Is North Carolina Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On March 6, 2022
North Carolina, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 60 / 100 based on 2 user reviews.

In 1587, Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina was landed on.

It was then, before the first colony of Virginia, that people established this new land as their own.

Being the first settlement in what is now the United States, means there is a lot of history to explore.

However, it’s not only history buffs that can have fun here.

Located on the southeast coast, North Carolina is known for having popular beaches, America’s largest home, and a peaceful stretch of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Whether you come for a college football rivalry or to see where the world’s first flight happened, there’s something for everyone.

Here, we’ll go over useful topics like safety tips and the weather in the Tar Heel State.

Warnings & Dangers in North Carolina

Overall Risk


The countryside is beautiful and there is an abundance of green spaces to see and those might be the best places to go. When it comes to North Carolina as a whole, it's pretty safe to travel through, but there are a handful of riskier subjects, such as high crime rates and scams, that you will want to watch out for.

Transport & Taxis Risk


While the public transportation system is lacking in comparison to states with larger cities, the safety risk is low. However, it should be noted that locals find using Uber or Lyft feels safer than taking a taxi.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpocketing is uncommon across the state, including the biggest cities and college towns.

Natural Disasters Risk


If North Carolina makes it to national news networks, it's probably because of mother nature blowing through. Perhaps the biggest natural threat is from the coast where hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding occur. On the opposite side of the state are national and state parks contained in 250k acres of lush forests, wildlife refuges, and other lands that create the danger of wildfires and landslides. There are also about 30 tornadoes a year. In the past 60 years, there have been more than 60 major disasters. Before traveling, be sure to check the weather and prepare for a surprise based on the season you're coming in.

Mugging Risk


Violent crimes, such as mugging, are higher in North Carolina in comparison with other states, especially ones with a higher population. The percentage has slowly decreased, but it is definitely still important to stay cautious.

Terrorism Risk


While there have not been any terrorist attacks in recent memory, one should always be vigilant anywhere one travels.

Scams Risk


There is a new risk that has been growing in places like Charlotte and Raleigh, called the Venmo scam. Criminals will ask a stranger to use their phone and instead of placing a call, they pull up a popular money transfer app, such as Venmo, and send themselves sometimes thousands of dollars. If someone is in need, type in a phone number for them and put extra security on mobile apps.

Women Travelers Risk


Just like any other state, women should always take precautions for their safety. However, the travel risk for women in groups or solo is low.

Tap Water Risk


There are 6,000 water systems across the state for public consumption and an unknown number of private wells. Water officials deemed the tap as good to drink from. Controversy abounds, though, as the standards the grade is made off of are antiquated. For your stay, you might feel better if you brought your own.

Safest Places to Visit in North Carolina

Holly Springs

Located just outside of the capital, Holly Springs is the safest city in North Carolina.

Due to both the proximity to Raleigh as well as the local events, this city is not only one to feel comfortable in but also one to enjoy!

If you’re looking for festivals and the outdoors, this is your place.

Plan because during the year there’s a Chinese Lantern Festival, Balloon Festival, and the North Carolina State Fair.

Outdoor action includes Cape Fear River Adventures, Bass Lake Park, and Treasure Quest Mining.

Oak Island

If you’re visiting North Carolina to get out of the city, have a laid-back getaway in one of the top-rated safest places.

No matter what time of year it is, a walk on the sand is always only a few steps away.

While you’re there, step back in time by checking out the Oak Island Lighthouse and Fort Caswell.

This is also a great place for unique transportation, whether it be boats or even a helicopter ride!

Places to Avoid in North Carolina

High Point

With the highest murder rate, High Point is the deadliest city, just outside of the also dangerous city of Greensboro.

On average, there is a crime happening in High Point every hour and a half or so.

You are also 300% more likely to be robbed, 1 in 12 find themselves a victim of a crime here.


In the southeast corner is another city on the unsafe list.

Whiteville has a crime happening every eight and a half hours, which sounds better than High Point, but is listed as having 86% of all other cities being safer.

1 in 6 are victims of violent crimes here.

One of the biggest crimes is usually theft, followed by burglary.

