There are plenty of reasons why South Carolina is one of the nation’s most popular states to move to. From the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to inviting sandy beaches, South Carolina offers a welcoming landscape, competitive wages and affordable living.
Whether the bustling cobblestone streets of Charleston are calling you, or you crave a rural lifestyle, there’s a safe place for you to settle in every part of the Palmetto State and SafeWise will introduce you to 40 of them.
We’ve paired our extensive research with the most recent FBI Crime Report to bring you the safest 40 cities to call home in South Carolina. To make our list, a city had to have a population of over 2,000 as of 2012 and needed to meet criteria regarding both violent and property crimes, according to FBI statistics from 2012. We analyze the number of Violent Crimes, consisting of aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, and robbery, as well as Property Crimes, consisting of arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. To account for the varying populations, we calculated the chance of these crimes happening out of 1,000.
SafeWise wants you to keep in mind that although the FBI Crime Report is acknowledged as a trusted source for crime statistics, not every South Carolina cities has reported complete data to the FBI.
Once you’ve read our thorough South Carolina safe city guide, we encourage you to explore the resources offered by our all-inclusive South Carolina Safety Directory. Here you’ll discover everything you need to know about personal home security and crime prevention in The Palmetto State.
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1. Tega Cay
Tega Cay takes top honors on our comprehensive Safe Cities of South Carolina list. The planned city is located near the border of North Carolina and is considered a suburb of both Rock Hill, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. Situated along the shores of Lake Wylie and the Catawba River, when your family makes the move to Tega Cay they’ll become well acquainted with water recreation and the pleasure of a waterfront lifestyle.
When it’s time to mingle, Tega Cay residents hop on golf carts and head to neighborhood cookouts where South Carolina barbeque takes center stage, or head for the city owned Beach and Swim Center. Here your toddlers will refresh themselves in the wading pool and giggle under the raining umbrella, or make a sandcastle at the beach area. Enjoy a fun-spirited game of pick-up volleyball or relax with a drink on the pool deck overlooking Lake Wylie. Summer is sizzling with activity, but your family will enjoy a wealth or year-round activities thanks to Tega Cay’s expansive Parks and Recreation Department offerings. If your family is fortunate enough to transplant to Tega Cay, you won’t have to be anxious about crime.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: .76
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 11.47
The safe city may be small in size and population, but it’s big on offering residents a wealth of thing to do and unmatched insight into its history. Part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area, Edgefield is located in western South Carolina.
Established in 1775 you’ll find dozens of historic buildings in Edgefield, many of which have the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But don’t be fooled into thinking Edgefield is stuck in the past. The community brings citizens together for a diverse assortment of events, including the popular Sandy Oaks Rodeo and a slew of art events. That’s because Edgefield offers a booming artisan community and is a notorious pottery hub. The local community college, Piedmont Technical College even offers a well respected Professional Pottery Program. When you’re looking to enjoy a date night, Edgefield offers a collection of interesting eateries, including the Old Edgefield Grill and you won’t want to miss a night-cap at the artisan distillery Carolina Moon. Safe, creative and full of fun, a move to Edgefield will win you kudos from the kids.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.57
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 15.96
3. Mount Pleasant
Bordering Charleston, and just a hop, skip, and a jump from a dynamic collection of beaches, Mount Pleasant is perfectly located for work and play. But it’s also using technology in a number of impressive ways. In fact, this is the first time we’ve discovered a Mayor inviting you to explore her Facebook page and we love it!
Two thumbs up for Mount Pleasant’s use of social media to engage its citizens. And the Mount Pleasant Media Center is exceptional. Citizens can view a variety of videos to help them get to know their community thoroughly. From meeting one of the Mount Pleasant Police Department’s K-9s to the Mount Pleasant History Channel, the variety of features and the quality of material wins our respect.
If you’re looking for a strong economy, Mount Pleasant has it. In a recent fiscal year, new construction increased 179 percent over the previous year. Learn more about the plethora of economic opportunities Mount Pleasant has to offer including access to an international airport and proximity to the second busiest container port along the Atlantic. Offering a forward thinking government and a robust economy, Mount Pleasant is safe too!
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.19
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 17.57
Image: Jan Kronsell, CC 3.0
4. Ninety Six
Even Palmetto State natives might not have heard of the small, safe town of Ninety Six. But our bet is locals are happy to keep it that way. Ninety Six is a quaint town that’s simply loaded with war history. Settle here and it won’t be long before you discover Ninety Six National Historic Site, a critical site during the Revolutionary War. Enjoy periodic events that make history come alive through re-enactors and historians or explore the area’s rich African American Heritage that dates back to 1670.
Weekend mean it’s time to get out and about and meet your neighbors at a town wide yard sale, cheer on your daughter at the Miss Festival of Stars Beauty Pageant or enjoy taking part in Mother-Daughter Tea Party. Residents of Ninety Six benefit from a low cost of living compared to the national average, low population density and reasonable property taxes. Proud of their history and decidedly safe, the welcoming community of Ninety Six is the perfect place to start a family or settle in for a pleasurable retirement.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.97
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 17.30
Image: Town of Ninety Six webpage
With the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop, residents and their frequent guests will never tire of Landrum’s landscape. Whether enjoying a casual scenic drive, or an al fresco lunch at one of Landrum’s charming downtown eateries, the safe city of Landrum provides eye-catching beauty. Situated near Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina it also offers an ideal climate for businesses.
