These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In South Carolina


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

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Where are the best places in the state of South Carolina? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 93 most populated cities in the Palmetto State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city 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. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Here are the 10 best places to live in South Carolina:

  1. Mount Pleasant
  2. Five Forks
  3. Lexington
  4. Oak Grove
  5. Seven Oaks
  6. Charleston
  7. Hilton Head Island
  8. Summerville
  9. Tega Cay
  10. Sangaree

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in South Carolina for making a place home.

The worst city to live in South Carolina? Dillon. More on that later.

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How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?

In order to rank South Carolina’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for South Carolina

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Strong schools
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High incomes
  • High home prices
  • Lots of sunny days a year
  • Low crime
  • Low cost of living

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in South Carolina, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. The cost of living numbers are based on an average of 100.

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1. Mount Pleasant

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 67,963
Crime Index: 80
Cost Of Living Index: 130

This Charleston suburb is a fantastic place to live. It’s safe, but a little on the expensive side.

2. Five Forks

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,306
Crime Index: 30
Cost Of Living Index: 107

Five Forks is a Greenville suburb where it’s just about as safe as you’ll see in the state.

3. Lexington

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,900
Crime Index: 103
Cost Of Living Index: 94

This is a great place to live if you work/commute into Columbia. The cost of living is really low.

4. Oak Grove

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,718
Crime Index: 78
Cost Of Living Index: 89

Oak Grove is a really cute, and affordable place to live. It’s also a Columbia suburb.

5. Seven Oaks

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,194
Crime Index: 116
Cost Of Living Index: 92

Another Columbia suburb, this area is also very affordable.

6. Charleston

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 120,903
Crime Index: 105
Cost Of Living Index: 109

Trust us, Charleston is truly one of the finest cities, not only in South Carolina, but in the nation. It can be really expensive to live in downtown proper, however.

7. Hilton Head Island

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 37,420
Crime Index: 107
Cost Of Living Index: 134

Everyone has heard of Hilton Head. This island is truly a remarkable place, just off shore of Savannah.

8. Summerville

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 42,864
Crime Index: 103
Cost Of Living Index: 98

A north Charleston suburb, Summerville is a great place for those who want to work or play downtown, but don’t want to live downtown.

9. Tega Cay

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,595
Crime Index: 61
Cost Of Living Index: 116

This relatively unknown city is in York County in the far northern part of the state. It’s actually considered a Charlotte suburb.

10. Sangaree

Best South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,193
Crime Index: 90
Cost Of Living Index: 94

Sanagree is an unincorporated community of Summerville in north Charleston.

There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Mount Pleasant is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most South Carolina residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Cheraw
2nd Worst: Union
Worst: Dillon

We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in South Carolina.

Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In South Carolina

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Mount Pleasant 1 67,963 80 130
Five Forks 2 14,306 30 107
Lexington 3 17,900 103 94
Oak Grove 4 10,718 78 89
Seven Oaks 5 16,194 116 92
Charleston 6 120,903 105 109
Hilton Head Island 7 37,420 107 134
Summerville 8 42,864 103 98
Tega Cay 9 7,595 61 116
Sangaree 10 9,193 90 94
Mauldin 11 22,849 93 95
Irmo 12 11,221 94 92
Red Bank 13 9,288 76 91
Bluffton 14 12,186 90 107
Centerville 15 6,594 72 91
Taylors 16 22,084 90 94
Forest Acres 17 10,436 139 111
Simpsonville 18 18,331 111 102
Wade Hampton 19 19,910 95 101
West Columbia 20 15,194 157 88
Powdersville 21 7,898 78 97
Murrells Inlet 22 7,641 68 101
Boiling Springs 23 8,892 82 90
Hanahan 24 18,052 100 100
Clemson 25 13,904 95 100
Lake Wylie 26 9,135 77 99
Easley 27 20,046 115 94
Lugoff 28 7,161 68 91
Ladson 29 14,051 97 89
Goose Creek 30 36,536 86 93
Fort Mill 31 10,912 98 106
Greenville 32 59,261 134 93
Red Hill 33 14,197 93 99
Woodfield 34 10,200 144 87
Port Royal 35 10,805 82 94
Little River 36 9,565 97 92
Garden City 37 8,748 102 92
Socastee 38 19,338 118 92
Camden 39 6,852 139 99
Belvedere 40 5,845 94 80
Burton 41 6,240 126 96
Greer 42 25,507 110 98
Aiken 43 29,494 110 83
North Charleston 44 98,150 145 91
Laurel Bay 45 5,959 156 90
Cayce 46 12,584 150 85
Newberry 47 10,268 111 90
Florence 48 36,961 173 91
Fountain Inn 49 7,474 100 93
Gantt 50 13,672 124 99
North Augusta 51 21,224 110 88
Seneca 52 8,092 128 92
Beaufort 53 12,522 158 101
Berea 54 13,452 113 91
Clearwater 55 5,136 106 91
Sans Souci 56 7,428 121 87
Dentsville 57 14,041 183 89
St. Andrews 58 20,488 187 88
Moncks Corner 59 8,053 124 93
Valley Falls 60 5,829 140 91
Orangeburg 61 13,910 127 92
Rock Hill 62 66,264 122 90
North Myrtle Beach 63 13,926 160 100
Columbia 64 129,757 150 99
Central 65 5,082 165 91
Batesburg-Leesville 66 5,220 128 85
Sumter 67 40,533 164 88
Anderson 68 26,626 145 83
Clover 69 5,135 146 94
Welcome 70 6,688 115 86
Spartanburg 71 37,333 174 84
Homeland Park 72 6,311 139 78
Hartsville 73 7,829 198 90
Greenwood 74 23,206 175 85
Parker 75 11,965 130 82
Georgetown 76 9,184 176 91
Clinton 77 8,543 142 85
Conway 78 17,466 146 90
Myrtle Beach 79 27,433 189 87
Gaffney 80 12,473 117 82
Bennettsville 81 9,088 153 85
Walterboro 82 5,382 188 97
Laurens 83 9,151 157 85
Darlington 84 6,291 162 85
York 85 7,787 139 91
Lake City 86 6,691 157 82
Lancaster 87 8,542 158 85
Abbeville 88 5,259 135 85
Marion 89 6,924 183 88
Chester 90 5,622 161 82
Cheraw 91 5,835 138 86
Union 92 8,362 161 84
Dillon 93 6,742 198 86

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