15 Most Dangerous Cities In North Carolina

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
North Carolina is full of many safe cities, but `10 cities are worth avoiding. The crime rates in cities like Oxford, Rockingham, and Silver City make them some of the most dangerous in the state. Follow along as we explore the 10 most dangerous cities in North Carolina that you should afford.

North Carolina is known throughout the country for the great food, views, sports teams, and colleges. Unfortunately, the state also has a reputation for having some of the deadliest cities in the United States, such as Durham. North Carolina is largely considered safe, but there are 15 particularly dangerous cities worth avoiding.

Based on FBI statistics, the most dangerous cities in North Carolina are Fayetteville, Henderson, Kinston, Albemarle, Reidsville, ad Oxford. Other dangerous cities include Siler City, Rockingham, Gastonia, and Salisbury. Only 15% of U.S. cities are more dangerous than Fayetteville, North Carolina, and 1 in 22 residents fall victim to a violent crime or property crime.

It is important to understand which cities are worth avoiding in North Carolina so that you can settle somewhere safe. This guide includes FBI statistics, crime data, and information about specific neighborhoods to highlight the danger in these cities. Follow along as we explore the 15 most dangerous cities in North Carolina.

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1. Whiteville

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 11.24
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 88.2
  • Recent Crimes: 531
  • Population: 5,340

Living in Whiteville comes with some serious hazards. Out of every 1,000 residents, 99 Whiteville natives have a crime committed against them. The small city is no bigger than 5.5 square miles.

For each square mile in Whiteville, there are 97 crimes reported. The most dangerous section of Whiteville is known as Pine Log. Whiteville residents should be just as scared of violent crime as property crime.

This year, there have been 60 violent crimes and 471 property crimes. Whiteville residents have to accept a 1 in 89 risk of experiencing violent crime. Property crime is even more widespread, and it affects 1 out of 11 Whiteville residents.

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2. Henderson

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 18.75
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 53.83
  • Recent Crimes: 1,084
  • Population: 14,936

Recently, there have been 280 violent crimes in Henderson, and there are no signs of slowing down. Property crime is a plague across Henderson, however, and makes up 804 of the 1,084 recent crimes. For every 19 Henderson residents, 1 of them will fall victim to property crime.

Theft and burglary are the most commonly reported property crimes in Henderson. The rate of theft in Henderson is 34.75 per 1,000 residents. Burglary is almost as common, and the rate is 16.6 per 1,000 Henderson residents.

Poverty is widespread throughout the city, and 31.1% of people live below the line in Henderson.

3. Kinston

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 12.15
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 64.98
  • Recent Crimes: 1,549
  • Population: 20,083

Your chances of experiencing a property crime in Kinston are quite high. Recently, there were 1,305 cases of theft, vehicle theft, and burglary. Kinston is a dangerous city, and 1 out of every 15 residents faces property crimes.

There are many small areas in Kinston that are particularly dangerous. Some of the biggest hotbeds of crime in Kinston are East Bright Street and Central City. Kinston is home to 81 crimes per square mile.

Avoid walking around alone at night in Kinston as it is dangerous, and there were 185 assaults reported recently.

4. Albemarle

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.95
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 52.96
  • Recent Crimes: 981
  • Population: 16,106

There are 61 crimes for every 1,000 people in Albemarle. You should worry about both violent and property crimes in Albemarle. Out of 981 crimes in Albemarle in 2018, 853 of them were property crimes.

Anyone that lives in Albemarle should be diligent about locking doors. There are 10 burglaries per 1,000 residents, and 39 burglaries per 1,000 Albemarle residents. Vehicle theft is the least common property crime in Albemarle, and there were 43 cases reported recently.

There is no rhyme or reason for crime trends in Albemarle. The poverty rate in Albemarle is only 8.7%, and that is quite low for a dangerous city.

5. Reidsville

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.92
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 49.45
  • Recent Crimes: 804
  • Population: 14,013

A year ago, Reidsville would not have had this spot on the list of dangerous cities in NC. The rise in property crimes and violent crimes, however, make Reidsville a dangerous place to live.

Reidsville is a mid-sized city, and it is 16.12 square miles. Each square mile of Reidsville packs 49 crimes. Violent crime is not as normal as property crime in Reidsville, but you should still be concerned.

Recently, there were 81 assaults and 21 robberies in the city. The murder rate in Reidsville is low, at .14 per 1,000 residents, but even 1 murder is too many.

