Best places to raise a family in North Carolina

Written by:
April 20, 2021
realtor.com

Best places to raise a family in North Carolina

Choosing a place to raise children can be a daunting task for any family. If it takes a village to raise a child, that may just extend all the way to your next-door neighbor, fifth-grade teacher, or volunteer soccer coach. While all parents are looking for a great place to raise their kids, oftentimes this decision means balancing—and prioritizing—certain community resources and costs.

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to raise a family in North Carolina using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Keep reading to see if where you grew up or currently live made the list.

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#25. Huntersville

- Population: 55,980
- Median home value: $301,500 (75% own)
- Median rent: $1,305 (25% rent)
- Median household income: $102,016
- Top public schools: William Amos Hough High School (A), Cato Middle College High School (A), Charlotte Engineering Early College (A)
- Top private schools: Lake Norman Christian School (A), SouthLake Christian Academy (A), St. Mark Catholic School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 16959 Huntersville Concord Rd, Huntersville ($2.2 million, 6 bedrooms)

#24. Avery Creek

- Population: 2,675
- Median home value: $242,300 (88% own)
- Median rent: $1,227 (12% rent)
- Median household income: $79,729
- Top public schools: Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy (A+), T.C. Roberson High School (A), Valley Springs Middle School (A)

- Pictured: 11 Craftsman Overlook Rdg, Arden ($679,000, 4 bedrooms)

#23. Raleigh

- Population: 464,485
- Median home value: $248,300 (52% own)
- Median rent: $1,121 (48% rent)
- Median household income: $67,266
- Top public schools: Raleigh Charter High School (A+), Green Hope High School (A+), Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Ravenscroft School (A+), St. David's School (A+), Saint Mary's School (A+)

- Pictured: 6036 Over Hadden Ct, Raleigh ($3.8 million, 5 bedrooms)

#22. Whispering Pines

- Population: 3,288
- Median home value: $318,900 (85% own)
- Median rent: $1,490 (15% rent)
- Median household income: $79,943
- Top public schools: New Century Middle School (A-), Sandhills Farm Life Elementary School (B+), Union Pines High School (B+)

- Pictured: 165 McDeeds Creek Rd, Whispering Pines ($498,900, 3 bedrooms)

#21. Waxhaw

- Population: 15,237
- Median home value: $329,400 (85% own)
- Median rent: $1,446 (15% rent)
- Median household income: $111,642
- Top public schools: Central Academy of Technology & Arts (A+), Cuthbertson High School (A), Sandy Ridge Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Everbrook Academy of Waxhaw (unavailable)

- Pictured: 9816 Sedgefield Dr, Waxhaw ($3.2 million, 5 bedrooms)

#20. Royal Pines

- Population: 4,759
- Median home value: $260,300 (86% own)
- Median rent: $1,117 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $83,012
- Top public schools: Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy (A+), T.C. Roberson High School (A), Valley Springs Middle School (A)

- Pictured: 12 N Oak Terrace Dr, Arden ($625,000, 3 bedrooms)

#19. Rolesville

- Population: 7,488
- Median home value: $316,200 (84% own)
- Median rent: $788 (16% rent)
- Median household income: $119,615
- Top public schools: Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School (A+), Wake Early College of Health & Sciences (A+), Heritage High School (A)

- Pictured: 912 Flash Dr, Rolesville ($605,000, 5 bedrooms)

#18. Summerfield

- Population: 11,151
- Median home value: $361,100 (87% own)
- Median rent: $961 (13% rent)
- Median household income: $103,769
- Top public schools: The Early College at Guilford (A+), The STEM Early College at N.C. A&T (A+), Philip J. Weaver Education Center (A+)

- Pictured: 6174 Castlebrook Dr, Summerfield ($998,900, 4 bedrooms)

#17. Stokesdale

- Population: 5,396
- Median home value: $205,400 (82% own)
- Median rent: $895 (18% rent)
- Median household income: $84,583
- Top public schools: The Early College at Guilford (A+), The STEM Early College at N.C. A&T (A+), Early College of Forsyth (A+)

- Pictured: 7814 Neugent Dr, Kernersville ($999,999, 4 bedrooms)

#16. Wake Forest

- Population: 42,111
- Median home value: $297,300 (71% own)
- Median rent: $1,117 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $92,210
- Top public schools: Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School (A+), Wake Early College of Health & Sciences (A+), Heritage High School (A)
- Top private schools: Thales Academy Wake Forest Pre-K-5 (unavailable), St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School (unavailable), Montessori Children's House of Wake Forest (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1820 Oatlands Ct, Wake Forest ($2.0 million, 5 bedrooms)

#15. Lewisville

- Population: 13,861
- Median home value: $195,400 (86% own)
- Median rent: $863 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $78,464
- Top public schools: Early College of Forsyth (A+), Ronald W. Reagan High School (A), West Forsyth High School (A)
- Top private schools: Forsyth Country Day School (A+)

- Pictured: 9206 Sparrowhawk Ct, Lewisville ($1.5 million, 4 bedrooms)

#14. Clemmons

- Population: 20,313
- Median home value: $226,600 (74% own)
- Median rent: $866 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $70,659
- Top public schools: Early College of Forsyth (A+), West Forsyth High School (A), Southwest Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Montessori School of Winston-Salem (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1185 Tall Tree Rd, Clemmons ($1.2 million, 4 bedrooms)

#13. Cornelius

- Population: 29,256
- Median home value: $322,400 (69% own)
- Median rent: $1,219 (31% rent)
- Median household income: $90,542
- Top public schools: William Amos Hough High School (A), Cato Middle College High School (A), Charlotte Engineering Early College (A)
- Top private schools: Grace Covenant Academy (unavailable), Cadence Academy Preschool - Kenton (unavailable), Cornelius KinderCare (unavailable)

