10 Safest Cities in South Carolina (2023 Update)
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
If you’re planning a vacation or moving to the charming state of South Carolina, it helps to be aware of the crime statistics in the area you’ll be visiting. While this will certainly not make you immune to crime, staying in areas with low crime rates will go a long way in keeping you safe. Below, we list the 10 safest cities in South Carolina according to the latest available crime statistics.
The 10 Safest Cities in South Carolina:
1. Woodruff, SC
|Average Household Income||$32,295|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||68.9|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||5|
Woodruff is a small city with a population of only 4,200 people, but it is one of the older, more historic cities in South Carolina. Woodruff has a comparatively low average household income, much lower than the rest of the state and well below the national average, plus a fairly high poverty rate, but it is still a very safe place to live with exceedingly low crime rates.
According to the latest data, Woodruff is the safest city to live in within South Carolina, with only 35 total crimes in 2021 and a crime rate 64% below the national average.
2. Fort Mill, SC
|Average Household Income||$91,061|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||103.7|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||1,098.1|
Fort Mill is known for its extensive peach orchards and the gorgeous Anne Springs Close Greenway, which is a large nature preserve consisting of pristine lakes, forests, and pastures that provide popular trails for hiking, biking, and horse riding. It’s also a peaceful place to live with a very low crime rate overall.
Violent crime is over 70% below the national average, and you have a 1 in 91 chance of being a victim of property crime in the city, compared to a 1 in 47 change nationally. The city also has a high average household income—much higher than the national average—plus a very low poverty rate.
3. Tega Cay, SC
|Average Household Income||$130,918|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||44.2|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||1,905|
Tega Cay enjoys the highest average household income on this list, plus an incredibly low poverty rate and a very low violent crime rate. This beautiful lakeside city is gradually growing in population due to these low crime rates, the abundance of recreational activities, and the beautiful scenic properties. Tega Cay was recently ranked as one of the best cities to live in the United States.
In Tega Cay, you have a 1 in 2,264.4 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, with only 5 violent crimes reported in 2021. Property crime is 31% below the national average and 50% lower than the South Carolina average.
4. Mount Pleasant, SC
|Average Household Income||$103,232|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||113.6|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||1,227|
Mount Pleasant is one of the fastest-growing cities in South Carolina and the US. Its population exploded over the last decade from 67,000 in 2010 to over 90,000 in 2021 and doubled between 1990 and 2000. The city is known for its historic houses, some of which stretch back to the 18th century.
Mount Pleasant has a violent crime rate 69% below the national average, and you have a 1 in 880 chance of being a victim in the city. The property crime rate is also fairly low; it’s 41% lower than the national average and 58% lower than the average in South Carolina.
5. Bluffton, SC
|Average Household Income||$82,481|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||185.4|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||7|
Bluffton is often described as an eclectic town packed with art galleries and artists, festivals, and parades. It’s a great place if you love the outdoors, with the May River and the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge fairly close by. The population almost doubled between 2010 and 2017, and it is the fastest-growing municipality in South Carolina.
The overall crime rate in Bluffton is 56% below the national average and 68% below the average in South Carolina. You have a 1 in 1,109 chance of being a victim of violent crime and a 1 in 139 chance of being a victim of property crime in the area.
6. Isle of Palms, SC
|Average Household Income||$122,228|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||22.9|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||1,969.8|
Isle of Palms was acknowledged as the safest city in South Carolina in 2020 but fell to the sixth position this year due to increased property crime. The island has a relatively small population that rises during the holiday season, but for the most part, it is a relaxed, laid-back area with a very low violent crime rate and, until recently, a low property crime rate.
The property crime rate on the island is only 6.64% lower than the national average and 33% lower than the South Carolina average. You have a 1 in 4,366 chance of being a victim of violent crime in the Isle of Palms.
7. Hanahan, SC
|Average Household Income||$70,043|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||204|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||1,281|
Hanahan is mostly a residential city, with very little development other than a few warehouses due to the city’s close proximity to railways and major roadways. It’s known to be a good area for small businesses and is widely supported by tourism due to the wide variety of entertainment, wine tasting, and restaurants.
Hanahan has a violent crime rate below the national average, with only 55 violent crimes reported in 2019. Property crime is far less prevalent than in the rest of the US, with only 345 property crimes reported in 2019.
8. Walhalla, SC
|Average Household Income||$31,830|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||178|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||734|
Walhalla is a recent addition to the top 10 safest cities in South Carolina, rising dramatically up the ranks since 2020. The city gets its name from the vast swathes of beautiful trees. In Norse mythology, Walhalla means “The Garden of the Gods.” It lies near the Blue Ridge Mountains and contains numerous waterfalls and scenic views.
This city has a small population with a low average household income, plus a very high poverty rate. Despite this, the city enjoys a low violent crime rate that is 54% below the national average and a property crime rate 63% lower than the rest of the US.
9. Central, SC
|Average Household Income||$28, 820|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||18.6|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||2,527.9|
Central was named for being the halfway point between Charlotte and Atlanta, and in the last 5 years, it has seen a significant decrease in violent and property crime, although property crime is still a fair bit higher than all the other cities on this list. The overall crime rate is far lower than the national average, even though the property crime rate is about 19% above the rest of the US.
In Central, you have a 39.6 chance of being a victim of property crime but a 1 in 5,380 chance of being a violent crime victim. In fact, there was only one violent crime reported in 2021.
10. Mauldin, SC
|Average Household Income||$80,528|
|Violent Crimes Per 100k||223.9|
|Property Crimes Per 100k||1,622|
Known for its vast parks and greenways—over 98 acres—plus numerous bike trails and a popular cultural center, Maudlin still manages to retain a small-town feel. The public schools in the city are highly rated, and Maudlin has been recognized as one of the best places to retire in the US.
You have a 1 in 446.5 chance of being a victim of a violent crime—38% below the national average—and a 1 in 61.6 chance of being a victim of property crime in Maudlin, which is 23% below the rest of the United States.
How to Stay Safe in South Carolina
Staying safe in South Carolina is fairly simple as it’s one of the safer states in the US—provided you’re in one of the cities mentioned above, as there are a few dangerous places in the state too. Staying safe simply involves being very aware of your surroundings and knowing the movements of the city you’re visiting.
To avoid being a victim of crime, you’ll need to take charge of your own safety. If you’re out alone at night, try and stay in well-lit areas and around other people. No matter how safe you feel in an area, make sure to keep your doors locked and valuables safe, and keep items like phones or expensive jewelry out of sight if you’re in a shady area. Lastly, display a confident, focused attitude. This will deter any would-be criminals as they tend to prey on weaker, distracted people.
Staying safe from accidents is also important. One simple way is to know what times and days are busiest on the roads to minimize the chance of car accidents and stay off the roads as much as possible during holidays. South Carolina is also known for some very high temperatures, so be sure to wear sunscreen and try to stay in the shade.
Related Read: 10 Safest Cities In North Carolina (with Pictures)
If you’re looking at a vacation in South Carolina in the near future, the above cities are 10 of the safest, with Woodruff winning as the safest city in the state overall. Most of these cities have overall crime rates far below the national and state average, and property and violent crime rates in some of these states are still dropping yearly.
Featured Image Credit: Fort Mill SC 2020 (Image Credit: Photogeographer, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)