Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Filip Poutintsev
North Carolina, one of the original 13 states, is situated on the Atlantic Coast midway between New York and Florida. It is bounded to the north by Virginia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by South Carolina and Georgia, and to the west by Tennessee.
North Carolina is a beautiful state to reside in or even simply visit because of its rugged mountainscapes and wind-swept beaches. The beautiful scenery often captivates tourists, but how is the day-to-day life like living in North Carolina?
Quality healthcare and low cost of living are only some of the multitude of benefits of residing in North Carolina. Although there are many positives to living in North Carolina, there are still a couple of disadvantages that can cause concern.
Pros And Cons Of Living In North Carolina
- Lower than the average cost of living
- Temperate weather
- Abundant outdoor activities
- Rich history
- Better than average healthcare
- Strong job market
- Great sense of community
- Excellent post-secondary schools
- Higher crime rate
- Poor public transportation
- Higher taxes
- Elementary and high schools are underwhelming
- Drug use
- Politics can be frustrating
Pros Of Living In North Carolina
Lower Than Average Cost Of Living
Many people who are looking to move to North Carolina are often attracted by its low cost of living, including lower-than-average rents available all year round. The average monthly rent in North Carolina is $931, while the national average is about $150 more per month. Unfortunately, that $150 per month adds up.
Other main expenses other than housing are significantly cheaper in North Carolina. Compared to cities like New York and Los Angeles, food, transportation, and utilities are far cheaper in comparison. Free activities are also in abundance throughout North Carolina, thanks to its diverse beaches and mountains.
People often refer to North Carolina as the state with only two seasons – summer and fall. However, it’s not applicable throughout the entire state—the primary public experience temperate conditions for the most part throughout the year. The temperatures in the winter barely dip below 35º F in cities such as Charlotte or Raleigh.
Summers are relatively temperate, although outdoors temperatures can exceed 90º F. Mountainous regions can experience humid days in summer and frigid temperatures during the winter seasons. On average, North Carolina experiences temperate conditions compared to other states such as New York or Florida.
Abundant Outdoor Activities
North Carolina is known for its affinity for outdoor recreational activities available. The Appalachian Mountains, which comprise most of North Carolina’s territory, provide 100s of miles of rugged terrain to hike.
Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, hiking trails are abundant for you. These trails are also perfect for those who wish to mountain bike along them. Other activities available include boating, fishing, beach visits, and golfing.
North Carolina, as one of the original 13 states of the USA, has a rich history spanning hundreds of years. Sir Walter Raleigh landed in North Carolina to set up the doomed colony of Roanoke on the Outer Banks islands in 1587. Raleigh left the colony, returning years later to find the people had all but disappeared.
North Carolina also succeeded the Union during the Civil War, and it saw some of the war’s bloodiest battles. One of the final major battles of the war, the Battle of Bentonville, took place near Durham, North Carolina. North Carolina helps fund and take care of its numerous historical sites and museums to celebrate and commemorate its state’s rich history.
Better Than Average Healthcare
Healthcare is usually people’s greatest concern when moving to a new place. North Carolina is known for some of the best practices in medicine and some of the top-rated university medical centers in the country. Some of the top medical facilities, such as Duke University Hospital, are in North Carolina and provide top-notch medical care.
Strong Job Market
Finding a new job is considered to be one of the first things that should be taken care of before moving to a new state. North Carolina, luckily, has a very strong labor market. This means that most people searching for a job finds one. Not everyone finds their job of choice immediately, but you shouldn’t have to search for months on end for a job either.
According to state statistics, only 5% of the labor force is unemployed, which is lower than the current national average of 5.5%. The main fields of work within North Carolina include the trades, healthcare services, and government jobs.
Great Sense Of Community
The people of North Carolina are charming and welcoming to all daily. People working in the hospitality industry and workers who provide services are kind, helpful, and happy to help where they can. The locales greet newcomers with open arms and wish to get to know you better, making you feel just at home in your new community.
