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Uncovering the 9 Safest Places to Live In South Carolina

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Safest places to live in South Carolina

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Approximately 90,000 people moved to South Carolina last year. This increased its population by 1.7%. The influx officially made it America’s fastest-growing state in 2023.

South Carolina’s warm weather, quality of life, and low taxes make it an attractive option. The state’s job market is also expected to expand this year, making continued migration likely.

Are you considering the move too? You’ll want to choose a welcoming yet secure community that your family can call home.

How can you determine the safest places to live in South Carolina? In this article, we examine crime statistics as well as other criteria. These will help you make a more informed decision.

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Uncovering the Safest Places to Live in South Carolina

A new job that pays well can be an exciting prospect. Despite this, selling your home and moving to a new state can be daunting.

A safe neighborhood will play a significant role in your family’s comfort level. It will also affect how much you enjoy your new location. Here are the indicators that can determine cities in the state that will be safe for you and your family.

1. Low Crime Rates

The crime rate provides an overview of the number of crimes committed in an area, over a specific period. It compares this to the location’s population size. Areas with low crime rates indicate fewer crimes are being committed.

There are fewer victims of crime and less physical and emotional pain endured. In addition, there are significant economic benefits to the community.

What is the crime rate of the South Carolina city you’re considering?

We look at this important statistic to help you find out. However, we also provide additional analysis of violent and non-violent crimes. We examine how each city’s crime rate compares to the national rate, as well.

Fort Mill:

Population: 26,923
Violent Crimes per Capita: 0.7
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 6.2
Most Common Crime: Property crime
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 81.7%


Population: 30,519
Violent Crimes per Capita: 0.8
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 7.3
Most Common Crime: Property crime
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 71.8%

Mount Pleasant:

Population: 95,657
Violent Crimes per Capita: 1.0
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 11.2
Most Common Crime: Theft
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 33.6%

Tega Cay:

Population: 12,178
Violent Crimes per Capita: 0.6
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 14.0
Most Common Crime: Theft
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 88.1%


Population: 23,161
Violent Crimes per Capita: 2.8
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 24.2
Most Common Crime: Theft
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 34.8%


Population: 25,808
Violent Crimes per Capita: 1.9
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 17.6
Most Common Crime: Theft
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 20.6%


Population: 141,768
Violent Crimes per Capita: 4.4
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 22.4
Most Common Crime: Theft
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 1.4% higher than the national average.


Population: 755,000
Violent Crimes per Capita: 5.95
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 29.37
Most Common Crime: Property Crime
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 48.63% higher than the national rate.


Population: 559,000
Violent Crimes per Capita: 5.5
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 38.07
Most Common Crime: Property crime
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 46.4% higher than the national average.


Population: 6,566
Violent Crimes per Capita: 1.08
Non-Violent Crimes per Capita: 11.88
Most Common Crime: Theft
Percentage Below National Crime Rate: 69.8%

Safe Cities in South Carolina

Tega Cay has the lowest number of violent crimes per capita. It also boasts the greatest percentage below the national crime rate. Fort Mill has the lowest number of non-violent crimes per capita.

Conversely, Columbia’s crime rate is almost 50% higher than the national rate. It has the highest number of violent crimes and the largest population of the cities mentioned above.

Greenville has the second-largest population among the cities analyzed. The city has the highest number of non-violent crimes. It also has a crime rate that’s higher than the national rate along with Charleston.

Most of the crimes committed across the cities are non-violent ones involving property and theft.

Fort Mill, Bluffton, Mount Pleasant, and Teg Cay are the top four safest cities based on each city’s crime statistics.

2. Criteria for Determining Safety

Crime data helps to determine how safe a city is. The number of violent and non-violent crimes reported are the two major categories examined.

Analysis of these percentages also assists in comparing a city’s crime rate against the national crime rate. Cities with crime rates lower than one, such as Tega Cay, greatly reduce the number of victims of crime.

This isn’t only important to consider when buying a home. When you’re ready to sell, your property’s value can be adversely affected if your neighborhood isn’t safe.

3. Community Safety Initiatives

Many community safety initiatives help to keep neighborhoods safe. Greater police presence in communities is often a deterrent. Other initiatives such as neighborhood watch groups, involve the police partnering with residents for greater success.

