It's subjective to say which place is the worst to live in North Carolina as it can greatly depend on personal preferences and experiences. However, based on statistics and studies conducted, cities are often listed as "worst" due to high crime rates, poverty rates, and limited employment opportunities.
Worst Place To Live In North Carolina
Based on recent crime rates, poverty rates, and high school test scores, the worst place to live in North Carolina is Lumberton.
Lumberton is the most populated city and administrative hub of Robeson County. Located on Interstate 95 in the southeastern part of North Carolina, it is only a 20-minute drive from the South Carolina border.
For many travelers who use the I-95 corridor, Lumberton represents the halfway point between New York and Florida. A junction with Interstate 74 is found just to the south of the city.
Thanks to its location at the intersection of these two key interstates, Lumberton is sometimes dubbed as the "Gateway to Southeastern North Carolina" and "The Main Street of the East Coast."
High Crime Rate
Lumberton, located in Robeson County, North Carolina, is the state's most dangerous city. The city, home to 19,025 people, boasts a disproportionately elevated crime rate of 132.30 per 1,000 inhabitants, according to NeighborhoodScout.
In Lumberton, the probability of falling victim to crime is 1 in 27, making the city 435% more dangerous than the North Carolina average.
Violent crimes persist in the area, but property crimes appear to be the most prevalent, with the rates for the same recorded at 122.21 per 1,000 people and the violent crime rate standing at 20.18 per 1,000 people as of 2021. Much of Lumberton's criminal activity can be linked back to the area's drug issues.
According to CityData, 31.1% of Lumberton, NC residents had an income below the poverty level in 2021, which was 56.9% greater than the poverty level of 13.4% across the entire state of North Carolina.
19.6% of high school graduates and 54.2% of non-high-school graduates who don't live with family live in poverty.
The poverty rate was 23.1% among disabled males and 37.6% among disabled females.
CityData found that the renting rate among poor residents was 71.9%. For comparison, it was 32.5% among residents with income above the poverty level.
High School System
Greatschools.org rated Lumberton Senior High a 3/10 based on the school's test scores, student progress, college readiness, and equity.
Students at this school are making less academic progress given where they were last year, compared to similar students in the state. Students are starting at a low point and falling farther behind their peers.
Lumberton Senior High School is far below the state average in key measures of college and career readiness.
Test scores recorded at Lumberton Senior High were all low. The photo below shows the scores in Math, Biology, and English were all 8%-22% below the State average.
If you are considering moving to or within North Carolina, it's a good idea to visit different areas, talk to residents, and gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision based on your unique preferences and priorities.
Local resources, such as community forums, crime statistics, and government reports, can also provide valuable insights into the livability of different areas.
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