The 10 Best Counties To Live In South Carolina For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in South Carolina have the most for people looking to make the move to South Carolina.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is South Carolina a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in South Carolina.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Palmetto State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of South Carolina, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 46 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Palmetto State for 2021.

Dorchester County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in South Carolina. And you might want to avoid Dillon County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move South Carolina, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in South Carolina and the cheapest places to live in South Carolina.

The Best Counties To Live In South Carolina For 2021

1. Dorchester County

North Charleston, SC

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: North Charleston

Population: 158,299
Median Income: $63,080 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $198,800.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (4th best)
More on Dorchester County: PhotosData

2. Charleston County

Charleston, SC

Biggest Place: Charleston

Population: 401,165
Median Income: $64,022 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $315,600.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (best)
More on Charleston County: PhotosData

3. York County

Fort Mill, SC

Biggest Place: Rock Hill

Population: 265,872
Median Income: $65,361 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $201,100.0 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (8th best)
More on York County: PhotosData

4. Lancaster County

Lancaster, SC

Biggest Place: Lancaster

Population: 92,308
Median Income: $58,849 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $199,800.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (27th best)
More on Lancaster County: PhotosData

5. Greenville County

Greenville, SC

Biggest Place: Greenville

Population: 507,003
Median Income: $60,351 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $183,800.0 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (2nd best)
More on Greenville County: PhotosData

6. Beaufort County

Beaufort, SC

Biggest Place: Hilton Head Island

Population: 186,095
Median Income: $68,377 (best)
Median Home Price: $298,100.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (6th best)
More on Beaufort County: PhotosData

7. Lexington County

Cayce, SC

Biggest Place: Columbia

Population: 290,278
Median Income: $61,173 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $157,000.0 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (9th best)
More on Lexington County: PhotosData

8. Berkeley County

Charleston, SC

Biggest Place: Charleston

Population: 215,044
Median Income: $63,309 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $185,500.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (5th best)
More on Berkeley County: PhotosData

9. Anderson County

Anderson, SC

Biggest Place: Anderson

Population: 198,064
Median Income: $50,865 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $145,800.0 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (7th best)
More on Anderson County: PhotosData

10. Richland County

Cayce, SC

Biggest Place: Columbia

Population: 411,357
Median Income: $54,767 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $163,100.0 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (22nd best)
More on Richland County: PhotosData

How do you determine which South Carolina county is the best?

To give you the best county in South Carolina, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in South Carolina across each of the criteria from one to 46, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In South Carolina”.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Palmetto State.

Read on to see why Dorchester County is the best county, while Dillon County is probably in contention for being the worst county in South Carolina.

There You Have It – The Best Counties In South Carolina To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in South Carolina can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in South Carolina according to the data:

  1. Dillon County
  2. Lee County
  3. Marlboro County

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In South Carolina

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Dorchester County 1 158,299 $63,080 $198,800.0
Charleston County 2 401,165 $64,022 $315,600.0
York County 3 265,872 $65,361 $201,100.0
Lancaster County 4 92,308 $58,849 $199,800.0
Greenville County 5 507,003 $60,351 $183,800.0
Beaufort County 6 186,095 $68,377 $298,100.0
Lexington County 7 290,278 $61,173 $157,000.0
Berkeley County 8 215,044 $63,309 $185,500.0
Anderson County 9 198,064 $50,865 $145,800.0
Richland County 10 411,357 $54,767 $163,100.0
Aiken County 11 168,301 $51,399 $147,300.0
Pickens County 12 124,029 $49,573 $147,700.0
Mccormick County 13 9,531 $43,633 $116,500.0
Kershaw County 14 65,112 $51,479 $131,100.0
Spartanburg County 15 307,617 $52,332 $141,400.0
Calhoun County 16 14,663 $46,339 $107,200.0
Edgefield County 17 26,927 $49,127 $129,300.0
Newberry County 18 38,194 $44,226 $116,300.0
Oconee County 19 77,528 $49,134 $159,800.0
Georgetown County 20 61,952 $48,456 $188,800.0
Fairfield County 21 22,565 $38,213 $103,000.0
Horry County 22 332,172 $50,704 $181,500.0
Florence County 23 138,475 $47,058 $131,900.0
Abbeville County 24 24,627 $38,741 $90,800.0
Saluda County 25 20,303 $45,714 $108,600.0
Sumter County 26 106,757 $45,661 $115,700.0
Chester County 27 32,311 $42,442 $95,600.0
Jasper County 28 28,657 $45,601 $166,200.0
Cherokee County 29 56,895 $36,883 $101,500.0
Laurens County 30 66,846 $43,304 $101,200.0
Colleton County 31 37,585 $36,324 $90,400.0
Greenwood County 32 70,411 $42,336 $122,800.0
Williamsburg County 33 31,324 $32,485 $68,300.0
Bamberg County 34 14,376 $31,422 $75,400.0
Union County 35 27,490 $41,186 $80,000.0
Darlington County 36 67,027 $38,448 $92,600.0
Orangeburg County 37 87,687 $37,955 $92,700.0
Hampton County 38 19,564 $33,429 $72,300.0
Allendale County 39 9,024 $27,185 $49,200.0
Barnwell County 40 21,346 $35,803 $81,900.0
Chesterfield County 41 45,953 $41,505 $81,500.0
Marion County 42 31,308 $32,063 $76,700.0
Clarendon County 43 33,957 $40,900 $102,000.0
Marlboro County 44 26,753 $33,586 $67,500.0
Lee County 45 17,365 $32,371 $78,800.0
Dillon County 46 30,689 $30,812 $79,300.0
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in South Carolina.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.