8 Communities in DurhamView All
Durham is a lively city located in Central North Carolina. Home to the highly accredited Duke University, Durham offers a variety of shopping and restaurant options widely available. Several parks and natural areas are scattered around Durham for those looking for a peaceful retreat close to home.
Climate & Geography
The climate in Durham is humid subtropical, which means summers are hot and humid, winters are cool, and spring and autumn are generally mild to warm. Residents can expect more rain than the national average, almost no snowfall, and approximately 220 sunny days throughout each year.
Durham is situated in an area known as the Piedmont Plateau, among gently rolling hills, northwest of Raleigh and east of Greensboro. Jordan Lake is just south of the city and Falls Lake is just to to northeast.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Eno River State Park is a popular option for those seeking outdoor recreation in Durham. The park offers hiking trails and activities like kayaking and fishing. Visitors can enjoy events hosted by the park, such as bird watching walks and historic hikes.
The Downtown Durham area has a variety of things to do, including visiting the American Tobacco Historic District, which features restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Durham takes pride in their extensive artistic community, as the city hosts large scale events on the third Friday of every month that showcase local artists. In addition, the city boasts two art museums, and several cultural events are held throughout the year in Durham.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Durham is slightly higher than the state average, but lower than the national average. All of the individual cost of living indexes are at or below the national average, with the cost of homes and housing being 0.1 percent higher and transportation costs being about 15 percent lower.
North Carolina is considered somewhat tax friendly to retirees, depending on where their retirement income comes from. Social Security benefits are completely exempt from income tax in the state, however retirement savings accounts and pensions are fully taxed at a rate of 5.25 percent. There are no special exemptions for retirees, but the state's standard deduction is quite high: between $10.75k and $21.5k depending on filing status. Property taxes are fairly low, and some residents may qualify for a homestead exclusion or deferment program to further help offset this cost.
The Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area is ranked on the higher end of average on Gallup’s Well-Being Index. The area scored much higher than the overall state average for North Carolina, which came in at the lower end of average.
There are a number of highly ranked hospitals in and around Durham. Duke University Hospital, located in Durham, is ranked No. 1 in the state. Duke Regional Hospital, also in Durham, comes in at No. 11 in the state. University of North Carolina Hospitals, located in nearby Chapel Hill, are ranked No. 2 in the state.