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Although it’s not one of the safer states in the country, South Carolina is home to a number of communities that are quite safe and family-friendly. In total, 9 South Carolina cities scored a 0.25 or higher on our Safety Index, which factors in FBI crime statistics and law enforcement employee numbers to determine the safety of a given community.

 A score of 0.25 or higher indicates a high level of safety and crime rates below national averages, i.e., a suitable community to settle down and raise a family in. Let’s look at some of South Carolina’s safest cities.

North Myrtle Beach is the safest city in South Carolina, according to our Safety Index. While property crime is high in the beachside community, it logged a violent crime rate below the state average and features one of the most well staffed police forces around, boasting a law enforcement to resident ratio of 9.17 per 1,000 residents.

Second is Clemson, home to Clemson University, boasts considerably lower crime rates than #1 North Myrtle Beach, logging a very low 0.49 per 1,000 violent crime rate and 19.16 per 1,000 property crime rate. Clemson is kept out of the top spot only because of its lower ratio of police to residents, yet depending on your perspective, it may actually be the safest city in the state.

Two other South Carolina cities, Tega Cay (#3) and Charleston (#4), scored above a 0.5 on the Safety Index, with each city logging violent and property crime rates below state and national averages. Tega Cay boasts a lower violent crime rate, yet Charleston offers a considerably higher ratio of police officers to residents.

Safest Cities in South Carolina, 2019

RankCitySafety Index
1North Myrtle Beach0.91
3Tega Cay0.58
7North Augusta0.29
8Mount Pleasant0.25
13Goose Creek-0.11
14Port Royal-0.2
17Moncks Corner-0.36
26Forest Acres-0.71
29North Charleston-1.06
30West Columbia-1.46
31Myrtle Beach-1.69


We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings. There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is.

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