This post is not about picking which Carolina is the best; it is about picking which places within South Carolina are the best. We conducted an analysis to find out just which places in South Carolina were the best. So without further ado, here are the 10 best places in SC:
- CDP of Five Forks
- Town of Hilton Head Island (tie)
- City of Charleston (tie)
- City of Mauldin
- Town of Mount Pleasant
- City of Greenville (tie)
- Town of Lexington (tie)
- City of Beaufort
- Fort Mill Township
- City of Goose Creek
As much as we'd have liked to base our analysis around which South Carolina places had the best beaches (Hilton Head, by the way) or which places were best for sports fans, to find the flat out best places in the state, we needed something a bit more universal. So, we relied on the following seven criteria:
- Total Amenities
- Quality of Life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income, and student to teacher ratio)
- Total Crimes
- Tax Rates (sales tax and income tax)
- Commute Time
- Weather (temperature and air quality)
Once we settled on our criteria, we looked at the U.S. Census data for all of the places in South Carolina with populations over 10,000, leaving us with a total of 50 locales. Then, with the criteria above, we ranked each place from 1 to 50, with one being the best possible score. After that, we averaged each ranking for an overall Big Deal Score; the lower the score, the better a place fared.
8. The city of Beaufort may not be the cheapest on our list, with its cost of living of 96, but it certainly makes up for that with plenty to do and a high salaries. Starting with amenities, Beaufort ranked No. 1 in this category with a variety of businesses for their population of just more than 12,700. And as far as salary goes, Beaufort residents make 25 percent more than the rest of the state, with a median household income of $49,063.
Beaufort also earned points for its low commute time of just 19 minutes and low student to teacher ratio, just 14:1, giving it an overall score in quality of life.
With all of this, plus the beautiful scenic atmosphere, the art scene, the old historic buildings, and the sense of community, it is no wonder Beaufort has been named the Best Small Southern Town by Southern Living.