Worst Small Towns In South Carolina For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in SC are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in South Carolina.

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Most Americans have never been to South Carolina. However, as the people who live there know, South Carolina is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, South Carolina has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Palmetto State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 138 of South Carolina's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in South Carolina where you'd never want to live:

These are the worst small towns in South Carolina for 2020:

  1. Watts Mills
  2. Blackville (Photos)
  3. Catawba
  4. Allendale (Photos)
  5. Calhoun Falls
  6. Judson
  7. Winnsboro Mills
  8. Gloverville
  9. Edisto
  10. Walhalla (Photos)

So what is the worst small town to call home in south carolina for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Watts Mills is the worst small town to live in South Carolina.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since South Carolina has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in South Carolina or the worst places to live in South Carolina.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In South Carolina For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,384
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $59,500 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.5% (5th worst)
More on Watts Mills:  Data

Blackville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 2,027
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $53,700 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.2% (22nd worst)
More on Blackville:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,151
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $80,000 (49th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.6% (13th worst)
More on Catawba:  Data

Allendale, SC

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 3,072
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $36,700 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 26.7% (1st worst)
More on Allendale:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,924
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $43,000 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (24th worst)
More on Calhoun Falls:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,777
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $53,400 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.5% (35th worst)
More on Judson:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,944
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $60,300 (23rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.8% (3rd worst)
More on Winnsboro Mills:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,788
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 17)
Median Home Value: $65,000 (29th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.8% (4th worst)
More on Gloverville:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,290
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $80,100 (50th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (52nd worst)
More on Edisto:  Data

Walhalla, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,293
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 16)
Median Home Value: $91,500 (64th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.4% (19th worst)
More on Walhalla:  Data | Photos

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in South Carolina, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in South Carolina for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 138 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In South Carolina

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Palmetto State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in South Carolina, according to science:

  1. Northlake (Pop. 3,793)
  2. Sullivan's Island (Pop. 2,148)
  3. Isle of Palms (Pop. 4,345)

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In South Carolina

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Watts Mills 1,384 20.5% $59,500
2 Blackville 2,027 15.2% $53,700
3 Catawba 1,151 16.6% $80,000
4 Allendale 3,072 26.7% $36,700
5 Calhoun Falls 1,924 14.9% $43,000
6 Judson 1,777 12.5% $53,400
7 Winnsboro Mills 1,944 21.8% $60,300
8 Gloverville 2,788 21.8% $65,000
9 Edisto 2,290 9.9% $80,100
10 Walhalla 4,293 15.4% $91,500
11 Saxon 3,710 7.4% $54,800
12 Ware Shoals 2,547 13.7% $59,300
13 Southern Shops 3,667 2.1% $53,200
14 Timmonsville 2,321 18.4% $69,200
15 Blacksburg 2,008 6.8% $82,000
16 Fairfax 2,093 16.7% $61,200
17 Branchville 1,132 15.2% $60,000
18 Williston 2,995 11.2% $164,800
19 East Sumter 1,172 25.5% $75,200
20 Fairforest 1,644 17.1% $49,600
21 Arcadia 4,073 5.7% $32,600
22 Denmark 3,062 9.5% $55,000
23 Langley 1,309 14.2% $56,200
24 Cherryvale 3,202 16.4% $80,800
25 St. Stephen 1,787 13.8% $98,300
26 Graniteville 3,415 13.2% $97,300
27 South Sumter 2,294 19.3% $57,200
28 Great Falls 1,988 4.9% $49,600
29 Wilkinson Heights 1,546 14.2% $82,400
30 Springdale 2,355 10.9% $69,100
31 Startex 1,437 16.5% $57,000
32 Pageland 2,684 8.7% $105,900
33 Iva 1,515 12.9% $67,600
34 Estill 2,856 16.4% $71,200
35 Mccoll 1,981 9.7% $54,900
36 Clearwater 4,319 9.5% $100,700
37 Turbeville 1,002 10.8% $109,000
38 Mccormick 2,654 5.9% $74,900
39 Westminster 2,512 13.6% $93,900
40 Brookdale 4,588 16.7% $80,500
41 Gayle Mill 1,075 9.1% $60,400
42 Mullins 4,429 10.4% $70,200
43 Monarch Mill 1,416 3.6% $51,700
44 Privateer 1,939 6.3% $133,400
45 Pelzer 1,407 6.4% $64,000
46 Ridgeland 3,948 6.2% $151,400
47 Edgefield 4,735 10.7% $100,200
48 Cowpens 1,782 7.2% $96,200
49 Saluda 3,613 4.4% $83,000
50 Barnwell 4,502 8.1% $104,100
51 East Gaffney 2,944 8.2% $64,900
52 Bishopville 3,122 14.5% $103,000
53 Dunean 3,605 8.1% $82,100
54 Whitmire 1,561 8.3% $34,800
55 Belton 4,309 10.4% $94,700
56 Gaston 1,621 9.3% $84,100
57 Utica 1,501 2.5% $44,400
58 Mcbee 1,002 4.3% $66,400
59 City View 1,448 1.1% $75,800
60 Santee 1,003 7.7% $137,500
61 Manning 3,984 15.9% $96,000
62 Arial 2,030 8.4% $109,100
63 Wedgefield 1,865 15.0% $79,300
64 Joanna 1,329 5.1% $51,500
65 Irwin 1,303 10.9% $79,600
66 Pacolet 2,456 5.7% $65,700
67 Ravenel 2,655 10.1% $211,000
68 Holly Hill 1,359 1.1% $137,500
69 Lincolnville 1,280 17.1% $115,200
70 Lakewood 2,644 5.8% $98,600
71 New Ellenton 2,158 9.3% $79,800
72 Woodruff 4,164 16.7% $101,500
73 Winnsboro 3,280 9.2% $155,800
74 Slater-Marietta 2,009 2.5% $91,100
75 Inman Mills 1,306 2.8% $77,000
76 Johnston 2,221 5.6% $109,900
77 Gadsden 1,873 0.1% $49,900
78 Hopkins 2,956 1.0% $69,700
79 Pendleton 3,158 5.3% $128,300
80 Latta 1,377 5.4% $96,700
81 South Congaree 2,395 9.7% $125,300
82 Lake Secession 1,050 3.3% $160,100
83 Varnville 1,877 5.7% $77,500
84 Bamberg 3,317 3.1% $76,100
85 Eureka Mill 1,527 11.3% $78,000
86 Kingstree 3,122 5.3% $102,600
87 Loris 2,625 7.3% $143,400
88 Pamplico 1,091 16.0% $120,500
89 Murphys Estates 1,696 3.9% $108,000
90 Wellford 2,561 7.0% $96,300
91 Hampton 2,608 7.2% $108,600
92 Andrews 2,981 6.9% $87,300
93 Kershaw 2,021 8.1% $87,000
94 Liberty 3,185 6.0% $93,400
95 Burne 2,718 8.9% $134,100
96 Elgin 3,610 8.1% $119,300
97 Pickens 3,153 6.8% $119,600
98 Cane Savannah 1,035 13.9% $117,100
99 Honea Path 3,687 9.1% $88,000
100 St. George 2,581 4.2% $130,600

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