Unlike many other small towns across America, Landrum’s government and citizens have been working hard for years to ensure their special downtown wasn’t lost to sprawling strip malls. And their dedication has paid off. Stroll Landrum’s downtown today and you’ll be greeted by welcoming shop owners, immaculate historic brick buildings, a park, train depot and an all around pedestrian friendly environment. Recreation minded residents hit the fairways at any one of the area’s spectacular gold courses, and boaters can’t wait to launch at Lake Lanier and Lake Bowen. Cycling and horseback riding also flourish in Landrum.
Large enough to offer numerous modern conveniences, but small enough to retain the charm and ambiance that make it desirable, Landrum is a sensational city to call home. Take a look at this impressive slide show and discover more about life in Landrum, including its downtown, opportunities offered by the great outdoors and community cohesiveness.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 4.54
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 16.51
Image: r_c_photography via Instagram
If you’re looking for a safe community that puts education first, you’ve found your new hometown. Families flock to Mauldin because of its fantastic school system. Three of Mauldin’s schools have been distinguished as “Red Carpet Schools” which the State Department of Education defines as a school that “does an outstanding job of creating a family-friendly school environment and providing excellent customer service.” Furthermore, Greenville County schools, which Mauldin is part of, consistently achieve some of the highest SAT scores in the entire state. In 2008, Mauldin High School students earned a remarkable $12 million dollars in scholarship funds.
Plus, when you put down roots in Mauldin, you can be strolling the streets of the big city of Greenville in less than 15 minutes. Or, head to the local Mauldin Cultural Center which hosts more than 1,000 events annually including performances, theater camps, and special events like Parents Night Out so mom and dad can enjoy a well deserved date. Award winning schools, safe neighborhoods and an abundance of culture make Mauldin a sure bet.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.03
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 19.51
7. Fort Mill
Located in the northern part of the state, Fort Mill is just south of Charlotte, North Carolina and considered one of its suburbs. In addition to a fascinating history, Fort Mill is home to the South Carolina Strawberry Festival and offers loads of natural beauty. Fort Mill’s pioneering Adopt-a-Stream program proves that it has great respect for Mother Nature.
The friendly town of Fort Mill is also one where creativity prospers. The Fort Mill Art Guild is dedicated to mentoring beginning artists, promoting professional artists and delivering a variety of art education to the community. The Fort Mill Playhouse offers popular drama camps for kids, and dinner theater performances for all ages. When the Fine Art and Master Craft Festival arrives in historic downtown Fort Mill, dozens of artists display their talents to thousands of festivalgoer’s. Safe and creative, Fort Mill also has amazing schools and a relatively high median family income. We weren’t the least surprised to discover that BusinessWeek.com named Fort Mill as One of the Best Places to Raise Kids 2013.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.25
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 20.12
Image: kristinvining via Instagram
Embracing the future, while staying committed to their heritage is a tactic that’s working out well for Cowpens, South Carolina. A “small town with big character,” Cowpens strives to offer families and businesses the environment they need to succeed. Cowpens is in the northern part of the state, located 15 minutes northeast of Spartanburg.
Long ago, the small community served as an overnight stop for cattle drovers and that’s how the town got its catchy name. History buffs may already be aware that Cowpens is famous for the Revolutionary War battle that took place there in 1781. Part of the Southern Campaign, this battle would gain fame as the turning point of the war. Every year, Cowpens’ Might Moo Festival celebrates the sailors who manned the USS Cowpens aircraft carrier during World War II. History weaves through nearly every aspect of life in this 2.5 square mile town, but Cowpens also cherishes fine wine. The local winery, Palmetto Pickup Wines, is the place to head for unique French hybrids and seasonal selections. A colorful past, bright future and low crime are just a few reasons why those who visit Cowpens consider staying a while.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.27
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 20.44
Just 11 miles west of Spartanburg and 19 miles northeast of Greenville, you’ll find the petite town of Wellford. With less than 3,000 residents, Wellford is the kind of place where newcomers don’t stay that way long. And those who have an entrepreneurial spirit take full advantage of the services and resources offered by the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce.
Recreation gurus head off to Lake Cooley when temps get toasty. The 330 acre reservoir offers the chance to fish, enjoy a water cruise or take a break from water activity and let the kids explore the playground. Wellford also offers a unique magnet school, the Academy of Science and Technology. Catering to 400 students up to fourth grade, the school takes pride in its before-school computer lab and after-school tutoring program. A variety of reasonably priced housing, nominal crime and a stress-free commute to work round out the reasons why Wellford is wonderful.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: .41
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 22.70
Burnettown is located in Aiken County, and is seven miles east of downtown Augusta and 10 miles west of Aiken. The area surrounding Burnettown is considered horse country and a golfer’s paradise but locals know it’s also the place to head for water recreation, namely rowing.
Langley Pond is an amazing rowing venue that enjoys a well earned reputation in the southeast. Noted as the only Olympic size course in the state, the waters of Langley Pond are often teeming with national and regional rowing competitions as well as weekend water-skiers, jet skiing and fishing. Special events, a concession stand and swim area complete the amenities Burnettown has to offer.
