The Worst City to Live in South Carolina Has Been Revealed

South Carolina boasts numerous attractions, including picturesque beaches, historic cities, and charming towns. However, not all areas in the Palmetto State offer an idyllic living experience. Some cities grapple with high crime rates, low incomes, inadequate education, and various factors that render them less desirable for residents. Our analysis of the latest data from the FBI and other sources has pinpointed the least favorable city to reside in South Carolina for 2024:


With a population of 7,719 in Union County, Union has earned the unfortunate distinction of being the least desirable place to live in South Carolina. According to Road Snacks, Union claims this title due to several factors, including:

  • An unemployment rate of 10.9%, nearly double the national average.
  • A poverty rate of 31.6%, signifying that almost one in three residents face financial challenges.
  • A median household income of $30,161, less than half of the national median.
  • A crime rate that is 126% higher than the South Carolina average, with the city having the highest number of murders per capita in the state.
  • Underfunded and underperforming schools, featuring a student-teacher ratio of 16:1 and a graduation rate of 77%.

Union, once a thriving textile manufacturing hub, has experienced a significant decline in recent decades, leaving many residents unemployed and lacking opportunities. Additionally, the city lacks essential amenities such as parks, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The Union County Museum stands as the sole attraction, showcasing the city’s heritage and culture.

Other Contenders

Union is not the sole city in South Carolina grappling with a low quality of life. Several other contenders for the least desirable city to live in the state include:

  • Dillon, boasting the highest property crime rate and the second-highest violent crime rate in the state.
  • Hartsville, with the highest violent crime rate and the third-highest property crime rate in the state.
  • Darlington, exhibiting the fourth-highest violent crime rate and the fifth-highest property crime rate in the state.
  • Orangeburg, showcasing the second-highest poverty rate and the sixth-highest violent crime rate in the state.
  • Florence, with the third-highest poverty rate and the seventh-highest violent crime rate in the state.


While South Carolina offers diverse landscapes and attractions, not every city guarantees a favorable living environment for its residents. Some cities grapple with issues such as crime, poverty, unemployment, and other challenges that compromise the quality of life. Based on the latest data, Union claims the undesirable title of the worst city to live in South Carolina for 2024, followed by Dillon, Hartsville, Darlington, Orangeburg, and Florence. These cities require immediate attention and improvement to enhance the quality of life for their citizens.


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