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The 20 Safest Cities in South Carolina—2017

The twenty safest cities in South Carolina are scattered from the mountains to the coast. They range from small, quaint towns like Saluda and Pine Ridge to sprawling cities like Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Regardless of each city’s size, the leaders, citizens, and law enforcement officers share a continued commitment to keeping crime at bay—evidenced by the fact that 80% of the cities on this year’s list also appeared on our list last year. We congratulate Simpsonville—the safest city in South Carolina—for breaking the top twenty for the first time.

Based on the most current FBI Crime Report, the twenty safest cities in South Carolina reported a violent crime rate of 2.42 crimes per 1,000 people. That’s approximately 50% less than the South Carolina average. Equally impressive is the fact that half of these cities cited fewer than twenty violent crimes, and eleven reported zero incidents of murder. Tega Cay, the third-safest city in the Palmetto State, reported just one violent crime (a robbery), and Lyman, the fourteenth-safest city, had no counts of murder, rape, or robbery.

In addition to limiting violent crime, South Carolina’s safest cities do exceptional jobs of keeping property safe. For instance, Pine Ridge reported just twenty-eight total property crimes, and Burnettown cited a mere thirty-three—only three of which were burglaries. Fountain Inn reported 119 larceny-thefts—a nominal number for a city of nearly 10,000 residents—and only one motor vehicle theft was reported in Lyman.

Strong partnerships between police and citizens can go a long way toward keeping cities safe. In addition to community initiatives like neighborhood watch, several of these cities’ law enforcement agencies offer programs designed to build bonds with kids. For example, the Mount Pleasant Police Department hosts a Cops and Kids Pizza Night, a summer safety camp, and other innovative youth programs.1 The Mauldin Police Department conducts an annual Police Youth Academy,2 and both the Bluffton and Hanahan Police Departments offer Explorer Programs. With programs like these in place, there’s a good chance crime will stay under control.

Review our list below to find out if your city is one of South Carolina’s safest. Then take a look at our South Carolina Safety Directory for the latest home security tips, community safety initiatives, and a map of the state’s most and least burglarized counties.

How We Chose the Safest Cities in South Carolina

To identify the twenty safest cities in South Carolina, we reviewed the 2015 FBI Crime Report statistics and population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 2,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

If your city made the list, share the news by embedding the “South Carolina Safest Cities” badge on your site. Click here to get the code, then just copy and paste.

From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring per 1,000 people in each city.

1. Simpsonville

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.77
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.28

2. Burnettown 

Previous rank: 3

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.86

3. Tega Cay 

Previous rank: 2

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.68

4. Fort Mill 

Previous rank: 10

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.85
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.71

5. Pine Ridge 

Previous rank: 4

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.04
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.58

6. Edgefield 

Previous rank: 1

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.34
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.86

7. Mount Pleasant

Previous rank: 7

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.65
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.79

8. Mauldin 

Previous rank: 12

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.47
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.28

9. Saluda 

Previous rank: 6

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.15
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.93

10. Bluffton

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.61

11. Hanahan 

Previous rank: 5

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.41
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.64

12. Fountain Inn 

Previous rank: 16

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.15
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.90

13. Duncan 

Previous rank: 15

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.64
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.41

14. Lyman 

Previous rank: 9

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.76
Property Crimes per 1,000: 22.62

15. Wellford

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.33
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.67

16. Pacolet 

Previous rank: 14

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.28
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.82

17. Isle of Palms 

Previous rank: 20

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.37
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.44

18. Port Royal

Previous rank: 18

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.79
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.16

19. Charleston 

Previous rank: 13

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.58
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.40

20. Greer

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.75
Property Crimes per 1,000: 23.90

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 20?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

21. Goose Creek 22. Seneca 23. South Congaree
24. Walhalla 25. McCormick 26. Cowpens
27. Clover 28. Ninety Six 29. Clemson
30. Lexington 31. Landrum 32. Springdale
33. Irmo 34. Williston 35. Woodruff
36. New Ellenton 37. Summerville 38. Johnston
39. Loris 40. Westminster 41. McColl
42. Folly Beach 43. North Augusta 44. Ridgeland
45. York 46. Inman 47. Liberty
48. Williamston 49. Ware Shoals 50. Conway
51. Belton 52. Sumter 53. Blackville
54. Gaffney 55. Greenville 56. Lancaster
57. Clinton 58. Honea Path 59. Chester
60. Bennettsville 61. Hardeeville 62. Forest Acres
63. Denmark 64. Aiken 65. Newberry
66. St. George 67. North Charleston 68. Cayce
69. Columbia 70. Union 71. Bishopville
72. Winnsboro 73. Beaufort 74. Central
75. Georgetown 76. Kingstree 77. Orangeburg
78. Surfside Beach 79. Easley 80. Laurens
81. Barnwell 82. Batesburg-Leesville 83. Spartanburg
84. Greenwood 85. Pageland 86. Hampton
87. Estill 88. Pickens 89. Florence
90. Walterboro 91. Mullins 92. Cheraw
93. Lake City 94. Darlington 95. Camden
96. Manning 97. North Myrtle Beach 98. Marion
99. Hartsville 100. Dillon

How safe is your home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security 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 your area, select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.


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If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email safestcities@safewise.com.


1. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Welcome to Our Youth Programs!
2. Mauldin Police, Police Youth Academy

Alexia Chianis

Find out more about Alexia, here.

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