These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In South Carolina For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in South Carolina.

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Most people think that South Carolina is just a bunch of Bible thumpers, surfers, reality TV actors, and just good ‘ol southern folk that sit around and drink sweet tea all day.

But, the southern gents and southern bells of South Carolina would beg to differ, it’s a lot more.

South Carolinians say it’s one of the best states in the country. And in order to be one of the best, they have to have the best places to call home, right?

While there is a lot of waxing down those surfboards and studying those Bible verses, there are a lot of other fun facts about South Carolinians that most people probably don’t know.

For example, did you know that Columbia is not only the capital of South Carolina, it is also home to the University of South Carolina?

It doesn’t end there folks. Did you know that Charleston is home to the reality TV show Southern Charm? And that once you cross the Ravenel Bridge, historic plantations and trailer parks dot the extensive countryside?

There is no shortage of shrimp and grits, buttered biscuits, and fried chicken, cuz there’s a Waffle House on just about every street corner. Can it get any better than this?

Yes it can.

The Palmetto State is so awesome that in our stories Best States to Raise a Family and Best States in America, they did not come in last. #Kudos

Now, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t mention the love the good people of The Land of Tiny Palm Trees feel for their Carolina Panthers. When residents aren’t busy cheering on their local teams under the Friday night lights, they can be heard yelling for the black and blue on any given Sunday. #GoPanthers

South Carolina’s strong economy, gold star education rating, and average cost of living make its cities very desirable. One can imagine how difficult it was for us to narrow down the Best Places to Live in South Carolina

So, grab yourself some of great granny’s sweet tea and a basket of hush puppies and read on.

Yes, South Carolina is the best state for those looking for a little good ‘ol fashioned fun.The energy the residents of South Carolina exude attract many people in search of a southern charm amidst a quaint backdrop.

What does the perfect place to live in South Carolina look like?

More importantly what city is the best place to live in South Carolina 2019? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Mount Pleasant is the best place to live in South Carolina if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.

Take a look at the list below to find out the best places to live in The Palmetto State. We give you a detailed look into the top 10 Best Places to live in South Carolina where, yes, you can have it all.

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 61 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 Cities 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 61, 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.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in South Carolina? That would be Mount Pleasant.

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.

The 10 Best Places To Live In South Carolina For 2019

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

Taking its place as the 1st best place in South Carolina is Mount Pleasant. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of South Carolina.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 4.6% helps thing too.

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

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in South Carolina, Tega Cay came in 2nd. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Tega Cay has an impressive history for a place of just over 9,026 people. The median home costs a cool $301,200 and households make $120,346 which is good for 1st in South Carolina.

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

If you want to live in South Carolina, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Mauldin 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 $63,071 median income will do that).

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

James Island, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,844
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $244,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (12th best)
More on James Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

James Island broke into the top ten best places to live in South Carolina on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 12th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 4th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 43rd shortest average commute time of any place in South Carolina.

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

Lexington makes a case for being one of the best places to live in South Carolina mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.2% of folks are jobless, you can bet Lexington residents are glad to live where they do.

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

We think the motto in Forest Acres should be “Everything is greater in Forest Acres,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Forest Acres has some of the highest home values in South Carolina, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Forest Acres only has 1080.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Forest Acres a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

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 ranks as the 7th best place in South Carolina for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.

Simpsonville has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Simpsonville’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $59,201 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

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

Clemson is by far one of the best places to live in South Carolina: the math proves it! This city has the 5th lowest unemployment rate and the 36th highest median income in all of South Carolina.

Plus, the median home values are the 12th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 16th lowest in the state, making Clemson a safe and great place to live.

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

The crime is the 12th lowest in the state in Charleston, and there were only 408 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in South Carolina, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Charleston earn $57,603 a year.

Review Of Charleston by HomeSnacks User

people are not there and very polite. Very clean city with beautiful beaches. i go there at least twice a year.

the beahes are beautiful. The air is very clean and the city is clean. the atmosphere is amazing there. a lot of happy hour and great food to eat

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

And rounding out the top 10 best places to live in South Carolina is Hanahan.

Hanahan followed a similar path to other cities the top 10 with its low unemployment, however it also stood out for its crime rates, which place in the top 10% of the state.

Another universally recognized great place to live, Hanahan has consistently appeared as one of the best places to live in South Carolina over the years.

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 the best place to live in South Carolina for 2019.

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 James Island 11,844 5.7% $244,000
5 Lexington 20,315 4.2% $174,900
6 Forest Acres 10,571 6.4% $186,900
7 Simpsonville 20,183 4.9% $153,900
8 Clemson 15,008 4.9% $197,500
9 Charleston 129,888 5.9% $269,400
10 Hanahan 20,710 4.9% $189,800
11 Fort Mill 13,181 5.5% $209,100
12 Fountain Inn 8,044 5.3% $119,400
13 Port Royal 11,891 8.1% $207,600
14 Summerville 47,919 7.3% $182,800
15 Goose Creek 40,553 7.0% $169,800
16 Bluffton 15,765 5.3% $221,200
17 Hilton Head Island 39,651 4.3% $446,700
18 Greenville 62,776 6.9% $237,800
19 Irmo 11,851 7.6% $123,600
20 Greer 27,739 5.1% $149,400
21 North Augusta 22,310 9.6% $155,500
22 Aiken 30,403 7.4% $175,400
23 North Myrtle Beach 15,201 6.3% $260,000
24 Beaufort 13,074 5.6% $200,500
25 Florence 38,221 9.1% $155,700
26 Rock Hill 70,251 9.5% $136,000
27 Columbia 132,537 9.5% $164,200
28 Easley 20,464 7.2% $140,100
29 Clover 5,593 9.8% $120,900
30 Spartanburg 37,570 10.1% $115,900
31 Moncks Corner 9,300 7.5% $176,800
32 Anderson 27,206 8.7% $122,900
33 Sumter 40,760 13.0% $134,100
34 Camden 7,017 6.9% $146,400
35 Cayce 13,684 7.5% $120,000
36 West Columbia 15,947 8.2% $131,200
37 Gaffney 12,859 6.4% $102,400
38 Conway 20,631 11.2% $145,900
39 Seneca 8,228 10.0% $139,500
40 Newberry 10,338 9.7% $89,500
41 Orangeburg 13,478 12.1% $127,200
42 Central 5,187 10.6% $112,700
43 North Charleston 106,113 8.9% $144,200
44 York 7,989 7.5% $129,100
45 Myrtle Beach 30,106 10.1% $173,600
46 Bennettsville 8,692 13.4% $83,200
47 Greenwood 23,260 12.7% $92,700
48 Lancaster 8,971 15.9% $105,600
49 Clinton 8,409 7.5% $85,900
50 Abbeville 5,184 14.7% $80,400
51 Georgetown 9,071 17.5% $120,600
52 Cheraw 5,793 21.2% $109,900
53 Hartsville 7,816 21.8% $106,400
54 Union 8,081 14.0% $77,600
55 Laurens 9,046 10.3% $78,900
56 Marion 6,756 19.9% $98,800
57 Darlington 6,185 17.9% $86,000
58 Chester 5,498 19.1% $73,900
59 Batesburg-Leesville 5,273 14.0% $90,500
60 Dillon 6,675 11.1% $99,100
61 Walterboro 5,287 16.2% $110,000

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