Charleston 77 Exceptional
Charleston Livability #16 ranked city in South Carolina#2,511 ranked city in the USARanks better than 91% of areas

Pros and Cons of Living in Charleston

  • Amenities

    An abundance of amenities, including restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores and fitness facilities, are conveniently situated within walking distance of the area.

  • Employment

    The combination of higher than average median home income, income per capita and low unemployment rates results in a score that is well above average in the employment category.

  • Housing

    This area has received high scores in the housing category. This could be due to a positive home affordability ratio, high appreciation rates or elevated home values.

  • Health & Safety

    A high score in the health and safety category is a result of good air quality and the accessibility to health facilities such as hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies and fire stations.

  • Schools

    High test scores, elevated graduation rates as well as the conveniently located elementary and high schools in this area have all contributed to the high score in the schools category.

  • Commute

    Public transportation is not readily available in this area and the average commute time to work could also be longer than the national average.

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What's it like Living in Charleston?

Located in the state of South Carolina, Charleston is a medium-sized city with a population of 137,041 residents. The majority of Charleston residents report their race to be White; this is followed by Black and Asian. Charleston is not known to have a high population (over 15 years old) of married people. At only 49% married, this city falls well below the national average. On a daily basis, the typical American spends approximately 26 minutes on their one-way work commute. Reduced travel times not only contributes to increased overall happiness, but also affords more opportunities to cherish moments with family and friends. If you're living in Charleston, your commute time will align closely with the national average, spanning a one-way duration of approximately 23 minutes.

Whether you’re moving to a new area to be closer to family, friends or for a new job, living in Charleston could be a positive experience compared to other cities in South Carolina if you know where to look. Don't forget to determine what matters most to you in a neighborhood. Consider factors such as safety, proximity to work or school, access to amenities (like parks, fitness facilities, grocery stores, restaurants), public transportation options, community atmosphere and the overall vibe you're looking for. The best areas in Charleston and in surrounding cities are easier to find when you are able to make informed decisions. Using data from amenities, cost of living, housing, you will see a detailed breakdown of the most important information as well as comparisons to the South Carolina and national averages.

Charleston has a livability score of 76/100 and is ranked #17 in South Carolina and #2,673 in the USA. This is a fantastic score, as Charleston ranks well in multiple categories! Charleston also ranks in the top 10 percent of all cities, which is no small feat! For each of the livability categories, we know that Charleston ranks very well for education (A-), employment (A-) and housing (A-). Charleston does not do well for the following: cost of living (D). It might be a smart idea to take a closer look at each category to find out why.

If you're living in Charleston, you can expect to enjoy a multitude of local amenities, mostly thanks to the strategic placement of essential services such as grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, parks and various shops. If you're contemplating a move to this locale with the intent of establishing it as your permanent residence, you'll be pleased to find an extensive array of amenities and recreational opportunities within easy reach, either on foot or via a brief commute. This wealth of accessible amenities not only enhances the livability of the area but also ensures that you can enjoy a rich and fulfilling lifestyle, making Charleston an attractive destination for those seeking a vibrant and well-served community to call home. Here are some of the more popular things to do in Charleston: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Charleston Waterfront Park, and The Calhoun Mansion.

The unemployment rate in Charleston has consistently declined over the years and currently stands well below the national average at 2.25%. This downward trend holds the potential to reduce poverty and inequality within the region, promote higher wage levels and stimulate greater economic growth. Such positive indicators signal the overall robust health of the local economy, offering a promising outlook for its residents and fostering an environment of financial well-being and prosperity.

Real estate represents the most substantial investment for homebuyers, constituting their most valuable asset. Renters, on the other hand, typically see their monthly rent as their most significant expense. The Charleston market earns a high score in the housing category, surpassing the national average in factors like home and rental affordability and appreciation rates. This robust real estate market not only benefits individual homeowners and renters but also spurs vigorous local economic activity and job growth, solidifying its significance in driving the region's prosperity and financial well-being.

Certain items on your wish list like shopping, restaurants, nightlife, parks and proximity to public transportation are all important things to look for. Having said that, perhaps the most important metric to consider when contemplating a move to Charleston is real estate affordability. The median home price for Charleston homes is $349,000, which is 143% higher than the South Carolina average. If we take a closer look at the affordability of homes in Charleston, we’ll see that the home price to income ratio is 4.8, which is 54.8% higher than the South Carolina average.

Best Places to Live in and Around Charleston

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      Charleston transportation information

      Statistic Charleston South Carolina National
      Average one way commute23min24min26min
      Workers who drive to work76.3%82.8%76.4%
      Workers who carpool6.4%9.3%9.3%
      Workers who take public transit0.9%0.6%5.1%
      Workers who bicycle1.8%0.3%0.6%
      Workers who walk4.2%2.2%2.8%
      Working from home9.1%3.6%4.6%
      Source: The Charleston, SC data and statistics displayed above are derived from the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).