10 Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2019

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

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Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2019. This is our fifth time rankings the safest places to live in South Carolina.
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Yes, there is more to South Carolina than Charleston, NASCAR, and Myrtle Beach.

If you're from The Palmetto State, you know that there are a ton of fun facts that keep this southern charm ranked as one of the safest places to live in the headlines. More importantly, it has some of the safest cities to call home.

South Carolina safety standards are magical. Word on the street, the locals asked the biting bugs, snakes, and gators to steer clear of humans and they've listened. Don't worry parents, the fireflies are still around to entertain your kids and provide safe nighttime lighting. South Carolina is so safe that they made a law that dogs have to ride in safety seats, like kids. And don't get stuck at a 4-way stop, here, it takes forever because the people are so nice and safe that everyone wants to let everyone go first.

South Carolina is the 23rd most populous U.S. state and the 40th largest state in terms of land area. It has everything one needs: big cities, like Charleston that border the Atlantic Ocean, quaint farming communities like Columbia, and cities like Charlotte that share their roots with North Carolina. Safety in numbers, right?

We took a look at the FBI crime data for 58 cities with a population of more than 5,000 to determine which cities are the safest that South Carolina has to offer.

Here are the 10 safest places to live in South Carolina for 2019:

  1. Mount Pleasant (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Tega Cay (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Clemson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Bluffton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Mauldin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Fort Mill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Hanahan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Central (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Charleston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Goose Creek (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So, grab yourself some of great granny's sweet tea and a basket of hush puppies and read on to see how we ranked the safest places to live in South Carolina for 2019.

How did we determine the safest cities to call home in The Palmetto State? We looked at crime in each city.

What's the safest place to live in South Carolina? According to data from the FBI UCR, Mount Pleasant came out on top as the safest in South Carolina. Kudos!

Read on to learn how Mount Pleasant brought home the gold and how your city ranked.

For more reading on safe places to live in and around South Carolina, check out:

The 10 Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2019

Mount Pleasant, SC
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 87,216
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 189 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,527 (1st safest)
More on Mount Pleasant: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Well isn't this a pleasant surprise? The throne of the pleasant, the crown of the peaceful, the pinnacle of safety -- Mount Pleasant ranks as the safest city in South Carolina for 2019.

It moved up one spot from last year and now boasts the lowest property crime rank in the state.

Furthermore, Mount Pleasant is basically the cream of the crop in South Carolina as it also ranks as the best and richest city in the state according to our most recent rankings. So I'm running out of kingly adjectives to describe it at this point.

Tega Cay, SC
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9.5
/10

Population: 10,367
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 48 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,112 (7th safest)
More on Tega Cay: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Always the bridesmaid and never the bride in 2019, Tega Cay ranks as the second safest place to live in South Carolina.

Moving up one spot from last year, Tega Cay has the lowest violent crime rate in the state which means you probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting mugged.

Oh and we said always the bridesmaid because the city located on the North Carolina border near Charlotte finished second for safest and best this year. Still awesome, just not quite awesome enough to beat out the pleasant on the mount.

Clemson, SC
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 16,442
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 48 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,915 (6th safest)
More on Clemson: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Making the difficult jump into the top three from number eight last year is Clemson. There's always something to be said for being in the top three of anything -- whether it's sports, safety, or even a hot air balloon festival.

The city has the second lowest violent crime rate in the state and with a grand total of zero murders it's probably ok to stand out on the side of the street at midnight with your wallet hanging out.

Besides being home to Clemson University, Clemson is also home to some beautiful plantations and botanical gardens. A good place to stop and smell the roses if you will.

Bluffton, SC
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 20,024
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 204 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,648 (4th safest)
More on Bluffton: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Living in Bluffton is like drawing a full house on the flop and playing it off like you have deuce and seven -- the opposite of a bluff, it's the fourth safest city in South Carolina according to the most recent FBI data.

While it was knocked down a peg from the top overall spot last year, it still has the fourth lowest property crime and the sixth lowest violent crime rates in the state

And you don't have to take our word for it, look at his excerpt from a sparkling review a user left:

Bluffton is a coastal community with a very rich history. It's just a few minutes drive from Hilton Head Island and not much further to drive to Savannah GA. The weather is just about perfect year round. The people are friendly, kind, and genuine. There is a fantastic artists colony here in Old Town Bluffton and there are more restaurants than you could get to in a year.

Review Of Bluffton by HomeSnacks User

Bluffton is a coastal community with a very rich history. It's just a few minutes drive from Hilton Head Island and not much further to drive to Savannah GA. The weather is just about perfect year round. The people are friendly, kind, and genuine. There is a fantastic artists colony here in Old Town Bluffton and there are more restaurants than you could get to in a year. The life style is centered around the outdoors and there is never of lack of things to do. The growth is amazing here, more people moving in every day, and businesses being built and opened constantly. If you want to work there is always somewhere that will hire you.

