#2 in Best Places to Live, Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina

Date Published:

By Chika Gujarathi

What’s it like to live in Raleigh & Durham, NC?

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are known for their research/technology roots and collegiate rivalries. This tri-city region (known as the Triangle) is luring new residents every day with strong job growth and a high quality of life. 

Many people who call the Raleigh and Durham metro areas home are young, friendly, diverse and educated. They enjoy dining out in local restaurants – many of which have earned national accolades – and gathering over craft beers in one of the region’s many microbreweries. A strong sense of community is evident, as strangers are quick to provide a friendly conversation when standing in line at the supermarket.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.


  • 7.6 Desirability
  • 7.7 Value
  • 7.5 Job Market
  • 6.9 Quality of Life
  • 7.8 Net Migration

Raleigh & Durham, NC, Quick Stats

  • Metro Population 1,959,006
  • Median Home Price $329,709
  • Median Monthly Rent $1,087.408
  • Median Age 36.988 years old
  • Average Annual Salary $56,887.792
  • Unemployment Rate 6.4%
  • Average Commute 25.992 minutes
  • Average High Temps 71.6°F
  • Average Low Temps 49.93°F
  • Average Rainfall 43.34 inches

What is there to do in Raleigh & Durham, NC?

Living in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill means having access to cultural facilities like the Durham Performing Arts Center, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh and the North Carolina Symphony.

Cafes and bars around the area’s university campuses are enjoyed by students and residents alike. More than 20 craft breweries have made the region their home, further improving a growing food scene. Also, the area has the most live music venues in North Carolina. 

This family-friendly area also has a children’s museum, 200-plus parks and a 152-mile greenway system for safe biking and hiking. Raleigh and Durham is a great place for sports fans, with college athletics, the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, men’s and women’s professional soccer teams and minor league baseball team the Carolina Mudcats.

What’s the cost of living in Raleigh & Durham, NC?

The cost of living in the Raleigh and Durham areas is roughly on par with the national average, with home prices climbing significantly over the past few years. Housing costs will continue to rise as more people flock to the area in search of a career. However, relatively low property taxes make homeownership here easier than in some other major cities. Compared with other technology and research hubs like San Francisco, the North Carolina Research Triangle is relatively affordable. 

What’s the weather like in Raleigh & Durham, NC?

Summers here are hot and humid. Winter rarely calls for snow, but icy road conditions are known to happen (though salting roads is not the norm). Businesses and schools tend to shut early for winter weather advisories. 

Average Seasonal Temperature (°F)


FALL 61.8°

SPRING 59.9°

SUMMER 78.3°

Average Seasonal Rainfall (in)


FALL 4.4″



Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What’s the best way to get around Raleigh & Durham, NC?

The city centers are walkable, though outside the downtown areas, walking is not very common as points of interest are more spread out. 

Public bus systems in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill provide an affordable (albeit somewhat slow) way to get around the cities and the surrounding suburbs. Local transportation stakeholders are exploring the possibility of having a commuter rail train connecting points in the Triangle in the future. However, for now, cars remain the quickest and most popular mode of transportation in and around the cities.

Traffic congestion is an issue during weekday rush hours, when getting between Raleigh and Durham can take well over an hour. Biking as a commuting option is gaining strength with the improvement of biking awareness and infrastructure within and between the two cities. Public buses in the Triangle are equipped with bike racks, which allows for combining public transit with cycling as a commute.

Who lives in Raleigh & Durham, NC?

The population in Raleigh and Durham is diverse, and the cities’ international communities grow every day. Although the median age in Raleigh and Durham is roughly 37 years old, the area has a youthful vibe that’s amplified by the presence of several universities.

The availability of good jobs and good schools makes the region a desirable place to raise a family. People under the age of 20 make up more than a quarter the area’s population.

The majority of those in the metro area who identify as religious affiliate with the Protestant faith.

Original Source: U.S News