- Pictured: 18300 Mainsail Pointe Dr, Cornelius ($4.5 million, 6 bedrooms)

#12. Harrisburg

- Population: 15,806
- Median home value: $288,900 (86% own)
- Median rent: $1,634 (14% rent)
- Median household income: $108,942
- Top public schools: Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School (A), J.N. Fries Middle School (A), Harrisburg Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Stafford Road KinderCare (unavailable)

- Pictured: 2579 Snap Dragon Dr, Harrisburg ($569,900, 5 bedrooms)

#11. Holly Springs

- Population: 34,874
- Median home value: $320,900 (83% own)
- Median rent: $1,416 (17% rent)
- Median household income: $112,029
- Top public schools: Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School (A+), Wake Early College of Health & Sciences (A+), Apex High School (A)
- Top private schools: Thales Academy Holly Springs Pre-K-6 (unavailable), Holly Springs KinderCare (unavailable), Kiddie Academy of Holly Springs (unavailable)

- Pictured: 209 Center Hill Dr # 128, Holly Springs ($936,990, 5 bedrooms)

#10. Chapel Hill

- Population: 60,998
- Median home value: $399,700 (50% own)
- Median rent: $1,191 (50% rent)
- Median household income: $73,614
- Top public schools: East Chapel Hill High School (A+), Carrboro High School (A+), Chapel Hill High School (A+)
- Top private schools: St. Thomas More Catholic School (unavailable), Montessori Community School (unavailable), Montessori Day School (unavailable)

- Pictured: 24107 Cherry, Chapel Hill ($2.8 million, 4 bedrooms)

#9. Oak Ridge

- Population: 6,901
- Median home value: $383,300 (96% own)
- Median rent: $2,059 (4% rent)
- Median household income: $127,578
- Top public schools: The Early College at Guilford (A+), The STEM Early College at N.C. A&T (A+), Early College of Forsyth (A+)
- Top private schools: Oak Ridge Military Academy (A)

- Pictured: 6629 Linville Ridge Dr, Oak Ridge ($1.4 million, 4 bedrooms)

#8. Carrboro

- Population: 21,230
- Median home value: $368,800 (43% own)
- Median rent: $1,078 (57% rent)
- Median household income: $58,702
- Top public schools: East Chapel Hill High School (A+), Carrboro High School (A+), Chapel Hill High School (A+)

- Pictured: 215-G Hillsborough Rd, Carrboro ($850,000, 4 bedrooms)

#7. Weddington

- Population: 10,794
- Median home value: $457,900 (95% own)
- Median rent: $1,108 (5% rent)
- Median household income: $136,891
- Top public schools: Marvin Ridge High School (A+), Weddington High School (A+), Central Academy of Technology & Arts (A+)
- Top private schools: Weddington Christian Academy (unavailable)

- Pictured: 207 River Birch Ln, Matthews ($2.3 million, 4 bedrooms)

#6. Biltmore Forest

- Population: 1,473
- Median home value: $910,400 (91% own)
- Median rent: $1,083 (9% rent)
- Median household income: $180,781
- Top public schools: Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy (A+), T.C. Roberson High School (A), Valley Springs Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Carolina Day School (A+)

- Pictured: 9 Eastwood Rd, Asheville ($4.9 million, 6 bedrooms)

#5. Marvin

- Population: 6,553
- Median home value: $677,800 (96% own)
- Median rent: $3,364 (4% rent)
- Median household income: $206,469
- Top public schools: Marvin Ridge High School (A+), Weddington High School (A+), Central Academy of Technology & Arts (A+)

- Pictured: 9819 Chestnut Rd, Marvin ($1.4 million, 4 bedrooms)

#4. Davidson

- Population: 12,735
- Median home value: $448,300 (79% own)
- Median rent: $1,264 (21% rent)
- Median household income: $124,853
- Top public schools: Community School of Davidson (A+), Collaborative College for Technology & Leadership (CCTL) (A), William Amos Hough High School (A)
- Top private schools: Davidson Day School (A)

- Pictured: 704 Amalfi Dr, Davidson ($1.5 million, 4 bedrooms)

#3. Apex

- Population: 51,370
- Median home value: $327,800 (75% own)
- Median rent: $1,380 (25% rent)
- Median household income: $111,435
- Top public schools: Green Hope High School (A+), Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School (A+), Panther Creek High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Thales Academy Apex JH/HS (A), St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School (unavailable), Thales Academy Apex K-5 (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1013 Olive Chapel Rd, Apex ($1.6 million, 4 bedrooms)

#2. Cary

- Population: 166,268
- Median home value: $356,400 (68% own)
- Median rent: $1,246 (32% rent)
- Median household income: $104,669
- Top public schools: Green Hope High School (A+), Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School (A+), Panther Creek High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Cary Academy (A+), Cary Christian School (A+), Hopewell Academy (A)

- Pictured: 7905 Emery Gayle Ln, Cary ($2.1 million, 4 bedrooms)

#1. Morrisville

- Population: 26,280
- Median home value: $331,800 (48% own)
- Median rent: $1,398 (52% rent)
- Median household income: $101,738
- Top public schools: Green Hope High School (A+), Wake NC State University STEM Early College High School (A+), Panther Creek High School (A+)
- Top private schools: Discovery Child Development Center (unavailable), Kiddie Academy of Morrisville (unavailable), Kids 'R' Kids Academy - Morrisville (unavailable)

- Pictured: 1500 Ferntree Ct, Morrisville ($735,900, 4 bedrooms)

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