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


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

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

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.
Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

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)
  2. Tega Cay
  3. Mauldin
  4. James Island (Photos)
  5. Lexington (Photos)
  6. Forest Acres (Photos)
  7. Simpsonville (Photos)
  8. Clemson (Photos)
  9. Charleston (Photos)
  10. Hanahan (Photos)

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.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

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 5,200
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,200
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 61 cities, 143 towns, and 157 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 5,200 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.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

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 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.

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.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

1. Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 77,907
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $393,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (3rd best)
Mount Pleasant is feeling the love as it ranks as the 1st best city to live in South Carolina for 2015.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (2nd overall) and low crime (2nd overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In South Carolina”.

2. Tega Cay


Population: 9,026
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $301,200 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (14th best)
Tega Cay has a strong showing in our best places to live in South Carolina analysis, coming it at 2nd best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you’re thinking of moving to South Carolina, Tega Cay is a great option.

3. Mauldin


Population: 24,723
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $154,800 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (15th best)
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.

4. James Island

James Island, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,844
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Home Values: $244,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (12th best)
James Island ranks as the 4th best place in South Carolina for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.

James Island has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. James Island’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $68,564 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

5. Lexington

Lexington, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,315
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $174,900 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (1st best)
It’s obvious why Lexington ranks 5th in the state for best places to live: they have the 1st lowest unemployment rate and the 18th highest home values.

Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Lexington a great place to live.

6. Forest Acres


Population: 10,571
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Values: $186,900 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (17th best)
Forest Acres comes in 6th in our best places to live in South Carolina analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (18th overall) and crime rate (37th overall), Forest Acres is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Forest Acres in our lists for years to come.

7. Simpsonville


Population: 20,183
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Values: $153,900 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (5th best)
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 Simpsonville.

Simpsonville ranked impressively high for its crime rate (22nd overall) and its short commute times (30th).

We think that’s worth the price of admission.

8. Clemson

Clemson, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,008
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Home Values: $197,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (5th best)
Clemson 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 4.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Clemson residents are glad to live where they do.

9. Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 129,888
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Home Values: $269,400 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (13th best)
Charleston is one of the greatest places to be in South Carolina.

Being in the top 25% for unemployment, education, and crime index all help to keep Charleston from acquiring any kind of inferiority complex.

That, and the fact that Charleston is largest town in the top ten.

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications start to call Charleston one of America’s gems for 2018.

10. Hanahan

Hanahan, South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,710
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Values: $189,800 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (5th best)
Taking its place as the 10th best place in South Carolina is Hanahan. 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 4.9% helps thing too.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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. India Hook (Pop. 4,192)
  4. Sullivan’s Island (Pop. 2,049)
  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. Cross Anchor (Pop. 228)
  10. Islandton (Pop. 82)

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

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

For more South Carolina reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In South Carolina

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Mount Pleasant 1 1 77,907 4.6% $393,800
Tega Cay 2 2 9,026 6.0% $301,200
Mauldin 3 3 24,723 6.1% $154,800
James Island 4 8 11,844 5.7% $244,000
Lexington 5 5 20,315 4.2% $174,900
Forest Acres 6 6 10,571 6.4% $186,900
Simpsonville 7 7 20,183 4.9% $153,900
Clemson 8 4 15,008 4.9% $197,500
Charleston 9 9 129,888 5.9% $269,400
Hanahan 10 11 20,710 4.9% $189,800
Fort Mill 11 12 13,181 5.5% $209,100
Fountain Inn 12 21 8,044 5.3% $119,400
Port Royal 13 10 11,891 8.1% $207,600
Summerville 14 13 47,919 7.3% $182,800
Goose Creek 15 14 40,553 7.0% $169,800
Bluffton 16 19 15,765 5.3% $221,200
Hilton Head Island 17 16 39,651 4.3% $446,700
Greenville 18 20 62,776 6.9% $237,800
Irmo 19 17 11,851 7.6% $123,600
Greer 20 22 27,739 5.1% $149,400
North Augusta 21 18 22,310 9.6% $155,500
Aiken 22 15 30,403 7.4% $175,400
North Myrtle Beach 23 24 15,201 6.3% $260,000
Beaufort 24 28 13,074 5.6% $200,500
Florence 25 25 38,221 9.1% $155,700
Rock Hill 26 27 70,251 9.5% $136,000
Columbia 27 26 132,537 9.5% $164,200
Easley 28 31 20,464 7.2% $140,100
Clover 29 38 5,593 9.8% $120,900
Spartanburg 30 40 37,570 10.1% $115,900
Moncks Corner 31 34 9,300 7.5% $176,800
Anderson 32 37 27,206 8.7% $122,900
Sumter 33 30 40,760 13.0% $134,100
Camden 34 43 7,017 6.9% $146,400
Cayce 35 29 13,684 7.5% $120,000
West Columbia 36 32 15,947 8.2% $131,200
Gaffney 37 35 12,859 6.4% $102,400
Conway 38 35 20,631 11.2% $145,900
Seneca 39 33 8,228 10.0% $139,500
Newberry 40 41 10,338 9.7% $89,500
Orangeburg 41 39 13,478 12.1% $127,200
Central 42 23 5,187 10.6% $112,700
North Charleston 43 42 106,113 8.9% $144,200
York 44 45 7,989 7.5% $129,100
Myrtle Beach 45 44 30,106 10.1% $173,600
Bennettsville 46 49 8,692 13.4% $83,200
Greenwood 47 58 23,260 12.7% $92,700
Lancaster 48 46 8,971 15.9% $105,600
Clinton 49 48 8,409 7.5% $85,900
Abbeville 50 50 5,184 14.7% $80,400
Georgetown 51 54 9,071 17.5% $120,600
Cheraw 52 51 5,793 21.2% $109,900
Hartsville 53 52 7,816 21.8% $106,400
Union 54 47 8,081 14.0% $77,600
Laurens 55 56 9,046 10.3% $78,900
Marion 56 57 6,756 19.9% $98,800
Darlington 57 53 6,185 17.9% $86,000
Chester 58 59 5,498 19.1% $73,900
Batesburg-Leesville 59 61 5,273 14.0% $90,500
Dillon 60 60 6,675 11.1% $99,100
Walterboro 61 55 5,287 16.2% $110,000

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook:

Facebook Discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *