Ranked as the 23rd most populated state in the US, South Carolina’s largest cities certainly aren’t among the biggest in the country. But these amazing communities offer their residents plenty of great perks with nice amenities, safe neighborhoods, and plenty of other advantages.
As you identify the populations of South Carolina cities and other details about each area, you can find out which of them would be the right choice for you to live in.
The US Census makes it easy to verify the largest cities in South Carolina by population as well as many other pieces of information that will make your decision simpler.
South Carolina Demographics
A closer look at the overall statistics in the state will help you understand specific details about South Carolina’s largest cities and how they all compare to each other.
- Population: 5,148,714 residents
- Median Age: 39.9 years old
- Median Household Income: $56,227
- Median Home Listing Price: $179,800
- Area of State: 30,063.7 square miles
- Density: 171.3 people per square mile
Largest Cities in South Carolina
Before relocating to any community within the state, you may want to learn about the major cities in South Carolina. This could include information about their population, fun local attractions, job markets, living costs, and beyond.
Taking the top spot among the largest cities in South Carolina by population, Charleston is located along the southeast border of the state. The area was established in 1670 and grew quickly. Named after King Charles II, the city is commonly called the “Holy City” because of its religious tolerance and many local churches.
As the 8th safest city in South Carolina, Charleston also has a low crime rate that is 24% lower than the state average.
There are many seasonal festivals that take place in Charleston throughout the year including the Spoleto Festival, the MOJA Arts Festival, and the Southeastern Wildlife Expo.
The largest employers in the city are Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Blackbaud, and Benefitfocus.
Notable people who have lived in Charleston include Late Show host Stephen Colbert, actor Thomas Gibson, NFL player AJ Green, and many more.
- Charleston Population: 143,151
- Charleston Area: 110.6 square miles
- Charleston Median Age: 34 years old
- Charleston Median Household Income: $79,359
- Charleston Median House Price: $363,600
- Charleston Density: 1,294.8 people per square mile
- Charleston Map
Located near the very center of the state, Columbia was founded in 1786 and is the capital of South Carolina. It was the first city in the United States that was named after famous explorer Christopher Columbus.
As the second biggest city in South Carolina, Columbia is known for being “famously hot” due to its warm summer weather. On average, summer month temperatures vary between the low 70s at night to the upper 90s during the day.
Many local residents called the city “Cola” for short, which has also led to some nicknaming Columbia as “Soda City”.
A few famous people from Columbia include actress Anna Camp, actor Aziz Ansari, NBA player Jermaine O’Neal, rapper Young Jeezy, and the band Hootie & the Blowfish.
- Columbia Population: 131,323
- Columbia Area: 136 square miles
- Columbia Median Age: 28.6 years old
- Columbia Median Household Income: $47,386
- Columbia Median House Price: $201,500
- Columbia Density: 965.6 people per square mile
- Columbia Map
3. North Charleston
Located about 9 miles to the northwest of downtown Charleston is its “cousin” city of North Charleston. Established in 1972, people living in this community live by the city motto “a different kind of Southern charm.”
Along with being one of South Carolina’s largest cities, North Charleston is known for being the top city in the state for retail sales. It is a popular shopping destination and has fun things to do at North Charleston Wannamaker County Park and Frankies Fun Park.
North Charleston is the only city in the United States to produce both automobiles and commercial airplanes.
Speaking of planes, North Charleston is home to Charleston International Airport, which cycles through over 4.5 million flyers every year.
- North Charleston Population: 122,400
- North Charleston Area: 77.5 square miles
- North Charleston Median Age: 33.4 years old
- North Charleston Median Household Income: $53,470
- North Charleston Median House Price: $200,000
- North Charleston Density: 1579.4 people per square mile
- North Charleston Map
4. Mount Pleasant
Immediately east of downtown Charleston, the large suburban town of Mount Pleasant is the fourth biggest city in SC. While it was once a plantation owned by Jacob Motte, the area was purchased and developed into a community in 1680.
With an incredibly low crime rate, Mount Pleasant is the 3rd safest city in South Carolina. It is known for its many large oak trees and beautiful antique houses spread across the area.
Not only is Mount Pleasant one of the safest and largest cities in South Carolina, but it also ranks among the wealthiest in the state. The median household income of $121,318 per year places residents among the three most affluent cities in SC.
- Mount Pleasant Population: 91,668
- Mount Pleasant Area: 49.3 square miles
- Mount Pleasant Median Age: 43.3 years old
- Mount Pleasant Median Household Income: $121,318
- Mount Pleasant Median House Price: $514,800
- Mount Pleasant Density: 1857.9 people per square mile
- Mount Pleasant Map
5. Rock Hill
The city of Rock Hill was established in the year 1852 and has grown into one of the major South Carolina cities by population. Many Revolutionary War battles were fought in this area, giving the city a strong sense of American history.
