These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In South Carolina For 2018


These are the cream of the crop in the Palmetto State.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of South Carolina?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Palmetto State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in South Carolina.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 60 places in South Carolina, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Mount Pleasant (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Tega Cay (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Mauldin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Lexington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Forest Acres (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Simpsonville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Clemson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Charleston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Hanahan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Fort Mill (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Mount Pleasant if you’re thinking of moving to South Carolina — it’s the best the Palmetto State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in South Carolina.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in South Carolina

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Columbia with a population of 132,537 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 60 cities, 141 towns, and 130 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In South Carolina

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in South Carolina across a number of criteria from one to 60, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In South Carolina”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in South Carolina.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Mount Pleasant at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Mount Pleasant, SC

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 77,907
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $393,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (3rd best)
More on Mount Pleasant: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Mount Pleasant one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Mount Pleasant.

Tega Cay, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 9,026
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $301,200 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (14th best)
More on Tega Cay: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Tega Cay, everyone loves to call Tega Cay home! The median home value is the 3rd highest in South Carolina.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 14th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Palmetto State.

Tega Cay should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

Mauldin, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,723
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $154,800 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (15th best)
More on Mauldin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Mauldin.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 15th lowest in South Carolina and the median income comes in at $63,071.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Lexington, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 20,315
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $174,900 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (1st best)
More on Lexington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who doesn’t want to live in Lexington? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 4.2%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Lexington in the news in the coming months.

Forest Acres, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 10,571
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $186,900 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (18th best)
More on Forest Acres: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Forest Acres. Statistically the 37th safest place in the state, there were only 77 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Forest Acres, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $58,714 a year, and homes are valued at more than $186,900.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?

Simpsonville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,183
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $153,900 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (5th best)
More on Simpsonville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Simpsonville is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It’s quite a gem tucked away in South Carolina.

Clemson, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 15,008
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $197,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (5th best)
More on Clemson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 4.9% of Clemson residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 5th closest of any city in South Carolina.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Clemson also ranked well for crime (16th) and median income ($37,466).

Charleston, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 129,888
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $269,400 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (13th best)
More on Charleston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in South Carolina, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Charleston area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $57,603 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Charleston as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Charleston.

Hanahan, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,710
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $189,800 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (5th best)
More on Hanahan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hanahan’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 15th highest, making Hanahan a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Hanahan has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

Fort Mill, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 13,181
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $209,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (10th best)
More on Fort Mill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Mill is another gem in Palmetto State. The unemployment rate here is 10th lowest in the entire state at 5.5%. Other factors that make Fort Mill so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $209,100, and parents earn a combined $66,748 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In South Carolina

If you’re looking at areas in South Carolina with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Mount Pleasant made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In South Carolina

  1. Northlake (Pop. 4,086)
  2. Pinopolis (Pop. 1,303)
  3. Sullivan’s Island (Pop. 2,049)
  4. India Hook (Pop. 4,192)
  5. Blythewood (Pop. 2,612)
  6. Isle of Palms (Pop. 4,320)
  7. Springdale (Pop. 2,740)
  8. Pine Ridge (Pop. 2,138)
  9. Folly Beach (Pop. 2,732)
  10. Quinby (Pop. 1,192)

Best Small Towns To Live In South Carolina

  1. Arcadia Lakes (Pop. 991)
  2. Briarcliffe Acres (Pop. 407)
  3. Pawleys Island (Pop. 67)
  4. Boykin (Pop. 98)
  5. Reidville (Pop. 827)
  6. Edisto Beach (Pop. 647)
  7. Rockville (Pop. 153)
  8. Little Mountain (Pop. 219)
  9. Hodges (Pop. 148)
  10. Glendale (Pop. 161)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in South Carolina according to the data:

  1. Batesburg-Leesville (Pop. 5,273)
  2. Dillon (Pop. 6,675)
  3. Walterboro (Pop. 5,287)

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In South Carolina

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mount Pleasant 77,907 4.6% $393,800
2 Tega Cay 9,026 6.0% $301,200
3 Mauldin 24,723 6.1% $154,800
4 Lexington 20,315 4.2% $174,900
5 Forest Acres 10,571 6.4% $186,900
6 Simpsonville 20,183 4.9% $153,900
7 Clemson 15,008 4.9% $197,500
8 Charleston 129,888 5.9% $269,400
9 Hanahan 20,710 4.9% $189,800
10 Fort Mill 13,181 5.5% $209,100
11 Fountain Inn 8,044 5.3% $119,400
12 Port Royal 11,891 8.1% $207,600
13 Summerville 47,919 7.3% $182,800
14 Goose Creek 40,553 7.0% $169,800
15 Bluffton 15,765 5.3% $221,200
16 Hilton Head Island 39,651 4.3% $446,700
17 Greenville 62,776 6.9% $237,800
18 Irmo 11,851 7.6% $123,600
19 Greer 27,739 5.1% $149,400
20 North Augusta 22,310 9.6% $155,500
21 Aiken 30,403 7.4% $175,400
22 North Myrtle Beach 15,201 6.3% $260,000
23 Beaufort 13,074 5.6% $200,500
24 Florence 38,221 9.1% $155,700
25 Rock Hill 70,251 9.5% $136,000
26 Columbia 132,537 9.5% $164,200
27 Easley 20,464 7.2% $140,100
28 Clover 5,593 9.8% $120,900
29 Spartanburg 37,570 10.1% $115,900
30 Moncks Corner 9,300 7.5% $176,800
31 Anderson 27,206 8.7% $122,900
32 Sumter 40,760 13.0% $134,100
33 Camden 7,017 6.9% $146,400
34 Cayce 13,684 7.5% $120,000
35 West Columbia 15,947 8.2% $131,200
36 Gaffney 12,859 6.4% $102,400
37 Conway 20,631 11.2% $145,900
38 Seneca 8,228 10.0% $139,500
39 Newberry 10,338 9.7% $89,500
40 Orangeburg 13,478 12.1% $127,200
41 Central 5,187 10.6% $112,700
42 North Charleston 106,113 8.9% $144,200
43 York 7,989 7.5% $129,100
44 Myrtle Beach 30,106 10.1% $173,600
45 Bennettsville 8,692 13.4% $83,200
46 Greenwood 23,260 12.7% $92,700
47 Lancaster 8,971 15.9% $105,600
48 Clinton 8,409 7.5% $85,900
49 Abbeville 5,184 14.7% $80,400
50 Georgetown 9,071 17.5% $120,600
51 Cheraw 5,793 21.2% $109,900
52 Hartsville 7,816 21.8% $106,400
53 Union 8,081 14.0% $77,600
54 Laurens 9,046 10.3% $78,900
55 Marion 6,756 19.9% $98,800
56 Darlington 6,185 17.9% $86,000
57 Chester 5,498 19.1% $73,900
58 Batesburg-Leesville 5,273 14.0% $90,500
59 Dillon 6,675 11.1% $99,100
60 Walterboro 5,287 16.2% $110,000

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