Tourists may come to South Carolina for the Southern cooking, fresh produce and ocean views, but young families stay for more.
With that in mind, NerdWallet focused on the following questions in our analysis of cities and towns across the state:
1. Does the town have good public schools? We measured schools’ academic performance with ratings from GreatSchools. This non-profit compares a given school’s standardized test scores to the state average to obtain a rating on a 1 to 10 scale (10 representing the highest score). Higher ratings led to a higher overall score.
2. Can you afford to live there? We looked at both average home values in each town and ongoing monthly home costs, including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities, fuel and other bills. Lower costs led to a higher overall score.
3. Is the town growing and prospering? We assessed a town’s economy by looking at average household income and income growth over the last decade. Higher income and greater growth led to a higher overall score.
The best towns in South Carolina for young families
Charleston’s historic downtown is among the most elegant in the nation. It maintains the city’s antebellum architecture and features cobblestone streets trodden by horse-drawn carriages. The economy, by contrast, is entirely modern, and it has been adding jobs to the city at a tremendous rate since the early aughts. Engineering, in particular, has seen growth with companies like Boeing establishing offices here in the last several years.