In Columbia, SC, Operation Real Time helps to reduce gun violence by immediately removing violent offenders from the community. The police department also uses smartphone technology to assist in addressing crime concerns.

4. Coastal Towns and Suburbs

Spread across over 250 miles of coastline, South Carolina’s coastal towns offer a scenic, relaxing way of life. Charleston, Bluffton, and Mount Pleasant are among them. Safety measures ensure crime levels remain low without adversely affecting the idyllic, peaceful quality of life enjoyed by residents.

Many of the cities’ police departments host regular events educating the public on target hardening and other crime prevention tips.

They have crime watch initiatives, as well. The police departments also perform security surveys to assist residents in securing their homes.

5. Community Policing Initiatives

Open dialogue between police and residents is important. Many community policing initiatives involve officers going ‘beyond the badge’ by engaging in community service.

They also work with troubled youth in the communities through mentorship programs. This helps them get on the right path and avoid becoming future offenders.

The Tega Cay Police Department focuses on young citizens as well. Officers reward them when they do the right thing.

This, and many of the initiatives, strengthen community relationships. They also help prevent crime and promote safety.

6. Emergency Services and Preparedness

The availability and responsiveness of emergency services is a key indicator of neighborhood safety. This includes the proximity of police and fire stations, as well as hospitals. In the event of an emergency, you’ll want a quick response.

Emergency preparedness by residents can also help. It can reduce injury, lessen damages, and accelerate recovery time after a disaster. It provides greater peace of mind and reduces fear and anxiety.

In Fort Mill, the police and fire departments, EMS station, and rescue squad are close to one another. This strategic placement facilitates a more efficient response.

7. Educational and Recreational Safety

The South Carolina Department of Education prioritizes school safety. Initiatives include:

  • A Safe School Checklist
  • A toolkit for preventing mass shootings and other attacks
  • Education programs aimed at reducing the risk of school violence
  • Emergency Options Plan

These go hand-in-hand with other safety measures implemented at the city level as well.

South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism oversees the parks of the state. It also promotes them as tourist destinations. Doing this successfully means ensuring parks are protected and visitors are safe.

There are safety rules that visitors to these and other recreational areas must adhere to.

8. Public Safety Initiatives

Project Safe Neighborhoods is an initiative of the US Department of Justice (DOJ). It funds projects that focus on areas with a high level of gun violence and gang activity. The goal is to reduce violent crimes and promote safe communities across South Carolina.

The DOJ has also implemented other programs at state and city levels including:

  • Law Enforcement Coordinating Committees
  • Victim Witness services
  • Drug Trafficking Task Forces

Several other initiatives also aim to enhance public safety and prevent violent crime.

9. Accessibility and Transportation Safety

A city’s well-being and security also extend to road and transportation safety. Traffic fatalities were at their lowest in the state at the close of last year.

It was a reflection of the increased efforts of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. These included the “Highways or Dieways” campaign and traffic safety enforcement.

The state also has many bicycle and pedestrian access programs. One such program earned Columbia the designation of a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community. It also eventually became designated as a Bronze Level Walk Friendly Community.

Other means of transportation are as important in South Carolina. Public transportation options include:

  • Wheelchair-accessible buses
  • Free downtown trolleys in Greenville
  • The COMET that allows access throughout Columbia
  • Clemson Area Transit provides free transport to four universities
  • Low-cost public bus service
  • The Charleston Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH)
  • The island ferry

These facilitate easy movement throughout several cities. Strategically placed pedestrian crossings and traffic lights, and well-lit streets enhance these services. The state also has generally good road conditions.

Finding Your Safe Haven in South Carolina

Has this article, sold you on moving to this booming state? If so, you’ll want to ensure you move to one of the safest places to live in South Carolina. Fort Mill, Bluffton, Mount Pleasant, and Teg Cay top the list.

Safety encompasses many factors including crime levels, community initiatives, transportation safety, and more. All work together to provide you and your family with a better quality of life. The only thing left is to ensure your move is hassle-free, without additional fees or closing costs.

iBuyer can help. Provide us with your address and we’ll do the rest. Visit our site to get your home value and a cash offer today!

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