The Triangle has 3 of the Top 10 Best Cities for Young Families in North Carolina

Few states can claim to have made more changes over the past few decades than North Carolina. Not only has the state modernized its economy — from agriculture to one of the nation’s fastest-growing centers for software and technology services, biotech and life sciences — the state’s economic prospects, affordable housing and moderate climate have attracted new residents from across the nation. According to an analysis by the New York Times, in 1980, 76% of North Carolina residents were natives. Today, that number has shrunk to 58%, with a large number of newcomers coming from the Northeast, the Midwest and, increasingly, from outside the U.S.

By some measures, the economic recovery has been stronger in North Carolina than in the nation as a whole. Although the state’s most recent unemployment rate of 5.8% matches the national average, its post-recession high of 11.3% in January 2010 was higher than the national rate. The improving employment picture, affordability and more make North Carolina one of the nation’s top destinations for young families.

NerdWallet found the communities in the Tar Heel State that offer young families the best combination of solid schools, friendly neighbors and affordability in our analysis of 123 cities, towns and census-designated places in North Carolina.

3. Holly Springs

Education is integral to understanding Holly Springs. This fast-growing town in Wake County, near the Research Triangle, gives residents direct access to North Carolina’s center for technology, medicine and biotech. In turn, 53.5% of Holly Springs residents hold a college degree or higher, which is more than 20 percentage points higher than the national average. Though the town is near some of the most important institutions in the state, Holly Springs still holds onto and continues to build, its own identity. Events such as Hollyfest and the annual Christmas Parade are local favorites, and the Holly Springs Cultural Center, which is home to a performing arts center and outdoor stage, has become a regional destination.

7. Apex

Apex got its name because it was the highest point on a railroad that stretched from Richmond, Virginia, to Jacksonville, Florida. Now, it is near the pinnacle of the best cities for young families in North Carolina because of its affordability and excellent school system. Residents can expect to allocate about 19% of their median monthly income to homeowner costs, which is below the top 10 average of 22%. While Apex is a great choice for young families on a tighter budget, it also has plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities as well — the Halle Cultural Arts Center in downtown Apex has music and theatrical events throughout the year, and the town is only minutes from Jordan Lake State Park.

9. Morrisville

Morrisville is no longer a secret for young families, who have been moving to the town for more than a decade. In 2000, 18.1% of married family households had at least one child under 18, but by 2013, that number had jumped to 32.4% — the largest gain in the top 10. The town’s exceptional school system, which received a perfect 10 at GreatSchools, has been a significant draw, as well as the above-average family income growth. Residents of Morrisville also have a unique blend of amenities, from Lake Crabtree’s fishing, boating and 16 miles of trails, to the convenience of its location to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is only eight minutes away.

If you are considering one of the above locations to relocate, contact FOR HomeBUYERS a Raleigh Real Estate Exclusive Buyer Only Agency that serves Apex, Holly Springs, and Morrisville.

For more information on Exclusive Buyer Agents and the level of representation you will receive Contact Us or call 919-878-1110, text 919-219-9878, or email

FOR HomeBUYERS serves the entire Triangle of North Carolina which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding counties of NC.