South Carolina’s population and interest rate has spiked quite a lot in recent years, thanks to its reasonable cost of living and the affordable housing here, which makes it a great place to live in as a working professional or retiree.
If you want to add yourself to that demographic though you’ll need a guide to help you find the best place for your current budget that fits your overall needs. As such, we decided to analyze and prepare for you a top 20 of the best places where you could live if you decide to move in South Carolina.
In order to properly rank these places, we took into consideration various factors such as the median home price, the personal income per family and of course, the overall safety of the places, which is directly tied to the unemployment and crime rates.
With that being said, let’s just start off with our first pick of the day:
20. Fort Mill
The small enclave of Fort Hill has a total population of 27,991 people, and it is known for having a lot going for it, including some excellent amenities, a lot of commuting options to Charleston, and more than enough jobs to go around.
The cost of living here is very low too and housing couldn’t be any more affordable, with most places costing only around $222,700.
The median household income also rests around the $71,436 mark, so if you’re a bit strapped for money definitely consider Fort Mill.
Greenville has a lot of outstanding amenities, a thriving arts and cultural scene and quite a few exceptional schools for you to consider.
The crime rate is also very low and the population here is also known for being highly educated, with around 18% of them having a master’s degree and 28% having a bachelor’s degree.
Couple all of that with a very low cost of living and a flourishing job market, and you can quickly tell why so many people are looking to move here in Greenville lately.
The average home here will cost you around $255,600 though, so definitely be sure to keep that in mind, as it’s not the most budget friendly option you could take.
18. Seven Oaks
Seven Oaks can be found right on the outskirts of Columbia, giving you everything you could ever ask for and more, just a few minutes outside of the big city.
It offers you easy commuting options to Columbia, a very safe and friendly environment to raise a family, and some of the most beautiful sightseeing locations you’ll ever lay your eyes on.
It is also very affordable, with most homes costing only around $137,700 or so, and most parents bring home a healthy sum of $53,577 per year, which in itself makes living here quite swell.
As far as the public school system is concerned, it is nothing shy of amazing as you have plenty of places such as Spring Hill High School, Crossroad Intermediate and Nursery Road Elementary School.
The crime and unemployment rates are both very low too, and the people here are highly educated, to the point where almost 17% have continued to or past a master’s degree level.
Conway makes its way on our list, being an equally attractive option to both families and single professionals alike.
It has a very low crime rate, to the point where you can walk on the streets of Conway at any moment of the day and never have to worry about anything, while a wide array of amenities and a lot of outdoor attractions will keep you occupied.
Most of the population is made up of young families too, so you’ll definitely have fun socializing with everyone, especially if you are thinking of or are already raising a family of your own.
Newberry is another great option to consider if you’re looking to raise a family. It is safe, friendly and quite delightful, thanks to its great selection of job prospects and amenities.
Around 30.8% of the population here also have kids, which in itself should tell you whether this is a good place for you or not.
The crime rate is very low, the public school system is top tier, and the economy of the place is about as stable as they come. Overall, it’s pretty easy to see why it’s such a desirable place to live in.
Despite often times being overshadowed by its bigger brother, Greenville, Mauldin still manages to keep its head up straight, as it tries its hardest to be a great township in its own right.
In our honest opinion, it more than deserves to be considered too, thanks to its housing affordability and the overall elevated living conditions.
If you are lacking in the funds department for example you can always just opt for a place here for under $145,000 or so, but if you want to really go all out you can invest around $300,000 and get your hands on a pretty massive 3-bedroom mansion-style home, with a double garage.
Blythewood is one of the most rural places on this list, which is mostly due to the fact that it has a lot of large plots of land with detachable houses built as far as the eye can see.
Even so, it still manages to keep itself affordable enough, but do keep in mind that since there are around 5,300 residents currently living here, you may find it hard to actually grab a property for a low price.
When it comes to its school district, you will be happy to hear that Blythewood is no slouch, although it also doesn’t really stand above many other places either. It’s just a great option all around that may not excel anywhere, but it doesn’t lack in any are either.
Sumter is both very affordable and conveniently placed right next to the center of the state. This means that you can take full advantage of the low median home price of $263,950, while also commuting to places such as Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach with ease.
The average income is a bit on the lower end though, as most people here earn around $40,760 per year and the cost of living is definitely up there for the most part.
The crime rate is also not the lowest in the state by a longshot, but it still makes for a great option to look into, especially if you want to get a job at the Shaw Air Force Base, which is actually located in Sumter.
12. Fountain Inn
The people of Fountain Inn earn around $52,820 per year or so, which in itself doesn’t sound great, but do keep in mind that this is made a bit better by the fact that most properties also cost around $129,800 too.
On top of that, Fountain Inn has a very stable economy and a low unemployment rate which rests around the 5.6% mark.
The streets are safe and clean and there is no shortage of excellent amenities either, earning it the twelfth place on our list for now.
Hanahan serves as the home of 21,480 people, being a mid-size city with a big-sized heart. It has seen a pretty massive surge in popularity as of late thanks to its booming economy, the prospering property market and of course, the low crime and unemployment rates.
