What Are The Pros And Cons Of Moving To South Carolina? 

Pros And Cons Of Moving To South Carolina

Every state has its ups and downs. When it comes to deciding where you will move to, it is essential to know the good and the bad. Nicknamed the Palmetto State, there are plenty of reasons to move to South Carolina. 

The property taxes and gas taxes that you pay in South Carolina are significantly lower than most states. However, the taxes you pay on clothes and food from the diner makes up for what you save in gas. The weather may be lovely as well, but you risk the possibility of hurricanes and flooding. 

South Carolina is one of the most popular places for tourists and makes plenty of income during the tourist season. It’s also a top choice for young folks starting out or college kids. Before you decide if South Carolina is the place for you, take time to learn the pros and cons. 

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What Are the Benefits of Moving to South Carolina?

There is a wide variety of benefits when it comes to moving to South Carolina. From the low gas and property taxes to the fantastic weather. They also have plenty of job opportunities and good schools for the kids. 

1. South Carolina Has Great Weather Most of the Year

South Carolina is known for its warm winters and pleasant weather most of the year. The temperature ranges from 60 to 65 degrees in the wintertime but does get up to 90 to 95 during the summer. It’s warm and beautiful most of the year in South Carolina, making it excellent beach weather. But, the beaches are not all about getting into the ocean. 

Sometimes it is nice to enjoy the scenery and peaceful feeling that comes with sitting by the seaside. Plus, it’s the perfect weather to stretch out by the shoreline somewhere with your favorite book. 

Month Highest Temperature (°F)  Lowest Temperature (°F)
January  59 37
February 60 40
March 69 46
April 76 53
May 83 61
June 88 69
July 91 73
August 89 72
September 84 67
October 71 56
November 69 47
December 61 40

2. South Carolina Has Low Gas Tax Rates

South Carolina is one of the cheapest states for fuel taxes, including diesel. This makes it less expensive for you to get around in your car and, overall, more convenient. On average, the taxes you pay toward each gallon of gas will be 20.75 cents. 

This is considerably less than gas tax rates in surrounding states. For example, Georgia has a gas tax of 31.6 cents per gallon, and North Carolina’s is 34.3 cents per gallon. In addition to low gas taxes, South Carolina doesn’t raise the tax frequently. Although the state raised the gas tax in 2018, that was the first increase in nearly 30 years.

3. South Carolina Has Low Property Taxes

Although you will pay a higher sales tax, property taxes are much lower in South Carolina. In fact, South Carolina’s fifth for lowest property taxes in the country, with an average of 0.57%. 

This would mean the average homeowner spends about $850 in property taxes annually (after the homestead exemption). This is lower than most of the surrounding states, which can be beneficial when budgeting for your home expenses. 

4. South Carolina Offers Many Job Opportunities

If you have ever been to South Carolina, you know there is always something to do. This is especially true in the summertime. Therefore, finding a job in South Carolina is often easier than in other states.

As of October 2020, the unemployment rate in South Carolina is 4.2%. This is much lower than the national average of 6.7%. In fact, it ties New Hampshire as the sixth state with the lowest unemployment rate. 

5. South Carolina Boasts Plenty of History and Activities

There is a reason why 15 to 18 million people visit South Carolina in a year. There is always something to do. Whether it be sightseeing or having a blast at a water park, there are always exciting activities around every corner.

With plenty of activities comes plenty of tourists. Tourists will visit year-round, but the expected (and busiest) time would be in the summer. Below is a glimpse at some of the various attractions in some of the major cities. These sights and entertainment options attract tourists and new residents year after year. 

City Annual Visitors Tourist Attractions Population
Charleston 7.3 million Folly Beach, Island of Palms County Park 138,458
Myrtle Beach 14 million The Boardwalk, Broadway at the Beach, Plenty of Restaurants 35,760
Hamilton Head Island  2.5 million Beaches, Art Galleries, Orchestra 39,721
Greenville 5.5 million Jones Gap State Park, Greenville Zoo, Lower Wildcat Falls 71,171
Columbia 3.5 million Riverbanks Zoo, Historic Columbia, Columbia Museum of Art  133,031

The Cons of Moving to South Carolina

As expected, there are always cons to any decision you make. The average income in South Carolina is lower than the national average, and there is a higher sales tax. Not to mention, there’s an increased chance of hurricanes and flooding in South Carolina. 

