10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Carolina


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Palmetto State for 2019.

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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 2019.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of South Carolina — and anyone looking to move to South Carolina — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in South Carolina for 2019:

  1. Dillon (Photos)
  2. Hartsville (Photos)
  3. Myrtle Beach (Photos)
  4. Greenwood (Photos)
  5. Camden (Photos)
  6. Darlington (Photos)
  7. Lake City (Photos)
  8. Cheraw (Photos)
  9. Florence (Photos)
  10. Walterboro (Photos)

So what is the most dangerous city in South Carolina? After analyzing 58 cities in South Carolina, Dillon takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in South Carolina based on the most recent FBI data.

For a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.

Or 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 2019

Dillon, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,568
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,359 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 9,622 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Dillon:  Data | Photos

Dillon may not be the worst place for property crime, but demonstrating one event makes for overall gold in this contest. And a 1 in 42 chance of being the victim of a violent crime is super high, especially for South Carolina.

Dillon is a small city of less than 10,000 people, like most 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.

Dillon also finished as the most dangerous in last year’s list.

Review Of Dillon by HomeSnacks User

While the location is wide open for growth and industry has come to the area, people that have been employed here choose to commute from Florence. The list of reasons is too long to list. Dillon sure earned the spot they’re at!

The key people in place will be the downfall of this small town. Such a shame.

Hartsville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,769
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,724 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 11,133 (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 9.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime in a city of 7,769 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: 33,167
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,576 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 13,058 (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 7.7 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

There is a high crime rate and the climate is nearly unbearable in the summer, but all in all it’s a nice and fun place to live. The people will keep you laughing and there is always something to do!

Favorite places are all the parks and beaches nearby. Savannah’s Playground and the whole Market Common area are fantastic and family friendly.

Greenwood, SC

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 23,329
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,354 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,295 (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 73 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Greenwood, which is a higher chance than some of the previous cities listed.

Camden, SC

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,173
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,561 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,179 (10th most dangerous)
More on Camden:  Data | Photos

Camden isn’t great in the violent crime category, with a 1 in 64 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.

Darlington, SC

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 6,090
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,083 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,226 (5th most dangerous)
More on Darlington:  Data | Photos

Darlington is certainly lively when it comes to nighttime activities. This tiny city ranks 12.2 in the state for property crimes.

Residents here in Darlington have a 1 in 10.7 chance of being the victim of a crime in 2017, which was the last reporting year. That means if you live in Darlington, someone you know was likely the victim of a theft, home break-in or arson.

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.

Lake City, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,774
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,609 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,451 (14th most dangerous)
More on Lake City:  Data | Photos

Though there has been a modest drop in violent crimes, the alarming increase in property crime from 2015-17indicates that Lake City isn’t satisfied with being at the bottom of this list.

Lake City residents had a 1 in 62 chance of a violent crime, while having a 1 in 15.5 chance of a property crime, 3rd and 14th in the state, respectively.

Cheraw, SC

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 5,770
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,213 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,209 (9th most dangerous)
More on Cheraw:  Data | Photos

Cheraw ranks 9th in violent crime, but 9th overall in property crime to place as the 8th most dangerous city in South Carolina.

To put that in perspective, you have a 1 in 13.9 chance of being a victim of a property crime in Cheraw. That makes property crimes much more common in Cheraw than the safest city, Mount Pleasant.

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.

Florence, SC

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 38,449
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,266 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,095 (11th most dangerous)
More on Florence:  Data | Photos

Florence takes the 9th spot in our analysis of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina.

The rough and tumble nature of the town leaks into the crime stats.

The city ranks 8th for violent crime and 11th for property crime.

Walterboro, SC

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 5,275
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,023 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,582 (7th most dangerous)
More on Walterboro:  Data | Photos

The third smallest city in the state and one of 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 13.2 shot of being the victim of property crime is what keeps Walterboro on the list.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in South Carolina for 2019?

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 58 cities in South Carolina.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 58 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 — Dillon.

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 Dillon ranks as the most dangerous city in South Carolina for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Dillon 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. 10,367)
  2. Clemson (Pop. 16,442)
  3. Mount Pleasant (Pop. 87,216)

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 Dillon 6,568 2,359 9,622
2 Hartsville 7,769 1,724 11,133
3 Myrtle Beach 33,167 1,576 13,058
4 Greenwood 23,329 1,354 7,295
5 Camden 7,173 1,561 7,179
6 Darlington 6,090 1,083 8,226
7 Lake City 6,774 1,609 6,451
8 Cheraw 5,770 1,213 7,209
9 Florence 38,449 1,266 7,095
10 Walterboro 5,275 1,023 7,582

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

  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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