Excellent Post-Secondary Schools
Located in North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, and Davidson College are amongst some of the best schools in the country. North Carolina also has a publicly funded post-secondary schooling system.
They are far more affordable to attend than the likes of Duke and Wake Forest. Some of the best public schools include the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Appalachian State University.
Although North Carolina was ranked 21st most patriotic state, it doesn’t feel as such when you’re there. The people of North Carolina are proud Americans who enjoy the freedoms and responsibilities living in the USA provides for them.
The military is well respected and appreciated by almost all those who live in North Carolina. They understand the sacrifices the military had made in an effort to protect and serve them.
Cons Of Living In North Carolina
Hurricanes often occur on the eastern seaboard and affect those who live there. They cause flooding, intense winds, and unpredictable weather patterns that can severely damage infrastructure and people’s homes and businesses. Sometimes people are caught off-guard by the sudden change in the weather conditions and find themselves in fatal situations.
North Carolina experiences hurricane season every year from June to November. During this time of year, it is essential to listen to authorities and constantly watch the news for weather updates to ensure your safety, those around you, and your property.
If you’re concerned about the damage inflicted by hurricanes, you can move inland towards the mountains or take out an insurance plan to cover all hurricane damage.
Higher Crime Rates
North Carolina’s crime rate almost matches the country’s average, but specific crimes are much more common in North Carolina than anywhere else in the USA.
The murder rate in North Carolina is 5.8 per 100,000, which is 10% higher than the national average. The most common reason people have found for the higher crime rates is its relatively high poverty levels. About 14% of the population lives in poverty, which usually results in higher crime rates.
Poor Public Transportation
There is a lack of reliable public transportation within North Carolina due to the lack of a well-run public transportation sector. It can be difficult living in North Carolina if you do not possess a car and rely on public transportation to get around.
North Carolina puts a significant tax burden on each one of its citizens. On average, individual state and municipal taxes will cost you 9.8% of your yearly income. North Carolina ranks as the 20th most taxed state in the USA.
North Carolina also has a hefty sales tax. Most items will have an extra 6.98% sales tax added to their total. A resident, on average, will pay $771 every year in sales tax.
North Carolina does have relatively low corporate tax rates, though. If you’re thinking of starting a business, the 2.5% business tax is an appealing offer.
Elementary And High Schools Are Underwhelming
Although the post-secondary education system is fantastic in North Carolina, its younger generation is often left behind. North Carolina is currently ranked as the 15th best state for Pre-K to 12th-grade education. Although that doesn’t sound bad, it’s much lower than their post-secondary rankings and sounds underwhelming in comparison.
Some lacking areas in North Carolina regarding education include Pre-K enrollment and high school graduation rates. North Carolina ranks as the 30th best state for Pre-K enrollment, while its graduation rate is in the bottom half of all states.
In the last couple of years, the use of drugs has become prevalent in North Carolina. This rise in drug use coincides with the national rise in opioid use we’ve seen over the last two decades. So even though there has been a sudden surge in drug use in North Carolina, it isn’t much higher than anywhere else in the USA.
Dangers that come with drug use include needles and such being discarded in public areas. Another concern is that with opioid use, there is a rise in petty theft. So be vigilant and keep an eye out for any strange behavior and check your surroundings to ensure your safety and the safety of your possessions.
Politics Can Be Frustrating
One of the most anger-inducing and frustrating aspects of living in North Carolina is witnessing how the state and municipal governments argue with one another. Bluntly, they don’t agree on anything and are constantly not solving the issues.
The state legislature often doesn’t provide funds for cultural, agricultural, and social growth through initiatives or campaigns. The North Carolina government should focus on saving their state’s culture, history, and safety by funding museums, police, and parks but instead appear to only argue over money.
If you love the great outdoors, enjoy recreational activities, and embrace a welcoming community, then North Carolina is the place for you to live. Although if you rely on public transportation and don’t enjoy unjust politics, then maybe you should reconsider living in North Carolina.
North Carolina has many positive aspects and characteristics, but the few negatives could be a deal breaker for you.