10 Best Places To Raise A Family In South Carolina For 2018


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.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in South Carolina? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Palmetto State:

  1. Newberry (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Lexington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Bluffton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Rock Hill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Fort Mill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Conway (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Beaufort (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Gaffney (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Orangeburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Sumter (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to South Carolina, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in South Carolina and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in South Carolina.

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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 32 cities.

Read on to see why Newberry is where all the families are headed, while North Myrtle Beach is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Newberry

Newberry, SC

Population: 10,338
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 32.2%
More on Newberry: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Newberry is a city in Newberry County, South Carolina, United States, in the Piedmont 43 miles (69 km) 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.

2. Lexington

Lexington, SC

Source: Public domain

Population: 20,315
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 35.2%
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.

3. Bluffton

Bluffton, SC

Population: 15,765
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Jacksonville
Households with kids: 39.6%
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.’

4. Rock Hill

Rock Hill, SC

Population: 70,251
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 32.0%
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 (all located in North Carolina, unlike Rock Hill). As of the 2010 Census, the population was 66,154. In 2016, the population had increased to 72,937.

5. Fort Mill

Fort Mill, SC

Population: 13,181
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 43.5%
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.

6. Conway

Conway, SC

Source: Public domain

Population: 20,631
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Fayetteville
Households with kids: 27.4%
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.

7. Beaufort

Beaufort, SC

Population: 13,074
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Jacksonville
Households with kids: 37.9%
More on Beaufort: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Beaufort (/bjufrt/ BEW-frt, a different pronunciation from that used by the city with the same name in North Carolina) 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.

8. Gaffney

Gaffney, SC

Population: 12,859
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 24.2%
More on Gaffney: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Gaffney is a town in and the seat of Cherokee County, South Carolina, United States, in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Gaffney is known as the ‘Peach Capital of South Carolina’. The population was 12,539 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 12,597 in 2014. It is the principal city of the Gaffney, South Carolina, Micropolitan Statistical Area (population 55,662 according to 2012 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau), which includes all of Cherokee County and which is further included in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area (population 1,384,996 according to year 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimates).

9. Orangeburg

Orangeburg, SC

Population: 13,478
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 72
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 27.8%
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.

10. Sumter

Sumter, SC

Source: Public domain

Population: 40,760
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 31.7%
More on Sumter: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sumter /smtr/ is the county seat of Sumter County, South Carolina, United States. Known as the Sumter Metropolitan Statistical Area, the namesake county adjoins Clarendon and Lee to form the core of Sumter-Lee-Clarendon tri-county area of South Carolina, an area that includes the three counties in the east central Piedmont. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city’s population was 39,643 at the 2000 census. The 2010 census puts the city at 40,524.

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 Myrtle Beach
  2. North Charleston
  3. Cayce

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In South Carolina

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Newberry 10,338 50
2 Lexington 20,315 51
3 Bluffton 15,765 41
4 Rock Hill 70,251 68
5 Fort Mill 13,181 31
6 Conway 20,631 71
7 Beaufort 13,074 54
8 Gaffney 12,859 50
9 Orangeburg 13,478 62
10 Sumter 40,760 57
11 Greenville 62,776 98
12 Charleston 129,888 100
13 Mauldin 24,723 37
14 Greer 27,739 33
15 Columbia 132,537 100
16 Florence 38,221 73
17 Irmo 11,851 30
18 Hanahan 20,710 34
19 Mount Pleasant 77,907 36
20 Simpsonville 20,183 35
21 Clemson 15,008 31
22 Goose Creek 40,553 40
23 Aiken 30,403 58
24 Port Royal 11,891 31
25 Summerville 47,919 42
26 North Augusta 22,310 44
27 Easley 20,464 50
28 Forest Acres 10,571 42
29 Myrtle Beach 30,106 37
30 Cayce 13,684 47
31 North Charleston 106,113 50
32 North Myrtle Beach 15,201 35

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