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23 Pros and Cons of Living in North Carolina in 2023

Are you wondering about the pros and cons of living in North Carolina?

North Carolina has many good things to offer – the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, beautiful beaches, delicious barbecue, and their famed southern hospitality. 

Before deciding to make the move, you must first consider the pros and cons of living in North Carolina. 

After living in over 18 different countries over the past 10 years, I want to share with you the main factors to consider about living in North Carolina, so that you can make a well-informed decision.

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A perfect view as the sun sets in North Carolina. The majestic view of the mountains filled with green trees under the blue skies - is one of the big pros of living in North Carolina.
Photo from Unsplash by Elijah Mears

1. Pro: Easy-Going and Relaxed Lifestyle

Life in North Carolina is easy-going and relaxed. People are not in a hurry. 

Although there are busy cities like Charlotte and Raleigh, smaller cities offer a slower pace, which is great if you like a laid-back lifestyle

2. Con: It Is Easy to Get Lost When Traveling

Navigating North Carolina State can be challenging. The locals guide you, not by street names, but by landmarks. 

The cities do have fast and reliable internet, but you may lose service in more remote regions of the state. This makes navigating through the country more difficult, so it can take longer to find your destination.

3. Con: Tax Rates Are High

The tax rates in North Carolina are relatively high. This includes income tax, sales tax, and property tax as well.

The state income tax rate is a flat 4.75% (Tax Rate Schedules | NCDOR), but when you add in the local minimum tax rate of 2.75% property tax, and sales tax, it is higher than other US states, especially those with no state income tax. 

4. Pro: Southern Hospitality

The southern states of America are famous for their hospitality. The people of North Carolina are not an exception. They are friendly and well-mannered. 

If you have lived there for some time, don’t be surprised if they call you by your name when you next visit the mall.

Kids may even refer to you as “Sir” or “Ma’am”.  

👉🏻 Wanna meet new faces in North Carolina? Join Meetups today!

5. Pro: Beautiful Beaches and Mountains 

North Carolina has some of the most beautiful landscapes with majestic mountains, warm beaches, and forests covering most of the state.

It is home to the Appalachian Mountains, the Blue Ridge mountain range, and Great Smokey Mountain National Park (The most visited National Park in the US) 

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy sports like kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, and fishing.

A calm lake in North Carolina surrounded by islands abundant with green trees.
Photo from Unsplash by Lawrence Melosantos

6. Con: Hurricanes

North Carolina is always at risk for a hurricane, which can be devastating for all residents, especially homeowners.

Hurricanes can knock out electricity and the internet for a few days.

Residents need to keep power banks and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) batteries charged all the time. You also need to keep a reserve of extra food.

7. Pro: Low Housing Cost

The cost of housing in North Carolina is lower than the national average.

In the first part of 2022, the median cost of a single-family house was approximately $369,500 USD. The national median price for the same period was $375,000 USD. 

The North Carolina housing cost was 1% lower than the national. Even the rentals are affordable in the state. 

8. Con: Limited Public Transportation

If you don’t have a car, it can be challenging to get around in North Carolina. 

This is especially true for intercity travel, but the public transportation systems in cities like Raleigh and Charlotte also lack efficiency. The routes are difficult to navigate and lack coverage. 

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9. Pro: Mouth-Watering Barbecues

North Carolina is famous for its mouth-watering, delicious, and tempting barbecues.  

There are famous barbecue joints all over the state. The two main varieties available are Lexington-style and Eastern-style barbecues.

Barbecues are so famous in North Carolina that even some laws have come into effect related to it.

10. Pro: Mild Winters 

The climate in North Carolina is affected by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.

The temperatures stay above 40º all winter and snowfall is rare in North Carolina. This mild weather makes winters here more bearable than in many other states in the US.

11. Con: Hot Summers

Even though the winters are mild, the summers are very hot and humid. July and August are the hottest months, with temperatures as high as 32°C (90°F).

The summers are also very humid, which means that sunscreen and extra hydration are needed for any outdoor activities.