Back in Burnettown, the citizens and government work together to keep the town in tip-top shape. A convenient Fix-O-Gram Form allows residents to report burnt out street lights, graffiti, pot holes and more. Last but certainly not least, Burnettown’s Annual Sassafras Festival draws visitors from all parts of the state. Close to major cities but far enough away to retain its unique identity, you won’t regret a move to Burnettown.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.21
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 22.48
11. Fountain Inn
Fountain Inn is flourishing. Over the last decade the 8,000 member community has been committed to enlivening downtown Fountain Inn by restoring some of its most historic buildings and adding a touch of new construction. Today, the downtown corridor offers an array of dining, small businesses and enhanced cultural opportunities.
Fountain Inn’s Depot Street Project is one of its most impressive. A Historical Center houses the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce and doubles as the city`s artifact hub. History buffs beware, you’ll lose track of time exploring the regions fascinating past. When you’re craving local flavor take a spin by the farmers’ market to enjoy regionally grown produce, fresh flowers and the very best crafts.
Complete you tour of downtown with a visit to Fountain Inn Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Once serving as the town’s high school, the historic building now sports a 300 seat venue that hosts a variety of performers. If you want to explore your theatrical flair, you won’t have to go far. The Center is also home to the Fountain Inn Repertory Experience, a resident theatre company and the Fountain Inn Arts Academy where youth enjoy classes on photography, private voice lesions, and the chance to get on stage. Fountain Inn is safe, but it’s also dedicated to creating a well rounded community where every member of your family will find their niche.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 4.49
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 20.84
12. Port Royal
If you’re craving a coastal lifestyle, Port Royal is prepared to please you. Located along the waterways of southeastern South Carolina you’ll visit Port Royal once and fall in love for a lifetime.
Fun, funky and offering something for everyone in your family, you’ll spend the day enjoying a kayak tour of the area’s bountiful marshlands, then dance the night away at Port Royal’s popular StreetMusic events. You’ll spend weekends scouring Hunting Island State Park for shark’s teeth and sea shells, enjoying a cold beverage and fresh shrimp at a dockside bar or meeting friends and heading to nearby Beaufort, Charleston or Hilton Head for a day of endless shopping.
This tight-knit community offers a balanced blend of locals and newcomers, so you can expect to be welcomed with open arms and make friends fast. From entry level condos to stunning waterfront plantations, you’ll find a stunning selection of housing in Port Royal. A rare find, Port Royal offers a quality of life that’s hard to beat.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.30
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 22.31
Halfway between Spartanburg and Greenville you’ll stumble on Duncan. Considered part of South Carolina’s Upstate region, Duncan is a big hit with families. That’s because it’s home to the area’s first water park, Shipwreck Cove. Located next to Duncan’s other popular park, Stone Ledge, family entertainment abounds.
Kids will enjoy splashing, slipping and sliding at Shipwreck Cove, and parents will appreciate the community’s preoccupation with crime prevention. Leading the way is the Duncan Police Department. Explore its remarkably professional website and it won’t be long before you understand why Duncan is a safe South Carolina community. In addition to a strong Victim’s Assistance program, the police department also offers crime statistics and a refreshingly diverse team of officers.
Fun, safe and friendly, your entire family will enjoy a Duncan address.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.16
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 24.07
Johnston is honored as the Peach Capital of the World and hosts the annual Peach Blossom Festival held on the first Saturday in May. Located in picturesque western South Carolina, Johnston was founded in 1870, and boasts all the charm of an iconic southern town.
Variety is a mainstay in Johnston. Antique stores, diners, boutiques and friendly folks are just a sampling of what Johnston has to offer. Recreation is another feature of Johnston that draws people from all over the state. In fact there are three sizable lakes, Strom Thurmond Lake, Lake Murray, and Lake Greenwood, all within an hour drive of Johnston.
Johnston is big on peaches and spending time on the water but it doesn’t overlook economic growth. In fact, the Johnston Development Corporation is lead by an ambitious group of forward thinkers who promote the business interests of Johnston, as well as historic preservation, tourism, scientific and cultural opportunities. Stunning Victorian architecture, antique shops and neighborhoods where kids can play safely only amplify Johnston’s appeal.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 5.95
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 20.82
15. Goose Creek
Kudos to Goose Creek for taking a proactive approach to citizen safety and security. Roughly 15 miles northwest of Charleston, Goose Creek is home to families that want convenience, amenities, and the pleasure of a suburban lifestyle.
From complimentary child safety seat inspections, to the “Are You O.K.?” program that checks on seniors, the Goose Creek Police Department ensures citizens of all ages are cared for. But they also offer House Watch when you’re vacationing and self-defense class geared toward women, both free of charge. An active Citizen’s Police Academy and a Ride-a-Long program help deepen the relationship between residents and law enforcement. A police cadet program and slew of youth oriented services help the next generation of Goose Creek leaders learn what’s going on in their community and how to be involved in a positive way.
We also love that Goose Creek offers free Wi-Fi at more than 30 locations throughout the city, so every resident can get online. If you’re searching for a city that’s both safe and citizen focused, look no further.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.13
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 24.79
16. Calhoun Falls
Slightly east of the Georgia border, Calhoun Falls offers a fabulous rural location, nominal cost of living and low population destiny. Bonus: It’s also remarkably safe.