Old Town Bluffton is historic, beautiful and full of small artists studios to browse in.


Mauldin, SC
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 25,535
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 254 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,601 (2nd safest)
More on Mauldin: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Another city to make a move this year, Mauldin cracks the top five safest cities in South Carolina for 2019.

The real mover behind this shaker is the second best property crime rate in the state -- the property crime rate is 50% lower than an average city in South Carolina. And while that's super low, the violent crime is nothing to sneeze at -- it's also 50% lower than average.

Mauldin is located in the northwest corner of the state is a principal city of the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area for those playing South Carolina Jeopardy.

Fort Mill, SC
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 15,737
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 266 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,842 (5th safest)
More on Fort Mill: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

We would be happy to hunker down in Fort Mill and you should be too as it ranks as one of the safest places to call home in the Palmetto State.

Top ten finishes in both property crime rates and violent crime rates makes this city a great place to live -- as evidenced by the rocking 40%+ increase in population the city has seen since the beginning of the decade.

In addition to being safe, Fort Mill is one of the richest cities in the state and the best to start a family. So get in before the prices get even higher if you can afford to.

Hanahan, SC
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 24,487
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 302 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,617 (3rd safest)
More on Hanahan: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

While the city of some 25,000 people has fallen a bit in the rankings this year, Hanahan still ranks as one of the safest. Furthermore, the city has stayed about the same in terms of rates as last year, it's just that other cities became safer.

Hanahan has the third lowest property crime rate in SC and a violent crime rate that's considerably better than average.

Located in the southeastern portion of the state, I like to add a bunch of ana's to the name in my head. Give it a try, it's a lot of fun.

Central, SC
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 5,238
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 114 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,455 (16th safest)
More on Central: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

The next safe city on our tour of South Carolina brings us to Central.

And the first thing that pops into my mind besides the unbelievable safety of the city is Ironic by Alanis Morissette -- Central isn't even kinda located in the center of the state.

But maybe that's all part of the plan to keep the bad doers out -- if you can't find the city then you can't commit a crime there.

This is the first time Central was big enough to make it on the list as it just crossed the 5,000 person threshold, so we expect it to become a mainstay for the coming years.

Charleston, SC
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 136,845
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 283 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,297 (9th safest)
More on Charleston: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Wow, it's not often we see one of the biggest cities in the state appear on the list (Columbia is actually bigger if you're wondering why I didn't say biggest), but Charleston breaks the mold and places as the ninth safest city.

Charleston broke into the top ten this year thanks to top ten finishes for both low property and violent crime rates.

Located near the Atlantic coast, here's what one user had to say about the city:

"I noticed very little crime while I was there, and the education is superb!! From colleges to elementary schools, the education in first rate with lots of real world experience. I Love this place!"

Review Of Charleston by HomeSnacks User

I noticed very little crime while I was there, and the education is superb!! From colleges to elementary schools, the education in first rate with lots of real world experience. I Love this place!

What stands out to me is the classic Southern Charm of the place. Everything is peaceful and quiet. And the beauty stands out. The entire city is just beautiful!! The coast is also super nice along with the history of the area.


Goose Creek, SC
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 43,006
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 376 (17th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,292 (8th safest)
More on Goose Creek: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data

Rounding out the top ten safest places to live in South Carolina for this year is Goose Creek. This year is the first time the big Goose made it into the top ten (That's a nickname I just gave it, but hopefully it sticks).

If you're a criminal here you could probably say your goose is cooked -- it has the eighth lowest property crime rate in the state.

Goose Creek is a Charleston suburb and consistently ranks as one of the better to places to live around the city.

How we calculated the safest cities in South Carolina for 2019

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 2018) 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 Best Places To Live In South Carolina

For example, there were a total of 1497 crimes committed in Mount Pleasant which had a reported population of 87,216. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0172 which translates into a 1 in 58 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 2017. This left us with a total of 58 of the biggest cities in South Carolina to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 58 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 Mount Pleasant. The most dangerous city in South Carolina? Hartsville, 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.

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

Looking at the data, you can tell that Mount Pleasant 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. Hartsville
  2. Dillon
  3. Myrtle Beach
For more reading, check out:

Where Are The 10 Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2019?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Mount Pleasant, SC 87,216 189 1,527
2 Tega Cay, SC 10,367 48 2,112
3 Clemson, SC 16,442 48 1,915
4 Bluffton, SC 20,024 204 1,648
5 Mauldin, SC 25,535 254 1,601
6 Fort Mill, SC 15,737 266 1,842
7 Hanahan, SC 24,487 302 1,617
8 Central, SC 5,238 114 3,455
9 Charleston, SC 136,845 283 2,297
10 Goose Creek, SC 43,006 376 2,292

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina

Safest Cities in South Carolina Breakdown

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