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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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 61 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. James Island (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Lexington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Forest Acres (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Simpsonville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Clemson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Charleston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Hanahan (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 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.

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

Mount Pleasant has a really low crime rate (2nd lowest) and only 4.6% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($83,490). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in 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

We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Tega Cay 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 Tega Cay.

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

The Town of Mauldin might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Mauldin isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $154,800 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in South Carolina.

If Mauldin can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (6.1% is the 15th highest in the state.

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’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 4th highest, making James Island a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

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

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

Perhaps what makes Lexington so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Lexington great. They also have the 7th highest median income and the 49th shortest commute time.

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

Forest Acres 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 18th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 11th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 10th shortest average commute time of any place in South Carolina.

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

Well, I guess technically 4.9% of Simpsonville 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, Simpsonville also ranked well for crime (22nd) and median income ($59,201).

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 a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 8th best place in South Carolina?

Homes are priced around $197,500 and residents have the 16th shortest commute in South Carolina.

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

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Charleston.

Charleston ranked impressively high for its crime rate (12th overall) and its short commute times (35th).

We think that’s worth the price of admission.

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 has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of South Carolina. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Hanahan is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Hanahan residents to work is significantly higher than average.

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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