12. Pro: Good Job Opportunities

There are plenty of job opportunities in North Carolina. The state has a strong economy, with the fastest-growing fields being business, finance, and medicine. 

The most prominent job markets in North Carolina are located in the major cities of Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville. 

👉🏻 Looking for a job in North Carolina? Find your dream job here!

13. Con: High Crime Rates in Certain Areas

Some places in North Carolina have crime rates that are slightly higher than the rest of the state. 

The crime rate in North Carolina ranges from violent crimes to property-related crimes and the highest crime rates are in the cities of Whiteville, Henderson, and Wadesboro. 

If you are living near an area with an elevated crime rate, it is a good idea to invest in a security system for your home to keep yourself and your belongings safe. 

A photo of the tall buildings in North Carolina with their lights on under the night sky.
Photo from Unsplash by Clay Banks

14. Pro: Many Historical Sites

North Carolina has a lot of historical sites all over the state. 

Some of the more famous historical relics to see in North Carolina include the USS North Carolina battleship, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, The Wright Brothers Memorial, and a few notable battlefields from the Civil War Era. 

A brown dog biting a pink flower on one of the parks in North Carolina.
Photo from Unsplash by Celine Sayuri Tagami

15. Pro: A Pet-Friendly State

North Carolina does not have strict laws about pets, including dogs. If you have a dog,  North Carolina is quite welcoming.

Rentals allow you to have pets like dogs and cats.

16. Con: Traffic Congestion in the Big Cities

North Carolina has many growing and developing urban areas like Raleigh and Charlotte. The growing population adds to the road traffic. 

The city of Charlotte has one of the worst traffic congestion in the state. According to a recent traffic scorecard report of 2022 by Inrix, Charlotte is the 35th most congested city in the United States.

In the morning, the rush hours in Charlotte are between 7.30 a.m. and 9.00 a.m. In the evening it is between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Bike lane networks are available in large cities like Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh.

Public transportation systems like intercity buses and trains are available in Charlotte. They are not yet fully developed but you can move around the city using these buses and trains.

You can opt for carpooling or remote work-from-home jobs.

17. Pro: Popular Sports – Football, Basketball, Soccer, and Hockey

North Carolina has 4 major sports leagues: football, basketball, soccer, and hockey.

Sports are a significant part of the community in North Carolina, especially in Durham, where North Carolina and Duke have one of the most heated rivalries in men’s college basketball.

There are sporting events all year round in North Carolina. 

North Carolina also has Esports. Some Esports groups on campus joined together in 2018 to form NC State’s Esports Club.

A white and brown of concrete building in North Carolina under a blue sky.
Photo from Unsplash by Elijah Mears

18. Pro: It Has Good Arts and Entertainment Centers

North Carolina is famous for its arts and culture. The outdoor theater actually started in North Carolina. 

An outdoor theater is a form of theater where artists perform in the streets. 

The state has amazing art museums, concerts, music, and film festivals.

Given below are some of the well-known art and entertainment centers in North Carolina.

  • Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte
  • Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh
  • Durham Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh
  • Carolina Theater, Greensboro
  • Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh
  • Stevens Center of the UNC School of the Arts, Winston, Salem
  • North Carolina Theater, Raleigh
  • Diana Wortham Theater, Asheville
  • Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte
  • Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh

These theaters present a wide range of performing arts like Broadway shows, operas, ballets, and symphony.

The Reynolda House Museum of American Art is a beautiful Art Museum.

If you love arts and theater, you will find North Carolina a wonderful place to live.

19. Con: K-12 Education Has Room for Improvement

North Carolina has some of the most prestigious and well-known educational institutions in America. 

 But, its K-12 education system could be much better.

The K-12 education system have the following problems:

  • Low student-teacher ratio.
  • Particularly low reading and writing scores.  

72% of voters in North Carolina say that improvement of K-12 education should be a high priority for lawmakers. (

20. Pro: The People of North Carolina are Patriotic

The people of North Carolina are patriotic. According to the website, North Carolina ranks as the 17th most patriotic state. 

