The 10 Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2023

The safest cities in South Carolina are Bluffton and Fort Mill for 2023.

Yes, there is more to South Carolina than Charleston, NASCAR, and Myrtle Beach. The safest places in South Carolina have access to everything South Carolina offers while keeping your home safe.

South Carolina safety standards are magical. South Carolina is so safe that they made a law that dogs must ride in safety seats, like kids. And don't get stuck at a 4-way stop here; it takes forever because the people are so nice and safe that everyone wants to let everyone go first.

South Carolina has safe places for everyone. There are safe Charleston suburbs that border the Atlantic Ocean and safe farming communities like Columbia.

We looked at the FBI crime data for 60 cities with a population of more than 5,000 to determine which cities are the safest that South Carolina has to offer.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Table | References

Here are the 10 safest cities to live in South Carolina for 2023:

  1. Bluffton (Homes For Sale)
  2. Fort Mill (Homes For Sale)
  3. Tega Cay (Homes For Sale)
  4. Clover (Homes For Sale)
  5. Central (Homes For Sale)
  6. Mount Pleasant (Homes For Sale)
  7. Lyman (Homes For Sale)
  8. Port Royal (Homes For Sale)
  9. Lexington (Homes For Sale)
  10. Clemson (Homes For Sale)

How did we determine the safest cities to call home in The Palmetto State? We looked at violent and property crime per capita in each city.

What's the safest place to live in South Carolina? According to data from the FBI, the safest city in South Carolina is Bluffton.

So, grab yourself some of great granny's sweet tea and a basket of hush puppies and read on to see how we ranked the safest places to live in South Carolina for 2023.

For more reading on safe places to live in and around South Carolina, check out:

The 10 Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2023

Bluffton, SC
Source: Flickr User Ken Lund | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 36,064
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 69 (fifth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 585 (safest)
Murders: 1
Murders Per 100k: 2
More on Bluffton: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Living in Bluffton is like drawing a full house on the flop and playing it off like you have deuce and seven -- the opposite of a bluff, it's the safest city in South Carolina according to the most recent FBI data.

While it was knocked down a peg over the years, it still has the safest property crime and the fifth safest violent crime rates in the state.

And you don't have to take our word for it, look at his excerpt from a sparkling review a user left:

Bluffton is a coastal community with a very rich history. It's just a few minutes drive from Hilton Head Island and not much further to drive to Savannah GA. The weather is just about perfect year round. The people are friendly, kind, and genuine. There is a fantastic artists colony here in Old Town Bluffton and there are more restaurants than you could get to in a year.

Fort Mill, SC
Source: Wikipedia User Bill Fitzpatrick | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 31,023
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 67 (fourth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 741 (second safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Fort Mill: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

We would be happy to hunker down in Fort Mill and you should be too as it ranks as one of the safest places to call home in the Palmetto State.

Top ten finishes in both property crime rates and violent crime rates makes this city a great place to live -- as evidenced by the rocking 40%+ increase in population the city has seen since the beginning of the decade.

In addition to being safe, Fort Mill is one of the richest cities in the state and the best to start a family. So get in before the prices get even higher if you can afford to.

Tega Cay, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 13,607
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 44 (third safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,036 (fourth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Tega Cay: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Always the bridesmaid and never the bride in 2023, Tega Cay ranks as the third safest place to live in South Carolina.

Tega Cay has the third safest violent crime rate in the state which means you probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting mugged.

Oh and we said always the bridesmaid because the city located on the North Carolina border near Charlotte finished third for safest and best this year. Still awesome, just not quite awesome enough.

Clover, SC
Source: Flickr User jonesy54 | CC BY 2.0

Population: 7,153
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 111 (sixth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,230 (fifth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Clover: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Known as "the town with love in the middle," Clover certainly lives up to its motto. Clover had the fifth safest rate of both violent and property crime in the state, earning it the rank of fourth safest town in South Carolina. On average, there was only one violent crime each month in Clover. Maybe it was the same werewolf every time. In any case, you have more to fear from werewolves than criminals if you're planning a picnic at Clover Community Park.

Clover is located near the border of North Carolina, less than an hour southwest of Charlotte.

Central, SC
Source: Flickr User ~ wryonedwards ~ | CC BY-ND 2.0

Population: 5,335
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 18 (second safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,780 (tenth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Central: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

The next safe city on our tour of South Carolina brings us to Central.

