These Are The 10 Most Expensive Cities In South Carolina For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in South Carolina that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and South Carolina does this very well. Families love the Palmetto State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in South Carolina that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in South Carolina for 2018:

  1. Mount Pleasant (Photos)
  2. Greenville (Photos)
  3. Charleston (Photos)
  4. Summerville (Photos)
  5. Goose Creek (Photos)
  6. Hanahan (Photos)
  7. Mauldin
  8. Simpsonville
  9. Hilton Head Island (Photos)
  10. Bluffton (Photos)

So hopefully Abbeville (the cheapest place to live in South Carolina) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out the best places to live in South Carolina or the cheapest.

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How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Palmetto State For 2018

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in South Carolina to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a ‘Cost of Living Index’ that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 61 places in South Carolina that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

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1. Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 67,963
Services: 102
Groceries: 108
Health Care: 107
Housing: 177
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 112
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.

2. Greenville

Greenville, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,261
Services: 106
Groceries: 110
Health Care: 105
Housing: 102
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 98
Greenville (/rinvl/; locally /rinvl/) 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.

3. Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 120,903
Services: 102
Groceries: 108
Health Care: 107
Housing: 131
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 112
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.

4. Summerville

Summerville, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 42,864
Services: 102
Groceries: 108
Health Care: 107
Housing: 102
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 112
Summerville is a town in the U.S. state of South Carolina situated mostly in Dorchester County with small portions in Berkeley and Charleston counties. It is part of the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population of Summerville at the 2010 census was 43,392, and the estimated population was 44,719 as of July 1, 2013.

5. Goose Creek

Goose Creek, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 36,536
Services: 102
Groceries: 108
Health Care: 107
Housing: 100
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 112
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.

6. Hanahan

Hanahan, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,052
Services: 102
Groceries: 108
Health Care: 107
Housing: 98
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 112

7. Mauldin

Mauldin, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,849
Services: 106
Groceries: 110
Health Care: 105
Housing: 86
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 98
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. Simpsonville

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,331
Services: 106
Groceries: 110
Health Care: 105
Housing: 81
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 98
Simpsonville is a city in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 18,238 at the 2010 census, up from 14,352 in 2000. The population had risen to an estimated 20,736 as of 2015. Simpsonville is part of the ‘Golden Strip’, along with Mauldin and Fountain Inn, an area which is noted for having low unemployment due to a diversity of industries including Para-Chem, Kemet, Sealed Air and Milliken.

9. Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 37,420
Services: 102
Groceries: 116
Health Care: 98
Housing: 221
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 107
Hilton Head Island, sometimes referred to as simply Hilton Head, is a Lowcountry resort town and barrier island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Savannah, Georgia, and 95 miles (153 km) southwest of Charleston. The island is named after Captain William Hilton, who in 1663 identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound, which he named ‘Hilton’s Head’ after himself. The island features 12 miles (19 km) of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular vacation destination. In 2004, an estimated 2.25 million visitors pumped more than $1.5 billion into the local economy. The year-round population was 37,099 at the 2010 census, although during the peak of summer vacation season the population can swell to 150,000. Over the past decade, the island’s population growth rate was 32%. Hilton Head Island is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 207,413 in 2015.

10. Bluffton

Bluffton, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,186
Services: 102
Groceries: 116
Health Care: 98
Housing: 132
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 107
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.’

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in South Carolina that have the highest cost of living, with Mount Pleasant ranking as the most expensive city in the Palmetto State.

If you’re curious, here are the least expensive cities in South Carolina:

  1. Abbeville
  2. Greenwood
  3. Seneca

For more South Carolina reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In South Carolina

City Rank Population Services Groceries Health Care
Mount Pleasant 1 67,963 102 108 107
Greenville 2 59,261 106 110 105
Charleston 3 120,903 102 108 107
Summerville 4 42,864 102 108 107
Goose Creek 5 36,536 102 108 107
Hanahan 6 18,052 102 108 107
Mauldin 7 22,849 106 110 105
Simpsonville 8 18,331 106 110 105
Hilton Head Island 9 37,420 102 116 98
Bluffton 10 12,186 102 116 98
North Charleston 11 98,150 102 108 107
Greer 12 25,507 106 110 105
Beaufort 13 12,522 102 116 98
Moncks Corner 14 8,053 102 108 107
Port Royal 15 10,805 102 116 98
Easley 16 20,046 106 110 105
North Myrtle Beach 17 13,926 98 104 97
Spartanburg 18 37,333 106 110 105
Tega Cay 19 7,595 97 100 101
Forest Acres 20 10,436 102 111 98
Fountain Inn 21 7,474 106 110 105
Lexington 22 17,900 102 111 98
Camden 23 6,852 102 111 98
Columbia 24 129,757 102 111 98
Walterboro 25 5,382 102 116 98
Fort Mill 26 10,912 97 100 101
Myrtle Beach 27 27,433 98 104 97
Gaffney 28 12,473 106 110 105
Irmo 29 11,221 102 111 98
Union 30 8,362 106 110 105
Clinton 31 8,543 106 110 105
Laurens 32 9,151 106 110 105
Conway 33 17,466 98 104 97
West Columbia 34 15,194 102 111 98
Cayce 35 12,584 102 111 98
Florence 36 36,961 98 104 97
Sumter 37 40,533 102 111 98
Orangeburg 38 13,910 102 111 98
Rock Hill 39 66,264 97 100 101
Hartsville 40 7,829 102 111 98
Newberry 41 10,268 102 111 98
Clover 42 5,135 97 100 101
Georgetown 43 9,184 98 104 97
Batesburg-Leesville 44 5,220 102 111 98
York 45 7,787 97 100 101
Dillon 46 6,742 98 104 97
Darlington 47 6,291 102 111 98
Lake City 48 6,691 98 104 97
Lancaster 49 8,542 97 100 101
Marion 50 6,924 98 104 97
Cheraw 51 5,835 97 100 101
Bennettsville 52 9,088 97 100 101
Chester 53 5,622 97 100 101
Aiken 54 29,494 98 91 93
Clemson 55 13,904 94 103 95
North Augusta 56 21,224 98 91 93
Anderson 57 26,626 94 103 95
Central 58 5,082 94 103 95
Seneca 59 8,092 94 103 95
Greenwood 60 23,206 94 103 95
Abbeville 61 5,259 94 103 95

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