Safety Tips for Traveling to North Carolina

  1. For any city you plan to stop or stay in, do a quick search for crime statistics in the area. Often, you can get an idea of what part of a city is safest and what to look out for.
  2. Losing a wallet is easier than you think. When possible, bring an extra card or cash that is hidden in the car. This can come in the form of an extra bank card, a reloadable gift card, or a credit card.
  3. Whether you are traveling solo or with others, make sure someone who is not on the trip knows your itinerary.
  4. If you find yourself in a sketchy spot, or you’re feeling uneasy at a rest stop or gas station, send your location to someone. This can be done easily through a map app on your mobile device or even through Facebook messenger. It’s safest when someone can pinpoint where you are.
  5. Be sure to alert attendants if you are approached at a gas station or convenience store, especially if it’s late. This might be someone who has been hassling other patrons and could be looking to take advantage of someone.
  6. Car problems can happen at the most unexpected times in the most unfortunate of places. If you can’t get to a well-lit location, do not hesitate to call the police and ask for assistance.
  7. Along with car troubles, do not engage with someone who hits your car or that you get in an accident with in the middle of nowhere. This could be a setup, call the authorities to alert them of the situation.
  8. When packing for a road trip, bring items that will help you in an emergency, such as multiple device chargers, extra batteries, flashlights, bottles of water, a gas can, and jumper cables. In addition, pepper spray can’t hurt.
  9. If you plan to be staying in a hotel, try to make yourself known as often as possible. Have conversations with receptionists and greet them upon entering and exiting each day. The more you make an imprint, the more they will remember you and be aware if something suspicious happens and you do not come to check out. Hotel personnel will also be able to alert the authorities if you have any issues, so be sure to share if you have any problems.
  10. Do not open doors for anyone you are not familiar with. Whether it be your hotel room, car door, or even a bathroom stall, be wary of anyone acting out of character in a situation.

So... How Safe Is North Carolina Really?

When you look at the numbers provided by Safe Wise, the thought of traveling here might be a bit daunting.

For example, there was an 81% increase in mass shootings, 20 in total for 2020.

Another standout statistic is that burglary is about 22% of all property crimes, 6% higher than the rest of the country.

10% of North Carolinians had personal experience with a violent crime in the past year.

However, with all that being said, while there can be cause for concern, there are also plenty of reasons to feel safe and confident on a trip.

According to Safe Wise, 55% of residents across the state feel safe where they live.

This is pretty typical compared with the rest of America.

90% of the cities that won out as safest had fewer than 100 crimes, four of which had less than 10.

North Carolina’s seventh-largest city is listed in the top 20 safest, which is typically not the case for a town of that size.

Even considering the crime rate and other factors, like weather, it would still be acceptable to consider North Carolina as generally a safe place to go.

As with any place you visit, there are always some areas that stick out as perhaps not as safe as others, but preparedness and strategy will go a long way to keep you feeling positive about this choice of destination.

How Does North Carolina Compare?

StateSafety Index
North Carolina64

Useful Information



If you're coming from outside of the USA directly into North Carolina, you will need a visa to enter the country. A nonimmigrant visa is $160 and you will need to apply for it at a US embassy before you leave your home country.



The local way to make a purchase is using the United States Dollar (USD). If you have a credit or debit card, there is no need to withdraw funds because cards are accepted almost everywhere and automatically exchange the amount into USD with purchase. If you want to use cash, there are exchanges located in the airport.



Depending on where and when you are staying, there is a lot to say about what to pack. First, if you're staying on the coast, any time of the year, you will want to bring a windbreaker or sweater since it gets very windy on the beach. If you're planning to visit cities in the western part of the state such as Asheville, bring your walking shoes. The winters can be very cold and rainy. In mountainous areas, you could easily need to prepare for snow. The summers can be hot and very humid.



The biggest airport is Charlotte - Douglas International Airport, which is the second-largest hub for American Airlines. It's also right by the state line to South Carolina. The next is Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is located in the state capital. For either airport, you can take a taxi, use a rideshare app, or rent a car to get to your final destination.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Because you never know what could happen when you're out of town, it is always safest to get travel insurance. From trip cancellation to accidental injury, making sure you're covered makes it easier to relax on vacation. Check for options with your health insurer, homeowners insurance, or even credit card providers.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

North Carolina Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 6° C
Mar 11° C
Apr 16° C
May 20° C
Jun 25° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 16° C
Nov 11° C
Dec 7° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

North Carolina - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Chapel Hill81
Elizabeth City79
High Point62
Hope Mills53
Kill Devil Hills77
Kitty Hawk79
Morehead City78
New Bern77
Rocky Mount52

Where to Next?

2 Reviews on North Carolina

  1. I
    Isabella says:

    It all depends on where you go

    North Carolina can be very safe or quite dangerous, depending on where you go. Holly Springs is quite safe from what I saw. There are festivals that are great and other places to visit.

    Avoid High Point as it’s a dangerous region. I know a friend that got robbed there and it wasn’t pretty.

  2. I live here, not really much to see but I’m sure you could find something to do.

North Carolina Rated 3 / 5 based on 2 user reviews.

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