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 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, Marion.

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:

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

Marion, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,416
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 14)
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 2018.

Hartsville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,608
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
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 some others on the list 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.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 33,687
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
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.

Greenwood, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 23,265
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
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.

Darlington, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/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

Darlington had 67 violent crimes and 413 property crimes in 2018.

Like all cities, there are rougher sections and nicer sections, so be sure to stay safe at night.

West Columbia, SC

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 17,368
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,042 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,438 (4th most dangerous)
More on West Columbia:  Data | Photos

Both property crime and violent crime fell in West Columbia between 2017-2018, but both bounced back up in 2018 relative to the one year previous.

Residents still faced a 1 in 95 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

Cheraw, SC

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 5,611
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,033 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,879 (7th most dangerous)
More on Cheraw:  Data | Photos

Cheraw is home to the 7th most dangerous population in South Carolina.

Violent crime has been decreasing of late, but the 1 in 14.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime has been fairly consistent.

Camden, SC

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,215
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,288 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,070 (13th 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 2018. 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 2017-2018 period, while property crime has remained fairly stagnant.

Orangeburg, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,820
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,326 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,850 (16th most dangerous)
More on Orangeburg:  Data | Photos

This trend holds true today as Orangeburg ranked 6th for violent crime in South Carolina and 9th in the most dangerous overall ranking.

But it’s really parts of Orangeburg that you need to look out for. Certain neighborhoods have much more violent crime than others.

Batesburg-Leesville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,380
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 15)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,710 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,739 (23rd most dangerous)
More on Batesburg-Leesville:  Data | Photos

Batesburg-Leesville ranks as the 10th most dangerous city in South Carolina according to 2018’s data.

While there’s still a 1 in 21.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Batesburg-Leesville, their crime statistics in both categories have been falling steadily over recent years.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In South Carolina

Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina Graph

Click To Enlarge

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Marion 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. Port Royal (Pop. 13,227)
  3. Mount Pleasant (Pop. 89,733)

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

How Is Your Town In ?

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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