The town of Calhoun Falls sits at the intersection of two state routes, making travel convenient. It’s also the place to head if you’re looking to get away from it all and lose yourself in the outdoors. Situated a few minutes south of popular Calhoun Falls State Park, Calhoun Falls serves as a gateway to adventure. The Calhoun Falls campground is honored as one of the finest in the park system, offering spacious RV and tent sites that are forested and offer shoreline views of the 26,650-acre Lake Russell.
Head to Calhoun Falls State Park for the day and your kids will thank you again and again. The quiet 318-acre retreat is perfect for relaxing but it’s also packed full of fun. Day-use activities include exploring nature trails, tennis courts, seasonal swimming and fishing for bass, crappie and catfish. Its calm waters practically beg for kayaking. Calhoun Falls State Park hosts year-round events like fishing tournaments and the festive South Carolina Campground Cookoff. If rural living and small town life appeal to you, pack your bags for Calhoun Falls.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.00
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 25.99
Charleston has a distinctive vibe that you can’t find anywhere else. Locals are exceedingly proud of the city’s colorful history, but they also know how to enjoy the here and now. Fabulous shopping, delightful dinner parties and sprawling roof top bars are just a hint of the pleasures offered by the safe city of Charleston. And the architecture is simply stunning.
Noted as the oldest and the second-largest city in South Carolina, when you call the waterfront city of Charleston home, you enjoy a short drive to a number of beaches, but you’ll also have access to a number of recreational opportunities that will keep you and the kids busy right at home. That’s because one of Charleston’s perks is a first-rate park and recreation department that offers everything from fencing to holiday nature craft creation to learning how to make the area’s famous Sweetgrass baskets.
In addition to giving your kids plenty to do, the city is also concerned about their safety. Recently, the city established the Pinwheels for Prevention Garden. Fully of colorful pinwheels, the garden was designed to raise awareness about the neglect and abuse of children. With nearly 125,000 residents, we’re particularly impressed with Charleston’s envious position on our Safe City list.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.39
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 27.23
Settle in Springdale and you’ll discover a powerful police department that’s committed to working hand in hand with its citizens.
Our bet is Police Chief Kevin Cornett is proud of the work the law enforcement officers of the Springdale Police Department are doing. The department’s Community Relations Officer provides security assessments of homes and business, and is eager to help neighborhoods establish a Crime Watch program. Plus, Springdale’s Victim Assistance officer is standing by to provide services and referrals to crime victims and ensure their rights are protected. We were also pleased to discover that the Springdale Police Department offers citizens an easy and fast way to learn about crime trends, through the RaidsOnline program.
Springdale is committed to safety and security of its residents, but it also knows how to have fun. Pack the sun protection and towels and head to the popular Felton C. Benton Splash Pool and Park or take a tour of Cindy`s Place Healthy Fitness Zone. The fitness zone is a large-scale, joint use facility that’s on a mission to obliterate obesity. If you want it all, Springdale is prepared to give it to you.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.58
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 28.05
Summerville is a beautiful community that welcomes newcomers with open arms. Rich with Southern hospitality yet modern and progressive, Summerville is a rare find. Dubbed “Flowertown in the Pines” Summerville is a mere 20 minutes from lively Charleston, and an easy drive to the region’s many beaches. It’s surrounded by gorgeous plantations, wildlife and nature preserves and boasts superior schools.
Pack your bags for Summerville and your family will soon take part in Third-Thursdays. Every third Thursday of the month, the center of historic downtown Summerville transforms into a hub of entertainment. Artisans sell their handmade crafts, food abounds and live music is every which way you roam. It’s a social community event where old friends catch up, and new friendships are forged.
Noted as the birthplace of sweet tea, Summerville residents have a lot to be proud of. The Sweet Tea Trail offers locals and visitors the chance to explore off the beaten path, and learn more about the community’s vibrant history. Learn even more about this historic town when you enjoy a trolley tour. Affordable homes, free Wi-Fi in downtown and safe streets round out the reasons why this Tree City USA is a popular place to call home.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.84
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 29.18
If you value quiet living and appreciate art and culture, a move to McCormick isn`t one you’ll regret. Located in the western part of South Carolina, the community of McCormick is founded around the core values of honest, accountability, respect, and teamwork.
Take on a McCormick address and soon you’ll learn its distinctive history. In 1850 gold was discovered where McCormick now stands. And although those golden years have long past, it remains an important part of the city’s culture. Art is another important aspect of the community and the McCormick Arts organization (MACK) is driven by the mission to provide art, culture and education to the region. MACK also offers numerous opportunities for civic engagement. In addition to an amazing selection of youth summer camps, MACK delivers first-rate programs to moms and dads too. The “Read and Feed” program is one of its most popular. For a nominal fee, participants gather together to discuss a piece of literature, and enjoy dinner. Then, three times per year, art takes to the street with the much anticipated Art Trot.
If you’re looking to avoid the stress of a big city and enjoy a quiet, safe lifestyle, McCormick is calling you.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 5.77
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 25.59
When a group of Germany immigrants arrived in Charleston and could not find the housing or sense of community they were looking for, they headed upstate and created one of their own. That was more than 150 years ago, but German pride still runs deep in Walhalla.
