These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina

We analyzed the last 3 years of FBI crime data to pinpoint the most dangerous cities in South Carolina.

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Do you feel an overwhelming disdain for a criminal underworld that can’t keep to its own confines?

Then you might be living in one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina.

We’ve looked at the numbers from the annual FBI report to determine which cities in South Carolina are hotbeds for criminality, so you don’t have to find out yourself, the hard way.

Here’s your top ten:

  1. Dillon
  2. Myrtle Beach
  3. Marion
  4. Spartanburg
  5. Hartsville
  6. Lancaster
  7. Walterboro
  8. Camden
  9. Greenwood
  10. Lake City

So if you have a desire to fight crime and/or wear a cape, these ten cities may not be Gotham, but they could certainly use their own Batman.

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How We Determined The Most Dangerous Places In South Carolina

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s last three years of reporting.

Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year.

Violent crimes are defined as rapes, murders, robberies and aggravated assaults.

While we had data on every single place in the state, we only analyzed places with populations of more than 5,000 people as of 2013, which is the last year the report was available.

This left us with a total of 58 places in South Carolina to rank.

Finally, we made 2013 factor more heavily than 2012, and 2012 more heavily than 2011, since more recent crimes are a bigger factor in determining how dangerous a place is now.

If any places tied, we used the violent crime rank as a tiebreaker.

You can see our overall ranking at the bottom of the post. Note: As far as violent crime goes, the number one city in the state is Clover, S.C. which didn’t make the top ten due to a low property crime rate.

We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where crimes occurred most frequently.

1. Dillon

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,627
Violent Crime Rank: 2
Property Crime Rank: 2

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Dillon may not be the worst place for violent crime or property crime, but two silvers medals makes for a gold in this contest. And a 1 in 66 chance of being the victim of a violent crime is still super high.

Dillon is a small city of less than 10,000 people, like 7/10 of the cities you’ll see on this list, meaning you might wanna stick to crowds if you end up here when you’re in the Palmetto state.

2. Myrtle Beach

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Flickr user Suzy-has-stinky-feet

Population: 28,663
Violent Crime Rank: 3
Property Crime Rank: 1
Folks on the East Coast love vacationing in Myrtle Beach – lovely beaches and boardwalks make it seem quite a safe summer retreat.

Yet a roughly 1 in 6 chance of being the victim of a property crime makes it one of the few places where wearing a wallet chain may not be a bad idea. And unfortunately for residents and vacationers alike, both violent and property crime has been steadily rising over the past few years.

3. Marion

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Flickr user jimmywayne

Population: 6,831
Violent Crime Rank: 7
Property Crime Rank: 6

Compared to Myrtle Beach, Marion has seen a continuous drop in crime of late – just not at a quick enough rate to get it off this list.

And with residents still facing a 9% chance of being the victim of a property crime, there’s little cause for celebration. In fact, the latest FBI report shows that there were 91 violent crimes in a town of only 6,813 in 2013.

4. Spartanburg

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Spartanburg Police Department Facebook

Population: 37,522
Violent Crime Rank: 4
Property Crime Rank: 11

While Spartans may be well-loved for their violence nowadays, most of their contemporary neighbors didn’t share the sentiment.

Spartanburg residents share their namesake’s violent streak, placing them fourth in the rankings for violent crime. Though only the 11th largest city in South Carolina, Spartanburg is the largest city in the top ten most dangerous. The good news for Spartanburg is that crime has been slowly, but steadily, dropping.

5. Hartsville

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Hartsville Police Department Facebook

Population: 7,877
Violent Crime Rank: 13
Property Crime Rank: 3

Hartsville is less violent than Spartanburg, but makes up for it with a high rate of property crime.

There’s a 1 in 10 chance of being the victim of a property crime in a city of just under 8,000 people, so chances are everyone here knows someone who’s been a victim. But, like most of the other cities on this list, both violent and property crimes have been decreasing.

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6. Lancaster

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,824
Violent Crime Rank: 5
Property Crime Rank: 14

Right on the border of South Carolina, Lancaster is known as the Red Rose City.
People there may be seeing red a little too often, with the 2013 numbers showing a 1 in 55 shot of being the victim of violent crime. And what’s worse, violent crimes have been about the same over the past few years, while property crimes have gone up 63% since 2011.

