Population: 129,888Median home value: $269,400Find homes for sale 76 Ranks better than 86% of areas

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A+ Charleston Amenities Lots of amenities close to this location
F Charleston Cost of Living Cost of living is 19% higher than South Carolina
11515% more expensive than the US average
South Carolina
973% less expensive than the US average
United States
100National cost of living index
Charleston cost of living
C+ Charleston Crime Total crime is 30% lower than South Carolina
Total crime
2,5816% lower than the US average
Chance of being a victim
1 in 396% lower than the US average
Year-over-year crime
-4%Year over year crime is down
Charleston crime
C Charleston Employment Household income is 23% higher than South Carolina
Median household income
$57,6034% higher than the US average
Income per capita
$35,94821% higher than the US average
Unemployment rate
4%15% lower than the US average
Charleston employment
C Charleston Housing Home value is 88% higher than South Carolina
Median home value
$269,40046% higher than the US average
Median rent price
$1,05211% higher than the US average
Home ownership
54%16% lower than the US average
Charleston real estate
C- Charleston Schools HS graduation rate is 13% higher than South Carolina
High school grad. rates
92%11% higher than the US average
School test scores
48%2% lower than the US average
Student teacher ratio
14:113% lower than the US average
Charleston K-12 schools or Charleston colleges

Living in Charleston, SC

Charleston, South Carolina is a moderately-sized city with a population of 129,888 people. If we look at the most recent Census, Charleston is known to have a predominantly White population. The next two most common races are Black and Asian. If finding a family friendly city is important to you, look no further. With more than 73% of the population considered married and 65% with kids under the age of 18, Charleston could be considered a very suitable city for families.

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. Finding the best places to live in Charleston and nearby areas is a much easier task when you can rely on information and data from the livability score, which includes amenities, cost of living, education, employment and other important metrics.

Charleston has a livability score of 76 out of 100 and is ranked #30 in South Carolina and #4,044 in the USA. Clearly, Charleston is doing something right, as this score ranks well above the average of most cities. If we dig down a little deeper into each category within the livability score, we see that Charleston has higher than average rankings for the following: amenities (A+) and weather (B+). Charleston does not do well for the following: cost of living (F). It might be a good idea to take a closer look at each category to find out why.

There are many factors that go into deciding if an area is the right fit for your lifestyle. Certain “must haves” like low crime, great schools and nearby amenities are all at the top of most people's lists. But before even considering if those options are available, most people will need to know if the real estate in Charleston is actually affordable. Median real estate prices in Charleston come in at $269,400, which is 87.6% higher than the South Carolina average. The home price to income ratio compares the median home prices to the median household income. In Charleston, the home price to income ratio is 4.7, which is 51.6% higher than the South Carolina average. Year over year appreciation rates for homes in the Charleston area were 9.2% and the 5 year appreciation rates came in at 8.6%. Why is this important? Knowing the appreciation rates for any area is a quick and easy way to determine if you will see a solid return on your investment.

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Compare Charleston, SC Livability To Other Cities

Best Cities Near Charleston, SC

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Hanahan, SC831220,710
Mount Pleasant, SC827.877,907
Folly Beach, SC797.62,732
James Island, SC79211,844
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Summerville, SC7721.447,919
Goose Creek, SC7715.540,553
Charleston, SC760129,888
Lincolnville, SC7620.61,053

How Do You Rate The Livability In Charleston?

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Charleston Reviews

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You really don’t have a food place open 24 hours? With a city this crowded?! There’s nothing to do here besides go out and drink if that’s your scene, no theme parks, no laser tag places. Rivers Ave is a good place to stumble into the wrong kinds of people. Multiple times I’ve run into some aggressive homeless people that seemed intent to take what I had simply because I wasn’t carrying cash to help them. Traffic is God awful, and the people over here for the most part are terrible. Literally the worst city I have ever lived in. Stay away if you can
  • 0 0
Forgot To Mention Traffic and Accidents

The drivers in this city are God awful. You could count the number of seconds on your hand before an accident occurs here, signaling is disgraceful in this area and my goodness, the traffic is horrendous. I could walk the length of a block in NYC before I make it past a few lights on Rivers Ave or Dorchester Road. Terrible city planning to say the least. Make sure your insurance is up to date and be very careful driving. You know it’s bad when local cops have it plastered on their cars “Target: 0 traffic deaths”. Driving here is borderline life-risking.
  • 1 0
Nonexistent Late Eats