Today, Walhalla exudes charm, boasts a number of historical houses, and a meticulously restored Walhalla Civic Auditorium where a slew of events are held year-round. The annual Walhalla Oktoberfest honors the founders of the community who named it “Walhalla” meaning garden of the gods. This much anticipated annual event brings locals and visitors together to honor Walhalla’s unique past.
Thanks to tree-lined streets, antique shops, cafes and boutiques, Walhalla is a wonderful place to roam on foot. And best of all, it’s safe!
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.78
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 30.14
22. New Ellenton
Located 10 miles south of Aiken and 23 miles east of Augusta, Georgia New Ellenton offers a relaxed lifestyle without the sacrifice of modern comforts.
New Ellenton has a special history that creates a unique bond among community members. In the early 1950s, the U.S. government bought 200,000 acres of land to build a massive nuclear weapons complex. All homes, churches and stores had to be removed. In all, 6,000 residents were displaced, many of which settled 14 miles north. Starting in 1971, the Atomic City Festival honors those residents who were forced to move for the sake of national security.
A low population density and slightly lower cost of living than the U.S. average, New Ellenton is a quaint community that’s built on heritage and character.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 7.22
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 28.38
Situated in Spartanburg County, the 4.1 square mile town of Lyman has a proactive police department that’s especially notable for a town of this size.
The Lyman Police Department`s Reserve Officer Program is one of the department’s most respected programs. In fact, its Reserve Unit is recognized as one of the finest in the state and no doubt is one reason why crime in Lyman is kept at bay. Reserve Officer volunteers complete more than three months of intense law enforcement training that includes South Carolina law, patrol procedures, firearms, domestic violence laws and more. Additionally, before being allowed to patrol on their own, each Reserve Officer must complete a minimum 240 hours training with a full time officer.
The department’s Citizen Check Program offers elderly, disabled or residents dealing with a domestic abuse situation a sense of comfort. Registered residents receive a call every day, and if it isn`t answered a police officer will head to their home to check on them. Offering low stress living and earning high marks for safety, Lyman is a comfortable place to settle in.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: .91
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 35.10
Image: Lyman Facebook Page
Founded in 1889, Clemson University is one of the state’s most desirable institutes of learning. In fact, 21,000 students attend the university every year. But the town of Clemson is also home to a number of thriving families.
Famous as a college town, there’s more to Clemson than meets the eye. A fabulous Farmers Market is just one benefit of being a Clemson resident. It offers moms and dads the chance to buy fresh produce and support the local economy, plus expose their kids to the wonders of handmade crafts, a range of entertainment and informative workshops. If you make Clemson home, you’ll want to take a peek at Community Connection, a seasonal publication distributed go-to guide to Clemson happenings.
But in addition to a first-rate university and a wealth of things to do, Clemson residents are fortunate to be served by a forward-thinking police department. The Clemson Police Department provides access to Crime Reports, a comprehensive online crime search program. Enter any address and the website will reveal what crimes have taken place near that area as well as police response times and other data. Clemson’s law enforcement officers also hosts a class that teaches women and kids realistic self-defense tactics as well as awareness, risk reduction and risk avoidance. Safety is the backbone of any family friendly community, and Clemson is no exception.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.98
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 33.03
Image: blahedo, CC 2.5
Greer is growing and there’s good reason. Located between Greenville and Spartanburg, Greer is popular with single professionals as well as families. Of course there’s the city’s outstanding location and low crime rates, but there are several other reasons why packing the house and heading to Greer is a smart more.
The Greer Cultural Arts Council goes to great lengths to provide the community with affordable cultural arts opportunities, including art, dance and drama. A mixture of passive and active recreational programs encourage residents to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and a resourceful afterschool program gives kids positives experiences that put their parents’ minds at ease. Adult sports programs, downtown festivals, concerts, and no less than 16 recreational parks and facilities add to the perks of living in Greer. Whether you’re exploring Greer’s revitalized downtown or one of its charming neighborhoods, you’ll be overwhelmed by Greer’s charm.
If you’re searching for a city that’s blossoming, packed with things to do and safe, you’ll want to put Greer at the top of your list.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 4.61
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 31.47
Noted as the highest point between Charleston and Savannah, Ridgeland is a town that’s coming into its own. In fact, the population of this Jasper County town grew 60 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Founded as a railroad stop, Ridgeland offers small-town ambiance but let that fool you into thinking it’s a sleepy southern town. Quite the contrary, Ridgeland is centrally located in an area that’s ideal for business. Offering a budding population, easy-access to three Intersate-95 exits, and situated between two of the busiest deep-water ports in the world, Ridgeland is a great place to do business. It’s also perfect for recreation. A growing park system, a short drive to the beaches of South Carolina and Georgia as well as the Blue Heron Nature Trail are some of the excuses you’ll have for getting outdoors.
We were impressed to discover that Ridgeland also makes beautification a priority. In fact, just a few years ago the town won the Municipal Association of South Carolina`s Achievement Award for Economic Development for transforming an unmaintained drainage ditch into a welcoming greenspace named Tuten Park. An array of plantings, a fountain and heron sculptures guide visitors to the Blue Heron Nature Trail and pavers connect it the existing sidewalk system. The project is a shining example of citizens and local leaders working together to improve their community one project at a time. Congratulations Ridgeland!
