County Tier Systems

The tier system is a designation that is incorporated into various state incentive programs to encourage economic activity in the less prosperous areas of the state.
North Carolina River Arts District Buidling

The North Carolina Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties based on economic well-being and assigns each a tier designation. The 40 most distressed counties are designated as Tier 1, the next 40 as Tier 2 and the 20 least distressed as Tier 3. This tier system is incorporated into various state incentive programs to encourage economic activity in the less prosperous areas of the state.

 

North Carolina County Tier Designation Map

 

2024 county designation tier map

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North Carolina Tier Designation Table

County Tier Avg. Annual Wage
Alamance 2 $50,691
Alexander 2 $39,975
Alleghany 2 $38,846
Anson 1 $41,105
Ashe 2 $40,142
Avery 3 $38,255
Beaufort 2 $43,125
Bertie 1 $38,098
Bladen 1 $41,913
Brunswick 3 $46,464
Buncombe 3 $51,080
Burke 1 $43,261
Cabarrus 3 $46,768
Caldwell 2 $48,482
Camden 3 $47,013
Carteret 3 $39,154
Caswell 1 $43,715
Catawba 2 $52,172
Chatham 3 $45,437
Cherokee 1 $37,967
Chowan 1 $41,929
Clay 2 $39,670
Cleveland 2 $45,515
Columbus 1 $38,544
Craven 2 $45,267
Cumberland 1 $43,024
Currituck 3 $41,145
Dare 2 $40,217
Davidson 2 $49,956
Davie 2 $47,416
Duplin 1 $42,254
Durham 3 $86,686
Edgecombe 1 $43,183
Forsyth 2 $62,604
Franklin 2 $49,780
Gaston 2 $46,351
Gates 2 $42,459
Graham 1 $41,462
Granville 2 $48,653
Greene 1 $36,777
Guilford 2 $57,190
Halifax 1 $39,800
Harnett 2 $40,409
Haywood 2 $43,559
Henderson 3 $47,949
Hertford 1 $44,505
Hoke 1 $39,332
Hyde 1 $35,236
Iredell 3 $64,433
Jackson 2 $42,020
Johnston 3 $47,126
Jones 1 $42,158
Lee 2 $49,670
Lenoir 1 $46,017
Lincoln 3 $49,332
Macon 2 $42,034
Madison 2 $39,965
Martin 1 $34,864
McDowell 2 $42,658
Mecklenburg 3 $80,349
Mitchell 1 $43,499
Montgomery 2 $47,841
Moore 3 $50,562
Nash 1 $47,433
New Hanover 3 $56,364
Northampton 1 $45,346
Onslow 1 $37,603
Orange 3 $62,771
Pamlico 2 $30,354
Pasquotank 2 $43,309
Pender 3 $40,288
Perquimans 2 $39,117
Person 2 $46,236
Pitt 1 $48,043
Polk 2 $40,643
Randolph 1 $43,080
Richmond 1 $41,091
Robeson 1 $41,038
Rockingham 1 $42,629
Rowan 2 $50,138
Rutherford 1 $42,906
Sampson 1 $43,866
Scotland 1 $42,644
Stanly 2 $41,612
Stokes 2 $35,514
Surry 1 $43,575
Swain 2 $34,079
Transylvania 2 $42,179
Tyrrell 1 $35,006
Union 3 $53,593
Vance 1 $42,888
Wake 3 $72,743
Warren 1 $32,940
Washington 1 $45,643
Watauga 2 $40,652
Wayne 1 $43,882
Wilkes 1 $44,105
Wilson 1 $50,439
Yadkin 2 $42,669
Yancey 2 $40,622

 

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Other Incentives

North Carolina offers offers targeted, performance-based programs to help businesses grow in North Carolina.

Job Development Investment Grant

A discretionary program that helps businesses offset the cost of locating or expanding within the state.

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County Tier System

A designation that is incorporated into various incentive programs to encourage economic activity throughout the state.

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