Why Everyone Is Fleeing These 7 North Carolina Towns?

North Carolina is a state known for its diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and thriving industries. However, not all towns within the state offer the same appeal to residents. Certain towns face challenges such as declining population, high crime rates, low incomes, and a diminished quality of life. Let’s take a closer look at seven towns in North Carolina that residents are choosing to leave behind.

North Carolina Towns Facing Exodus: A Closer Look

Town County Population (2020) Population Change since 2010 Median Household Income Poverty Rate Violent Crime Rate per 1,000 Property Crime Rate per 1,000
Lumberton Robeson 20,538 -10.2% $28,293 33.6% 19.9 67.9
Laurinburg Scotland 15,055 -2.2% $29,506 26.4% 14.8 67.9
Roanoke Rapids Halifax 15,099 -7.1% $31,822 24.9% 11.9 60.4
Eden Rockingham 14,802 -13.1% $32,909 22.6% 10.8 64.8
Kinston Lenoir 20,035 -16.2% $30,369 34.9% 12.7 69.3
Goldsboro Wayne 35,911 -5.1% $34,897 25.4% 10.9 54.2
Elizabeth City Pasquotank 17,976 -4.1% $33,409 28.4% 9.8 58.9

1. Lumberton

Lumberton, a town located in Robeson County near the South Carolina border, is experiencing a decline in population since 2010. With approximately 20,000 residents, Lumberton is considered one of the most dangerous places in North Carolina, boasting a violent crime rate of 19.9 per 1,000 residents, which is more than four times the state average. Furthermore, the town suffers from a high poverty rate of 33.6% and a low median household income of $28,293. In 2018, Lumberton endured the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence, resulting in severe flooding and significant damage to homes and businesses.

2. Laurinburg

Laurinburg, located in Scotland County, is a vibrant town in the southern part of the state. With a population of approximately 15,000 people, the community has experienced a slight decline since 2000. Despite its charm, Laurinburg faces some challenges, including a high unemployment rate of 9.4% and a relatively low median household income of $29,506.

One area of concern in Laurinburg is the crime rate, with 14.8 violent crimes and 67.9 property crimes per 1,000 residents. However, it’s important to note that efforts are being made to address this issue and improve safety for the community.

On a positive note, Laurinburg is home to St. Andrews University, a prestigious private liberal arts college. While the university contributes to the town’s academic and cultural landscape, it appears that the town may not be attracting as many young professionals or families as desired.

Despite these challenges, Laurinburg remains a tight-knit community with a rich history and a strong sense of togetherness. Efforts are being made to revitalize the town and create opportunities for growth and prosperity. With its unique character and potential, Laurinburg is a place that is worth exploring and investing in.

3. Roanoke Rapids

Roanoke Rapids, located in Halifax County, in the northeastern part of the state, is a town with a population of approximately 15,000 people. However, the town has experienced a decline in its population, losing more than 7% of its residents since 2010. The median household income in Roanoke Rapids is relatively low, at $31,822, contributing to a high poverty rate of 24.9%. Additionally, the town faces a significant challenge in terms of crime, with 11.9 violent crimes and 60.4 property crimes occurring per 1,000 residents. Roanoke Rapids, once a vibrant hub for textile and paper mill industries, has been adversely affected by the decline of these sectors and the closure of several factories.

4. Eden

Eden, located in Rockingham County in the northern part of the state, is a town with a population of around 15,000 people. However, since 2000, the town has experienced a decline in its population, losing over 13% of its residents. The median household income in Eden is relatively low at $32,909, contributing to a high poverty rate of 22.6%. Additionally, the town has a concerning crime rate, with 10.8 violent crimes and 64.8 property crimes per 1,000 residents. Eden, once known for its textile and manufacturing industries, has been grappling with economic challenges and job losses resulting from outsourcing and automation.

5. Kinston

Kinston, located in Lenoir County in the eastern part of the state, is a town that has experienced a decline in its population over the years. With around 20,000 inhabitants, Kinston has seen a decrease of more than 16% since 2000. The town faces economic challenges, with a low median household income of $30,369 and a high poverty rate of 34.9%.

In addition to its economic struggles, Kinston also grapples with a high crime rate. With 12.7 violent crimes and 69.3 property crimes per 1,000 residents, the town faces significant security concerns. Once a thriving tobacco and agricultural town, Kinston has encountered difficulties in diversifying its economy and attracting new businesses.

6. Goldsboro

Goldsboro, located in Wayne County, North Carolina, is a town in the central part of the state. With a population of approximately 35,000 people, the town has experienced a decline in its residents by more than 5% since 2010. Goldsboro faces economic challenges, characterized by a low median household income of $34,897 and a high poverty rate of 25.4%.

Moreover, Goldsboro struggles with a high crime rate, with 10.9 violent crimes and 54.2 property crimes per 1,000 residents. Despite being home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and its strategic location along Interstate 95, the town has been unable to fully leverage its military presence and advantageous position for economic growth.

7. Elizabeth City

Elizabeth City, located in the northeastern part of the state, is a charming town in Pasquotank County. With a population of approximately 18,000 residents, the town has experienced a slight decline in its population by more than 4% since 2010. Despite its historical significance as a port town, Elizabeth City has encountered stiff competition from other coastal cities and towns in the region.

One of the challenges Elizabeth City faces is its low median household income, which stands at $33,409. This, coupled with a high poverty rate of 28.4%, paints a concerning picture for the town’s residents. Additionally, the town also grapples with a relatively high crime rate. With 9.8 violent crimes and 58.9 property crimes per 1,000 residents, Elizabeth City is actively working towards creating a safer community for its inhabitants.

Despite these challenges, Elizabeth City continues to embrace its rich history and heritage. The town’s unique blend of tradition and modernity, along with its scenic beauty, offers residents and visitors alike a charming experience. Efforts are underway to revitalize the town, boost economic growth, and create opportunities for the community.

Elizabeth City’s journey to overcome obstacles and thrive as a vibrant community is a testament to the resilience and spirit of its residents. With a renewed focus on development and progress, the town looks forward to a promising future.

Conclusion

These seven towns in North Carolina have experienced a decline in population, income, and overall quality of life in recent years. They are grappling with a range of challenges, including crime, poverty, unemployment, natural disasters, and the decline of industries. Although a few of these towns may hold potential for revitalization or redevelopment, a significant number of residents are opting to leave in search of better opportunities elsewhere. It’s important to note that while North Carolina boasts numerous thriving and appealing towns and cities, these seven locations don’t fall into that category.

FAQ And Answers

Why is Lumberton losing residents?

Lumberton faces challenges such as high crime rates, low incomes, and the impact of Hurricane Florence, prompting residents to leave.

What challenges does Laurinburg face?

Laurinburg deals with high crime rates, unemployment, and a lower median household income, despite efforts to improve safety and attractiveness.

Why is Roanoke Rapids experiencing a population decline?

Roanoke Rapids is losing residents due to economic challenges, including the closure of factories and a relatively low median household income.

What economic struggles does Eden face?

Eden is grappling with economic challenges, job losses, and a declining population resulting from outsourcing and automation affecting its manufacturing industries.

Additional Resources

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MBS Staff
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