7. Walterboro

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,281
Violent Crime Rank: 15
Property Crime Rank: 5

The third smallest city in the state and the smallest city on this list, Walterboro shows that small cities can be more dangerous than the big ones.

There’s less than a 1% chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Walterboro, which is better than most cities on this list. A 1 in 10 shot of being the victim of property crime is what keeps Walterboro on the list.

8. Camden

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Source: Camden Police Department Facebook

Population: 6,923
Violent Crime Rank: 9
Property Crime Rank: 13

Camden is slightly worse than Walterboro in the violent crime category, with a 1.4% chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2013. On average, though, the amount of property crime is about the same at Walterboro, despite Camden’s larger population.

Unlike most other cities on this list, Camden has experienced an increase in violent crime over the 2011-2013 period, while property crime has remained fairly stagnant.

9. Greenwood

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina

Population: 23,334
Violent Crime Rank: 8
Property Crime Rank: 15

One of only three cities on the list with a population over 10,000, Greenwood has seen a 24% decrease in violent crimes in recent years, along with a 12% decrease in property crime.
But even with these notable improvements, there is still a 1 in 78 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Greenwood, which is a higher chance than 3 of the previous cities listed.

10. Lake City

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina


Population: 6,726
Violent Crime Rank: 16
Property Crime Rank: 7

Though there has been a modest drop in violent crimes, the alarming 26% increase in property crime from 2011-2013 indicates that Lake City isn’t satisfied with being at the bottom of this list. In fact, it ties #9 Greenwood’s overall rankings, but ties go to the city with higher violent crime rankings.

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Closing the books

So when you pull away bias and opinions, that’s the set of top ten most dangerous places in South Carolina that the data delivers.

You can rest easy knowing Charleston is nowhere close to being on this list.

Dangerous Cities In SC, Detailed

See all the data here.

City Population Danger Score Rank
Dillon 6627 2 1
Myrtle Beach 28663 2 2
Marion 6813 6.5 3
Spartanburg 37522 7.5 4
Hartsville 7877 8 5
Lancaster 8824 9.5 6
Walterboro 5281 10 7
Camden 6923 11 8
Greenwood 23334 11.5 9
Lake City 6726 11.5 10
Laurens 9068 13 11
Anderson 26812 13 11
Georgetown 9072 13.5 13
North Myrtle Beach 14672 14.5 14
Chester 5489 15 15
Bennettsville 8809 15.5 16
Darlington 6200 16 17
Florence 37611 16 17
Beaufort 12918 17 19
Batesburg-Leesville 5408 22.5 20
Cheraw 5767 22.5 20
Clover 5342 24 22
Forest Acres 10516 25 23
Sumter 40928 25 23
Columbia 132240 26.5 25
Union 8124 27 26
Greenville 61185 27.5 27
West Columbia 15715 28 28
Orangeburg 13826 28.5 29
Abbeville 5163 29 30
York 7927 29.5 31
North Charleston 103324 30 32
Clinton 8479 30.5 33
Easley 20115 31 34
Moncks Corner 8913 32 35
Newberry 10246 32.5 36
Seneca 8096 35.5 37
Conway 19121 35.5 37
Aiken 29965 38 39
Rock Hill 68617 38.5 40
Gaffney 12675 41.5 41
Central 5153 43.5 42
Lexington 19547 43.5 42
Irmo 11616 44.5 44
Bluffton 13047 45.5 45
Greer 26955 45.5 45
Fountain Inn 7975 46.5 47
North Augusta 22033 46.5 47
Summerville 45210 46.5 47
Clemson 14136 47.5 50
Goose Creek 39425 49.5 51
Charleston 127206 50.5 52
Fort Mill 11530 51.5 53
Port Royal 11446 52 54
Hanahan 19538 55 55
Mauldin 24099 56 56
Mount Pleasant 73198 56 56
Tega Cay 8028 58 58

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4 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina

  1. Why in the world did you post a picture of a CHURCH in Dillon, SC??? I am appalled at this choice in an article about crime!

  2. This article is total bullshit! Walterboro,my home, at #7 and North Charleston isn’t on the list. You are only hurting small town economies when you post crap articles like this. I talked to a contractor today that was scared to bring his crew here because of this weak article. This needs to be taken down!! Totally inaccurate and damaging. These small towns should step up against this page of any other outlet that posts this article. Take it down!

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