While a lot of the places here can be quite expensive, you can still expect to get ahold of a pretty good single-family home for around $205,700.
Lexington makes its way on our list thanks to its diverse and friendly community, the affordable housing and the many different trails you can take, to help pass the time during your free time.
It is located very close to the mountains, which in itself is a blessing in disguise because it gives Lexington a very stunning look and feel.
On top of that, it is also a very affordable place to relocate to, since the median home value rests around the $179,000 mark, and you can easily find something cheaper than that here, if you take the time to look through your options.
With a total population of 151,612 people as we speak, Charleston is the currently the largest city in the state of South Carolina. Usually, we would say that size isn’t directly correlated with quality, but when it comes to Charleston, it definitely holds true.
Most people here have a very attractive median household income of $61,367 per year, which is actually the thirteenth highest in the state, and on top of that it also has the 35th shortest commute time and one of the best education systems around.
Houses are a bit expensive here though, as you can expect to pay upwards of $286,200 per property, but it is still within most people’s budgets considering the elevated living standards you’ll get access to.
Spartanburg is a nice and welcoming place to live in alongside the charming Blue Ridge Mountains. Nicknamed as the “Sparkle City”, this place has a total of seven colleges and universities for you to choose from, making it a great city to raise your family in.
There are also a lot of job openings thanks to Adidas America and the automotive industry, and on top of that you are also less than an hour away from Greenville, in case you ever want to take advantage of their amenities and job opportunities.
7. Rock Hill
Rock Hill is the largest city in the York County, and it has some of the lowest costs of living and taxes you’ll find in South Carolina.
There are also a lot of city parks and other such outdoor attractions for you to check out all year round, and we can’t forget about the fact that there are so many job openings in the healthcare, logistics and manufacturing industries.
Properties are a bit on the expensive side, costing you around $350,000 or so in total, but if you can afford that you’ll enjoy your time here for sure.
It isn’t uncommon to hear that the state’s capital city is one of the best places to live in, which is why it shouldn’t come off as a surprise that Columbia ranks so high up on our list.
It is the second-largest metro area in the state, and the home of the illustrious University of South Carolina so you already know that education wise, Columbia has you covered.
The Congaree National Park is also always just a few minutes away and there are plenty more city museums for you to check out in your spare time.
As you can expect from such a place though, it isn’t cheap to live in, since most places cost you around $318,182, and the cost of living is a bit higher than we’d want it to be.
5. Tega Cay
Tega Cay is actually a relatively small suburb of Charlotte City, but nestled in South Carolina, with a total population of around 13,200 people.
Because of how small it is, it’s no wonder that it has such a low crime rate, and thanks to the fact that most people here earn six-figures every year, Tega Cay’s economy has never been better.
The community here is also quite diverse and friendly, and, while renting is still an option, we would recommend buying your very own place here, since the average rent can go up to $1,300 per month with ease.
4. James Island
James Island has everything going for it, including a very low 2.7% unemployment rate, a very high median income of $75,345 and affordable housing, with most properties costing less than $261,300 on average.
Besides that, it also has excellent schools, a very diverse and welcoming community and a lot of amenities that will make sure that you never run out of things to do.
3. Forest Acres
Forest Acres is a suburb of Columbia that has a total population o around 10,560 people and rising. It is known for its family-friendly vibe, which is why so many new couples decide to move in and raise their children here.
The crime rate is very low, the median salary is quite high, and most of the population is highly educated, making this a great all-around option for millennials looking to purchase their very first property,
On top of that, there is never a shortage of things to do, especially so thanks to how many green places and parks there are to visit here in Forest Acres.
2. Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant definitely lives up to its name for being one of the most pleasant places you could live in South Carolina.
What is so great about it though? Well, we can’t just name one reason above all, since overall, the whole experience here is great.
First and foremost, it is a great place to live in as a young professional, thanks to the vigorous job market, and the fact that there are so many commuting options for you to choose from.
Second of all, families are also going to find living here to be great, as most of the population is young and friendly, and the public school system is just amazing to say the least.
Third, there are a lot of amazing amenities for you to see for yourself, including a lot of grocery stores, restaurants and shopping centers that you’ll never get bored of visiting.
1. Five Forks
Five Forks is nested deep within Greenville County, located only a few minutes away from Greenville itself. It has a total population of 19,399 people and a lot going for it.
For example, most people here earn upwards of $115,050 a year, which is absolutely mind blowing when you realize that the average home value is if $264,200 too.
Couple all of that with the wide range of job openings and the many different amenities to look out for and you can quickly see why Five Forks takes the number one spot for us today.
Finding the perfect place for you and your family is never easy, there is just so much information that you need to surf through, before you can finally make your way to that one place that you know you can’t go wrong with.
But hopefully we managed to help steer you in the right direction, because in our honest opinion, no matter which of these places you decide to go for, you won’t regret it and that’s a fact.
For more interesting places to live in, check out South Carolina’s neighboring states: North Carolina and Georgia.