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Retire to North Carolina

North Carolina, the 12th state admitted to the U.S. in 1789, is in the Southeast portion of the nation with Virginia and Tennessee to the north and South Carolina and Georgia to the south.

Charlotte downtown
Downtown towers of Charlotte, North Carolina
© iStockPhoto.com/JillLang

Large cities include Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham and Raleigh, the capital.

North Carolina's topography ranges from the coastal plain in the eastern half of the state to the hills of the Piedmont in the central region to the Appalachian Mountains in the west.

The climate ranges from mild summers and winters on the coast to cooler temps in the Piedmont and the mountains, particularly at higher elevations.

Leading sectors in the North Carolina economy are financial services, information and biotechnology, agriculture, particularly tobacco, and manufacturing, particularly automobiles. North Carolina ranks as a moderate tax state.

Retirement Cities

North Carolina is a favorite of retirees and four places are included in our survey of best places to retire. Get video tours of these great cities at North Carolina videos.

Chapel Hill, NC
To the Chapel Hill, NC City Report
Ranks high in: Family Income, Population Age
Population: 59,635
City Type: College Town
Climate Type: Temperate & Humid
Pinehurst, NC
To the Pinehurst, NC City Report
Ranks high in: Crime
Population: 15,255
City Type: Lakes & Rivers, Golf
Climate Type: Temperate & Humid
Boone, NC
To the Boone, NC City Report
Ranks high in: Population Age
Population: 18,211
City Type: Mountains, Lakes & Rivers, College Town, Wine Country
Climate Type: Cool & Wet
Carolina Beach, NC
To the Carolina Beach, NC City Report
Ranks high in: Home Price Appreciation
Population: 5,986
City Type: East Coast
Climate Type: Temperate & Humid
Charlotte, NC
To the Charlotte, NC City Report
Ranks high in: Medical Care, Diversity, Natural Hazard Risk
Population: 792,862
City Type: Lakes & Rivers, College Town, City Living
Climate Type: Temperate & Humid








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