What's it like to live in Charlotte, NC?

Lauren Levine

Profile written by local expert:

Lauren Levine

Charlotte is a region that's equal parts old-fashioned southern charm and high-energy cosmopolitan bustle. You'll still hear "y'all" dropped into casual conversation, but Charlotte is a metro area on the rise, and has its own culture, culinary sophistication and unique feel that's making it a more enticing place for people from all over the world to settle down. This melting pot effect makes Charlotte an easy area to break into. You're not from here? Well neither are most people you'll meet.

Charlotte has become a place filled with new restaurants to try and events that attract people from all over. It's a standalone destination area now, no longer living in the shadow of Atlanta or Charleston, South Carolina. Though Charlotte has evolved significantly in the past decade, the transformation is only continuing, as evidenced by the numerous construction cranes across the skyline.

You'll frequently hear the word "manageable" used to describe Charlotte. Its climate is more manageable than Florida's and its housing prices and living expenses are more manageable than New York City. You can take your family out to eat without spending a fortune, and on the weekends, free events are easy to find.


U.S. News analyzed 100 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.

Charlotte, North Carolina is ranked:

#14 in Best Places to Live

#22 in Best Places to Retire




  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Charlotte, NC Quick Stats

  • 2,338,792

    Metro Population

  • $48,370

    Average Annual Salary

  • 70.9° / 48.7°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 36.9

    Median Age

  • $190,404

    Median Home Price

  • 41.6 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.9%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $863

    AVG Monthly Rent

  • 26.0 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Charlotte, NC?

Despite the abundance of housing inventory, rent prices are slowly creeping up. For those looking to buy, the median home value in Charlotte is lower than the national average, though highly desirable areas, like Myers Park, can see listing prices surpassing $1 million.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.4 /10

How we calculate this.

Charlotte offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs this Year



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

What's the weather like in Charlotte, NC?

One thing that surprises newcomers to the South: Charlotte's humidity. Though the region is best classified as "Southern Lite" in a cultural sense, it's fully Southern when it comes to climate. Charlotte's mild winters and pleasant falls make sweaty summers worthwhile though. On average, the metro area sees less than 4 inches of snow per year.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.4 in


4.0 in


4.2 in


3.4 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Charlotte, NC?

With Charlotte acquiring new residents each day, at times it feels like the region is outpacing its infrastructure. Though you can take the LYNX Light Rail system to get around certain parts of the metro area and rely on the bus or the newly constructed trolley in others, Charlotte lacks one cohesive public transportation system that spans the whole region. Fortunately, traffic isn't yet what other major metro areas deal with, so relying heavily on your car isn't a significant inconvenience.

The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is significant in size and is currently undergoing a renovation. Since it's a major hub for American Airlines, it's easy to get virtually anywhere you need to go. Amtrak and Greyhound also operate in Charlotte.

Commuting in Charlotte, NC

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

26.0 minutes

0.1 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Charlotte, NC?

Charlotte is a region of small neighborhoods, each with a distinctive feel and energy. While there are plenty of housing options in the downtown area (actually referred to as Uptown), many residents choose to live in the neighborhoods surrounding the metro area's center. The North Davidson area (known as NoDa) features a vibrant arts community and is a favorite among 20- and 30-somethings.

More than 30 percent of Charlotte households include children under the age of 18. Parts of town that are family-friendly are highly desirable, as many residents either have families or will start them soon. The Ballantyne neighborhood is one such area. It's an upscale community near excellent schools.

Some might assume that being situated in the Bible Belt makes Charlotte an especially Christian place, but there's actually a broad spectrum of religious observance in the Queen City. Shalom Park is a focal point for Jewish people in the community. Those of the Islamic faith can take part in the Muslim American Society of Charlotte.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Charlotte as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Charlotte, NC?

Charlotte is home to a thriving craft brewing scene, with some breweries hosting events such as yoga classes or running groups as well. The emphasis on getting active is important in Charlotte, beer-related or not. Thirty-seven miles of greenway trails provide the perfect opportunity for biking, rollerblading or running.

Culture is rich in Charlotte, with places like the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, the Mint Museum and the Levine Museum of the New South offering plenty of opportunities to learn.

Sports fans will feel right at home in Charlotte too, as the area features professional basketball and football teams. 

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Charlotte, NC