North Carolina Towns Among Best Places To Live In America, Money Magazine Says

North Carolina once again has communities that could be among the best places to raise a child, work, exercise and enjoy life, and the names are familiar to best-of lists. These three towns are among the 100 best places to live in America, according to and Money magazine.

The editors noted that choosing where to live is an important decision, “one that influences your life in every way.” The publication gathered 170,000 data points from about 2,400 places.

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Money eliminated any place that had more than double the national crime risk, less than 85 percent of its state’s median household income or a lack of ethnic diversity. “This gave us 2,400 places,” the magazine said.

Fishers, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, ranked first place in this year’s list, while runners up include Allen, Texas; Monterey Park, California; Franklin, Tennessee; and Olive Branch, Mississippi.

Here are the North Carolina towns on the list:

No. 38: Concord, N.C.

“Over 200 years ago, when two settlements compromised over the location of a county seat, the resulting town was named Concord, meaning ‘harmony.’ Today, Concord tries to live up to that tradition, bringing people together in a pedestrian-friendly downtown that features shops, restaurants, historic buildings, two live theaters, a gourmet chocolatier, and regular events. (The climate is similarly hospitable, with 214 clear days per year.)

“Located about 25 miles outside of Charlotte, Concord boasts modest home sale prices, and a median income that’s above the state median. The local economy is healthy, with many residents employed by local government and the health care industry; Moody’s Analytics predicts strong job growth for the county through 2021.”

No. 76: Knightdale, N.C. No. 90: Morrisville, N.C.

For the first time, the publication partnered with as a way to leverage its “rich data” and understanding of every housing market in the country.

This year’s list used eight categories to evaluate 2,400 cities and towns with populations between 10,000 and 100,000 people. The criteria used to determine each community’s quality of life included: cost of living; economy; education; housing; crime; convenience; cultural and recreational amenities; and an overall sense of pleasantness.

While this is Money’s 30th annual ranking, it’s the first time the magazine has worked with to create the list, using even more data and insights to determine the best living places.

“These are [small] cities and towns that have a really strong community life,” says’s chief economist, Danielle Hale. “When you’re buying a home, you’re not just buying the kitchen and master bathroom. You’re buying the community.”

Patch Editor Deb Belt contributed to this article.

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