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South Carolina is, after all, the sixth most dangerous states in the country, so no one should really be too surprised. And because RoadSnacks thinks it's important to provide important information to the public, we created a list of the most dangerous places in South Carolina for 2021.
How'd we determine the most dangerous places in South Carolina? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 57 cities. We looked at the FBI's latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents.
Some might say it's because of drugs and alcohol, some might say the state needs to offer better jobs with competitive salaries, and some might say that it's just people being people; any way you look at it, the numbers don't lie. The state's violent crime and property crime numbers are above the national average and climbing.
Let's be real, we're not talking about driving a boat without life jackets kind of danger. The type of danger we're talking about gets people on Dillon's WPDE at six. Folks, the cities that made our list have robberies happening in broad daylight, car jackings, and daily shootings. There are neighborhoods in these cities that you shouldn't drive thru, ever.
Want to know the South Carolina places where jobs are scarce, wages low, crime high-where your Southern Charm will get you absolutely nowhere? Keep reading.
Yes, there are about 260 police officers per 100,000 residents, but they just can't be everywhere. So, cities like Myrtle Beach and Greenwood are starting to feel the effects; but the place that's getting hit the worst, is South Carolina's most dangerous place, Darlington.
So, if you want to know the top ten most dangerous South Carolina places--where you shouldn't let your kids out after dark--take a look at the list below. And if you don't find what you're looking for there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in South Carolina.
For more South Carolina reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In South Carolina
- Cheapest Places To Live In South Carolina
- Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In South Carolina For 2021
Known for its tobacco farms and NASCAR races, Darlington ranks as South Carolina's most dangerous city for 2021. Darlington saw a increase in property crime compared to last year, a big reason the city moved up 4 spots on this list.
Darlington averaged more than one car theft per month over the year, but fortunately, none were race cars from the Darlington Raceway. Good thing, or the carjacker would be mighty hard to catch up with.
Violent crime also ranked as the fourth highest in South Carolina, which includes the fourth highest rate of rape cases statewide. Overall, residents had a 1 in 67 chance of being attacked over 2019.
Hartsville held onto its #2 position on our list of South Carolina's most dangerous places for yet another year. Crime has stayed level in Hartsville, which is bad news when you've got the second highest property crime rate in the state.
There are about two burglaries a week in Hartsville, which is frequent enough to give the city the highest burglary rate in South Carolina. We recommend padlocking your picnic basket if you're out at Kalmia Gardens, because ten thefts a week go down in Hartsville.
And while Hartsville didn't record a single murder in 2019, it still had the fifth highest rate of violent crime in South Carolina.
Ah, Myrtle Beach, a favorite of East Coast vacationers. While Myrtle Beach's violent crime rate has been steadily decreasing, its property crime rates remain the highest in South Carolina.
Folks in Myrtle Beach had a 1 in 8 chance of having their stuff stolen or damaged over 2019, making Broadway at the Beach one of the few places where it's not a bad idea to wear a wallet chain.
In fact, with the prevalence of property crime, Myrtle Beach has the highest overall crime rate in South Carolina, outstripping the national average by a whopping 365%.
The core of the Pee Dee region in northeastern South Carolina, Florence comes in as the fourth least safe place to live. Florence recorded the sixth highest burglary rate statewide, averaging just over one break-in per day.
We just hope they have enough security at the Florence County Museum to stop any would-be heisters.
Violent crime is also all too prevalent in Florence, which experienced 447 such crimes over 2019. It's also one of the few places listed here that's seen a rise in both categories of crime.
Up next on our list of South Carolina's most dangerous places is Cheraw, a small town of 5,589 located in the Pee Dee region Cheras is among the poorest spots in South Carolina, which does usually go hand in hand with high crime.
Cheraw's residents had a 1 in 13 shot of being the victim of a property crime over 2019, with about one larceny going down each day, on average. Chances are everyone in Cheraw knows somebody who's been robbed or had their stuff damaged.
At least folks can get away to Cheraw State Park to take their minds off all the crime going down on the town's streets.
As the third oldest city in South Carolina, you'd think Georgetown would have its act together by now. Located on the coast between Charleston and Myrtle Beach, Georgetown does get a lot of visitors passing through.
We just recommend you keep a close eye on your valuables when you're enjoying the harborwalk, or you might join the 453 people who had their stuff stolen in 2019.
Georgetown isn't just plagued by high rates of crime. A whole host of other issues landed the city near the top of our list of the worst places to live in South Carolina.
Most cities here have been seeing their crime rates go down in recent years, but the overall crime rate in Union grew from last year and moved the city up 9 spots on this list as a result.
Union residents had a 1 in 14 chance of being the victim of a property crime over 2019, so it's a good idea to lock your home, your car, and even your lunchbox. On the bright side, Union is the least violent place on this list.
Still, with sharp rises in both categories of crime, the Union PD has their work cut out for them.
This. Is. Spartansburg! Located in "The Upstate" of South Carolina's northwest, this city of 37,754 isn't quite as hardcore as the Sparta of yore, but it's still the eighth most dangerous place to live in South Carolina for 2021.
The city does a good job of preserving nature at the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, but we're pretty sure residents would like local leaders to preserve the safety of the human population as well.
More than one burglary a day goes down in Spartansburg on average, which gives the city the third highest burglary rate in South Carolina. And with 448 violent crimes recorded in data year 2019, no one will blame you for keeping your guard up in Spartansburg.
Those might sound like peaceful gatherings, but these festivals contribute to Greenwood's crazy high violent crime rate, which ranks as the third highest worst in South Carolina.
The rate of rape cases in Greenwood is the third highest statewide. And you can pretty much count on at least one violent crime happening each day In Greenwood.
Good news, bad news situation with Lake City, South Carolina's tenth most dangerous place to call home in 2021. On the plus side, Lake City's property crime rate is the lowest on this list. So you don't have to worry much about someone picking your pocket while you're gawking at Lake City's all the murals and public art.
The bad news? Lake City residents had a 1 in 58 shot of being the victim of a violent attack in 2019. That represents a jump from last year -- yikes. Most of the violent crimes were just aggravated assaults, but we're pretty sure that won't make the victims feel any better about it.
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In South Carolina
How we determined the most dangerous cities in South Carolina for 2021?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered South Carolina cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 57 cities in South Carolina.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 57 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one "Dangerous Index".
Finally, we ranked every city on the "Dangerous Index" with the lowest index being the most dangerous in South Carolina -- Darlington. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in South Carolina.
Locking It All Up In South Carolina
The latest FBI crime data shows that Darlington ranks as the most dangerous city in South Carolina for 2021.
We want to point out again that there's still safes places in Darlington and that this isn't a comment on the people that live there. So please don't beat us up.
Here are the safest cities in South Carolina:
- Clover (Pop. 6,575)
- Port Royal (Pop. 13,368)
- Clemson (Pop. 17,547)
- Mauldin (Pop. 25,453)
- Central (Pop. 5,380)
- Hanahan (Pop. 26,941)
- Bluffton (Pop. 24,812)
- Mount Pleasant (Pop. 92,448)
- Tega Cay (Pop. 11,322)
- Fort Mill (Pop. 21,219)
For more South Carolina reading, check out:
- Best Places To Raise A Family In South Carolina
- Safest Places In South Carolina
- Worst Places To Live In South Carolina
Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina?