North Carolina Cities Named Among The Best Big Cities To Live In America

By Sarah Tate

April 19, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Four cities in North Carolina each earned a spot among the best big cities to live in America, joining the ranks of other popular destinations around the country like Chicago, Nashville and New York City.

Using data from Niche's 2022 list of best places to live, Stacker compiled a list of the 50 of the best big cities to live in around the U.S., analyzing cities with a population more than 200,000. While some cities on the list may not come as much of a surprise, their placement among the rest might, such as New York City ranking in the bottom half of the list.

So which North Carolina cities made the list?

  • No. 7: Raleigh
  • No. 15: Charlotte
  • No. 30: Durham
  • No. 31: Winton-Salem

The cities were recognized for being home to high-quality schools and universities, major airports with flights across the country, exciting festivals and more. Here's what the site had to say:


"With a major airport, Raleigh connects the middle of North Carolina to the rest of the country. North Carolina State University and the Research Triangle are major economic engines, and year-round festivals keep locals entertained with a variety of activities."


"Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and is one of America's motor-racing capitals. Going for a dip in swimming holes is a popular recreational pastime in Charlotte, and pottery and arts and crafts lovers can find many options to flex their creativity. Cato Middle College High is recognized as one of the state's best high schools."


"Home to Duke University's sprawling campus, Durham is smack in the middle of North Carolina's inventive Research Triangle. It is close to a major airport and has highly ranked public high schools. Plus, the minor league baseball team is just as revered as its major league counterparts."


"Winston-Salem is known for its ties to the tobacco industry, but the city has plenty of historic houses, parks, and museums. An exciting craft beer scene is brewing in Winston-Salem, and Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State are two notable colleges in the city. The innovation Quarter attracts workers from around the world."

These are the Top 10 best big cities to live in America:

  1. Arlington, Virginia
  2. Plano, Texas
  3. Irvine, California
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. San Francisco, California
  6. Madison, Wisconsin
  7. Raleigh, North Carolina
  8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  9. Chandler, Arizona
  10. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Check out Stacker's full report to see all of its picks for the best big cities to live in around the country.

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