20 Cities in North Carolina with the Most Improved Crime Rate

December 1, 2014

6. Southern Pines, NC

Right outside of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg is Southern Pines, North Carolina. Coming in just outside the top 5 on our list of most improved cities in the state, Southern Pines has a lot of interesting history for both tourists and long time residents. From the historic downtown to Weymouth and the historic train station there is a lot of areas in town that the citizens have shown their pride in and helped curbed property crime over the past five years. Utilizing services like the neighborhood watch program and Crime Stoppers has paid off big time.

2007 Crime Rate: 77.32
2012 Crime Rate: 47.26
38.88% Decrease In Crime

7. Archdale, NC

Located to the southwest of Greensboro and just west of Randleman Lake is the town of Archdale. Small towns often do a good job keeping their crime rate low because it’s a tight knit community and it appears to be no different for Archdale. One of the biggest reasons for Archdale coming in the top 10 of our list of most improved cities is their effort to lower violent crime in the area. With hard work, the police department has been able to see that rate drop nearly 50 percent over the past five years according to FBI data, which is important for a fast growing community like Archdale looking to attract more residents to the region.

2007 Crime Rate: 42.22
2012 Crime Rate: 25.99
38.44% Decrease In Crime

8. Greenville, NC

Just miles away from the Atlantic Ocean and just west of the Pamlico River is the city of Greenville, North Carolina. Greenville is a great “little big city” and one of the faster growing communities in the country because of the great food, great craft beer scene and the beautiful surroundings. It’s easy to see why people are flocking to the city and in the past this meant that the crime rate was a bit on the high side. The local police department however has seen violent crime drop a significant amount over the past five years as the city has grown, which is why Greenville slips into the top 10 of our list of most improved cities in the state of North Carolina.

2007 Crime Rate: 76.26
2012 Crime Rate: 49.50
35.09% Decrease In Crime

9. Butner, NC

In the north central portion of the state just north of Falls Lake and on the banks of the Flat River is the little town of Butner, North Carolina. With so many natural attractions in the area, it’s not a surprise that Butner sees a lot of through traffic with people looking to fish, hike and camp in the general area. The key for Butner making it onto our list of most improved cities in the state of North Carolina was their efforts in curbing violent crime, which has seen a near 50 percent dip over the past five years.

2007 Crime Rate: 50.77
2012 Crime Rate: 33.49
34.02% Decrease In Crime

10. Roxboro, NC

Located just southeast of Hyco Lake and north of Durham is the small town of Roxboro, North Carolina. Roxboro rounds out the top 10 in our list of most improved cities in the state. Just southeast of the Virginia International Raceway, Roxboro can see a lot of visitor traffic not only because of the raceway, but because of their many festivals and natural attractions. Using initiatives like Crime Stoppers and the neighborhood watch the Roxboro police department has seen the overall crime rate take a sharp decline and is why they rank so highly on our list.

2007 Crime Rate: 83.89
2012 Crime Rate: 55.42
33.93% Decrease In Crime

11. Huntersville, NC

Huntersville sits on the banks of Lake Norman with some breathtaking views of the water. There is also Mountain Island Lake just minutes to the southwest; Huntersville is a wonder town just to the north of Charlotte. Huntersville has made many different lists such as safest in the state, best places in North Carolina to buy a house and one of the best overall cities in North Carolina. It’s no surprise that they appear in our list of most improved cities in the state, despite being one of the safer cities as is. Just proof that even if you’re good, you can still improve.

2007 Crime Rate: 34.11
2012 Crime Rate: 23.41
31.36% Decrease In Crime

12. Greensboro, NC

One of the bigger cities in the state, Greensboro comes in just outside the top 10 of our list of most improved cities in the state of North Carolina. With the amazing natural attractions in the area, such as Lake Townsend and Lake Brandt, and some of the historical sites downtown there’s quite a bit of traffic and tourism in the town. In the past, this meant higher violent and property crime rates, but over a five year period according to data provided by the FBI, Greensboro has seen this number take a big time decline. The police department and community have done a fantastic job and put in the hard work to make Greensboro one of the most improved communities in the state.

2007 Crime Rate: 71.77
2012 Crime Rate: 49.32
31.28% Decrease In Crime

13. Belmont, NC

In the southwest region of the state sits Belmont, between the banks of the Catawba River as almost a makeshift peninsula. Belmont is surrounded by beautiful forests, rolling hills and some fantastic waterways so it’s no surprise there is often plenty of tourism by those looking to enjoy the natural attractions. While Belmont has grown quite a bit in the five year period our data provided by the FBI, the police department has done an amazing job lowering the violent crime rate. With hard work and community involvement thanks to a neighborhood watch program and other things, Belmont has been able to rank themselves inside the top 15 of our list of the most improved cities in North Carolina.

