Mount Pleasant, Lexington, Hilton Head Island: These cities aren’t just some of the best places to live in South Carolina. They are also home to some of the richest people in the Palmetto State.
Mount Pleasant in particular houses the richest residents in the state thanks, in part, to a median household income of $83,490 and a ridiculously low poverty rate of 6.4%.
If you’re thinking of moving to one of these towns, you’ll probably need to start saving. The richest places in South Carolina share common characteristics such as having a genius level populous, sky high home prices, and a Pleasantville level of married couples.
How did we come up with these mega wealthy cities? We analyzed Census data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey for the 62 places in South Carolina with more than 5,000 people.
At the end of the day, here’s the set of the 10 richest places in South Carolina for 2018:
- Mount Pleasant (Photos | Homes)
- Lexington (Photos | Homes)
- Hilton Head Island (Photos | Homes)
- Tega Cay (Photos | Homes)
- Simpsonville (Photos | Homes)
- Bluffton (Photos | Homes)
- James Island (Photos | Homes)
- Mauldin (Photos | Homes)
- Fort Mill (Photos | Homes)
- Hanahan (Photos | Homes)
For more on how we calculated the top ten, read on or skip to the end for the full list of the richest cities in South Carolina.
How We Determined The Richest Places In South Carolina For 2018
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the richest places is to simply identify personal incomes. After all, rich people have really high salaries.
However, we don’t believe that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the ‘richest places’. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2012-2016 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income
- Unemployment Rate
Median household income is the most digestible way to understand how rich a place really is. The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for more people to become rich. If more people are employed, the richer the future looks.
After we collected the data for all 62 places with more than 5,000 people in South Carolina, we ranked each place from 1 to 62 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the richest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a ‘Rich Score’ with the place having the lowest overall Rich Score, Mount Pleasant, crowned the ‘Richest Place In South Carolina For 2018’.
You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 62 places.
1. Mount Pleasant
Population: 77,907Median Income: $83,490
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 6.4%
More on Mount Pleasant: Real 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.
Population: 20,315Median Income: $63,326
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 9.0%
More on Lexington: Real 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.
3. Hilton Head Island
Population: 39,651Median Income: $70,249
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 10.7%
More on Hilton Head Island: Real Estate | Data
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.
4. Tega Cay
Population: 20,183Median Income: $59,201
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 6.0%
More on Simpsonville: Real Estate | Data
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.
Population: 15,765Median Income: $67,157
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Poverty Rate: 8.4%
More on Bluffton: Real 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.’
7. James Island
Population: 11,844Median Income: $68,564
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Poverty Rate: 8.6%
More on James Island: Real Estate | Data
James Island is a town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. It is located in the central and southern parts of James Island. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, James Island is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area.
Population: 24,723Median Income: $63,071
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Poverty Rate: 6.2%
More on Mauldin: Real 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.
9. Fort Mill
Population: 13,181Median Income: $66,748
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Rate: 11.1%
More on Fort Mill: Real 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.
There You Have It – The Wealthiest Places In South Carolina For 2018
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the richest places in South Carolina, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in South Carolina.
When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very top of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the poorest cities in South Carolina, according to data:
2nd Poorest: Abbeville
3rd Poorest: Georgetown
For more South Carolina reading , check out:
Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In South Carolina
|Hilton Head Island||3|
|North Myrtle Beach||17|