These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In South Carolina For 2019

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 . This is our fourth 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 133 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 2019:

  1. Allendale (Photos)
  2. Blackville (Photos)
  3. Calhoun Falls
  4. Watts Mills
  5. Saxon
  6. Judson
  7. Williston
  8. Southern Shops (Photos)
  9. Edisto
  10. Blacksburg

So what is the worst small town to call home in South Carolina for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Allendale 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.

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 2019

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 2013-2017 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 – 133 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.

Allendale, SC

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,120
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $38,300 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 29.1% (1st worst)
More on Allendale:  Data | Photos

Blackville, SC

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,989
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $55,400 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.5% (16th worst)
More on Blackville:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,884
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $43,200 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.8% (6th worst)
More on Calhoun Falls:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,036
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $63,900 (25th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 24.9% (2nd worst)
More on Watts Mills:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,792
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $47,600 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (37th worst)
More on Saxon:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,959
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $50,800 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (30th worst)
More on Judson:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,026
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $93,600 (67th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.0% (26th worst)
More on Williston:  Data

Southern Shops, SC

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,703
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $50,500 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (128th worst)
More on Southern Shops:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,476
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $80,500 (51st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (52nd worst)
More on Edisto:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,810
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $77,900 (44th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (60th worst)
More on Blacksburg:  Data

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. Sullivan’s Island (Pop. 2,050)
  2. India Hook (Pop. 4,117)
  3. Pinopolis (Pop. 1,339)

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 Allendale 3,120 29.1% $38,300
2 Blackville 1,989 17.5% $55,400
3 Calhoun Falls 1,884 20.8% $43,200
4 Watts Mills 2,036 24.9% $63,900
5 Saxon 3,792 13.2% $47,600
6 Judson 1,959 14.7% $50,800
7 Williston 3,026 15.0% $93,600
8 Southern Shops 3,703 2.6% $50,500
9 Edisto 2,476 10.8% $80,500
10 Blacksburg 1,810 9.8% $77,900
11 Ware Shoals 2,759 14.1% $53,100
12 Timmonsville 2,212 19.8% $77,900
13 Denmark 3,145 10.6% $64,300
14 Cherryvale 2,521 19.6% $88,900
15 Fairforest 1,967 19.9% $48,000
16 Winnsboro Mills 1,613 12.5% $51,900
17 East Gaffney 2,980 15.9% $59,900
18 South Sumter 2,217 19.8% $49,300
19 East Sumter 1,271 22.9% $77,400
20 Langley 1,117 15.3% $51,900
21 Estill 2,726 17.9% $70,000
22 Wilkinson Heights 1,765 16.7% $80,300
23 Mullins 4,469 11.3% $68,700
24 Gloverville 2,730 18.3% $69,700
25 Walhalla 4,259 9.0% $96,800
26 Summerton 1,031 16.7% $75,300
27 Fairfax 1,884 8.4% $57,100
28 Springdale 2,466 10.4% $74,800
29 Graniteville 3,348 18.3% $115,100
30 Bishopville 3,229 14.8% $73,500
31 Clearwater 4,657 11.5% $93,200
32 Saluda 3,605 7.1% $84,800
33 St. Stephen 1,872 15.1% $97,100
34 Great Falls 2,145 6.5% $60,400
35 Murphys Estates 1,423 8.9% $85,000
36 Westminster 2,477 14.5% $99,400
37 Mccormick 2,622 8.3% $80,600
38 Barnwell 4,552 11.5% $98,600
39 New Ellenton 2,387 16.0% $80,200
40 Cowpens 1,855 7.5% $95,400
41 Belton 4,268 14.7% $96,500
42 Pageland 2,695 7.2% $95,400
43 Monarch Mill 1,528 3.9% $55,900
44 Iva 1,206 9.4% $71,500
45 Ridgeland 4,073 8.7% $131,700
46 Buffalo 1,563 14.1% $52,100
47 Hopkins 3,023 4.9% $77,000
48 Turbeville 1,021 10.0% $108,900
49 Brookdale 4,708 16.8% $83,500
50 Mccoll 2,157 8.0% $51,500
51 Pacolet 2,578 9.6% $65,900
52 Arial 2,248 10.8% $106,700
53 Andrews 2,880 14.9% $75,200
54 Ravenel 2,620 11.7% $150,900
55 Wedgefield 1,927 15.4% $76,900
56 Manning 4,015 18.9% $95,200
57 Edgefield 4,738 10.2% $104,000
58 Gaston 1,490 14.3% $80,800
59 Woodruff 4,140 19.2% $94,600
60 Gadsden 1,707 2.5% $58,400
61 Branchville 1,111 12.7% $68,300
62 Startex 1,276 11.5% $57,900
63 Santee 1,001 9.1% $122,500
64 Dunean 3,714 7.6% $82,800
65 Joanna 1,367 7.5% $51,900
66 Holly Hill 1,602 3.0% $112,900
67 Whitmire 1,623 9.2% $41,200
68 Pamplico 1,068 21.3% $108,800
69 Varnville 1,894 11.1% $83,200
70 Lake Secession 1,108 3.0% $207,700
71 Kingstree 3,150 7.0% $109,000
72 Eureka Mill 1,464 10.3% $64,200
73 Latta 1,278 4.8% $91,000
74 Privateer 2,099 5.5% $139,900
75 Winnsboro 3,303 12.3% $145,800
76 Dalzell 3,415 13.8% $128,200
77 Pelzer 1,304 4.3% $61,200
78 St. George 2,335 5.5% $129,000
79 South Congaree 2,408 11.0% $126,200
80 Bamberg 3,373 3.8% $79,100
81 Pendleton 3,135 7.6% $116,100
82 Wellford 2,519 7.3% $80,400
83 Johnston 2,476 5.3% $100,300
84 Hampton 2,633 9.0% $99,100
85 Honea Path 3,645 8.5% $85,300
86 Utica 1,602 6.3% $59,400
87 Inman Mills 1,341 2.0% $78,300
88 Pickens 3,151 7.4% $114,700
89 Johnsonville 1,823 15.1% $100,600
90 Burne 2,771 9.0% $122,300
91 Warrenville 1,093 7.0% $60,600
92 Lincolnville 1,271 14.9% $117,400
93 Elgin 3,321 8.4% $113,700
94 Kershaw 2,375 9.9% $86,600
95 Chesterfield 1,424 5.5% $113,600
96 Bonneau Beach 2,476 23.8% $143,800
97 Prosperity 1,294 8.1% $139,600
98 Ridgeville 2,154 7.8% $96,400
99 Duncan 3,327 9.4% $97,900
100 Liberty 3,200 5.4% $87,400

16 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In South Carolina For 2019

  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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