These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In South Carolina For 2018


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

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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 123 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:

  1. Clifton
  2. Furman
  3. Hilda
  4. Gifford
  5. Catawba
  6. Perry
  7. Waterloo
  8. Vance
  9. Jonesville
  10. Eastover

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.

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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 crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 123 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.

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1. Clifton


Population: 428
Median Income: $23,239
Median Home Value: $31,100

2. Furman


Population: 280
Median Income: $31,932
Median Home Value: $47,200

3. Hilda


Population: 436
Median Income: $33,229
Median Home Value: $51,900

4. Gifford


Population: 517
Median Income: $27,794
Median Home Value: $55,800

5. Catawba


Population: 926
Median Income: $30,495
Median Home Value: $128,000

6. Perry


Population: 356
Median Income: $25,000
Median Home Value: $83,600

7. Waterloo


Population: 120
Median Income: $21,250
Median Home Value: $87,500

8. Vance


Population: 101
Median Income: $17,083
Median Home Value: $74,000

9. Jonesville


Population: 838
Median Income: $20,000
Median Home Value: $77,000

10. Eastover


Population: 873
Median Income: $16,676
Median Home Value: $74,200

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. Best: Arcadia Lakes
  2. 2nd Best: Briarcliffe Acres
  3. 3rd Best: Edisto Beach

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Most Boring Cities In South Carolina
  • These Are The 10 Poorest Places In South Carolina
  • These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In South Carolina

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Clifton 1 428 $31,100
    Furman 2 280 $47,200
    Hilda 3 436 $51,900
    Gifford 4 517 $55,800
    Catawba 5 926 $128,000
    Perry 6 356 $83,600
    Waterloo 7 120 $87,500
    Vance 8 101 $74,000
    Jonesville 9 838 $77,000
    Eastover 10 873 $74,200
    Elko 11 161 $72,500
    Sellers 12 175 $34,800
    Lynchburg 13 355 $84,400
    Gayle Mill 14 761 $50,000
    Alcolu 15 477 $133,900
    Ward 16 121 $83,300
    Woodford 17 147 $72,900
    Kline 18 146 $65,600
    Scotia 19 196 $65,700
    Wallace 20 716 $59,400
    North 21 795 $87,000
    Chesnee 22 782 $86,300
    Carlisle 23 448 $36,500
    Greeleyville 24 476 $64,300
    Scranton 25 755 $82,400
    Olar 26 190 $63,200
    Donalds 27 332 $73,500
    Patrick 28 441 $57,000
    Society Hill 29 586 $64,300
    Eutawville 30 325 $80,500
    Clio 31 769 $56,500
    Coward 32 731 $77,500
    Lockhart 33 574 $27,500
    Central Pacolet 34 147 $55,000
    Rembert 35 243 $75,000
    Lane 36 550 $47,500
    Springfield 37 496 $67,100
    Clarks Hill 38 318 $75,800
    Paxville 39 231 $57,700
    Sycamore 40 146 $55,700
    Pinewood 41 490 $73,200
    Ehrhardt 42 456 $85,500
    Shiloh 43 101 $80,000
    Gray Court 44 716 $70,800
    West Pelzer 45 969 $78,200
    West Union 46 305 $104,700
    Rowesville 47 277 $84,400
    Mayesville 48 595 $73,300
    Bonneau 49 570 $112,500
    Atlantic Beach 50 239 $117,500
    Heath Springs 51 774 $96,900
    Salley 52 304 $66,100
    Nichols 53 383 $102,100
    Bucksport 54 805 $96,100
    Yemassee 55 873 $85,500
    Olanta 56 525 $89,300
    Stuckey 57 188 $70,000
    Monetta 58 156 $57,500
    Livingston 59 157 $75,000
    Wagener 60 822 $79,100
    Norway 61 297 $68,100
    Lowrys 62 210 $104,500
    Brunson 63 485 $63,200
    Bethune 64 261 $82,600
    Cross Hill 65 634 $60,400
    Mcbee 66 811 $66,500
    Tatum 67 128 $60,000
    Snelling 68 325 $60,200
    Harleyville 69 624 $96,400
    Jefferson 70 833 $84,300
    Norris 71 839 $99,000
    Ridge Spring 72 922 $84,900
    Bowman 73 809 $103,600
    Campobello 74 562 $120,200
    Salem 75 149 $75,000
    Mount Croghan 76 130 $59,400
    Richburg 77 585 $81,700
    Neeses 78 318 $62,900
    Lamar 79 991 $84,300
    Sharon 80 493 $86,900
    Lydia 81 501 $67,500
    Aynor 82 634 $132,000
    Trenton 83 271 $102,500
    Lake View 84 761 $83,100
    Fort Lawn 85 951 $85,100
    Swansea 86 893 $86,700
    Enoree 87 695 $73,800
    Starr 88 143 $103,100
    Converse 89 576 $114,800
    Cottageville 90 851 $87,800
    Cameron 91 440 $135,000
    Cane Savannah 92 915 $116,800
    Elloree 93 721 $105,900
    Reevesville 94 215 $91,300
    Cokesbury 95 146 $70,500
    Gilbert 96 824 $134,500
    Hickory Grove 97 428 $87,900
    Ruby 98 373 $85,800
    Fair Play 99 626 $112,500
    Oakland 100 852 $90,500

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    16 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In South Carolina For 2018

    1. Wow..been to all these small towns…regardless of the information posted…it is best to visit the place to get to know the people…there is alot more to offer than just numbers

    2. Snellings, I really don’t know where this information was gathered from but it’s ALL false. First I wish my house did cost 33k and education is very good my daughter can go to Williston school Barnwell schools or Christan Academy. And a lot of our community don’t work at Wal Mart whoever did this research must don’t know of Kimberly Nuclear, Kronotex, SRS or the other company’s that is local.

