Best Places To Raise A Family In South Carolina For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in South Carolina have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in South Carolina.

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South Carolina might be one of the smallest states in the country, but what they lack in size, they make up in some pretty great places to raise a family.

Whether the Palmetto Trees and white sandy beaches in Myrtle Beach is your family's thing or the mountain biking and hiking trails in Greenville hits the spot, there's a bunch of family friendly activities in South Carolina to keep your family happy, healthy, and entertained.

But, here at HomeSnacks, we know that there is way more that goes into deciding the best place to raise your family, so we thought it would be helpful to create a list of the top ten family friendly places in South Carolina for 2020. To identify the Palmetto State's most family friendly places, we looked at the latest Census for 33 South Carolina cities with at least 10,000 residents. We looked at things that most families would find important: low crime, households with kids, schools that perform, and family friendly fun. Then we gave each place a score based on the data: we call this a cities' SnackAbility.

And folks, we discovered a couple of pretty cool South Carolina fun family facts along the way. One, these family friendly places in South Carolina are kind of a big deal. They are constantly in the headlines for being the state's best places to raise a family and for being some of the state's safest.

And, two, you should probably take a look at our list below before making any life changing decisions for you family, because we don't want your family to end up in one of South Carolina's most dangerous places.

If you live in the greater Columbia and Charleston area, your family has some of the best of what South Carolina offers based on our criteria. Unfortunately, there can only be one number one best place for families in this southeastern state.

So, what is the best place for families in South Carolina? According to the latest data, that would be Lexington.

Want to know the rest of the places that made this South Carolina list? Hit that down arrow key; and if you don't find what you're looking for there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about South Carolina and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In South Carolina For 2020

Lexington, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 21,040
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 36.9%
More on Lexington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lexington is the largest town in and the county seat of Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. Lexington is a suburb of the state's capital and second-largest city, Columbia. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 2016 population is 24,905, and it is the second-largest municipality in the Columbia, South Carolina metropolitan area.

Aiken, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 30,464
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 71
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 23.8%
More on Aiken: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Founded in 1835, the city of Aiken was named after William Aiken, the president of the South Carolina Railroad. The town is the county seat of Aiken County, South Carolina, United States, which was formed in 1871 from parts of Orangeburg, Lexington, Edgefield, and Barnwell counties. With Augusta, Georgia, it is one of the two largest cities of the Central Savannah River Area. It is part of the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area. Aiken is home to the University of South Carolina Aiken. The population was 30,296 at the 2013 census. Aiken was recognized with the All-America City Award in 1997 by the National Civic League.

Beaufort, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,336
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Jacksonville
Households with kids: 38.5%
More on Beaufort: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Beaufort is a city in and the county seat of Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city's population was 12,361 in the 2010 census. It is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Rock Hill, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 71,903
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 31.2%
More on Rock Hill: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rock Hill is the largest city in York County, South Carolina, United States and the fifth-largest city in the state. It is also the fourth-largest city of the Charlotte metropolitan area, behind Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 66,154. In 2016, the population had increased to 72,937.

Review Of Rock Hill by HomeSnacks User

Rock Hill is a beautiful city south of Charlotte. The downtown area isn't crazy alive, but it is beautiful, and there a variety of shops and restaurants to pick from. The schools are great, as is the four year institution there, Winthrop University.

Favorite place is Amelie's, the French bakery. There's not much bad to be quite honest. There isn't as much to do as I would like, but there's always something.

Conway, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 22,661
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 69
Closest Major City: Fayetteville
Households with kids: 25.9%
More on Conway: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Conway is a city in Horry County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 16,317 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Horry County and is part of the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area. It is the home of Coastal Carolina University.

Newberry, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,289
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 28.2%
More on Newberry: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Newberry is a city in Newberry County, South Carolina, United States, in the Piedmont 43 miles northwest of Columbia. The charter was adopted in 1894. The population was 10,277 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Newberry County; at one time it was called Newberry Courthouse.

Fort Mill, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 15,924
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 47.0%
More on Fort Mill: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Fort Mill, also known as Fort Mill Township, is a town in York County in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It is a suburb of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina and is located north of Rock Hill. As of 2015, approximately 13,662 people live inside the town's corporate limits with a total of 36,119 people residing within the entire township. Some businesses and residents in the Indian Land community of neighboring Lancaster County often use Fort Mill as their city address as it is the nearest incorporated area, but the official town boundary is located only in York County.

Bluffton, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 18,835
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Jacksonville
Households with kids: 33.3%
More on Bluffton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bluffton is a Lowcountry town in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is primarily located around U.S. Route 278, between Hilton Head Island and Interstate 95. The town's original one square mile area, now known as Old Town, is situated on a bluff along the May River. The population was counted by the 2010 census at 12,893. Bluffton is the fastest growing municipality in South Carolina with a population over 2,500, growing 882.7% between the 2000 and 2010 census. Bluffton is the fifth largest municipality in South Carolina by land area. The town is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bluffton is known for its eclectic Old Town district and natural views of the May River. It has been called "the last true coastal village of the South."

Review Of Bluffton by HomeSnacks User

Bluffton is a wonderful place to live or just visit. The people are friendly and helpful. Everyone is warm and welcoming. There is so much to do and see here. There is an artist's colony in Old Town with dozens of small galleries. The food is southern, but so diverse, and includes everything from BBQ to French pastries. It's just a 20 minute drive south to beautiful Savannah GA or head east to spend the day at the beaches on gorgeous Hilton Head Island.

Old Town Bluffton, for the art exhibits and the history of the area.

Greenville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 65,727
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 99
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 22.6%
More on Greenville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Greenville is the largest city in and the seat of Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. The city's mayor is Knox White, who has been in that position since December 1995. With an estimated population of 67,453 as of 2016, it is the sixth-largest city in the state. The population of the surrounding area was 400,492 as of 2010, making it the third-largest urban area in South Carolina as well as the fastest growing. Greenville is the largest city in the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area. The MSA had a population of 884,975 in 2016, making it the largest in South Carolina and the third largest in The Carolinas.

Orangeburg, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 13,120
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 26.0%
More on Orangeburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Orangeburg, also known as The Garden City, is the principal city in and the county seat of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, United States. The population of the city was 13,964 according to the 2010 United States census. The city is located 37 miles southeast of Columbia, on the north fork of the Edisto River in the Piedmont area.

How do you determine which place is best for families in South Carolina anyways?

To give you the places in South Carolina which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Palmetto State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of South Carolina, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For South Carolina, that meant a total of 33 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In South Carolina

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in South Carolina ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles South Carolina according to the data:

  1. North Charleston
  2. North Myrtle Beach
  3. Myrtle Beach

For more south carolina reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In South Carolina?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Lexington, SC 21,040 61
2 Aiken, SC 30,464 64
3 Beaufort, SC 13,336 42
4 Rock Hill, SC 71,903 57
5 Conway, SC 22,661 51
6 Newberry, SC 10,289 63
7 Fort Mill, SC 15,924 53
8 Bluffton, SC 18,835 55
9 Greenville, SC 65,727 91
10 Orangeburg, SC 13,120 51

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.