There are so many wonderful things to love about living in North Carolina. You can choose to live at the mountains or at the beach. Or somewhere in the middle, that’s an easy weekend trip from either location. You can pick a major city like Charlotte or Raleigh. A smaller one like Greensboro, Asheville, or Wilmington. Or many choose to settle down in one of the magnificent small towns our state has to offer.  There are pros and cons to all of those locations. And it typically comes down to personal preference to determine the “best place to live”. It’s not just NC, there are advantages and disadvantages to living in every station in the US. Some people need the hustle and bustle of cities. Others want the mountains or the beach or wide open spaces. Some want summer all year round, while other people love having all four seasons. There is no right or wrong answer. But of course, people are going to create rankings. And we are going to tell you about this. This time it was a study by our friends at WalletHub who ranked the Top States to Live In in 2023. And out of 50 states North Carolina did not make the top 50 or the best states to live in section of the rankings.

Wallet Hub Ranks The Best States To Live

So how did they determine these rankings? Because obviously we adamantly disagree with them. Well according to WalletHub, “To find out the best states to live, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on 51 key indicators of livability. They range from housing costs and income growth to the education rate and quality of hospitals.”

So if North Carolina didn’t make the cut? Who did? South Carolina faired worse than us ranking in the bottom 10 states overall. Ouch!  The top 5 were very Northeast heavy with only one state (Wyoming) sitting outside the New England Area. And listen I’ve been to Wyoming. Jackson Hole and Yellowstone. And while it’s a nice place to visit, and a great place if you love skiing. I don’t think Wyoming is a state I’d personally have any desire to live in. The bottom two states included New Mexico and Alaska. Alaska I can see. Not sure what New Mexico did that is so tragic to have it rank 50th though. I haven’t been so I can’t comment. Keep reading to see where both the Carolinas ranked and what the top 5 were. Do you think North Carolina is one of the best states to live in? Or do you agree with this ranking? Curious about another state? You can read the full WalletHub study here.

  • 31. North Carolina

    The North Carolina state flag waving along with the national flag of the United States of America. In the background there is a clear sky. North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States


    While it did rank a lot higher than South Carolina, NC is still in the bottom half of the rankings coming in at number 31. With an overall score of 51.08, NC scored lowest in economy, education and health, and safety.

  • 44. South Carolina

    A welcome sign at the South Carolina state line.


    Well, there we have it folks, South Carolina ranked 44th out of 50 states making it one of the worst places to live. At least according to this study. They ranked 49th in Safety bringing the score down significantly. The state’s high score in affordability wasn’t enough to boost the ranking.

  • 1. Massachusetts

    A road sign welcoming drivers to the state of Massachusetts, USA.


    I’ll give WalletHub this, the people I know who are from Massachusetts, especially Boston, love their state. (Though a lot of them ended up in the South so riddle me that.) Massachusetts ranked number one in education and health, and in the top 10 for quality of live and safety. Can you award extra points for the coast? Because that is by far my favorite part of the area.

  • 2. New Jersey

    Welcome to New Jersey state concept on road sign


    New Jersey? The second best place to live? I guess I’ll hear them out. Full disclosure if I have been to New Jersey at all which I don’t think I have, it was just to fly into NYC. A number one rank in safety as well as high scores in education and health and quality of live gave the Garden State the number 2 ranking.

  • 3. New Hampshire

    A sign welcoming you to the great state of New Hampshire. Taken in Massachusetts at the town line of Fitzwilliam, NH.


    I’ve never been to New Hampshire but I’d love to visit one day. While I don’t think I could handle the winters of the Northeast I do love New England in the summer.  New Hampshire ranked 2nd in both economy and health and education.

  • 4. New York

    New York, World Capitol City. Copy space available.


    I’m not surprised to see New York near the top of this list. It’s another state with a lot of pride. And while the lifestyle can vary drastically depending on where you’re located, many people love to call it home. A number 1 ranking in quality of live and number 3 in safety gave NY the 4th spot on this list.

  • 5. Wyoming


    I alluded to this earlier, I’m very shocked Wyoming is this high on the list. I guess people love it, but it’s not the lifestyle for me. This high ranking is due to a 4th place rank in Safety and 10th in affordability. I guess I’ll give them both of those things.

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