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Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina: See the Dark Corners Of The State

Explore the most dangerous cities in South Carolina that you should know.

Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina: See the Dark Corners Of The State (Photo: Travel+Leisure)

Although South Carolina is well-known for its white sand beaches, golf, pleasant weather, and festivals, the things that typically entice visitors to the state, it is the state’s renowned southern hospitality, rich culture, mouthwatering cuisine, and slow pace of life that encourage people to think about relocating there. However, before relocating or visiting the state, you should first take into account the most dangerous cities in South Carolina.

South Carolina is the 40th-smallest state in the nation by area, therefore it isn’t particularly big.  The 36.8% of individuals who live in incorporated municipalities, however, do so at a rather high population density. That may help to explain why it is one of the safest states in America. It is listed by US News at rank 46.

There are several causes, but the number of tourists and the increased transient population may be the main ones. Crime rates may be affected by seasonal increases. 

When analyzing these data, the FBI takes into account the big picture, which definitely includes the local economics, weather, and climate as well as other factors.

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A public information website called RoadSnacks has developed a list of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina for 2023.

They used data from 53 cities in the state, with an emphasis on those with a population of above 5,000, to create the ranking of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina. 

Even though many consider South Carolina to be classic, some people would be surprised to learn that, like any state, there are some most dangerous cities in South Carolina where you might not want to be if you enjoy taking evening strolls or runs.

The Top 5 Most Dangerous Cities in South Carolina: A Quick Overview

Sumter, SC

At a distance of 106 miles from Charleston, Sumter is located in the state’s middle. It was given the name Sumter after brigadier general and American Revolutionary War hero, General Thomas Sumter. 

Given its status as one of the original 13 colonies, there are numerous locations on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Moreover, Shaw Air Force Base is located there.

For a small town, Sumter has a high rate of crime. In recent years, there has been a minor increase in burglaries, auto theft, and assaults which consider it one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina.

It’s important to take into account that the general rate of crime is considerably higher than the US average. This pattern can be traced at least as far back as 2002. While the average household income is 20% below this level, the poverty rate is higher than the state average.


Greenwood, SC

Approximately 189 miles northwest of Charleston, Greenwood is located in the state’s northwest corner. 

Many leisure options are available in the town. It is well-known for hosting the South Carolina Festival of Flowers every year. A lot of people come to the neighborhood to attend this well-liked event. Several locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places are also located in Greenwood.

The South Carolina city of Greenwood is not one of the most populous. Its criminality is disturbing in part because of this. Its overall rate has surpassed the national average since 2002, similar to our prior entry which makes it one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina. 

With a rate being almost twice as high as the state average, poverty is undoubtedly a factor. The average household income falls less than 60% of South Carolina’s overall average.


Rock Hill, SC

In the northeastern part of the state, roughly 185 miles northwest of Charleston, is Rock Hill. 

The town owes its development to the early inhabitants’ creative thinking in convincing the train line to pass through the neighborhood. Other businesses, like the NFL Carolina Panthers, also contribute to the city’s economy even though manufacturing is its main industry.

Despite a minor increase in 2017, Rock Hill’s crime rate has been falling since 2010. According to recent data, it is rising and following national trends. 

In comparison to both the state and national averages, assaults and theft have increased more notably which consider Rock Hill one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina. Its lower average household income, at less than 60% of the state, is a problem because its cost of living is comparable to that of the United States.


Florence, SC

The positive aspect of Florence is its heritage as a vibrant neighborhood and its commitment to improving its downtown. 

Throughout this region’s history, the railroad has played an important role. Undoubtedly, its economic success is influenced by its position on the state’s eastern edge. A number of significant businesses, including AT&T and GE Healthcare, have regional offices close to the town.

Since 2008, Florence’s crime rate has been declining. But the number of recorded offenses overall increased in 2018. The biggest increases were seen in burglaries and assaults which makes it one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina.

The locality has higher rates than the national average, identical to many of the cities on the list. Although the cost of living is lower than the state average, the poverty rate is 25% higher.


North Charleston, SC

In the past ten years, North Charleston has experienced double-digit growth. Global Financial Services and Boeing are two significant businesses that have helped the area prosper by bringing in much-needed jobs and cash. 

Additionally, it serves as a rail, aviation, and maritime transit hub. The community is home to a number of well-known tourist destinations, including the  Maritime Museum and Patriots Point Naval. 

Numerous issues, such as the closure of the Charleston Navy Base and the ensuing loss of cash, have plagued North Charleston and fueled the area’s high crime rates. 

Unfortunately, the violent and property crime rates are significantly higher than the state average which considers it as one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina. Since 2013, crime has been increasing. The city has 2.96 law enforcement officers for every 1,000 population, which is 32% more than South Carolina.

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