10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Palmetto State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in South Carolina and is updated for 2020.

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As if there isn’t enough to worry about with unruly Ravenels in Charleston and vicious alligators on Hilton Head Island, there are also super dangerous places in the Palmetto State.

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 2020.

How’d we determine the most dangerous places in South Carolina? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 54 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, Hartsville.

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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In South Carolina

Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In South Carolina For 2020

Hartsville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,608
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,498 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,648 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Hartsville:  Data | Photos

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

There’s a 1 in 11.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in a city of 7,608 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.

Marion, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,416
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 13)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,527 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,167 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Marion:  Data | Photos

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 98 violent crimes in a town of only 6,416 in 2017.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 33,687
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,404 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 10,547 (1st most dangerous)
More on Myrtle Beach:  Data | Photos

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 9.5 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.

Review Of Myrtle Beach by HomeSnacks User

Myrtle Beach, SC is a truly horrible place to live. It’s a place people go to die. I live in one of the better areas, and in the last 7 years of living here, mine qnd my husband’s car have been broken into 3 times…in my driveway! They aren’t even “nice” cars! The public school system here is absolutely laughable! The health care system is a joke and jobs are scarcely available during the “off-season”. Traffic during the summer is impossible, due to tourism, and with the increased amount of ignorant people, there is a car accident every few miles on any road you travel. You pay tax on EVERYTHING, which makes you wonder where all that money is going, considering the shape of the roads, schools and healthcare system. It’s expensive to live here and if you don’t like bars or golf or crowded beaches, then you are left with nothing to do. This place is at least 50 years behind the times and if you are not white, it’s an even worse place to live.

Broadway at the Beach is a popular tourist attraction. It has lots of shops, Ripley’s Aquarium, The Upside Down House, movie theater, clubs, restaurants and bars. During the day, it’s a great place for family fun. At night, though, I’d leave the kids at home, unless you don’t mind having lots of staggering, loud, unruly drunks talking to and falling down on them.

Greenwood, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 23,265
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,684 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,851 (8th most dangerous)
More on Greenwood:  Data | Photos

One of the few cities on the list with a population over 10,000, Greenwood has seen a decrease in violent crimes in recent years, along with a decrease in property crime. But even with these improvements, there is still a 1 in 59 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Greenwood, which is a higher chance than some of the previous cities listed.

West Columbia, SC

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 17,368
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,042 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,438 (4th most dangerous)
More on West Columbia:  Data | Photos

Today, West Columbia is the 5th most dangerous city in the state.

Unlike other cities on the list, West Columbia has seen a recent boom in crime, with violent crime going up from 2015-17, and property crime also going up.

Watch your wallet in West Columbia, because there’s a 1 in 13.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.

Darlington, SC

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 5,960
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,124 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,929 (6th most dangerous)
More on Darlington:  Data | Photos

The 6th place ranking for most dangerous in South Carolina goes to Darlington .

Residents have a 1 in 88 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which means rape, murder or aggravated assault. That’s pretty high, but for a state like South Carolina, that’s just unacceptable.

Additionally, if you live in Darlington, you have a 1 in 14.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and tractor implements.

There were 1 murders in Darlington in 2017.

Review Of Darlington by HomeSnacks User

I live in Darlington… we ranked #1 and I just laugh. If you fooktards are getting worked up over this stuff, you need to get a life.

Camden, SC

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,215
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,288 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,070 (12th most dangerous)
More on Camden:  Data | Photos

Camden isn’t great in the violent crime category, with a 1 in 77 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017. On average, though, the amount of property crime is about the same as other places on the list, despite Camden’s larger population.

Unlike most other cities on this list, Camden has experienced an increase in violent crime over the 2011-2017 period, while property crime has remained fairly stagnant.

Review Of Camden by HomeSnacks User

I lived in Camden in the late 1980’s and loved it. It’s a beautiful, historic town.

Cheraw, SC

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 5,611
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,033 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,879 (7th most dangerous)
More on Cheraw:  Data | Photos

The tiny town of Cheraw might not be familiar to most residents of South Carolina. Cheraw has really seen crime rise very quickly in the last few years.

For instance, there were 58 violent crimes in the entire city. For a town of 5,611, that’s a lot.

Residents in Cheraw have a 1 in 14.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the FBI.

Review Of Cheraw by HomeSnacks User

I am from Chesterfied and to say Cheraw is one of the worst places in the state to live is outrageous. The towns of Chesterfield and Cheraw may be rivals in sports but that’s where it stops with me. The historic downtown part is beautiful. It has many great people and great businesses! I have many friends and family members that live in Cheraw that will certainly agree with me.

Orangeburg, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,820
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,326 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,850 (15th most dangerous)
More on Orangeburg:  Data | Photos

Orangeburg coming in as the 9th most dangerous place in South Carolina might surprise some.

But this fact may explain the mind-bogglingly high 1 in 17.1 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime in 2017 and the 1 in 75 chance of being the victim of violence.

Batesburg-Leesville, SC

Population: 5,380
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 15)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,710 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,739 (21st most dangerous)
More on Batesburg-Leesville:  Data | Photos

Batesburg-Leesville ranked towards the top for both violent crimes and property crimes per capita, finishing 1st and 21st respectively. Those numbers place it in the top 20% of cities in South Carolina.

So while crime isn’t all that bad in Batesburg-Leesville, it still could be a bit better.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in South Carolina for 2020?

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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

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 cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 54 cities in South Carolina.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 54 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 — Hartsville.

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 Hartsville ranks as the most dangerous city in South Carolina for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Hartsville and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in South Carolina:

  1. Tega Cay (Pop. 10,763)
  2. Mount Pleasant (Pop. 89,733)
  3. Port Royal (Pop. 13,227)

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Hartsville 7,608 1,498 8,648
2 Marion 6,416 1,527 8,167
3 Myrtle Beach 33,687 1,404 10,547
4 Greenwood 23,265 1,684 6,851
5 West Columbia 17,368 1,042 7,438
6 Darlington 5,960 1,124 6,929
7 Camden 7,215 1,288 6,070
8 Cheraw 5,611 1,033 6,879
9 Orangeburg 12,820 1,326 5,850
10 Batesburg-Leesville 5,380 1,710 4,739

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

5 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina For 2020

  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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