See the best counties to raise a family in South Carolina

South Carolina News

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Known in other parts of the world as shires, provinces, or territories, the United States’ counties (also known in certain states as boroughs or parishes) date back to the 1600s, when settlers first came to find freedom from British rule. Today, those counties remain, with the 50 states divided into several, each with its own unique makeup.

For people looking to find a home to raise a family in, choosing a county is an important decision. Most families place affordable homes, safe neighborhoods, a quality school system, and family-friendly activities at the top of their wishlists.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in South Carolina using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, healthcare, recreation and weather.

The list features counties that boast some of the top schools and fun, family-friendly activities for every season. Keep reading to explore the best counties to raise a family. Maybe you’ll find one that suits your brood.

Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Edgefield County

– Population: 26,927
– Median home value: $129,300 (74% own)
– Median rent: $637 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $49,127
– Top public schools: Merriwether Middle School (B+), Fox Creek Charter High School (B+), W.E. Parker Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Francis Hugh Wardlaw Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Edgefield (B-), Murphys Estates (B-), Trenton (B+)

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#24. Georgetown County

– Population: 61,952
– Median home value: $188,800 (79% own)
– Median rent: $901 (21% rent)
– Median household income: $48,456
– Top public schools: Waccamaw Elementary School (A-), Waccamaw Middle School (B+), Waccamaw Intermediate School (B+)
– Top private schools: Lowcountry Preparatory School (A), Montessori School of Pawleys Island (unavailable), All Saints School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Murrells Inlet (A-), Andrews (C+), Georgetown (C)

Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Chesterfield County

– Population: 45,953
– Median home value: $81,500 (71% own)
– Median rent: $670 (29% rent)
– Median household income: $41,505
– Top public schools: Jefferson Elementary School (B), Chesterfield High School (B), Plainview Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: South Pointe Christian School (C+), Faith Christian Academy (unavailable), Jesus Is Lord Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Pageland (B-), Cheraw (B-), Chesterfield (B)

Jud McCranie // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Darlington County

– Population: 67,027
– Median home value: $92,600 (70% own)
– Median rent: $675 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $38,448
– Top public schools: South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (A+), Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology (A), Carolina Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Trinity Collegiate School (A), Emmanuel Christian School (B-), Thomas Hart Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: North Hartsville (B+), Hartsville (B+), Darlington (C+)

Robert Thomas Mckenzie Jr // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Florence County

– Population: 138,475
– Median home value: $131,900 (66% own)
– Median rent: $772 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $47,058
– Top public schools: Royall Elementary School (A-), McLaurin Elementary School (B+), Lucy T. Davis Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: The King’s Academy (B+), Florence Christian School (B), Carolina Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Quinby (A-), Florence (B+), Lake City (C+)

NatalieMaynor // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Newberry County

– Population: 38,194
– Median home value: $116,300 (73% own)
– Median rent: $765 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $44,226
– Top public schools: Whitmire Community Elementary School (A-), Little Mountain Elementary School (A-), Mid-Carolina Middle School (A-)
– Top private schools: New Berry Academy (A-)
– Top places to live: Newberry (B), Little Mountain (B), Silverstreet (B-)

Brian Scott // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Abbeville County

– Population: 24,627
– Median home value: $90,800 (75% own)
– Median rent: $681 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $38,741
– Top public schools: Wright Middle School (A), Westwood Elementary School (A-), Diamond Hill Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Cold Springs Mennonite School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Abbeville (C+), Due West (A), Donalds (B)

Itsbrandoyo // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Berkeley County

– Population: 215,044
– Median home value: $185,500 (72% own)
– Median rent: $1,109 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $63,309
– Top public schools: Berkeley County Middle College High School (A), Marrington Middle School of the Arts (A-), Stratford High School (A-)
– Top private schools: Bishop England High School (A), St. John’s Christian Academy (B), Faith Christian School & Daycare (C)
– Top places to live: Hanahan (A-), Goose Creek (A-), Ladson (B+)

Festiva76 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Aiken County

– Population: 168,301
– Median home value: $147,300 (73% own)
– Median rent: $819 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $51,399
– Top public schools: Tall Pines STEM Academy (A), Hammond Hill Elementary School (B+), Chukker Creek Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Mead Hall Episcopal School (A), South Aiken Baptist Christian School (B+), Victory Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: North Augusta (A), Aiken (A-), Belvedere (B+)

Calatayudboy // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Lancaster County

– Population: 92,308
– Median home value: $199,800 (80% own)
– Median rent: $776 (20% rent)
– Median household income: $58,849
– Top public schools: Indian Land Middle School (A-), Harrisburg Elementary School (B+), Indian Land Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Carolina Christian Academy (B+), Field of Dreams – Edgewater (unavailable), The Goddard School – Indian Land (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Elgin (B-), Irwin (C+), Springdale (C+)

Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Kershaw County

– Population: 65,112
– Median home value: $131,100 (82% own)
– Median rent: $775 (18% rent)
– Median household income: $51,479
– Top public schools: Mt. Pisgah Elementary School (B+), Baron DeKalb Elementary School (B), Doby’s Mill Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Camden Military Academy (A-)
– Top places to live: Camden (A-), Lugoff (B+), Elgin (B)

Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Laurens County

– Population: 66,846
– Median home value: $101,200 (70% own)
– Median rent: $734 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $43,304
– Top public schools: Clinton High School (B), Clinton Elementary School (B), Joanna-Woodson Elementary School (B-)
– Top private schools: Laurens Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Joanna (B+), Clinton (B), Laurens (B-)

Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Greenwood County

– Population: 70,411
– Median home value: $122,800 (64% own)
– Median rent: $733 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $42,336
– Top public schools: Ninety Six Elementary School (B+), Edgewood Middle School (B+), Greenwood High School (B)
– Top private schools: Greenwood Christian School (B+), Palmetto Christian Academy of Greenwood (A), Cambridge Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Greenwood (B), Ninety Six (B+), Cokesbury (B)

Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Horry County

– Population: 332,172
– Median home value: $181,500 (72% own)
– Median rent: $959 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $50,704
– Top public schools: Socastee Middle (A), Ocean Bay Elementary School (A), HCS Early College High School (A)
– Top private schools: Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach (B+), Conway Christian School (B+), North Myrtle Beach Christian School (B-)
– Top places to live: Socastee (A-), Forestbrook (A-), Surfside Beach (A-)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Oconee County

– Population: 77,528
– Median home value: $159,800 (73% own)
– Median rent: $762 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $49,134
– Top public schools: Walhalla Elementary School (A-), Walhalla High School (A-), Walhalla Middle School (B+)
– Top private schools: Oconee Christian Academy (B+), Trinity Baptist Preschool (unavailable), Foothills Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Seneca (B+), Utica (B), Walhalla (B)

KudzuVine // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Pickens County

– Population: 124,029
– Median home value: $147,700 (67% own)
– Median rent: $768 (33% rent)
– Median household income: $49,573
– Top public schools: Youth Leadership Academy (A), D.W. Daniel High School (A), Clemson Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Easley Christian School (A-), Lakeview Christian School (B-), Clemson Montessori School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Clemson (A+), Central (A-), Easley (A-)

Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Anderson County

– Population: 198,064
– Median home value: $145,800 (72% own)
– Median rent: $778 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $50,865
– Top public schools: Southwood Academy for the Arts (A), Powdersville Middle School (A), Powdersville Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Montessori School of Anderson (A), Anderson Christian School (B+), New Covenant School (B-)
– Top places to live: Powdersville (A), Northlake (A), Pendleton (A-)

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#8. Beaufort County

– Population: 186,095
– Median home value: $298,100 (73% own)
– Median rent: $1,202 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $68,377
– Top public schools: May River High School (A), Hilton Head Island High School (A-), Riverview Charter School (A-)
– Top private schools: Hilton Head Preparatory School (A+), Beaufort Academy (A), Heritage Academy (A)
– Top places to live: Hilton Head Island (A), Bluffton (A-), Shell Point (B+)

Ralph Hightower // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lexington County

– Population: 290,278
– Median home value: $157,000 (74% own)
– Median rent: $917 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $61,173
– Top public schools: River Bluff High School (A), Meadow Glen Elementary School (A), New Providence Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Northside Christian Academy (A-), Grace Christian School (B+), Union United Methodist Church Kindergarten (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Lexington (A+), Seven Oaks (A), Cayce (A)

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#6. Spartanburg County

– Population: 307,617
– Median home value: $141,400 (71% own)
– Median rent: $794 (29% rent)
– Median household income: $52,332
– Top public schools: Meeting Street Academy-Spartanburg (A), Reidville Elementary School (A), Pine Street Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Spartanburg Day School (A+), Oakbrook Preparatory School (A), Westgate Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Reidville (A), Boiling Springs (A), Duncan (A)

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#5. Richland County

– Population: 411,357
– Median home value: $163,100 (60% own)
– Median rent: $972 (40% rent)
– Median household income: $54,767
– Top public schools: Spring Hill High School (A+), Dutch Fork High School (A+), Ballentine Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Hammond School (A+), Heathwood Hall Episcopal School (A+), Ben Lippen School (A)
– Top places to live: Forest Acres (A+), Irmo (A+), Blythewood (A)

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#4. Charleston County

– Population: 401,165
– Median home value: $315,600 (62% own)
– Median rent: $1,190 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $64,022
– Top public schools: Academic Magnet High School (A+), Charleston School of the Arts (A+), Wando High School (A)
– Top private schools: Porter-Gaud School (A+), Ashley Hall School (A+), Palmetto Christian Academy (A-)
– Top places to live: Mount Pleasant (A+), Sullivan’s Island (A), Isle of Palms (A)

Lazyksaw // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Dorchester County

– Population: 158,299
– Median home value: $198,800 (72% own)
– Median rent: $1,099 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $63,080
– Top public schools: Beech Hill Elementary School (A), Rollings Middle School of the Arts (A), Fort Dorchester Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Pinewood Preparatory School (A-), Cathedral Academy (B+), Dorchester Academy (B-)
– Top places to live: North Charleston (B), Reevesville (B-), St. George (B-)

Connor401 // Wikimedia Commons

#2. York County

– Population: 265,872
– Median home value: $201,100 (72% own)
– Median rent: $980 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $65,361
– Top public schools: Pleasant Knoll Middle (A+), Gold Hill Elementary School (A+), Tega Cay Elementary School (A+)
– Top private schools: Lake Pointe Academy (A-), Westminster Catawba Christian School (A-), Walnut Grove Christian School (A-)
– Top places to live: Tega Cay (A+), Riverview (A+), Fort Mill (A+)

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#1. Greenville County

– Population: 507,003
– Median home value: $183,800 (67% own)
– Median rent: $918 (33% rent)
– Median household income: $60,351
– Top public schools: SC Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities (A+), Eastside High School (A), Greenville Technical Charter High School (A)
– Top private schools: Christ Church Episcopal School (A+), St. Joseph’s Catholic School (A), Southside Christian School (A)
– Top places to live: Five Forks (A+), Wade Hampton (A), Greenville (A)

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