The state is ranked 5th in active duty military personnel per 100,000 civilian adults.

Even if you have been in North Carolina for a few days, you will feel their patriotism.

They appreciate the sacrifices that their military has made to obtain freedom and liberty.

21. Con: The State and Municipal Governments Don’t Get Along Well

The regular tensions between the State and the Municipal Governments result in an atmosphere of insecurity.

Sometimes the local Government needs funds for social work and other important issues but the State Government does not provide the funds.

This has been a constant battle and it’s not good for the economy. The state thrives when there is a healthy environment created by the political leadership.

22. Pro: Strong Internet Connection in Cities

The internet connection in most parts of North Carolina is strong. This will help you to work remotely from home

You can have a video call with your loved ones even if they stay far away. 

You can use the internet to entertain yourself and watch your favorite movies or shows.

A strong internet connection provides entertainment, education, relaxation, and the latest news.

A good internet connection is a sign of technological development in North Carolina.

23.  Pro: Good Healthcare 

When you move to a new city, healthcare is a big concern. Luckily, residents of North Carolina have access to a good healthcare system.

The Duke University Hospital and North Carolina Hospitals are some of the best hospitals in North Carolina. 

The Department of Health and Human Services caters to all state citizens but particularly to vulnerable groups. 

There is a plethora of healthcare services offered to the citizens of North Carolina. The doctors in the big cities are well-qualified and experts in their particular fields. 

If you have a serious health condition, you will find a doctor who will provide you with good care and medication.

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Wrap-Up: Pros and Cons of Living in North Carolina

Overall, North Carolina is a good state to live in. It has beautiful landscapes, good food, a reasonable cost of living, and a relaxed lifestyle

I am sure that once you start living there, you will not regret moving to North Carolina.

It’s a great landscape that can be like a paradise for nature lovers. You can head to the mountains or spend a relaxed time on the beach.

This can be followed by a tasty barbecue party. I believe that the pros far outweigh the cons and you will enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of North Carolina.

Here are my 3 best reasons to move to North Carolina:

1.  The people are very helpful and friendly. They will help you to settle down comfortably.

2. The natural beauty of North Carolina is just amazing and surreal. You will relax in the mountains, on the sunny beaches, and in the dense woods.

3. You will enjoy the mouth-watering and delicious food, particularly the juicy barbecues available here.

If you are interested, learn about the pros and cons of living in South Carolina in 2023.  

🛫 Wanna book a flight to North Carolina? Check this platform for affordable booking!

Living Abroad Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy expat travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Safety Wing!

🌎 What is the best country to live in as an expat?

It depends – the best country to live in as an expat will depend on your unique needs. I developed this free quiz to help you figure out where is right for you!

📍 How do I pick a country to live abroad?

It depends – picking a country to live in is hard. That’s why I developed this $7 course to share all of the steps I’ve taken when deciding to move to 20+ different countries, and how I handle homesickness when I get there.

Ultimately, making the choice of where to move is going to be hard. But the hardest thing is deciding to move abroad at all!

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You can find work abroad via local job boards or temp agencies. My favourite way to work is remotely, so I always look for jobs on when I live abroad. They hire for 100% remote roles only.

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I actually use it as my primary bank now worldwide due to the multi-currency debit card. (Read more)

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This is my favourite luggage set for long term travel. You can read more about my review of types of suitcases for travel here.

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Take this $7 course and learn the exact script I used to tell my family I was moving abroad … and then when I did it again. I even include tips for prepping your family, and for how to handle family who aren’t supportive.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy cheap flights?

To find cheap flights, I recommend Skyscanner. (Read more)

🏨 What’s the best site to find cheap hotels?

To find cheap hotels, I recommend (Read more)

Or stay for free with Trusted Housesitters!

🚗 What’s the best site to rent cars abroad?

To find cheap rental cars, I recommend Discover Cars.

🚗 What’s the best site to find tours?

To find epic tours, I recommend Viator.