Asheville and other surrounding cities in WNC are among the safest in North Carolina!
Offering an abundance of affordable housing, a diverse landscape and cutting-edge tech industries, we're not the least surprised that the state of North Carolina is growing. In fact, according to U.S. Census data, during the first decade of the 21st Century North Carolina was the 6th fastest-growing state in America, enjoying an 18.5 percent increase in population. And its unemployment rate continues to fall.
We've paired the most recent FBI Crime Report with our own independent examination to bring you North Carolina's top 50 safest cities to settle in. To make our list, a city had to have a population of over 5,000 as of 2012 and needed to meet criteria regarding both violent and property crimes, according to FBI statistics from 2012. We analyze the number of Violent Crimes, consisting of aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, and robbery, as well as Property Crimes, consisting of arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Then we calculated the chance of these crimes happening out of 1,000 in order to level the playing field for the different populations of each city.
The most populated city in western North Carolina, you'll be hard pressed to find a community that offers more than the safe city of Asheville. In fact, it's a place visitors flock to year-round for culinary treats, a nationally recognized craft beer scene, and an amazing artistic community. Plus, the Appalachian Mountains provide immeasurable beauty and you'll never tire of the city's rich architecture. In addition to countless community gatherings and bountiful beauty, you'll discover that Asheville is serious about economic development.
Asheville leaders and citizens frequently join together to brainstorm ways to improve the city's already robust economy. The Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission is just one example. The commission works to enhance the city's River District, an urban waterfront gem. Asheville also offers a Minority Business Program and an Economic Development Incentives Policy designed to stimulate private sector investment and spur economic growth. We've highlighted a few of Asheville's perks, but there are many more.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 4.95 Property Crimes Per 1,000: 8.69
Just five minutes outside of Asheville, one of North Carolina's most popular cities, you'll find the quaint and affordable community of Woodfin. Situated along the banks of the French Broad River, Woodfin is a place where residents enjoy a relaxed pace of life that's incredibly addicting. Filled with friendly folks, it won't take you long to feel at home in Woodfin, and you'll never hear the kids proclaim their "bored" because Woodfin is surrounded by amazing stretches of open space. Situated in the Appalachian Mountains, the Pisgah National Forest offers white water rivers, waterfalls, and some of the state's most amazing wildlife watching as well as hundreds of miles of picturesque trails.
The largest national forest in the state, Nantahala National Forest, is only a short drive away and offers more than 500,000 acres of adventure. From whitewater rafting to horseback riding, hiking to biking, camping and bird watching you'll never have enough time to traverse the Forest's 600 miles of trails. Safe, friendly and laid back, Woodfin makes a wonderful home.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.11 Property Crimes Per 1,000: 10.70
Urban and rural space exist in harmony in Fletcher. Home to the Asheville Regional Airport, which transports residents to places like Houston, Atlanta and Chicago, and just 13 miles south of Asheville, Fletcher remains decidedly low-key. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fletcher is a place active people flock to. The community of roughly 7,000 residents offers two community parks, and it's perfectly located to enjoy an impromptu trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers vistas you'll never tire of.
And when visitors land on your doorstep (and trust us, they will) you'll head to the Biltmore Estate or stunning Chimney Rock Park. Make the move to Fletcher and you'll enjoy a tax rate that's just $.32.5 per $100 of assessed value; that's nearly $.20 less than the county average. Safe, future thinking, yet mindful of the rural character that make it an unmatched place to call home, Fletcher is fabulous!
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.09 Property Crimes Per 1,000: 6.45
Located in Western North Carolina, Brevard measures just 5.12 square miles. But don't let its diminutive size fool you. Brevard has a reputation as a hub for the arts and the gateway to activity. Downtown Brevard is bustling with several creative annual festivals, such as the ever popular White Squirrel Music Festival. In addition to the arts, Brevard citizens also benefit from an average summer temperature of just 71.3 degrees and that makes recreation a major pursuit with Brevard families.
Call Brevard home and you'll find your family putting down their electronics and picking up inner tubes for an invigorating float down a local stream, or strapping on hiking boots and exploring one of the many local trails. Brevard is the perfect jumping off point for excursions to Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest, and Gorges State Park. Whether you want to surround yourself with the arts, or fish, canoe, kayak, camp, or rock climb you'll have the chance to do it all in this safe quaint community. Watch this video and learn more about Brevard's small town appeal and abundant recreation.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.62 Property Crimes Per 1,000: 4.32
If you're thinking of launching or growing a business, you'll be happy to hear that Black Mountain welcomes entrepreneurs and small business owners with open arms. In fact, Black Mountain received the first Certified Entrepreneurial Community certification in the entire country, and is honored for its active youth entrepreneurial program. Located in the lovely Swannanoa Valley of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain is only 20 minutes from Asheville, but with the wealth of resources in your backyard you'll head there less often than you'd imagine.
Whether you're meeting friends for coffee, enjoying an al fresco dinner with your spouse, or shopping for a one-of-a-kind piece of pottery, Black Mountain's historic downtown is the place to be. And if your family goes crazy for festivals, you're in luck. When you live in Black Mountain you'll enjoy more than half a dozen annual festivals, including a number of art festivals like the Black Mountain Art and Crafts Show, and Art in Bloom Art. All this, and Black Mountain offers safe streets too.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.12 Property Crimes Per 1,000: 2.98