    3. I am familiar with some of these towns; but most familiar with Neeses than any of the rest. I think the comments and opinions of the “writer” were misleading and quite unfair to the Home of some of my Family and Friends.
      Also the town where I was first taken to Church as a child. I was too young to remember that church, but some of my relatives still live there where the have since the ’50’s.
      In fact, my most senior male relative and his wife live there and I’m sure they would not agree with the premise of this article. Too bad that “writers” publish stuff like this without any consideration of the “personal” real-life stories of the “real people” who choose to call “Small town America” their home.
      I have fond memories of other Families, whom we grew up with and who’s lives were molded in the same “Church Family” as I was.
      Stories like this do a great dis-service to “real people” who I know and Love.
      I’m sure the same goes for families who choose to live in the other towns who this “writer” tagged as a town where “You’d never want to live”.
      Every time I travel US Hwy 321 through the “heart of Neeses, SC”, I don’t see it as a place where I’d “never want to live” I see it as a place that was part of molding my life because of the “People” who lived there and touched my life in a significant way.

    4. Windsor is not that bad, I thought for sure there were more people living there, the only thing I never liked was the nosy gossipers, most of them work or have worked at Windsor general, that’s the worst store

    5. Vance’s crime rate??
      The “Chief” of police spends 100% of his time in the portion of Hwy 6 that lies within the city limits. This speed trap is that rathole’s only source of revenue.

    6. I imagine the data he offered was correct as far as census and employment, etc. But the score is definately skewed by lack of or incorporating the wrong data into the scale. It doesn’t look like he removed the retired people for income and employment. Or the fact that any basic need or employment opportunity is a rocks throw outside of the city limit signs for these quaint little towns. This article certainly was not infotainment as he implied it was bias and ignorant. Bless his heart….

      1. I agree Karen….. I see there are similar articles about other states….. I haven’t read them but if they are conclusions drawn only from “statistics he found on the internet” I imagine the “real people” living in those small towns and others who are familiar with them feel the same as we have expressed here. 🙁

    7. I disagree with your analysis of Lowndesville,SC. We have lived in Columbia, Fort Mill, Anderson, and other places in SC and we love this place better than any. Sure it is very small, but the people that live here are fantastic. when we first moved here people up and down the road we live in dropped by to welcome us. They invited us to their churches and social events that they have. One of the biggest reasons that the town has lost so many younger folk is the fact that factories have closed nearby and the town could not help that. All of the few churches work together and help people out when they are sick, or if there is a death. I have NEVER lived in a town so friendly! Your article will also make it hard for people who need to move away to sell their property! Disgusting article!

      1. Oh yes and Lowndesville is on Lake Russell with some of the cleanest water in SC and some of the biggest and best bass caught anywhere!!!!!

    8. I believe your analysis of some of the small towns is skewed. Lowdnesville is a great retirement location. I have live all over the South–wouldn’t trade my current location for any of the former. Might add that I am not uneducated or criminally inclined. Also wish I could have purchased my home in the $40,000 range you outlined. You really shouldn’t “judge a book” by statistics, but, rather by the people who live there.

    9. I am going to ask my friends that are on Facebook to comment on this post. I am sure that they will disagree also. The cost of living is the same as most places and we are getting a new water line put in which will be helpful if any new businesses want to open here. There are several local hunting clubs that own land or rent land because of the great hunting opportunities here. The fishing is great with a clean deep lake full of bass,crappies,catfish, and bream! there are a good many people who own homes on Lake Russell that come in for weekends and holidays and they love it here too. I am so sorry that you published these towns that you say are the 10 worst towns in South Carolina, because not only the great residents of Lowndesville hurt by it, but the other residents of these towns are hurt too! Shame on you!

    10. I believe that my first comment is what I think about your post. Lowndesville is a great place to live and your survey should have included conversations with the people that live here.

    11. What is the importance of an article like this. We are the Johnson family from Neeses. After leaving for New York and Philadelphia to work most of us returned after retirement and brought savings and retirement income and purchased homes and are living royalty. It is a plus to travel out on the weekend to eat, shop and attend movies. Neeses is clean, friendly and peaceful. Try interviewing actual people who have lived there all of there lives.

    12. Mina Thompson,great comment. Your post is one reason we moved to Lowndesville. We are angry that our little town made this awful list because it is a slam on the people and the great real estate on a wonderful,clean lake,(Russell).

    13. Thanks everyone for your being this will be my first visit to South Carolina and I will be visiting Camden for the 4th of July, can share their thoughts on Camden?

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