And the first thing that pops into my mind besides the unbelievable safety of the city is Ironic by Alanis Morissette -- Central isn't even kinda located in the center of the state.

But maybe that's all part of the plan to keep the bad doers out -- if you can't find the city then you can't commit a crime there.

Now Central is big enough to make it on the list as it just crossed the 5,000 person threshold, we expect it to become a mainstay for the coming years.

Mount Pleasant, SC
Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL

Population: 93,951
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 126 (seventh safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,417 (seventh safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Mount Pleasant: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Well isn't this a pleasant surprise? The throne of the pleasant, the crown of the peaceful, the pinnacle of safety -- Mount Pleasant ranks as the sixth safest city in South Carolina for 2023.

It moved down one spot from last year, but still boasts one of the lowest property crime ranks in the state.

Furthermore, Mount Pleasant is basically the cream of the crop in South Carolina as it also ranks as the best and richest city in the state according to our most recent rankings. So I'm running out of kingly adjectives to describe it at this point.

Population: 6,437
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 264 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 823 (third safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Lyman: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Lyman is a town of 6,437 with some awe-inspiring crime statistics. Like having the third safest lowest property crime in South Carolina.

You know a place is extra safe when, on average, fewer than one crime is committed each week. We wonder if the local police are bored with such meager criminal activity. You can stay out as late as you want at the family-friendly Lyman without fear of an attack or theft. That's because there were only 17 violent crimes committed here over the past year.

Lyman, once pivotal in the textile industry as home to Pacific Mills, has smoothly transitioned into a peaceful residential community after its mills shuttered.

Port Royal, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 13,430
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 260 (13th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,250 (sixth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Port Royal: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

You don't need to be royalty to enjoy a life of peace and safety in Port Royal. All of Port Royal's residents can enjoy being the eighth safest city in South Carolina. While Port Royal didn't achieve a #1 ranking in either property or violent crime, its solid fourth place finish in each category earned it the gold medal overall. Port Royal was just shy of making this list last year, so the jump up to the #8 spot this year is quite impressive. There is a small catch though; Port Royal also ranked as the most expensive town in South Carolina. But hey, being the best in safety is worth every penny.

Port Royal is also home to the Cypress Wetlands, where you can go bird-watching as you stroll down the boardwalk. Port Royal is located in Beaufort County in the southern part of the state.

Lexington, SC
Source: Public domain

Population: 24,880
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 241 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,643 (ninth safest)
Murders: 3
Murders Per 100k: 12
More on Lexington: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

West of Columbia, you'll find Lexington, the county seat of Lexington County, and the ninth safest place in South Carolina for 2023.

It's hard to find a place less violent or more different than Myrtle Beach, considering Lexington recorded 60 violent crimes in the last reporting year, impressive for a town of 24,880 people.

On top of that, Lexington had the ninth safest lowest property crime rate in South Carolina. In other words, there's a better chance of a palmetto tree breaking your window than a burglar.

Clemson, SC
Source: Wikipedia User blahedo | CC BY-SA 2.5

Population: 18,174
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 225 (ninth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,947 (15th safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Clemson: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Clemson ranks as the tenth safest place to live in South Carolina for 2023. There's always something to be said for being in the top ten of anything -- whether it's sports, safety, or even a hot air balloon festival.

The city has the ninth safest lowest violent crime rate in the state and with a grand total of 0 murders it's probably ok to stand out on the side of the street at midnight with your wallet hanging out.

Besides being home to Clemson University, Clemson is also home to some beautiful plantations and botanical gardens. A good place to stop and smell the roses if you will.

Methodology: How we calculated the safest cities in South Carolina for 2023

Safest Cities in South Carolina Graph

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in South Carolina are the safest, we wanted to rely on something other than speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent crime report in South Carolina.

Specifically, we used Saturday Night Science to analyze the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which summarizes the number of property and violent crimes in each city annually. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)

For example, there were 236 crimes committed in Bluffton, with a reported population of 36,064. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0065, which translates into a 1 in 152 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at South Carolina cities that have populations of more than 5,000. This filter left us with 60 of the biggest cities in South Carolina to rank.

We ranked each city for each criterion from 1 to 60 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each place's two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score, "The Safest Place In South Carolina," with any ties going to the bigger city.

The safest city in South Carolina, based on our criteria, is Bluffton. The most dangerous city in South Carolina? Dillon, where residents had a 1 in 9 chance of being the victim of a crime.