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.67
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 34.20
Liberty not only ensures its residents enjoy safe neighborhoods, it also gives youth a solid education and teaches them the meaning of community involvement. Tucked in the northwest corner of the state, Liberty is 19 miles west of the much larger city of Greenville.
It wasn’t long ago that Liberty Middle School received the Palmetto Silver Award from the South Carolina Department of Education, proving what citizen knew all along: Liberty takes care of its kids. We were also pleased to find out that through creative projects like “Project Piggy Bank” less fortunate youth have the chance to attend summer art camps and classes at the nearby Pickens County Museum of Art and History. Piggy banks were designed and decorated by local artists and placed in businesses throughout the month of December. The money drop in the banks was put toward the art scholarship fund. As a bonus, the delightfully decorated banks were then auctioned off. Talk about bringing the community together for a good cause, while teaching kids a valuable life lesson: doing good matters. Liberty’s community cohesiveness may be one reason why its citizens can proudly say they live in one of the state’s safest cities.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.63
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 33.24
Simpsonville is only a few miles south of Greenville, one of the most populated cities in the state. We weren’t the least stunned to discover that according to the town’s website, “Family Circle Magazine” named Simpsonville one of the 10 Best Towns For Families, or that “Money Magazine” honored it as one of the 25 Best, Affordable Cities.
Relocate to Simpsonville and soon you’ll realize that its citizens like to stay busy! Events pepper the community calendar year-round. A few of the local’s favorites include the challenging but fun Mud Mania race, the enjoyable Sippin` in Simpsonville Wine Tasting Event and concerts that not only feature local artists, but international performers as well. And Simpsonville is the only safe city on our list to serve up an annual event like Bovinoche. Bovinoche brings out the youngest and oldest residents of Simpsonville to roast a whole cow.
Not as unique as Bovinoche, but just as exciting, is the town’s Memorial Day Weekend Aloft Festival which features hot-air balloons and entertainment galore. An energetic citizenry, excellent schools and a vibrant downtown are more reasons why you’ll want to watch this video and discover the quality of life that waits for your family in Simpsonville.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.03
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 34.36
If a relaxed lifestyle, recreation and community interaction appeal to your family, you owe it to them to explore the safe city of Inman. Consisting of approximately 2,500 residents Inman is located in the Upstate region of South Carolina, just 20 minutes south of the North Carolina border and about 15 miles north of Spartanburg.
Inman is a small town where government leaders are immersed in the community and dedicated to creating a healthy, safe environment. One example is the Inman Trail. Created to provide a safe walking path for kids headed to school and for residents of all ages that want to get some fresh air, the Inman Trail is the result of countless hours of community involvement. And when it comes to community interaction, you’ll enjoy plenty of opportunities as an Inman resident. One way to meet new people and make friends fast is to pack a blanket and head to downtown Inman for live music. “Music on Mill” offers a range of free entertainment throughout summer, and a bouncy house the kids will never bore of. When the summer cools off and fall rolls in, you’ll want to experience Inman’s Harvest Day Festival.
One more way the community of Inman comes together for the good of all is through the Inman Police Department’s Reserve Officer program. Inman law enforcement and dedicated Inman residents work hand-in-hand to keep Inman safe.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 6.32
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 31.16
30. St. Matthews
Located in the Midlands region of the state and a mere 35 miles south of the capital of Columbia, you’ll have the pleasure of discovering St. Matthews, South Carolina. St. Matthews measures just 1.9 square miles, but don’t let its size mislead you. When St. Matthews serves as your home-base you’ll be perfectly positioned to take advantage of some of the state’s best recreation. Plus in less than 40 minutes you can be shopping the streets of Charleston or well on your way to catching a wave in the Atlantic Ocean.
St. Matthews is a simple town, and serves as the county seat for Calhoun County. It’s a rural, but thanks to its location near the Interstates, its home to a few of the nation’s leading industries. Low tax rates are another reason why businesses consider making St. Matthews home. For recreational activities, the Santee Cooper Lakes and a number of national and state parks are just moments way. And whether you’re travelling for business or for pleasure, you’ll appreciate that the Columbia Metropolitan Airport and the Charleston International Airport are both within easy reach.
A friendly community that close to two of the state’s most populated cities, St. Matthews is a fine place to settle and a great place for business. Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 8.83 Property Crimes Per 1,000: 29.44
In the heart of South Carolina’s stunning Lowcountry, you’ll discover beautiful Bluffton. And once you do, chances are you’ll stay a while.
That’s because not only is Bluffton one of the Palmetto State’s safest cities, it’s also one of its most diverse. A strong economy, an amazing coastal location and new infrastructure are just a few of the components of this fast growing city. And if you’re a civic minded citizen you’ll appreciate having your voice heard through opportunities like the Lowcountry Area Transportation Study Long Range Transportation Plan (LATS). The online, interactive map exercise allows you to share your thoughts on the types and locations of transportation projects. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a hunger for innovation, you’ll want to explore the resources offered by the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. Created to support new technology company development in Bluffton, the community driven organization is one of the most impressive we’ve ever uncovered. First-rate shopping, and close proximity to Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, Charleston and Savannah, Georgia, Bluffton also offers a variety of home styles, from petite condos to expansive homes tucked into finely manicured private golf club communities.
