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Crystal Coast Economic Development

Rankings & Accolades

  • Public SchoolCarteret County consistently has the lowest county property tax rate in NC ($.31/$100 in 2018-19, equivalent to $1,655 on a $500,000 home or building)
  • Carteret County Public Schools is one of the highest ranked school systems in North Carolina and had the second highest average SAT and ACT scores of any North Carolina school system in 2018
  • Carteret County has one of the best performing rural hospitals in the U.S. (ranked among the top 100 rural hospitals in America), is one of the highest ranked hospitals in North Carolina, and enjoys partnerships with the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and UNC Cancer Care
  • Carteret County is home to one of the largest concentrations of marine scientists and researchers in the U.S. and is home to the Duke University Marine Laboratory, the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences, the North Carolina State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Beaufort Laboratory,┬áplus other marine sciences and fisheries research facilities
  • Carteret County is home to three of the top 20 most visited North Carolina attractions (2017): Fort Macon State Park (2nd); NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores (13th); NC Maritime Museum (17th)
  • Beaufort was named the South's Best Small Town in 2019 by Southern Living magazine
  • Backstreet Pub, located in Beaufort, was named one of the South's Best Pubs in 2019, voted #3 by Southern Living magazine
  • Emerald Isle was ranked best beach in North Carolina by USA Today in 2018
  • Carteret Community College has been designated as a Maritime Center of Excellence by the U.S. Maritime Administration
  • Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is the largest air station in the United States Marine Corps, and it is programmed to become the largest Marine Corps air base for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by 2025
  • recently ranked Morehead City as the sixth ranked fastest growing retirement hot spot in the country