Charlotte Observer

GoBankingRates, a personal finance website, released a list of the 25 safest and cheapest cities in the South based on costs of living and the rates of property crime and violent crime — and three North Carolina cities made the list.

The website analyzed those factors in the most populated cities in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Washington, D.C. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The study puts Cary, Concord and Raleigh among the top rated.

Here’s more info on each city.

Cary (ranked no. 2)

Cary is a suburb of Raleigh, with a population of more than 187,000 people. Located in the center of North Carolina’s Triangle region, the town has seen a lot of growth over the years with booming businesses, culture, arts and sports experiences.

  • Average monthly expenditures: $2,049

  • Average rent: $1,732

  • Violent crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 0.8

  • Property crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 11.01

  • Livability score (out of 100): 90

Concord (ranked no. 8)

Concord, located in Cabarrus county, is about 25 miles outside of Charlotte with about 110,886 residents. Known as the heart of NASCAR country, Concord is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway, plus the state’s biggest outlet and retail shopping center, Concord Mills.

  • Average monthly expenditures: $2,021

  • Average rent: $1,790

  • Violent crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 1.06

  • Property crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 9.82

  • Livability score (out of 100): 80

[RELATED: 3 things to know about the new social district coming to downtown Concord this year]

Raleigh (ranked no. 13)

Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina, with a population of about 477,084 people. Located in the Triangle area, the city is one of the most biggest metros in the state with multiple colleges and universities, historical sites, museums, shopping centers and more.

  • Average monthly expenditures: $2,041

  • Average rent: $1,664

  • Violent crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 4.98

  • Property crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 23.7

  • Livability score (out of 100): 84

Here’s how the North Carolina metros compared to the other cities ranked as the safest and cheapest places to live in the South:

  1. Rogers, AR

  2. Cary, NC

  3. Covington, KY

  4. Bentonville, AR

  5. Georgetown, KY

  6. Huntsville, AL

  7. Hoover, AL

  8. Concord, NC

  9. Plano, TX

  10. Edmond, OK

  11. Auburn, AL

  12. Stillwater, OK

  13. Raleigh, NC

  14. Savannah, GA

  15. Roswell, GA

  16. Kenner, LA

  17. Murfreesboro, TN

  18. Charleston, SC

  19. Franklin, TN

  20. Tampa, FL

  21. Frederick, MD

  22. Hialeah, FL

  23. Alexandria, VA

  24. Columbia, MD

  25. Arlington, VA

You can find the full report of the safest and cheapest Southern cities to live in online at

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