6. Oxford

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.4
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 46.67
  • Recent Crimes: 485
  • Population: 8,807

Poverty and crime go hand in hand, and Oxford is no exception. The residents of Oxford live with the reality of a 26.5% poverty rate. Neither the population, nor the 6.2 square mile span of Oxford is large, but their number of crime reports is.

Total crime reports in Oxford are smaller than other cities, but the small population is why it is shocking. For every 1,000 Oxford natives, there are 55 crimes, and most of them are theft or burglary. Oxford residents may be one of 33 per 1,000 to be the victim of a thief.

Consider beefing up home security if you live in Oxford. After all, 11 out of 1,000 residents in Oxford have their home broken into.

7. Siler City

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.53
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 44.97
  • Recent Crimes: 439
  • Population: 8,205

Siler City has the 5th most violent crimes in North Carolina. Since 2017, crime in Siler City has been rising. Crime rates in Siler City are over 100% higher than the rest of American cities.

Far and away the biggest crime you are at risk of in Siler City is theft. There is a rate of 34 thefts for every 1,000 people in Siler City. Rent is high in Siler City for such a dangerous place, and averages $740 a month.

Crime may increase in Siler City as the population has grown by more than 4% recently. In Siler City, 1 out of 22 residents experience property crime, and 1 out of 117 experience violent crime.

8. Rockingham

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 6.15
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 68.60
  • Recent Crimes: 656
  • Population: 8,776

Rockingham does little to make you feel safe within the city. People in Rockingham risk being one of the 75 per 1,000 natives to suffer a crime. For every 1,000 people, 68 of them are victims of theft or burglary in Rockingham.

If there wasn’t so much poverty, Rockingham may be safer. Unfortunately, however, just under 30% of Rockingham residents live below the poverty line.

Invest in an alarm system if you live in Rockingham because there are hundreds of yearly burglaries and thefts. Steer clear of City Center and Glenwood to be safe if you visit Rockingham anytime soon.

9. Gastonia

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.35
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 49.84
  • Recent Crimes: 4,405
  • Population: 77,024

The good thing about Gastonia is that you can easily determine the bad neighborhoods from the good ones. Areas like Jenkins Heights and Union Road are examples of dangerous spots within Gastonia. However, the west side of the city is much safer.

Gastonia is bigger than most of the cities on this list, and it matches its size in crimes. Violence is common in Gastonia, and 1 out of 136 residents suffer its effects. However, property crime is more rampant affecting 1 out of every 20 people in Gastonia.

There is less poverty in Gastonia than some of the other dangerous NC cities. However, 19.1% of Gastonia residents are considered poor.

10. Salisbury

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.42
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 46.67
  • Recent Crimes: 1,830
  • Population: 33,834

Salisbury is a big city, and not all of it is dangerous. Areas like Faith and Ellis Crossroads experience less crime than the rest of Salisbury. However, once you get into Bringle Ferry Road or Franklin, you’ll see why Salisbury is dangerous.

The sheer number of thefts in Salisbury alone explains why it is so dangerous. There is a rate of 33 thefts per 1,000 people in Salisbury. Burglaries are also something to fear if you live in Salisbury.

Salisbury natives risk a 1 out of 21 chance of burglary or theft. For each mile of the 22 square miles of Salisbury, there are 83 crimes.

11. Fayetteville

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 9.96
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 34.61
  • Annual Crimes: 9,292
  • Population: 210,432

Fayetteville, North Carolina is as well-known for the riverside views and rich military history as its high crime rate. The 210,432 residents in Fayetteville risk a 1 in 100 chance of experiencing a violent crime in the city. Fayetteville only spans 150 square miles, and there is an average of 63 crimes per mile in the city.

Property crimes such as theft, burglary, and car theft are common in Fayetteville and affect 1 in 29 residents. Crime is more common in central Fayetteville neighborhoods such as Skibo, Fenix, and Cliffdale. There have been 5,423 recent thefts in the city, and it is the most common crime in Fayetteville.

Unfortunately, violent crime is common as well and there have been 1,696 recent assaults in the city. Fayetteville has many great attractions and job opportunities, but 85% of U.S. cities are safer. Your chance of being a victim of any crime in Fayetteville is 1 in 22.

12. Greensboro

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 9.07
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 36.38
  • Total Reported Crimes: 13,593
  • Population: 291,303

Violent crime affects 1 in 110 Greensboro, North Carolina residents. The most common violent crime in Greensboro is assault and there were 1,972 recent reports. There are beautiful rolling hills around Greensboro, but that can’t take away from the 110 crimes per square mile in the city.

