These Are The 10 Most Successful Cities In North Carolina

We looked at the data to determine where the best of the best are living in North Carolina.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarRankings - 2 years ago

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What is success? Is it the amount of money you have in your bank account, at any given point? Is it that feeling you get after delivering a killer presentation, or even a pretty decent bar joke?

Or is it something bigger–something wholly unnamable, undefinable, immeasurable, and totally subjective?

Probably so.

But here at Zippia, we like things that we can neatly measure and then expound upon. So yes, with the Power of Math, we have determined the unarguable, totally objective 10 most successful cities in North Carolina. And here they are:

  1. Oak Ridge
  2. Summerfield
  3. Holly Springs
  4. Pinehurst
  5. Morrisville
  6. Apex
  7. Marvin
  8. Cary
  9. Weddington
  10. Knightdale

If you are trying to argue already with our unarguable list, keep reading. There’s a method to this madness.

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How We Determined The Most Successful Cities In North Carolina

The first thing that comes to most capitalist minds in terms of success is–money. After all, rich people must be successful, right?

Meh. Maybe. But we think there’s a bit more that goes into it than that. So we looked at this set of criteria from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey:




1. Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 6,435Median Income: $101,667
Poverty Level: 1.9%
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%

2. Summerfield

Summerfield, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,477Median Income: $102,713
Poverty Level: 2.6%
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%

3. Holly Springs

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 27,339Median Income: $91,755
Poverty Level: 2.9%
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%

4. Pinehurst

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,052Median Income: $75,284
Poverty Level: 3.2%
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

5. Morrisville

Morrisville, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,728Median Income: $84,301
Poverty Level: 3.9%
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%

6. Apex

Apex, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 40,631Median Income: $89,392
Poverty Level: 3.0%
Unemployment Rate: 6.4%

7. Marvin

Marvin, North Carolina

Source: Marvinnc.Org

Population: 5,806Median Income: $158,246
Poverty Level: 4.3%
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%

8. Cary

Cary, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 146,041Median Income: $91,481
Poverty Level: 6.4%
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%

9. Weddington

Weddington, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,906Median Income: $129,695
Poverty Level: 2.8%
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%

10. Knightdale

Knightdale, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,692Median Income: $72,591
Poverty Level: 6.1%
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%

Measuring Success

If you’re still looking at this post thinking, “Surely, such superficial methods can’t possibly measure a city, or rather, the individuals that make up that city’s success!” well, you’re probably right.

But we like to measure things, and when it comes to success, we feel pretty successful in our approach. Congrats to Oak Ridge and our winners. And for those who didn’t make the cut, well, better luck next year.

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Detailed List Of The Most Successful Cities In North Carolina

