Located just 25 minutes from Raleigh, Clayton is consistently ranked one of the best places to live in North Carolina. It provides residents with a suburban, small-town feel while also being close enough to the hustle and bustle of city life.

The wealth of job opportunities makes the Clayton area attractive to young professionals and growing families, while the quality of life continues to attract active seniors. If you’re thinking about relocating to Clayton, you’re in the right place. Here’s a run-down of the top things you need to know about living here.

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The beautiful weather is one of the many reasons people move to Clayton. The area experiences all four seasons and has a very pleasant spring and fall. Summers tend to be very hot and humid while the winters are short, cold, and wet. From May to September, highs tend to be around 82 degrees Fahrenheit while in the winter months, from November to February, highs are around 52 and lows are around 32.

The area gets very little snow, which can make this a great place for Northerns who are sick of slipping and shoveling. On average, you can expect around two inches of snow here each year.


If you’re thinking about moving to Clayton with your family, you’ll be glad to know that the area has great schools. The city is served by the Johnston County Public School District and for the 2023 school year, residents have access to 13 public schools and 4 private schools. About 95% of all children in grades K-12 in Clayton attend public school.

The top-rated public schools in Clayton include:

  • Johnston Charter Academy
  • Cleveland High School
  • Riverwood Elementary School

There are also 34 colleges and universities within 50 miles of Clayton, making this an attractive area for college students and parents who want to make sure their children will have plenty of options nearby.

Johnston Community College is the nearest college, located just 13 miles away in Smithfield. Other nearby colleges include Duke University, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, William Peace University, Saint Augustines College, Shaw University, UNC at Chapel Hill, and Campbell University.


In January 2023, the median home sale price in Clayton was $305,500. Unlike many other nearby cities, where property values continue to rise, here, home prices saw a 13.8% year-over-year decline. Despite this, the housing market in Clayton is still considered somewhat competitive, with some homes getting multiple offers and hot homes going pending in about 18 days.

Average homes tend to sell for about 2% below the asking price and go pending in around 53 days. This could be good news for those looking to relocate to Clayton in the next year or two.


The average cost of living in Clayton is about 8% lower than the national average, making it an affordable place to live. Surprisingly, housing costs here are about 24% below average, and groceries are around 9% lower. The median rent here is around $922 a month and the average energy bill is around $173 a month. You’ll pay a bit more for healthcare, though. The city’s average healthcare costs are around 3% higher than the average across the U.S.


The city of Clayton has a population of 29,364 and a population density of around 1,939 per square mile. It’s growing at a rate of 3.59% each year. The demographics here are primarily white (66.44%) and black or African American (23.39%).

The median age in Clayton is 31 and approximately 16.5% of the population are seniors. There are more males (50.77%) here than females (49.23%) and about 52.4% of households are married. The average household income is $83,175 and the poverty rate is approximately 11.26%.


Clayton is considered a safe place to live, work, and raise a family. The city has a violent crime rate of 14.6 out of 100, which is much lower than the U.S. average of 22.7. It also has a property crime rate of 31.7, which is also lower than the national average of 35.4.


Located on the Western edge of Johnston County, Clayton is conveniently situated between several major interstate highways, including Interstate 95, Interstate 40, and Interstate 42. This makes it easy for residents to get to other nearby cities including Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary, Garner, and Fuquay-Varina.

Clayton is also only about a 32-minute drive from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), making it easy to travel by air both domestically and overseas.


If you enjoy dining out, you’ll love living in Clayton. The city is home to a wide range of highly-rated restaurants. It also has a strong craft brew scene, with several breweries that offer tap rooms, beer gardens, and pet-friendly patios.

It’s also a very family-friendly area with plenty of attractions such as the Clayton Performing Arts Center, the Main Street Community Garden, and the Clemmons Educational State Forest.

The Clayton Community Farm Market offers produce and art almost all year long. There are also many unique local shops in the downtown area, giving you plenty of opportunities to find exciting treasures while also supporting the local economy.


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If you’re thinking about moving to Clayton, you need an experienced, reliable mover you can trust. John’s Moving is a locally owned company offering a full range of moving services in Clayton and the surrounding area. We take pride in caring for our customers’ belongings as if they were our own and will make your move easy and convenient! Contact us today to request a free estimate.