Safe, gorgeous and progressive, we’re sold on Bluffton, South Carolina. But you don’t have to take our word for it, explore a few videos about the quality of life in Bluffton and you’ll be hooked in no time.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.03
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 35.89
32. Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms is a small barrier island located a short drive from Charleston. A vacationer’s paradise, the city also enjoys a year-round, tight-knit population of welcoming folks.
The seven mile long, one-mile-wide island boasts eye-catching pastel colored beach homes, fun eateries, and immaculate beaches. In fact, 12 years ago (and every years since) Isle of Palms was recognized as the first city in the state to earn Blue Wave Designation from the Clean Beaches Council for its environmentally well-managed beaches. Isle of Palm residents care about their beaches, but they’re equally passionate about their very special visitors, the Loggerhead turtles. The island’s Turtle Team is comprised of a dedicated group of Isle of Palm residents who go to great lengths to monitor loggerhead turtles, their nests and hatchlings. Make Isle of Palms your home and you’ll discover that much of the island’s activity surrounds the five-acre city owned marina. From here you can launch your boat, or enjoy a day of offshore fishing or an eco-tour of a nearby uninhibited island.
Doing its part to balance a local lifestyle with an influx of thousands of tourists, we like that the Isle of Palms Police Department created a “Livability Hotline.” This hotline allows citizens an easy way to voice their concerns about things like noise, litter, fireworks, rental homes and property standards. Isle of Palm’s focus on environmental protection, welcoming ambiance and peaceful coastal setting make it a nearly irresistible place to call home.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 1.88
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 37.98
33. Folly Beach
Be forewarned; if you crave oceanfront living, you’ll likely fall in love with Folly Beach. Expansive beaches, sensational sunrises and an energetic spirit are just a few reasons why Folly Beach captures the hearts of locals and visitors alike.
Your kids will grow up paddleboarding and you’ll grow old gracefully when Folly Beach is your home sweet home! Rest assured, there is a lot to do on this dynamic stretch of land. Positioned slightly southeast of Charleston, Folly Beach’s population blossoms in summer, but every season there’s a reason to head to this gem of a barrier island. The Folly Beach Fishing Pier is the hub of entertainment on the island. It’s where fisherman get their lines wet, lovebirds take a romantic stroll and partygoers dance the night away to a variety of live bands. If hitting the links is your thing, you’ll be happy to hear that some of the state’s finest courses are within easy reach. Families will enjoy joining their neighbors for Lowcountry cuisine, or packing a picnic and jaunting off to Folly Beach County Park. And every member of the family is sure to take pleasure in a sunrise bike ride right on the beach!
Unmatched scenery, boundless activities and safe streets make Folly Beach an extraordinary place to put down roots.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.96
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 37.41
Less than 20 miles from Aiken and only a 45 minute drive to Augusta, Georgia the western South Carolina town of Williston is not only safe, it’s located in close proximity to some of the region’s most cherished destinations.
Situated in Barnwell County, Williston is the embodiment of small town America. In fact, the citizens and leaders of Williston still believe in recognizing the outstanding deeds of their neighbors. One way they do so is by proclaiming a Citizen of the Year. In 2013, Mr. David Barnette took the honor. It’s the kind of place where kids grow up, move away, and then find their way back home to raise families of their own. And we’re not the least surprised.
When visitors arrive at your door, or you’re taking the family on a weekend retreat you’ll want to start your exploration of the area at the Barnwell County Museum where you’ll gain insight into the area’s colorful past. And whether you’re fascinated with history, horses or culinary treats, you’ll have no trouble planning the perfect getaway with the help of the Thoroughbred County Guide. Safe neighborhoods and exceptionally welcoming locals round out the reasons why Williston is wonderful for families.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.83
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 37.98
Image: Town of Williston Blog
Recognized as the Peach Capital of South Carolina, fresh juice fruit is just a taste of what there is to love about Gaffney. An array of festivals and events, plus three national parks, are more reasons why those who settle in Gaffney tend to stay.
Located in the northern part of the state, Gaffney boasts a Historic Commercial District and a stunning Historic Residential District that offers onlookers pristine examples of Queen Anne, Victorian, and Bungalow style architecture. If you’re looking to further your education, you’ll be glad to discover Gaffney is the home to Limestone College. Founded in 1845, Limestone College was the first women’s college in the state and one the first in the entire country. Today, women as well as men attend the school and enjoy a student teacher ratio of just 13 to 1. The Cherokee County Campus of Spartanburg Community College offers more opportunities for educational advancement.
If you relocate to Gaffney you’ll want to take advantage of Gaffney Little Theatre. Situated in the hub of downtown, this “little” theater is big on producing a variety of entertainment throughout the year. Plays, musicals and special events that cater to all ages can be discovered at Gaffney Little Theater. Of course, an important part of what makes Gaffney so appealing is its low crime rate.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 6.12
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 36.03
Named in honor of the Saluda River which forms one of the town’s borders, Saluda is located in the Piedmont region of South Carolina. Settled by Scotch-Irish and English settlers during the mid 1700s, Saluda was once home to Cherokee Indians.