Rank City Median Income Poverty Rate Unemployment Rate
1 Oak Ridge $101,667 1.9% 2.8%
2 Summerfield $102,713 2.6% 6.3%
3 Holly Springs $91,755 2.9% 5.4%
4 Pinehurst $75,284 3.2% 3.8%
5 Morrisville $84,301 3.9% 5.0%
6 Apex $89,392 3.0% 6.4%
7 Marvin $158,246 4.3% 6.5%
8 Cary $91,481 6.4% 5.1%
9 Weddington $129,695 2.8% 7.2%
10 Knightdale $72,591 6.1% 4.5%
11 Harrisburg $82,135 6.5% 5.6%
12 Huntersville $85,258 5.7% 6.6%
13 Davidson $94,551 6.6% 6.9%
14 Unionville $63,455 4.2% 5.9%
15 Wake Forest $77,173 6.5% 6.5%
16 Clemmons $66,680 7.8% 4.6%
17 Wesley Chapel $91,463 3.6% 8.5%
18 Stallings $77,374 7.5% 6.9%
19 Gibsonville $56,961 7.6% 3.9%
20 Matthews $71,361 5.7% 7.5%
21 Cornelius $81,059 7.7% 7.0%
22 Mills River $57,326 7.5% 5.3%
23 Mint Hill $70,530 9.2% 6.5%
24 Stokesdale $76,691 9.2% 8.2%
25 Indian Trail $67,338 4.5% 9.0%
26 King $55,325 6.5% 7.5%
27 Lewisville $73,403 7.1% 9.0%
28 Kill Devil Hills $54,861 10.0% 5.8%
29 Waxhaw $74,650 5.8% 10.7%
30 Fletcher $47,451 9.5% 5.9%
31 Clayton $56,941 8.6% 8.3%
32 Wendell $45,220 10.7% 5.1%
33 Carrboro $51,310 15.6% 4.8%
34 Kernersville $49,066 12.1% 6.4%
35 Leland $61,823 11.5% 8.5%
36 Trinity $47,878 14.6% 4.9%
37 Archdale $51,418 9.3% 8.3%
38 Fuquay-Varina $59,592 9.2% 9.7%
39 Mebane $51,751 12.6% 7.2%
40 Garner $58,107 10.7% 9.1%
41 Winterville $58,801 10.0% 9.7%
42 Mooresville $61,458 8.8% 11.9%
43 Raleigh $54,581 15.4% 8.3%
44 Belmont $51,167 12.1% 9.3%
45 Carolina Beach $57,592 13.9% 9.8%
46 Hillsborough $46,082 14.6% 7.8%
47 Hope Mills $47,332 11.6% 9.8%
48 Mount Holly $48,290 11.7% 10.8%
49 Concord $52,901 12.5% 11.7%
50 Durham $49,585 18.8% 8.3%
51 Oak Island $47,761 10.2% 11.9%
52 Butner $47,067 17.1% 8.7%
53 Charlotte $53,274 15.8% 10.8%
54 Aberdeen $38,721 15.9% 7.0%
55 Chapel Hill $62,620 28.5% 7.0%
56 Black Mountain $40,185 16.3% 7.4%
57 Hickory $42,393 17.4% 7.7%
58 Asheville $44,077 18.9% 7.9%
59 Boiling Spring Lakes $46,000 11.9% 11.8%
60 Brevard $38,686 13.9% 9.1%
61 Waynesville $35,708 18.2% 6.9%
62 Havelock $44,258 13.6% 11.6%
63 Southern Pines $46,385 15.9% 11.3%
64 Nashville $48,375 14.7% 12.9%
65 Conover $42,974 16.3% 10.3%
66 Jacksonville $41,293 11.5% 13.0%
67 Cherryville $40,980 10.9% 13.7%
68 Greensboro $41,518 19.1% 10.0%
69 Burlington $37,316 18.2% 10.6%
70 Monroe $43,328 18.4% 12.3%
71 Elon $42,545 28.6% 8.1%
72 Fayetteville $44,514 16.3% 13.8%
73 High Point $43,015 19.2% 12.6%
74 Kannapolis $41,453 17.5% 13.2%
75 Morehead City $38,508 23.6% 9.1%
76 Mocksville $37,484 22.0% 10.2%
77 Sanford $44,391 19.9% 12.9%
78 Pineville $32,492 18.0% 10.3%
79 Winston-Salem $40,480 22.3% 11.4%
80 Woodfin $35,186 22.7% 9.4%
81 Reidsville $36,900 21.3% 11.2%
82 Tarboro $34,267 12.6% 13.8%
83 Wilmington $42,130 24.9% 11.3%
84 New Bern $41,238 18.7% 15.2%
85 Sawmills $38,280 24.7% 10.6%
86 Roanoke Rapids $36,477 23.6% 10.7%
87 Gastonia $39,578 20.4% 13.6%
88 Kings Mountain $36,830 19.3% 15.5%
89 Wilson $38,030 23.2% 13.7%
90 Lumberton $31,899 29.6% 8.8%
91 Spring Lake $37,154 19.9% 16.1%
92 Morganton $35,144 25.3% 11.7%
93 Oxford $36,362 22.3% 15.0%
94 Graham $32,713 25.4% 11.1%
95 Mount Airy $31,134 22.0% 12.4%
96 Bessemer City $33,583 18.0% 17.4%
97 Thomasville $35,127 21.8% 15.6%
98 Smithfield $32,403 23.1% 13.0%
99 Asheboro $31,652 23.4% 12.7%
100 Hendersonville $36,000 30.2% 12.3%

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