This place isn’t too bad. Scenery is pretty nice, fishing is rather nice as well. But if you are intending on staying out in this city, be prepared. Only things open past 11PM are bars. You’d be lucky to find a place in town open past that, and usually it’s not exactly you’re choice of good food. Hell, even the McDonalds in this town are never open. For a city, it’s embarrassing that there is simply no restaurants with 24 hour operations. Absolutely idiotic decision making by whomever thought it would be a good idea to make that the norm for everyone. Hope you packed some snacks or are pretty close to a Walmart if you want food!
  • 2 0
Living in Charleston

Most people have heard Charleston is a beautiful city. Charleston is unquestionably beautiful and needs to be seen by all. Bear in mind that the entire area is built around sucking you dry of money. From your air plane ticket, food, hotel, and attractions, plan on overspending. Walking is free, but nothing else is reasonably priced. Don't wear your heels, ladies! You will likely stumble and fall on the uneven sidewalks or the passed out drunks after the bars close. Did I mention how disgustingly hot it is in July and August? After spending an evening downtown, you may lose your sense of direction and find yourself driving on "Rivers Avenue.", a long stretch of road that will have you believing you are driving thru the set of "The Walking Dead". Lock your doors and keep driving, even if the light is red. Parking downtown is a hassle and it is getting more crowded everyday. Contributing factors for bad traffic include horse carriages pulling lazy tourists, narcissistic millennials taking selfies in the middle of the street, and junk cars driven by rednecks that break down in the middle of the road. You see, there are no emission laws here so you can smoke up the state with your polluting "puzzle piece" of a car that you resurrected from LKQ. In closing, Charleston is a good place to visit, but don't plan on spending much time here. Southern cooked meals will make you sick and fat. Be on the lookout for palmetto bugs, a southern euphemism for the giant flying coach roach that inhabits Charleston. You may find them walking on the wall of a restaurant or scurrying under your bathroom cabinet. They won't hesitate to drop on your head or run across your toes in the middle of the night. For this reason, it is my recommendation to travel with a man so he will do his duty of disposing the cockroach for you.
  • 1 0
They Mean Whites Only

Charleston and the surrounding areas or counties, no matter how much they build or the events they put on will always display their hidden racism. White Supremacy is alive and well here. Just go to downtown Charleston, the building is Gentrification and they are making the local economy an uneven playing field and moving at such an expedited rate that the Black Man will have no home in this city and that is the end goal. If White Supremacy was not a propagated agenda they would not build new communities with Plantation in the name.
  • 0 -6
Southern Hospitality and affordable

Charleston is everything i thought it would be, quaint in feel but not small and the people are so kind! I never understood Southern Hospitality until I moved here it really is amazing! the Prices of everything and the people make it a great place to be.
  • 2 0
History, Southern Charm, Beaches, Great Food, and Friendly Smiles

Growing up on James Island, I lived in Charleston until I was 19, I then moved away to Houston, TX and have since moved back to the area. The best part about Charleston is this, since I was away for nearly 15 years, when I came back, things had changed. Changed for the BETTER! We are now one of the fastest growing relocation cities in America, there are many tech jobs, nursing jobs, Boeing is here, and Google, we didn't have any of this "progress" when I was growing up here. All of this is available now, and yet people will still say hello to you when you pass them on the street. We have some of the best restaurants available, we have miles and miles of ocean front and river front property. We experience mild winters and balmy summers. I love Charleston, I have lived in many places, including Charleston's sister city Savannah, and by far Charleston tops my list.
  • 1 -1
Charleston, SC - Caught Between the Past and the Future

After settling into my new job in Charleston, South Carolina, this Yankee ventured out with a little trepidation. After all, for some in this area of the country the War still isn't over. Reminders of this are everywhere, in the people you meet, the way the city is still divided along racial lines, and the critical role Charleston played during that period in our history. Fort Sumter, where it all began, still guards the city's Atlantic entrance. But I soon warmed to the Southern hospitality and charm I encountered everywhere, and settled into my role as a tolerated foreigner.

There is much to recommend in Charleston. The cost of living is probably half that of the west coast or northeast. Sandy beaches are a short distance away, and the drive presents a beautiful tapestry of salt marshes, inland waterways, drawbridges, marinas, and ocean views. The city of Charleston itself is a patchwork of more modern and pre-Revolutionary War buildings, with a definite European feel, accessed by driving or strolling down tree-lined cobblestone or brick streets. If you're into music, art, festivals, antiques, boating, history, fishing, or eating in the countless very good restaurants the city of Charleston offers, boredom will never be a problem.
  • 1 -1
Reason for reporting
Source: The Charleston, SC data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).
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