North Carolina is a state of contrasts. It’s home to Charlotte, a banking center second only to New York City, and was ranked by Forbes as being the top business-friendly state in the U.S. However it also claims the 4th highest poverty rate, where about 13 percent of families live below the poverty line. And when it comes to crime, North Carolina has some work to do, according to a new report.

The latest FBI crime statistics, just released for 2017, show that the Charlotte metro area had 10,337 violent crimes reported, a category that includes murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, although not all jurisdictions reported. The region includes all of Mecklenburg and Iredell counties, as well as Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Rowan and Union counties.

The household average income at $53,000 in North Carolina is about 10 percent lower than the national average, as is its per capita income, which is $30,000.

When it comes to crime statistics, North Carolina has room for improvement, according to

  • It’s the 33rd safest state for property crime (No. 1 means lowest crime)
  • The violent crime rate is slightly higher than the US average (ratio 1.11) with 3.84 crimes per 1,000 when measured against the national average of 3.47 – making it the 30th safest state for the violent crime.
  • Property crime levels are slightly lower than the national average at 32.3 per 1,000 compared to the national average of 40.43 – giving a ratio of 0.80.

The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked the safest towns and cities in Virginia based on the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics and population sizes. Towns with populations under 10,000 weren’t ranked. NCHSS also computed a “police adequacy” variable which measures the total number of crimes compared to the number of police employees.

The Top 5 safest towns and cities in North Carolina are:

  1. Elon
  2. Pinehurst
  3. Holly Springs
  4. Archdale
  5. Apex

Two Lake Norman towns ranked highly on the list. Davidson was ranked No. 9 safest town in North Carolina, Mooresville was ranked No. 21 and Huntersville No. 24.