The lighter side of real estate

The 10 Safest Cities in South Carolina

We’ve ranked the top 10 largest cities in order of their crime and safety level.

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South Carolina, the Palmetto State, is in the Southeast United States and it’s the 24th most populous state in the country. Home to such cities as Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina features some beautiful historic architecture, and has a diverse economy. What is South Carolina like as a place to live? Well in terms of crime, the South Carolina crime index is 85 percent higher than the national average, and that’s slightly worrying. We’ve ranked the top 10 largest cities in order of their crime and safety level.

1. Mount Pleasant, SC

Safest Cities in South Carolina
Mount Pleasant is ranked as the safest large city in South Carolina. The crime index here is an impressive 65 percent lower than the state average at 2028, though remember, South Carolina overall has a higher crime index than many other states so you need to put these figures into perspective before considering making the move to Mount Pleasant! Either way, it’s close to all the amenities of Charleston yet has a small town feel.

2. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Safest Cities in South Carolina
The second safest city in South Carolina is Hilton Head Island, and yes, you guessed correctly, it is on an island! With its 12 miles of beachfront this is a popular vacation destination, but it’s also popular with year-rounders too. The crime index is 2522, and that’s 56 percent below the state average.

3. Charleston

Safest Cities in South Carolina
Charleston has the distinction of being the oldest city in South Carolina. It’s also the second largest, and the third safest city in the state with a crime index of 3,418 which is 41 percent below the South Carolina average. Founded in 1670 Charleston is the place to live if you like history!

4. Summerville

Safest Cities in South Carolina
With a population around 44,000 Summerville is a relatively small town and it’s the fourth safest place to live in South Carolina. The crime index is 40 percent below state average, at 3,459. Summerville is known for its pine trees and annual Flowertown festival.

5. Columbia, SC

Safest Cities in South Carolina
South Carolina’s capital and largest city is Columbia. Set in the heart of the state, Columbia is home to around 130,000 so compared to most state’s largest cities it’s really quite small. Maybe this is why the crime index isn’t as high as you might expect – it’s 14 percent below the state average, at 4,991.

6. Rock Hill

Safest Cities in South Carolina
The Gateway to South Carolina, Rock Hill is actually within the Charlotte metro area. It’s the fourth largest city in South Carolina, and the sixth safest city in the state – the crime index is 5,089, and that’s 12 percent below the state average.

7. North Charleston

Safest Cities in South Carolina
North Charleston is the third largest city in South Carolina, with a population around 100,000. It’s one of the major industrial and retail centers for the state, and, as the name suggests, it’s set just north of Charleston itself. North Charleston is the seventh safest city in South Carolina, and the crime index is 8 percent above state average.

8. Sumter, SC

Safest Cities in South Carolina
Source: Flickr user aaphotog
Sumter’s crime index is 12 percent above the South Carolina average, which doesn’t sound so bad, yet Sumter is actually among the nation’s most dangerous cities for violent crimes. The crime index is 6,576 for this smallish city of around 40,500 people.

9. Greenville

Safest Cities in South Carolina
Set in upstate South Carolina, the city of Greenville is home to around 60,000 people making this the sixth largest city in the state. Greenville has been ranked as one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., though it’s not without its problems – the crime index is 6,736, and that’s 15 percent above state average.

10. Spartanburg

Safest Cities in South Carolina
The most dangerous city in South Carolina is Spartanburg. In fact, this city in upstate South Carolina is actually ranked the twelfth most dangerous in the country, so this isn’t a good place to live if you’re worried about crime. The crime index is 60 percent above the state average, at 9,382.

Images Source: Wikipedia

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posted on: September 10, 2013
34,328 views, 3 comments


  1. Lexi

    However, crime happens everywhere… No matter who you are, or how old. That event Hope tells about is extremely terrible, yet, South Carolina is a beautiful place. I have lived in Columbia my hole life and I, and no one I know have been a victim of criminal acts.

  2. BlueCat75

    Found this post because my RSS feed from The State newspaper seems to always have one (or even TWO!) violent crimes committed in Rock Hill at the top of the list. I’m surprised to see Rock Hill listed as one of the Top 10 Safest. Then again why would a paper based in Columbia want to feature crime in Columbia? Also, if you look at these 10 cities they probably account for over 80% of the population in South Carolina. If every city in South Carolina had 1 murder in a year the safest cities would be those with the highest population. The stats are relative, proportional and quite frankly meaningless. Crime is committed disproportionately by certain types of people and those people commit multiple crimes. And most crime is not random as in “I was driving through a neighborhood and decide to rob a house, rape someone, beat someone else up and steal a better car.” Crime is targeted and if you aren’t the target you are an accidental victim. I grew up in East LA and never did I nor my immediate family experience crime, gang violence or any of the other bad things shown in the movies and TV shows about the area. Find a nice house with nice neighbors and be happy.

  3. Bill

    Man get out of the low country for a change. Pickens, SC is one of the biggest counties in the state it is mostly rural but home to some great outdoor activities!!


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