Why Are So Many People Moving to North Carolina?

Posted on December 18, 2017

moving to north carolina

When people around the country look for states for relocation – for reasons ranging from cost of living and job opportunities to weather and environment – North Carolina is often near the top of their list of options.

Our partner in the moving industry, United Van Lines, performs an annual study on state-to-state migration. Their most recent study in 2016, the 40th year in which they performed the analysis, ranked North Carolina as having the eighth most inbound migration traffic.

If you live in North Carolina or have had an opportunity to visit, you likely understand why.


A common complaint you’ll hear people make of other states is the lack of four real seasons. Residents of North Carolina need never voice that complaint. Although our summers and winters are mild, they’re most certainly present. Few cities reach average lows below freezing, with the coldest being Asheville’s average January low of 26 degrees F. Compared to other extremes, like South Dakota’s January average low of one degree F, North Carolina can almost be considered balmy.

On the other extreme, the highest average temperatures in the state can be found in Charlotte and Wilmington at approximately 90 degrees F in July. Compared to Phoenix’s average July high of 106 degrees F, 90 degrees is pretty comfortable. Those highs don’t last very long in North Carolina, with temperatures in the mid to low 80s by September.

It gets just cold enough for a light dusting of snow, but not so cold your car won’t start. Plus, North Carolinians get to enjoy brilliant fall foliage every year.

Commute Times

Traffic in North Carolina is nothing to worry about when compared with other states. Even in North Carolina’s bigger cities, commute times are low for most workers. Asheville commutes average 20.6 minutes, Charlottesville 24.7 minutes, Greensboro 21.1 minutes and Raleigh 23.7 minutes.


North Carolina has a slightly lower unemployment rate than the country overall at 4.1 percent. Many of the state’s leading employers are in high-wage growth industries, such as aerospace and defense, manufacturing, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals and energy. There are ample opportunities for college-educated workers, tradesmen and unskilled laborers.

Cost of Living

North Carolina’s cost of living compares quite favorably to many other states in the nation. Rental prices are consistently below the national average. North Carolina is also one of eight states to have an affordable flat tax, with a property tax rate of just 0.84 percent – the 20th lowest in the U.S.

Home prices vary depending on the city, but the average median price for properties is only $140,125 in Greensboro, $130,150 in Winston-Salem and $170,300 in Durham.

Education costs are also comparatively affordable at just $7,385 for tuition and fees at public four-year state colleges for the 2017 – 2018 school year, compared to the national average of $9,650.4, 5


North Carolina has a rich culture filled with food and fun. Barbecue is big in North Carolina, and although beef is popular, pork tends to reign supreme. There’s even a delicious feud between the Western Piedmont Plateau, where you’ll find some of the nation’s best pork shoulder, and the Eastern Coastal Planes, where there’s a history of slow-roasting whole hogs over a spit that dates back to the nation’s founding.

From unparalleled biscuits and gravy to Spanish tapas and delicious, fresh seafood, there’s great eating in NC.

The state is also home to a thriving beer brewing scene, with popular varieties from local brewers such as Asheville Brewing Co., Blue Ghost Brewing Company, Burial Beer Co. and Deep River Brewing Company to name just a handful. Craft beer plays a prominent role in the art scene and music festivals all throughout the state.

North Carolina also features a long, fascinating history, with native-built earthwork mounds dating back to the second century AD and Spanish exploration and early settlements from the 16th century. North Carolina also played a significant role in the formation of the nation as one of the first states of the union.

Diverse Geography and Great Outdoor Opportunities

With mountains and forests in its interior plus a picturesque coastline, North Carolina really offers something for everyone. North Carolina’s 300 miles of beach are great for surfing, hang gliding and wild horse watching. Biking is popular in the picturesque Pisgah National Forest, and there are countless rock climbing, hiking and kayaking opportunities in some of North Carolina’s beautiful parks, such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Jockey’s Ridge State Park and the 38 other state parks spread throughout the state. North Carolina is also home to “The Dragon,” a legendary 318-curve 11-mile stretch of road. People who like road trips owe themselves a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway at least once in their life!

Make Your New Home in North Carolina

If your family is considering a move to North Carolina, we encourage you to give us a call. Union Transfer and Storage is a family owned business headquartered in Asheville and serving the entire state. Whether you’re moving into or out of North Carolina, there’s no company better equipped to handle your move and make it as smooth as possible. Contact our licensed and insured moving company to get a quote and begin your journey!