10 Best Places To Raise A Family In South Carolina For 2019


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 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in South Carolina.

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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.

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 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 2019

Newberry, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,257
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 30.8%
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.

Lexington, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 20,653
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 33.3%
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.

Conway, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 21,534
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 68
Closest Major City: Fayetteville
Households with kids: 22.5%
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.

Fort Mill, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,451
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 42.2%
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.

Aiken, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,277
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 21.9%
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.

Gaffney, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,756
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 18.3%
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, which includes all of Cherokee County and which is further included in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area.

Rock Hill, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 70,764
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Charlotte
Households with kids: 27.9%
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

Great place! Quiet nice folks. Lots of retirees. Easy going!

Family oriented! Great barbecue. Easy does it living! Many folks coming here to retire. Low taxes!

Beaufort, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,413
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Jacksonville
Households with kids: 31.5%
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.

Bluffton, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,164
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Jacksonville
Households with kids: 35.1%
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.

Charleston, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 131,204
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 93
Closest Major City: Fayetteville
Households with kids: 19.9%
More on Charleston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina’s coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 134,385 in 2016. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 761,155 residents in 2016, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

Review Of Charleston by HomeSnacks User

people are not there and very polite. Very clean city with beautiful beaches. i go there at least twice a year.

the beahes are beautiful. The air is very clean and the city is clean. the atmosphere is amazing there. a lot of happy hour and great food to eat

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 35 cities.

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. Cayce

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In South Carolina?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Newberry, SC 10,257 47
2 Lexington, SC 20,653 60
3 Conway, SC 21,534 52
4 Fort Mill, SC 14,451 35
5 Aiken, SC 30,277 52
6 Gaffney, SC 12,756 58
7 Rock Hill, SC 70,764 77
8 Beaufort, SC 13,413 41
9 Bluffton, SC 17,164 45
10 Charleston, SC 131,204 100

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.

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