Property crime is rampant in Greensboro and affects 1 in 27 residents with 7,546 recent thefts. Even more disturbing is the 1,972 recent assaults in Greensboro that affect 6 per 100,000 residents. There are safe areas in the city such as Forest Oaks, but that isn’t far from the dangerous Rocky Knoll neighborhood.

Central Greensboro is particularly dangerous, and you should avoid neighborhoods such as Latham Town and Piedmont Heights. There are 14.43 murders per 100,000 residents in Greensboro making it one of the most dangerous cities in North Carolina.

13. Williamson

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 12.58
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 56.59
  • Total Reported Crimes: 363
  • Population: 5,312

Williamson, NC residents risk a 1 in 14 chance of suffering any type of crime. The small population makes the 363 recent crimes more disturbing with Williamson’s 5,312 residents. Property crime is common in this small city and it affects 1 in 18 residents.

Williamson only covers 4.39 square miles, and there are an average of 94 crimes per square mile. Theft is the most common crime reported in Williamson, NC, and it affects 34.87 per 100,000 residents. Luckily, violence is much less common, but there have been 52 recent assaults and 11 robberies.

Williamson, NC is so small that crime can easily migrate throughout the area, but the town’s center is the biggest hotspot. You can stay safe in Williamson if you stick around areas like Everetts and Bear Grass.

14. High Point

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 6.77
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 29.95
  • Total Reported Crimes: 4,188
  • Population: 111,714

High Point is a mid-sized town in North Carolina that spans 57 square miles, and there are 76 crimes per square mile. Residents risk a 1 in 27 chance of falling victim to a property crime or violent crime such as theft or assault. However, you are most likely to suffer a property crime as a High Point resident, and crimes like theft or burglary affect 1 in 33 residents.

The theft, vehicle theft, and burglary rates per 100,000 residents in High Point are all above the national average. Violent crime is less common but still affects 1 in 148 High Point residents. The national average assault rate is 2.78 per 100,000, and there are 5.32 assaults per 100,000 residents in High Point.

High Point has had 772 recent violent crimes and 3,416 property crime reports. Avoid dangerous areas around High Point U and the city’s center where crime is more common.

15. Durham

  • Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.66
  • Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 38.94               
  • Total Reported Crimes: 13,495
  • Population: 269,702

According to the FBI, Durham was the 52nd deadliest city in the United States in 2019. Durham, NC residents risk a 1 in 21 chance of suffering a crime of any kind. However, property crime is the most common crime in Durham and affects 1 in 26 residents.

There have been 8,120 recent theft reports and 989 recent vehicle thefts in Durham. Violence looms over Durham, North Carolina as well and residents risk a 1 in 115 chance of becoming a victim. Assault is the most common violent crime with 1,665 recent reports in Durham.

The violent crime rate in Durham is more than double the North Carolina average rate. Durham is a large town spread over 112 square miles, and there are 125 crimes per square mile. Stick to safe neighborhoods like Blands or Rougemont and avoid central Durham to be safe.

CityPopulationViolent Crime Per 1KProperty Crime Per 1KRecent Crimes
1. Whiteville5,34011.2488.25,340
2. Henderson14,93618.7553.831,084
3. Kinston20,08312.1564.981,549
4. Albemarle16,1067.9552.96981
5. Reidsville14,0137.9249.45804
6. Oxford8,80748546.67485
7. Siler City8,2058.5344.97439
8. Rockingham8,7766.1568.60656
9. Gastonia77,0247.3549.844,405
10. Salisbury33,8347.4244.671,830
11. Fayetteville210,2429.9634.619,292
12. Greensboro291,3039.0736.3813,593
13. Williamson5,31212.5812.58363
14. High Point111,7146.6729.954,188
15. Durham269,7028.8638.9413,495

Related Questions

How much does it cost to buy a house in North Carolina?

The average cost per square foot for a house in North Carolina is $130-$140. Right now, the median price for a North Carolina home is $274,490.

Is North Carolina a safe place to live?

Yes, it is a safe place to live. North Carolina is placed 26th in the safest American states. Use this guide to learn about the safest neighborhoods in Fayetteville, NC.

How many people live in North Carolina?

There are 10.49 million people that live in North Carolina. That is almost twice as many people as South Carolina, which holds 5.1 million people.

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Summing It Up

Whiteville, Henderson, and Kinston are the most dangerous cities in NC. However, cities like Gastonia lead the way as far as thefts and other property crimes go in the state. You shouldn’t be scared of visiting or living in North Carolina.

Instead, refer to this guide and a trustworthy crime map to stick to safe neighborhoods. North Carolina holds a lot of beauty, and the crime does not need to overshadow it.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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