The seat of Saluda County, this 3,600 member community is one where you know your neighbor’s name and you’re comfortable with your kids riding bikes with friends. Ethnically diverse, you’ll discover that Saluda offers a variety of affordable housing and a lower cost of living than the national average and a lower unemployment rate when compared to the state average. Backed by a dedicated Chamber of Commerce, Saluda County is making the most of its location. Poultry processing and farming are two of the area’s primary industries, and major agricultural products include peaches, timber and soybeans.
When Saluda’s hardworking residents are ready for a fun-filled day, they often visit nearby Lake Murray. A 50,000 acre manmade lake, this is the place where childhood memories are made. Rent a boat, go fishing, watch your kids frolic along any stretch of the lake’s 649 miles of shoreline or simply float the day away on an oversized raft. You’ll never run out of things to do on Lake Murray.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 13.06
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 29.44
37. North Augusta
Perfectly perched on the north bank of the Savannah River, North Augusta is a quaint community that’s built on heritage, character and progress.
The city’s virtual tourbook offers a glimpse into important community components, including education, real estate and quality of life. The City`s biennial New Business Guide delivers critical information about building a business in North Augusta and its Economic Profile provides a statistical overview of the city. In addition to providing entrepreneurs with a wealth of new business resources, North Augusta is also prepared to keep your families active and healthy. The Greeneway Trail is one way it does so. The seven mile paved trail skirts an abandoned railroad right of way, and offers a variety of lovely landscape for leisurely bike rides, Sunday strolls or weekday workouts. The nearly 100,000 square foot Riverview Park Activities Center is another way North Augusta encourages family fitness. Incredibly affordable dues give your loved ones access to this state of the arts facility that includes an indoor walking/jogging track that overlooks Riverview Park and the Savannah River.
If you’re searching for a city that’s both safe and fitness focused, look no further.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 2.13
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 40.81
If you’ve been searching for a community that’s great for business, offers limitless recreation, and safe neighborhoods, you have discovered it. Dubbed “The City of Opportunity” when it was founded, Seneca has done a remarkable job at reinventing itself over the decades. As a result, it offers residents a robust history, as well as an optimistic future.
The economy diverse city was recently honored by “Site Selection Magazine” as one of the top micropolitans in the nation, ranking it 27 out of 576 micropolitan areas. Seneca earned its enviable position thanks to a number of economic development projects that took place during 2013.
Seneca residents work hard, but they play hard too. Seneca is located in the foothills of the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by the waters of Lake Keowee, Lake Jocassee and Lake Hartwell, so water-related fun is part of summer in Seneca. Buy a house in Seneca and you’ll enjoy taking part in an impressive selection of events that range from Jazz on the Alley to Mud Runs and the much anticipated Seneca Fest. Known as a community that welcomes newcomers with open arms, you’ll fit in fast in Seneca.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 7.69
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 36.25
Lexington claims it’s a town on the move, and we believe it. Located 15 miles west of Columbia, and only a few miles south of the shores of popular Lake Murray, Lexington has figured out how to embrace growth without losing sight of its rich past.
It’s also a place where safety comes first, community and government partnerships are encouraged and children are considered most important citizens.
During fair-weathered months, a collection of neighborhood parks let kids of all ages safely burn off energy. And special programs throughout the year help children learn about keeping safe. Kid`s Day of Lexington features free food and drink, a fire safety exhibit, bike safety clinics, and free child ID kits. Movie in the Park and Camp Out gives kids the opportunity to enjoy a night sleeping under the stars after enjoying a popular family friendly movie.
Lexington earns our praise for its top-notch police department. Recently, the Lexington Police Department was honored as `Agency of the Year` by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. The award acknowledge the Lexington Police Department’s efforts in the area of DUI arrest, DUI victim services and anti-underage drinking programs.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 3.11
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 41.25
40. Rock Hill
Noted as one of the Palmetto State’s largest cities, Rock Hill is home to nearly 70,000 residents. If you’re considering making the move to Rock Hill, the first place you’ll want to explore is the city’s impressive website.
One reason why this large city remains safe is likely due to its number of neighborhood empowerment programs. The free services of the Neighborhood Empowerment Office offers are numerous and impressive and the Rock Hill Council of Neighborhoods is dedicated to preserving and promoting Rock Hill’s neighborhoods. Inside Rock Hill, the city’s 10 week civics program, helps give residents a better understanding of how the city is run so they can more effectively serve their neighborhoods. And community participation in National Night Out has been growing over the years. In fact, in 2013, 30 neighborhoods held block parties, fish fries and flashlight walks to let criminals know they take crime seriously. One of the most unique community empowerment programs Rock Hill boasts is “Rolling in Rock Hill.” This exceptional program coordinates the efforts of hundreds of volunteers to paint the houses of those who are unable to do so themselves.
Strong communities are built upon safe streets and a commitment to the welfare of others. Rock Hill is a shining example.
Violent Crimes Per 1,000: 6.57
Property Crimes Per 1,000: 37.83
Image: Helcroy, CC 3.0 From the picturesque Piedmont to the spectacular Lowcountry, South Carolina is showered with safe cities that are worthy of calling home. In addition to becoming involved with your new community, SafeWise wants you to know that a home security system offers your loved ones an extra layer of protection and priceless peace of mind.
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Feeling safe is an important part of being happy wherever you live. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security and peace of mind to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.
To learn more about the home security options available to you in South Carolina, select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.