View of downtown Raleigh North Carolina.

The temperate weather, healthy economy, and cost of living in North Carolina draw people of all ages looking for a relaxed place to settle down in this amazing state. North Carolina has many excellent cities, including Durham and Raleigh in the Triangle area

If you are considering moving to the Triangle area and want to learn about how Raleigh and Durham compare, keep reading. I’m going to share a head-to-head comparison of these Raleigh vs. Durham to help you decide which city best fits your needs.

Raleigh vs. Durham: A Head-To-Head Comparison

Both Raleigh and Durham have an abundance of benefits to offer new residents. Today I will be outlining how they compare in terms of the job market, cost of living, schools and education, amenities and entertainment, and the housing market. 

Job Market in Raleigh

The job market in Raleigh is fairly healthy. The unemployment rate is 2.9% which is lower than the national average of 3.6% in March 2022. Since Raleigh is the state capital of North Carolina, thousands are employed by the state government.

Both Raleigh and Durham are part of the Research Triangle and have many opportunities in advanced manufacturing, technology, cleantech, and life sciences. The Raleigh metro area was even named the #1 Best City for Jobs in 2020 by Glassdoor

Job Market in Durham

According to US News, both Durham and Raleigh have healthier job markets than other similar-sized cities across the United States. The North Carolina Triangle is the second-fastest growing tech hub in the U.S., and there are many opportunities for professionals in the STEM fields. The unemployment rate in Durham as of March 2022 is 2.8%, so it is comparable to Raleigh in being lower than the national average.

Cost of Living in Raleigh

Many residents of Raleigh enjoy the lower-than-average cost of living. According to Payscale, the cost of living is 5% lower in Raleigh than the national average. However, Raleigh’s grocery prices are 13% higher than the national average. Additionally, healthcare is slightly higher than the national average. Overall, the cost of living in Raleigh is reasonable.

Cost of Living in Durham

Durham also shares a lower cost of living –– 11% lower than the national average, in fact. Grocery prices in Durham are actually 4% lower than the national average and significantly lower than in Raleigh. Healthcare costs are exactly at the national average. 

Schools and Education in Raleigh

Raleigh is home to 10 traditional universities, including North Carolina State University. NC State is a research hub with over 36,000 active students. Not only is the city’s higher education top-notch, but even public elementary and high schools are highly rated (A+) according to

Schools and Education in Durham

Durham is similar in terms of educational prestige. It is home to the well-known Duke University, and several other universities are in the area. Duke has almost 17,000 students enrolled in degree programs, including international students. also gives a high rating (A) to Durham's public elementary and high schools.  

Amenities and Entertainment in Raleigh

Raleigh offers plenty of attractions and events for families, young professionals, and active adults. Some of the city’s highlights include atmospheric rooftop bars, a wide variety of restaurants, and even the Brewgaloo beer festival each year. It also features the North Carolina Museum of Art, William Umstead State Park, and is home to the NHL Carolina Hurricanes!

Amenities and Entertainment in Durham

Durham has plenty to do for residents as well. The Streets at Southpoint, a super-regional mall, was named by USA Today as one of the nation’s “10 Great Places To Spend It All in One Place.” There are several art museums to explore, the beautiful Eno River State Park to traverse, and it is home to the Durham Bulls baseball team and Duke basketball team. You won’t run out of fun activities in Durham or Raleigh!

Housing Market in Raleigh

The median home price in Raleigh is $415,000 in 2022. The real estate market is booming and competitive in this North Carolina city. The northern Raleigh area (27613) and the downtown area (27601) rank as some of the top areas in the U.S. experiencing huge spikes in the average value of single-family homes sold, according to ABC11

Housing Market in Durham

The median home price in Durham is slightly lower than Raleigh, falling at $403,500. In April 2022, Durham home prices were on the rise and were 34.4% higher when compared to 2021. It is another city that has a competitive housing market today. 

Choosing Between Durham vs. Raleigh

When choosing between Raleigh and Durham, NC, you should weigh the pros and cons of each city to see how each aligns with your needs and wants. Both cities offer fantastic environments with lots of benefits, but ultimately, only you can decide which is the best fit. Consider taking a trip to visit both cities and explore them for yourself to see if one speaks to you more than the other. 

Interested in Raleigh or Durham? Contact Oak Springs Realty Today

No matter if you decide that Raleigh or Durham is the place you want to call home, Oak Springs Realty can help guide you through the home buying process. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or just relocating, we’ve got your back.

We know the best neighborhoods in Raleigh and Durham to seek out your new home. Work with us today to find what you’ve been looking for in North Carolina! Schedule a free consultation.