Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best State to Live in the Southeast

The southeast contains a number of candidates for the best places to live in the United States. From the retirement haven of Florida to the antebellum saga of the deep south, this region is steeped in tradition. Although nearly every state in the southeastern region has a city or town that deserves a place on our list for one reason or another, only one exemplifies every criteria. North Carolina contains all the necessary ingredients to be named one of the best states to live in the Southeast and perhaps even the country.

The Best City to Live in North Carolina

North Carolina has enjoyed the title of fastest growing state in the US every year since 2008, and no city has grown faster than Wake Forest. With a 118% population growth since 2000, Wake Forest is located just north of the state capital of Raleigh. Median family income is $60,408 and Wake Forest enjoys an unemployment rate of 7.4%, nearly two percentage points lower than the national average of 9.1%. The Wake Forest job market has experienced a recent upswing, and the Wake Forest Economic Development Team was formed in order to bring more jobs to the area. Schools are consistently rated as “excellent” and score an average of 20.25% higher than the state as a whole on both reading and math tests. With great schools, a good job market and a high median family income, Wake Forest is among the best cities to live in North Carolina.

Cheapest Place to Live in North Carolina

Statistically, big cities are more expensive than small towns. In North Carolina, however, the opposite appears to be true. Charlotte, North Carolina is both the biggest city and the cheapest place in the state to live. Overall, the cost of living in Charlotte is 7% less than the national average, while housing and utilities are 20% lower and 7% lower respectively. The median home price here is $169,493, while the median family income is nearly $60,000. Schools here are among the top in the country, with Charlotte elementary schools earning top NAEP honors in 2009. The low cost of living, great schools and many job opportunities combine to make Charlotte not only the cheapest place in North Carolina to live, but also one of the best.

Best Place to Retire in North Carolina

Cary, North Carolina, is a prime retirement destination for those who seek safety, security, and a beautiful place to call home. Voted “Safest City in the South” in 2005, Cary is located in the midst of the triangle created by Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. 17.4% of Cary’s population is 55 or older. Median income is upwards of $71,000 and the median home price has held steady at $259,000 for the past three years. Two of the nation’s rated “best hospitals” lie within 30 miles of Cary and the average property tax bill stands at $2300. Cary also has a public transit system that offers door-to-door service for the elderly.

North Carolina is our clear winner for the southeast Best Place to Live competition. With a low unemployment rate, inexpensive cost of living and relatively low crime rate, North Carolina is a prime location for people of any age. Wake Forest, Charlotte and Cary are just three of the many great places to live in North Carolina.

No comments: