Top 15 Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2018

We used data and science to determine the places in South Carolina where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list.

For a lot of people who live in the fine state of South Carolina, safety isn't a problem, but we don't all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Bluffton.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Palmetto State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.

In all, we analyzed 55 cities in South Carolina with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data.

Here's the list of the safest cities in South Carolina for 2018:

  1. Bluffton (Photos | Homes)
  2. Mount Pleasant (Photos | Homes)
  3. Tega Cay (Photos | Homes)
  4. Hanahan (Photos | Homes)
  5. Fountain Inn (Photos | Homes)
  6. Clover (Photos | Homes)
  7. Mauldin (Photos | Homes)
  8. Fort Mill (Photos | Homes)
  9. Clemson (Photos | Homes)
  10. Port Royal (Photos | Homes)
  11. Charleston (Photos | Homes)
  12. Goose Creek (Photos | Homes)
  13. Greer (Photos | Homes)
  14. Seneca (Photos | Homes)
  15. Lexington (Photos | Homes)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to live and South Carolina, check out:

How we calculated the safest cities in South Carolina

Safest Cities in South Carolina Graph

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017) in South Carolina.

Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
10 Cheapest Places To Live In South Carolina

For example, there were a total of 292 crimes committed in Bluffton which had a reported population of 17,498. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0167 which translates into a 1 in 59 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 55 of the biggest cities in South Carolina to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 55 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In South Carolina".

The safest city, based on our criteria, is Bluffton. The most dangerous city in South Carolina? Dillon, where residents had a 1 in 7 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

1. Bluffton

Bluffton, SC

Population: 17,498
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 142 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,525 (1st safest)
More on Bluffton: PhotosReal Estate | 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."

2. Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant, SC

Population: 84,277
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 150 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,700 (2nd safest)
More on Mount Pleasant: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Mount Pleasant is a large suburban town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. It is the fourth largest municipality and largest town in South Carolina, and for several years was one of the state's fastest-growing areas, doubling in population between 1990 and 2000. The population was 67,843 at the 2010 census, and the estimated population in 2014 was 77,796. Mount Pleasant is the third largest city in the Charleston- North Charleston- Summerville metropolitan area, behind Charleston and North Charleston.

3. Tega Cay

Tega Cay, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 10,032
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 79 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,923 (5th safest)
More on Tega Cay: PhotosReal Estate | Data

4. Hanahan

Hanahan, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 22,357
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 196 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,874 (3rd safest)
More on Hanahan: PhotosReal Estate | Data

5. Fountain Inn

Fountain Inn, SC

Population: 8,450
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 189 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,881 (4th safest)
More on Fountain Inn: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Fountain Inn is a city in Greenville and Laurens counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 7,799 at the 2010 census, up from 6,017 in 2000. It is part of the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area.

6. Clover

Clover, SC

Population: 5,874
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 11)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 170 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,179 (8th safest)
More on Clover: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Clover is a town in York County, South Carolina, United States located in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina, metropolitan area. As of 2010, the population was at 5,094 within the town limits. Clover is twinned with the Northern Irish town of Larne on County Antrim's East Coast.

7. Mauldin

Mauldin, SC

Population: 25,540
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 211 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,985 (6th safest)
More on Mauldin: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Mauldin is a city in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 15,224 at the 2000 census, 22,889 in 2010, and an estimated 25,135 in 2015. It is a principal city of the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area.

8. Fort Mill

Fort Mill, SC

Population: 14,150
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 240 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,148 (7th safest)
More on Fort Mill: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

9. Clemson

Clemson, SC

Population: 15,767
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 164 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,936 (14th safest)
More on Clemson: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Clemson is a city in Pickens and Anderson counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. Clemson is home to Clemson University; in 2015, the Princeton Review cited the town of Clemson as ranking #1 in the United States for "town-and-gown" relations with its resident university. The population of the city was 13,905 at the 2010 census. Clemson is part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area. Most of the city is in Pickens County, which is part of the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. A small portion is in Anderson County, which is part of the Anderson Metropolitan Statistical Area.

10. Port Royal

Port Royal, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 12,417
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 257 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,263 (10th safest)
More on Port Royal: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Port Royal is a town on Port Royal Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. Largely because of annexation of surrounding areas, the population of Port Royal rose from 3,950 in 2000 to 10,678 in 2010, a 170% increase. As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, Port Royal is included within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. Port Royal is home to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, and Naval Hospital Beaufort.

11. Charleston

Charleston, SC

Population: 135,153
Rank Last Year: 10 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 301 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,485 (11th safest)
More on Charleston: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

12. Goose Creek

Goose Creek, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 41,540
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 380 (18th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,202 (9th safest)
More on Goose Creek: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Goose Creek is a city in Berkeley County in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 35,938 at the 2010 census. Most of the Naval Weapons Station Charleston is in Goose Creek. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used only by the U.S. Census Bureau and other Federal agencies for statistical purposes, Goose Creek is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area.

13. Greer

Greer, SC

Population: 28,927
Rank Last Year: 13 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 335 (16th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,533 (12th safest)
More on Greer: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Greer is a city in Greenville and Spartanburg counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 25,515 as of the 2010 census and had risen to an estimated 28,365 as of 2015. Each day, more than three times that number of people pass through the city on the two highways which run through the city. The majority of the city is in Greenville County and is part of the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area.The city is additionally part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area in Upstate South Carolina.

14. Seneca

Seneca, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 8,308
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 421 (19th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,732 (13th safest)
More on Seneca: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Seneca is a city in Oconee County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 8,102 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Seneca Micropolitan Statistical Area, an which includes all of Oconee County and which is further included in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area.

15. Lexington

Lexington, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 20,597
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 344 (17th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,981 (15th safest)
More on Lexington: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Palmetto State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Bluffton is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most South Carolina residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in South Carolina according to the data:

  1. Dillon
  2. Hartsville
  3. Myrtle Beach
For more reading, check out:

List Of Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2018

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Bluffton, SC 17,498 142 1,525
2 Mount Pleasant, SC 84,277 150 1,700
3 Tega Cay, SC 10,032 79 1,923
4 Hanahan, SC 22,357 196 1,874
5 Fountain Inn, SC 8,450 189 1,881
6 Clover, SC 5,874 170 2,179
7 Mauldin, SC 25,540 211 1,985
8 Fort Mill, SC 14,150 240 2,148
9 Clemson, SC 15,767 164 2,936
10 Port Royal, SC 12,417 257 2,263
11 Charleston, SC 135,153 301 2,485
12 Goose Creek, SC 41,540 380 2,202
13 Greer, SC 28,927 335 2,533
14 Seneca, SC 8,308 421 2,732
15 Lexington, SC 20,597 344 2,981
16 Summerville, SC 50,154 319 3,592
17 Simpsonville, SC 21,223 329 3,609
18 Irmo, SC 12,240 539 3,382
19 Travelers Rest, SC 5,074 197 4,493
20 North Augusta, SC 22,755 215 4,346
21 Rock Hill, SC 72,589 615 3,504
22 Abbeville, SC 5,177 579 3,843
23 Greenville, SC 65,686 607 4,297
24 Newberry, SC 10,338 628 4,236
25 Sumter, SC 40,864 690 4,076
26 Moncks Corner, SC 10,298 485 5,146
27 Georgetown, SC 9,044 895 3,560
28 Hardeeville, SC 5,893 814 3,801
29 Bennettsville, SC 8,514 974 3,770
30 Conway, SC 21,874 795 4,644
31 Easley, SC 20,911 626 5,571
32 Forest Acres, SC 10,654 722 5,275
33 Gaffney, SC 12,568 827 4,949
34 Orangeburg, SC 13,365 598 7,332
35 York, SC 8,058 1,017 4,343
36 Beaufort, SC 13,477 630 6,358
37 Clinton, SC 8,664 1,165 4,074
38 Aiken, SC 30,800 782 5,795
39 Columbia, SC 134,489 829 5,482
40 Cayce, SC 13,729 1,085 4,821
41 Chester, SC 5,462 952 5,327
42 North Charleston, SC 110,490 898 5,627
43 North Myrtle Beach, SC 15,945 758 7,695
44 Cheraw, SC 5,766 849 6,850
45 Batesburg-Leesville, SC 5,457 1,447 5,039
46 Union, SC 7,981 1,115 5,926
47 Florence, SC 38,382 1,062 6,677
48 Marion, SC 6,674 913 8,960
49 Lake City, SC 6,809 1,879 6,447
50 Darlington, SC 6,130 1,109 8,646
51 Walterboro, SC 5,253 1,123 8,547
52 Camden, SC 7,132 1,570 7,978
53 Myrtle Beach, SC 31,864 1,688 13,792
54 Hartsville, SC 7,837 1,965 10,424
55 Dillon, SC 6,648 1,910 10,905

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