This article has been update for 2023. This report marks our tenth time ranking the safest places to live in South Carolina. All the data comes from the FBI's Crime In The USA 2022 report.

Worst Places To Live In South Carolina

Summary: The Safest Cities In The Palmetto State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Bluffton is as safe as they come in South Carolina, according to science and data.

But as most South Carolina residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in South Carolina according to the data:

  1. Dillon
  2. Hartsville
  3. Darlington
For more reading, check out:

Where Are The 10 Safest Cities In South Carolina For 2023?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k Murders Per 100k Murders
1 Bluffton, SC 36,064 69 585 2 1
2 Fort Mill, SC 31,023 67 741 0 0
3 Tega Cay, SC 13,607 44 1,036 0 0
4 Clover, SC 7,153 111 1,230 0 0
5 Central, SC 5,335 18 1,780 0 0
6 Mount Pleasant, SC 93,951 126 1,417 0 0
7 Lyman, SC 6,437 264 823 0 0
8 Port Royal, SC 13,430 260 1,250 0 0
9 Lexington, SC 24,880 241 1,643 12 3
10 Clemson, SC 18,174 225 1,947 0 0
11 North Augusta, SC 24,957 168 2,283 16 4
12 Travelers Rest, SC 7,836 12 2,794 0 0
13 Goose Creek, SC 46,665 278 1,789 4 2
14 Greer, SC 42,196 253 2,014 0 0
15 Mauldin, SC 26,576 293 1,873 3 1
16 Hardeeville, SC 9,995 240 2,531 0 0
17 Hanahan, SC 22,320 394 1,447 0 0
18 Charleston, SC 152,324 374 1,889 5 8
19 Fountain Inn, SC 11,523 451 1,787 8 1
20 Easley, SC 23,786 357 2,665 4 1
21 Summerville, SC 51,423 365 2,679 3 2
22 Beaufort, SC 13,003 330 3,045 0 0
23 Rock Hill, SC 74,047 479 2,679 10 8
24 Seneca, SC 8,964 658 2,141 0 0
25 Simpsonville, SC 25,847 313 3,671 0 0
26 Forest Acres, SC 10,514 332 3,623 9 1
27 Columbia, SC 137,768 598 2,855 9 13
28 Moncks Corner, SC 13,906 618 2,818 7 1
29 Newberry, SC 10,507 647 2,769 47 5
30 Conway, SC 23,664 684 2,717 21 5
31 Irmo, SC 11,937 460 3,317 8 1
32 Aiken, SC 31,985 594 3,479 6 2
33 Laurens, SC 9,307 623 3,062 0 0
34 Gaffney, SC 12,291 357 4,222 8 1
35 Greenville, SC 73,311 541 3,677 5 4
36 North Myrtle Beach, SC 19,888 447 4,344 10 2
37 Sumter, SC 42,613 882 3,219 14 6
38 Batesburg-Leesville, SC 5,249 723 3,619 0 0
39 York, SC 8,699 689 3,931 11 1
40 Bennettsville, SC 6,891 1,277 3,207 29 2
41 Greenwood, SC 22,145 821 4,055 261 58
42 Anderson, SC 29,398 615 5,877 6 2
43 Cayce, SC 13,710 1,006 4,004 21 3
44 Chester, SC 5,222 2,566 2,949 38 2
45 North Charleston, SC 119,198 942 4,805 27 33
46 West Columbia, SC 17,581 733 5,523 11 2
47 Clinton, SC 7,663 1,200 3,954 0 0
48 Marion, SC 6,232 1,010 5,407 80 5
49 Camden, SC 8,044 1,093 4,898 12 1
50 Union, SC 7,977 1,090 5,403 0 0
51 Lake City, SC 5,946 2,068 3,750 33 2
52 Spartanburg, SC 38,271 1,194 5,871 5 2
53 Myrtle Beach, SC 38,117 1,012 6,697 15 6
54 Walterboro, SC 5,432 957 7,308 18 1
55 Georgetown, SC 8,323 1,766 4,890 12 1
56 Florence, SC 39,997 1,300 5,567 52 21
57 Orangeburg, SC 12,307 1,698 6,134 81 10
58 Darlington, SC 6,051 1,404 6,974 115 7
59 Hartsville, SC 7,614 1,746 6,934 13 1
60 Dillon, SC 6,213 2,559 8,015 32 2

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina

Safest Cities in South Carolina Breakdown

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.

Safest Cities By State

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