The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
South Carolina’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in South Carolina for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
South Carolina is less concerned about crime and safety than the rest of the country, and its safest cities collectively boast crime rates well below national averages. But statewide, there’s more crime reported in The Palmetto State than the rest of the US.
In this report
2022 South Carolina crime rates
Violent crime in South Carolina increased again this year—rising by over 5%—it went up from 5.1 incidents per 1,000 people to 5.3. Property crime continued a downward trend, falling from 29.5 crimes per 1,000 people to 27.2.
In the South Atlantic region, South Carolina has the highest rates of violent and property crime, ahead of Delaware (4.3) for violent crime and North Carolina (22.3) for property crime.
South Carolina's crime rates are higher than the national rate. Across all 50 states, South Carolina has the sixth-highest rate of violent crime and the fifth-highest rate of property crime.
Level of concern and experience with crime in South Carolina
In our State of Safety survey, South Carolinians worried less about crime and safety than most of the country, but only 46% say they feel safe in their state (US 55%). The level of concern seems out of step with the state’s higher rates of personal experience with crime.
Concern about safety fell nearly 20% year over year, even though experience with crime is higher than average. Experience with violent crime rose 160% year over year, and experience with gun violence rose 140%. Despite a statewide increase in violent crime and more reported crime experiences, fewer people in South Carolina think crime is on the rise: 64% versus 66% nationwide.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in South Carolina
We asked South Carolina residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if South Carolinians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in South Carolina: Fear vs. reality
People in South Carolina are less worried about violent crime than the average American, despite reports of violent crime experiences jumping 160% year over year. The Palmetto State is also one of 34 states that saw a rise in the violent crime rate year over year.
- The safest cities aren't immune to rising violent crime numbers statewide—reported murders nearly doubled since last year.
- 2 of the safest cities have a higher violent crime rate than the country (4.0).
- Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in South Carolina, making up 79% of all reported incidents—13% higher than the national average.
- 11% of reported violent crimes were robberies, far below the national average (US 19%).
- 32% of South Carolina respondents use some form of personal protection (US 34%).
- 39% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Attitudes about gun violence in South Carolina
- 48% named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
- 40% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%), beating out concern over violent crime, property crime, and package theft.
- Survey respondents say their gun violence experiences rose 140% year over year—from 5% to 12%.
- The 17 mass shooting incidents in South Carolina in 2021 represent a 23% decrease compared to 2020 (22 incidents).
- 40% of survey participants worry about police violence daily (US 40%).
- 58% have confidence in law enforcement’s approach to crime prevention (US 56%).
Property crime in South Carolina: Fear vs. reality
South Carolinians experienced more property crime this survey year than most of the country. Still, the statewide property crime rate fell by almost 7% this year.
- 21% of survey participants reported an experience with property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey, compared to 18% nationwide.
- Property crime has been on the decline for the past four years, dropping by nearly 15% since 2019.
- Burglaries are far less common in the safest cities, making up just 10% of all property crime versus 16% statewide. Nationally, burglaries account for 16% of all property crime.
- 64% take proactive measures to protect their property (US 60%), with 34% of those relying on security cameras over other types of protection like a guard dog or firearm.
- 27% of survey respondents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
A closer look at the safest cities in South Carolina
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 61 cities met criteria to be considered for our 2022 list.
- Edgefield, our number 1 this year, is new to the list—it reported the lowest violent and property crime rates in the state with a total of just 32 property crimes and only 2 violent crimes (neither of which was rape or murder).
- Surfside Beach (16) is also new to the list.
- 11 cities increased in rank this year.
- Conway had the biggest jump in rank this year, climbing 9 spots to land at 18.
- Charleston (population 139,582), Mount Pleasant (population 94,704), and Summerville (population 53,711) are the only cities with populations over 35,000.
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 2.7 incidents per 1,000 people, about half that of the state rate (5.3).
- 5 cities (25%) reported fewer than 10 violent crimes this year: Edgefield, Central, Tega Cay, Isle of Palms, Walhalla.
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 19.9 incidents per 1,000 people, about 27% lower than the state rate (27.2).
- Edgefield, Walhalla, and Isle of Palms all reported less than 100 property crime incidents this year.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
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Didn't find your city in the top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.