South Carolina, with its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage, attracts residents and visitors alike. However, like any state, certain cities face higher crime rates, prompting the need for awareness and informed decision-making. In this exploration, we delve into the top 11 most dangerous cities in South Carolina for 2023, shedding light on their crime rates and the challenges residents may encounter.
1. Myrtle Beach: Balancing Tourism and Safety
Myrtle Beach, a renowned tourist destination, tops the list as the most dangerous city in South Carolina. Despite its popularity, the city grapples with a crime rate 330% higher than the national average, equating to 10,096 crimes per 100,000 people. With 458 violent crimes and 3,056 property crimes recorded in 2022, residents face notable challenges. While the city hosts thousands of visitors safely, sticking to tourist areas is recommended for added security.
2. Orangeburg: Addressing Violent Crime Concerns
Situated 37 miles from Columbia, Orangeburg stands out for its high rate of violent crime, making it a city of concern for residents. With a crime rate of 7,871 per 100,000 individuals—241% higher than the national average—Orangeburg witnessed 2,035 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2022. Tackling the root causes of violent crime remains a pressing issue for this community.
3. Florence: Balancing Violent and Property Crimes
Florence County, with a population of 39,899, contends with a high crime rate of 7,648 per 100,000 individuals. This rate, 226% higher than the national average, translates to residents facing a 1 in 14 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. The city recorded five murders, 41 robberies, 455 assaults, and 235 burglaries in 2021, highlighting the prevalence of property crimes.
4. Spartanburg: A Focus on Violent Crime
Spartanburg, nestled in the northern part of the state, is considered one of the most dangerous cities with a crime rate of 7,639 per 100,000 people. This rate, 225% higher than the national average, emphasizes the city’s challenge with violent crime. Residents grapple with a 1 in 14 chance of becoming a victim, showcasing the need for targeted interventions.
5. North Charleston: Striving for Community Safety
North Charleston, with a population of 106,113, faces a crime rate of 6,249 per 100,000 people—166% higher than the national average. In 2021, the city recorded 35 murders, underscoring the prevalence of violent crime. Community safety initiatives are crucial to address challenges, with a focus on reducing both violent and property crimes.
6. Georgetown: Coastal Challenges and Crime Rates
Georgetown, positioned near the state’s coastline, grapples with an alarming crime rate of 5,712 per 100,000 people—141% higher than the national average. With a violent crime rate more than double the state average, the city recorded incidents such as murders, robberies, and assaults in 2022. Coastal areas, despite their charm, present unique challenges that demand community-driven solutions.
7. Columbia: Addressing Urban Safety Concerns
Columbia, with a population of 140,000, contends with a crime rate of 5,228 per 100,000 people—123% higher than the national average. The city faces challenges related to violent crimes such as robbery and assault, along with property crimes like burglary and vehicle theft. While efforts to revitalize the city are underway, safety concerns persist in many areas.
8. Sumter: Struggling With Urban Safety
Sumter, with a population of 40,760, grapples with a crime rate 110% higher than the US average. In 2021, reported incidents included eight murders, 38 robberies, and 298 assaults, emphasizing the challenges of urban safety. The median household income in Sumter, 30% lower than the national average, adds complexity to addressing crime through economic avenues.
9. Greenville: Challenges Amidst Growth
Greenville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, faces challenges with a crime rate of 4,764 per 100,000—103% higher than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 21 chance of becoming crime victims, with a prevalence of violent crimes like robbery and assault, alongside property crimes. Balancing growth and safety is a central theme for Greenville.
10. Summerville: Navigating Safety in Dorchester County
Summerville, located in Dorchester County, is considered one of South Carolina’s most dangerous cities, with a population of 51,000. While its crime rate is slightly lower than the state average, it remains 33% above the national average. Residents face a 1 in 32 chance of being victims of any type of crime, emphasizing the importance of addressing incidents like assault, burglary, and theft.
11. Charleston: Tourism and Crime Dynamics
Charleston, known for its historic charm and culinary delights, has a population of 150,000 and a crime rate 18% higher than the US average. In 2021, the city recorded 621 violent crimes and 3,316 property crimes. Residents face a 1 in 37 chance of experiencing any type of crime, prompting awareness for both residents and visitors to mitigate risks.
In conclusion, understanding the crime dynamics in South Carolina’s cities is crucial for making informed decisions about living and visiting. Community-driven initiatives, economic development, and targeted interventions are essential components in fostering safer urban environments across the state.