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:
- Mount Pleasant (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tega Cay (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mauldin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- James Island (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lexington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Forest Acres (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Simpsonville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Clemson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Charleston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
For more South Carolina reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In South Carolina
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In South Carolina
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In South Carolina
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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 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.
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.
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’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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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
- Northlake (Pop. 4,086)
- Pinopolis (Pop. 1,303)
- Sullivan’s Island (Pop. 2,049)
- India Hook (Pop. 4,192)
- Blythewood (Pop. 2,612)
- Isle of Palms (Pop. 4,320)
- Springdale (Pop. 2,740)
- Pine Ridge (Pop. 2,138)
- Folly Beach (Pop. 2,732)
- Quinby (Pop. 1,192)
Best Small Towns To Live In South Carolina
- Arcadia Lakes (Pop. 991)
- Briarcliffe Acres (Pop. 407)
- Pawleys Island (Pop. 67)
- Boykin (Pop. 98)
- Reidville (Pop. 827)
- Edisto Beach (Pop. 647)
- Rockville (Pop. 153)
- Little Mountain (Pop. 219)
- Hodges (Pop. 148)
- Glendale (Pop. 161)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in South Carolina according to the data:
- Batesburg-Leesville (Pop. 5,273)
- Dillon (Pop. 6,675)
- Walterboro (Pop. 5,287)
For more South Carolina reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Carolina For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In South Carolina
- 10 Safest Places In South Carolina
- 10 Worst Places To Live In South Carolina
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In South Carolina
|17||Hilton Head Island||39,651|
|23||North Myrtle Beach||15,201|