1. Average Income in South Carolina Is Lower Than the National Average

South Carolina’s median annual income is $56,227, roughly $10,000 lower than the average salary in the US.  Here’s a glimpse at how your income would compare to some other states.

State Annual Salary Monthly Salary Weekly Salary
South Carolina $56,227 $4,685 $1,171
Virginia $71,564 $5,963 $1,490
New Jersey $79,363 $6,613 $1,653
New York $72,108 $6,009 $1,502
Montana $69,307 $5,358 $1,339

2. South Carolina Is Prone to Hurricanes and Floods

Although South Carolina is known for its good weather and summer attractions, it’s not without risky weather conditions. These risks include hurricanes and even flooding during the rainy season. 

On average, South Carolina gets about 30 hurricanes a year. Out of the 30, 5 of them are category 3 through 5. This is due to being so close to the coastline and having storms brew over the ocean. 

During spring and autumn, South Carolina gets more precipitation than usual. In the springtime alone, South Carolina can average about 45 inches of rain. This will ultimately lead to flooding, which could damage property.

3. South Carolina Has a Higher Sales Tax

Statewide, citizens of South Carolina pay a 6% sales tax. The sales tax applies to food, clothing, alcohol, or any other item aside from gas and property. Depending on what city you live in, you might pay more. 

Most cities in South Carolina have raised the sales tax since they had the option. However, the minimum amount of sales tax is 6%. 

City Sales Tax
Charleston 9%
Columbia 8%
Conway 8%
Anderson 7%

4. South Carolina Does Have Extremely Hot Summers

Although South Carolina’s beautiful weather is one of its strong suits, summer can be brutal. During the summertime, it tends to get hotter than in most places, and the humidity goes up as well. June, July, and August are the hottest months of the year, with a high of 95 degrees. 

The nights are cooler, but even then, the temperature sits in the 70’s. It’s never ideal for sitting around sweating and miserable. So, when summer rolls around, staying inside is your best bet. 

5. South Carolina Is Home to Lots of Alligators

You might expect alligators to be a problem in Florida, but not South Carolina, right? In actuality, many places in South Carolina are home to alligators that roam freely. If you are from North Carolina, you may be used to seeing deer on the road. Well, that is nothing compared to coming across an alligator on your way to work. 

Related Questions

What is the minimum wage in South Carolina?

The minimum wage in South Carolina is $7.25; the lowest an employer can pay a non-exempt hourly employee. This means most of your convenience stores and retail stores will pay you $7.25 an hour. However, there are plenty of seasonal jobs that offer above the minimum wage. 

That is a good thing to remember if you are a college student. Especially if you live off-campus and won’t be going home for summer vacation. 

What is the crime rate in South Carolina?

Most of the cities in South Carolina have a relatively low crime rate when it comes to dangerous acts such as rape or murder. However, when it comes to more minor offenses such as burglary or breaking and entering, the crime rate increases. Cities with a higher population count typically have a higher crime rate due to having more citizens. 

What college opportunities are there in South Carolina?

There are plenty of opportunities when it comes to choosing a college in South Carolina. Whether you want to take classes at a community college or a university, South Carolina has an option for you. 

Universities in South Carolina consist of Clemson University, the University of Charleston, and the University of South Carolina. You can also take the route of community college with Northeastern Technical College or Carolina Central Technical College. 

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What Did We Learn?

Overall, the pros and cons of living in South Carolina are pretty even. It is a beautiful place to live, but it is also an expensive place to live. It is also a highly-populated area, but that also depends on what city you decide to call home. 

Although it might be costly and have some downsides, don’t forget the positives. South Carolina has ample opportunities when it comes to food, entertainment, and relaxation. It’s all about just knowing the ups and downs so you can make the right choice for yourself.

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Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent’s former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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