Top 11 Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina (2023)

If you’re looking for a peaceful and safe place to live in South Carolina, it’s important to know which cities to avoid. Despite the state’s growing economy, beautiful beaches, and southern hospitality, there are still some areas that have higher crime rates than others. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ten most dangerous cities in South Carolina, so you can make informed decisions about where to live and visit.

Top 11 Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina (2023)

    1. Myrtle Beach
    2. Orangeburg
    3. Florence
    4. Spartanburg
    5. North Charleston 
    6. Georgetown
    7. Columbia
    8. Sumter
    9. Greenville
    10. Summerville
    11. Charleston

1. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, a popular tourist destination, is considered the most dangerous city in South Carolina due to its high crime rates. With a population of 36,000, Myrtle Beach has a crime rate that is 330% higher than the national average, with 10,096 crimes per 100,000 people. Residents face a 1 in 10 chance of becoming a victim of any type of crime. The city recorded 458 violent crimes and 3,056 property crimes in 2022 alone. Although Myrtle Beach hosts thousands of visitors safely each year, it is recommended to stay within the tourist areas for added safety.

2. Orangeburg

Orangeburg, a city located 37 miles from Columbia, SC, has one of the highest rates of violent crime in South Carolina, making it one of the worst cities to live in. With a population of approximately 14,000 people, Orangeburg has a crime rate of 7,871 per 100,000 individuals, which is 241% higher than the national average. In 2022, there were 2,035 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, making it a major issue for the community.

3. Florence

Florence County in South Carolina is considered to be one of the most perilous cities, with a population of 39,899. The city’s crime rate is alarmingly high at 7,648 per 100,000 individuals, which is 226% higher than the national average. Residents in Florence have a 1 in 14 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. In the year 2021, the city witnessed five murders, 41 robberies, 455 assaults, and 235 burglaries. Property crimes are more rampant than violent crimes in this city.

4. Spartanburg

Located in the northern part of South Carolina, Spartanburg has a population of 38,400 and is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the state. The city has a crime rate of 7,639 per 100,000 people, which is 225% higher than the national average. This means that residents have a 1 in 14 chance of becoming a victim of a crime. The violent crime rate is particularly high in Spartanburg, with 1,525 incidents per 100,000 people.

5. North Charleston 

North Charleston is considered as one of the most violent cities in South Carolina, with a population of 106,113 and a crime rate of 6,249 per 100,000 people. This crime rate is 166% higher than the national average, making residents have a 1 in 17 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. In 2021, the city recorded 35 murders, while robbery and assault were the most prevalent violent crimes. Furthermore, property crimes such as theft and motor vehicle theft are also common in the area.

6. Georgetown

Georgetown is a city in South Carolina that is considered dangerous, as it is located near the state’s coastline. Despite being the third oldest city in South Carolina with a population of 9,163, its crime rate is alarmingly high. In fact, the crime rate in Georgetown is 5,712 per 100,000, which is 141% higher than the national average. The violent crime rate is particularly concerning, as it is more than double the state average at 1,441 per 100,000 people. In 2022 alone, there were 2 murders, 8 robberies, and 105 assaults reported in Georgetown.

7. Columbia

With a population of 140,000, Columbia is known to be one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina, particularly when it comes to crime. It currently holds a crime rate of 5,228 per 100,000 people, which is well above the state average and 123% higher than the national average. The city is plagued by violent crimes such as robbery and assault, as well as property crimes like burglary and vehicle theft. While there have been efforts to revitalize the city, many areas still remain unsafe.

8. Sumter

Sumter, a South Carolina city, is considered to be highly dangerous with a crime rate that is 110% higher than the US average, despite having a population of just 40,760. In 2021 alone, 8 murders, 38 robberies, and 298 assaults were reported, making the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime 1 in 123. Additionally, crimes such as burglary, theft, and grand theft auto are prevalent in the area. The median household income in Sumter is $38,000, which is 30% lower than the national average.

9. Greenville 

With its high crime rates, Greenville is considered one of the worst places to live in South Carolina. Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville has a population of 70,720, and its crime rate stands at 4,764 per 100,000, which is 103% higher than the national average. Unfortunately, residents of Greenville have a 1 in 21 chance of becoming victims of crime. While violent crimes such as robbery and assault are common, there are also instances of burglary and theft. Despite these challenges, Greenville is a growing city that is home to many large companies.

10. Summerville

Located in Dorchester County, Summerville is known to be one of South Carolina’s most dangerous cities, with a population of 51,000. Although Summerville’s crime rate is slightly lower than the state average, it’s still 33% above the national average. On average, the city experiences 3,128 incidents per 100,000 people, and residents have a 1 in 32 chance of being a victim of any type of crime. Assault, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft are the most commonly reported crimes in the city.

11. Charleston

If you’re looking for a tourist destination with great food and historic architecture, Charleston is definitely worth considering. However, it’s important to note that the city has a population of 150,000 and a crime rate that is 18% higher than the US average, making it the eighth most dangerous city in South Carolina. This means that residents have a 1 in 37 chance of experiencing any type of crime, and in 2021 alone, there were 621 violent crimes and 3,316 property crimes. So if you’re planning to visit or move to Charleston, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks, as residents have a 1 in 20 chance of being a victim of crime.

Read More: The Top 10 Safest Cities in Alabama (2023)

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