Charleston is a very livable place according to areavibes.com, and its residents would agree! It’s a great city for anyone with an interest in history – being the oldest city in the state of South Carolina, and its largest too, home to around 125,000 people in the city proper, and just over 691,000 in the metro area. Charleston has won many accolades since, including America’s Most Friendly City. So just what is it like to live in Charleston?
Crime and Safety in Charleston
The City of Charleston Police Department is the largest in South Carolina, taking care of residents and visitors to the city. The crime index is higher than the national average in the city, but levels are 41 percent lower than the South Carolina average, so as cities in this state go, Charleston is not too bad on the scale. The same can be said when we break it down into violent crimes and property crimes – Charleston is lower than the South Carolina average, but SC is higher than the national average. In general Charleston is safer than 20 percent of the cities in the United States, and the chances of being a victim of crime are 1 in 30.
Employment and the Economy in Charleston
As a major tourist destination there are many jobs in the tourism sector in Charleston, while other parts of the economy include a rising information technology sector thanks to the Charleston Digital Corridor. Higher education also employs a large number of people. Overall, the unemployment rate in Charleston in 2012 was 0.4 percent lower than the national average, and 1.6 percent lower than the South Carolina average at 7.9 percent.
Cost of Living in Charleston
It’s better news when it comes to the cost of living though – Charleston is 2.3 percent lower than the national average and just 1 percent higher than the South Carolina average at 98 percent. The main reason for this is the overall cost of housing in Charleston – it is 13 percent lower than the national average. Groceries, health care and utilities are actually higher though their higher cost is offset by the lower housing costs.
Schools and Education in Charleston
Most of Charleston is served by the Charleston County School District though some parts in the north come under the jurisdiction of the Berkeley County School District. In total Charleston has 38 public schools and 26 private schools. Higher education includes the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and Charleston Southern University. Levels achieved in education are far higher in Charleston than they are in the rest of South Carolina and the nation as a whole.
Air Quality in Charleston
The air quality in Charleston is good, no doubt helped by the city’s proximity to the ocean. The air quality index is 3.2 percent less than the South Carolina average, but 10.8 percent greater than the national average. The pollution index is very favorable though – it’s 76 percent less than South Carolina, and 88 percent less than the national average.
Overall Charleston does seem to be a great place to live – cost of living being lower, unemployment levels lower, and a good level of education; the only downside is a higher than national average crime level.