the state often experiences violent thunderstorms, hailstorms, and tornadoes. These natural disasters can be devastating and make a living in North Carolina harder.
North Carolina is located in the southeastern part of the United States, and it experiences warm temperatures almost year-round.
The summertime, on the other hand, can be sweltering, with humidity levels spiking to uncomfortable levels.
Humidity also leads to more bugs and mosquitoes, making summers a time of the year that most residents in North Carolina dread.
North Carolina has higher taxes than other states, with flat income tax rates at 4.75%.
The sales tax is also relatively high at 6.99%, and counties and cities can add additional taxes.
Property taxes are competitive compared to other states but can still be a significant burden if you own a home.
The political instability in North Carolina has been gaining momentum in recent years.
The state has seen a lot of political controversy surrounding voting rights, gerrymandering, and transgender rights.
Although North Carolina is a safe state overall, the crime rate is 419 incidents/per 100,000 people, higher than the national average.
Property crime is the state’s most common form, with home invasions and burglaries being the most common.
Thefts of vehicles are prevalent in North Carolina, especially in major cities such as Charlotte.
Is North Carolina a Good Place to Live?
North Carolina is a good place to live for many reasons. Cities like Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville are major hubs for jobs, culture, and entertainment.
Add to that the stunning backdrop of the Atlantic coast and Appalachian Mountains, and it’s clear there’s something for everyone. The climate is balanced – not too cold in the winter, nor too hot in the summer.
Your money tends to stretch further in North Carolina than in many other parts of the country.
If you’re considering a move to this state but aren’t sure which city to choose, take a look at our guides on living in Greensboro, the pros and cons of living in Wilmington, and the most affordable coastal places in North Carolina.