Downtown Durham, North Carolina.

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Durham, NC is the #45 Best City to Live in the USA

American Tobacco District in Durham, North Carolina
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Durham, NC
Quality of Life
Liv Score

621
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 42
Demographics 73
Economy 81
Education 59
Health 62
Housing 50
Infrastructure 40
Amenities 52

Why Durham is one of the best cities to live in

From the arts to the outdoors, Durham, NC, is a cozy city teeming with opportunity. Durham is a dynamic and diverse city that has so much to offer its more than 275,000 residents. Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle and home to Duke University and North Carolina Central University, the nation’s first public liberal arts college for African Americans, the city is a perfect combination of historic Southern charm (the American Tobacco Company was founded here!) and modern innovation. Thanks to an energetic startup culture, Durham is considered a Southern Silicon Valley, but with its own distinct heritage. As part of the Research Triangle Park, there are jobs galore in this region. The friendly, collaborative community and entrepreneurial spirit all help make Durham one of the best places to live in the U.S. Exciting transformations are happening here, like the American Tobacco Campus, a thrumming work and entertainment district that took over a former tobacco industrial center. Durham residents also have access to top-notch education and health care, plus lots of green space.

What are Durham’s major industries and employers?

Duke University, IBM, Fidelity Investments and Cree Inc. are some of the region’s largest employers. 

What are the major colleges and universities in Durham?

Duke University, Durham Technical Community College & North Carolina Central University

What is the weather like in Durham? 

Durham residents enjoy hot summers and short winters. 

What is there to do outside in Durham?

Go for a bike ride along the American Tobacco Trail, a 22.6-mile trail that runs along an abandoned railroad bed initially built in the 1970s for a tobacco company. 

Durham, NC is Remote-Ready

What makes Durham a great place for remote workers?

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) in Durham is dedicated to building a business-friendly and economically healthy city by offering marketing analytics and financial and tax incentives to businesses looking to grow there. Add into the mix that Durham’s cost of living is very reasonable, with half of the residents owning their home and the other half taking advantage of a median rent below the national average; it’s a win-win all around.

What Locals Love in Durham, NC

What is the best local bookstore in Durham?

Bookstore meets bar at Letters Bookshop. Literary lovers can also subscribe to the shop’s book subscription service, which comes with one new and used book each month. 

How do you spend a weekend in Durham?

Cheer on the Duke Blue Devils or visit the Sarah P. Dukes Gardens, a 55-acre botanical oasis that’s home to more than 2,500 colorful species. 

What can you do for free in Durham?

From utility boxes to walls, artists have transformed Durham into a color-saturated outdoor museum with murals that celebrate Black stories and beautify the area. Take a self-guided tour of the murals with the help of an inspiration guide. A good starting place is the Visitor Info Center, where you can pose with a 2,500-pound bronze bull. 

What’s the best way to spend happy hour in Durham?

More than 300 whiskeys from around the world join local beers on the menu at Dram and Draught, which also serves tasty mocktails. 

What’s something only locals know about Durham?

The Duke Lemur Center is home to more than 200 animals across 14 species. In addition, the center studies, cares for and protects lemurs, which are the most endangered mammals on the planet. 

Is Durham, NC a good place to live?

A strong economy, great schools and excellent health care make Durham a best place to live in North Carolina.

Thinking of Moving to Durham?

What is the Durham, NC real estate market like?

As an integral role in the Triangle Area, it makes sense why Durham real estate is one of the best places to live in the U.S. Many people love the Forest Hills neighborhood for its proximity to downtown, large well-kept yards, and beautiful historic homes for sale in Durham. Hope Valley is looked upon as an affluent area situated in a country club with all the amenities you could want, while Parkwood is a family-centric neighborhood with several community events happening year-round. Of course, there’s many excellent places to live in this city and there are several real estate agents in Durham willing to help you find the perfect place to call home.

Quick Facts About Durham, NC

Average Commute
21.7
Median Home Value
$424,659
Med. Household Income
$58,437
Total Population
275,758
Walk Score
28
Median Property Tax
$1,394

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