2007 Crime Rate: 65.19
2012 Crime Rate: 45.01
30.95% Decrease In Crime

14. Boone, NC

In the northwest portion of North Carolina sits Boone, on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Boone is also the home of Appalachian State University and sits just east of Cherokee National Forest and Watauga Lake. Many visitors flock to the Boone area for the crisp mountain air and beautiful mountain trails and forests. Boone has seen a big drop in property crime over the past five years thanks to the work of the local police department in keeping vandalism down throughout the area. The department and community also utilize Crime Stoppers and some other prevention programs to great effect.

2007 Crime Rate: 36.06
2012 Crime Rate: 25.06
30.51% Decrease In Crime

15. High Point, NC

Located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, High Point rounds out the top 15 on our list of most improved cities in the state. Known for its manufacturing, namely textiles, High Point is sometimes identified as the “Furniture Capital of the World”. With so many exhibitors that flock to the city annually for the High Point Market, keeping the violent crime rate low has been the priority of the police department. While the number was higher than you’d like to see back in 2007, the department has been able to see that rate take a massive decline over a five year period according to data provided by the FBI.

2007 Crime Rate: 66.25
2012 Crime Rate: 46.56
29.71% Decrease In Crime

16. Matthews, NC

A large suburban town of Charlotte, Matthews is located in the south central portion of the state of North Carolina. Matthews have everything the big cities in the state has to offer just minutes away, as well as some of the beautiful natural attractions just miles away, such as Lake Wylie. Matthews also has a historic downtown that’s often a hot spot for visitors. Though Matthews crime rate wasn’t all that high to begin with, but the police department’s efforts have seen a drastic decline in both violent and property crime, which is why they made our list of most improved cities in the state of North Carolina.

2007 Crime Rate: 45.33
2012 Crime Rate: 32.75
27.75% Decrease In Crime

17. Gastonia, NC

Just west of Charlotte and to the east of Crowders Mountain State Park is the city Gastonia. Gastonia an issue with violent crime previously, with one of the worst violent crime rates in the state based on data provided by the FBI. The local police department has utilized an online reporting system, Crime Stoppers and the neighborhood watch to great effect over the past five years, which has seen the violent crime rate decline in a significant amount. With the help of an alert and informed community, it goes to show that even if the crime rate is at the level that causes for alarm, hard work can see that number decline in a short period to a respectable amount.

2007 Crime Rate: 89.17
2012 Crime Rate: 64.60
27.55% Decrease In Crime

18. Albemarle, NC

West of Charlotte and south of Winston-Salem is the little town of Albemarle, which is minutes away from the beautiful Uwharrie National Forest. There are plenty of natural amenities near Albemarle for both residents and travelers to enjoy, such as Morrow Mountain State Park, Badin Lake and Lake Tillery. Unfortunately for Albemarle for being a small town, their crime rate was surprisingly high. The local police department and community however have worked hard to bring that rate down, most notably the violent crime, which has dropped nearly 50 percent.

2007 Crime Rate: 88.31
2012 Crime Rate: 64.22
27.28% Decrease In Crime

19. Cary, NC

Located just outside of Raleigh is the town of Cary, North Carolina. Located in the central portion of the state just east of Jordan Lake, Cary offers many of the same natural attractions that the bigger cities in the region do, but keeps the small town feel with it. Not only that, but Cary is actually one of the safer cities in the state, but they work hard to keep it that way so they’ve actually seen a decrease in crime over the past five years, according to data provided by the FBI. With a population well over 100,000, it’s not common to see a town with such a low crime rate and one that’s continuously decreasing, but the hard work by the local police department has paid off and continues to pay off.

2007 Crime Rate: 19.73
2012 Crime Rate: 14.35
27.27% Decrease In Crime

20. Hendersonville, NC

On the west side of North Carolina and surrounded by some beautiful natural attractions such as the Dupont State Forest, the Nantahala National Forest and just minutes from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, it’s not a surprise that many people venture to Hendersonville while making their way through the state. Despite their lower population and historic town, violent crime was a bit of an issue in Hendersonville. The local police department has utilized things like a neighborhood watch and patrols to help curb that number a significant amount, however. With all of the hiking trails and camping areas in the region, Hendersonville is priding itself on being one of the stops for visitors and has made safety a priority.

2007 Crime Rate: 91.12
2012 Crime Rate: 66.37
27.16% Decrease In Crime


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20 Most Improved Cities in North Carolina

Disclaimer: To improve the accuracy and usefulness of our list, we chose to exclude small communities with populations below 5,000 in our rankings.
Our rankings are determined by national crime statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our rankings are only as accurate as the local population and crime statistics officially released by the FBI.

20 Most Improved Cities in North Carolina

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