Rock Hill has been given the nickname of “Football City USA” by many football fans as it has generated over 21 NFL players including big names like Stephon Gilmore, Jadeveon Clowney, Mason Rudolph, Benjamin Watson, and Cordarrelle Patterson.
- Rock Hill Population: 75,041
- Rock Hill Area: 38.6 square miles
- Rock Hill Median Age: 36.1 years old
- Rock Hill Median Household Income: $51,879
- Rock Hill Median House Price: $176,800
- Rock Hill Density: 1,944.8 people per square mile
- Rock Hill Map
People living in Greenville love the city’s culture and atmosphere thanks to its award-winning downtown area and major entertainment attractions. As one of the biggest SC cities, it has a large performing arts center, a large convention center, and the popular Greenville Zoo.
The area was established in 1786 and it has slowly and steadily continued to grow into the beautiful area it is today. While Greenville has long been referred to as the “Textile Capital of the World”, a recent poll by a local news site showed that most residents preferred the city have no nickname.
One of the top places to visit in Greenville is the gorgeous Falls Park on the Reedy.
The reputable tire production company Michelin has its main headquarters in Greenville.
- Greenville Population: 70,633
- Greenville Area: 29.6 square miles
- Greenville Median Age: 35.4 years old
- Greenville Median Household Income: $59,278
- Greenville Median House Price: $321,900
- Greenville Density: 2383.1 people per square mile
- Greenville Map
Summerville is a community that is split up between Dorchester County, Berkeley County, and Charleston County. It is located about 25 miles northwest of downtown Charleston.
While Summerville is technically considered a town, it still comes in seventh among the largest cities in South Carolina by population. The area was founded in 1847 and is known as “Flowertown in the Pines”. The Flowertown Festival is a massive annual arts & crafts festival that happens every April in Summerville.
The town of Summerville has long been recognized as the place where sweet tea was invented.
- Summerville Population: 53,037
- Summerville Area: 19.7 square miles
- Summerville Median Age: 35.6 years old
- Summerville Median Household Income: $59,180
- Summerville Median House Price: $207,800
- Summerville Density: 2693.3 people per square mile
- Summerville Map
8. Goose Creek
Ranked among the top 10 safest cities in South Carolina, Goose Creek is also one of the state’s largest cities. Founded in 1961, the area is best known for its major role in rice production.
The origin of Goose Creek’s name is often a subject of debate. Some feel it is because of how the creek has gooseneck-shaped turns, while others feel it is due to the many geese who live around the creek.
This family-friendly city in South Carolina offers plenty of fun for kids and adults at places like the Goose Creek Community Center.
- Goose Creek Population: 41,978
- Goose Creek Area: 41.2 square miles
- Goose Creek Median Age: 31.9 years old
- Goose Creek Median Household Income: $68,893
- Goose Creek Median House Price: $188,300
- Goose Creek Density: 1018.5 people per square mile
- Goose Creek Map
9. Hilton Head Island
Located near the southernmost part of the state along the Atlantic Coast, Hilton Head Island is another town on the list of South Carolina’s most populated cities. People are often attracted to this beautiful community for its amazing beaches, fantastic golf courses, and great views.
Hilton Head Island is part of what is known as the Low Country of South Carolina, which is often perceived to have its own unique culture compared to the rest of the state.
- Hilton Head Island Population: 40,007
- Hilton Head Island Area: 41.4 square miles
- Hilton Head Island Median Age: 58 years old
- Hilton Head Island Median Household Income: $84,575
- Hilton Head Island Median House Price: $483,600
- Hilton Head Island Density: 967.4 people per square mile
- Hilton Head Island Map
Named after General Thomas Sumter, the “Fighting Gamecock” of the American Revolutionary War, the city of Sumter was founded in January 1800.
Sumter is the tenth biggest city in South Carolina and has a diverse population of friendly people living there.
With a fairly strong job market, local industries in Sumter include manufacturing, biotechnology, retail, and healthcare.
- Sumter Population: 39,800
- Sumter Area: 32.6 square miles
- Sumter Median Age: 32.5 years old
- Sumter Median Household Income: $40,662
- Sumter Median House Price: $138,900
- Sumter Density: 1219.8 people per square mile
- Sumter Map
Map of Largest Cities in South Carolina
How many cities are there in South Carolina?
There are more than 270 incorporated cities and towns in South Carolina.
What is the most populous city in South Carolina?
Charleston is the largest city in South Carolina with a population of 143,151 residents.
How many people live in South Carolina?
The population in South Carolina is 5,148,714 people.
Which of South Carolina’s Largest Cities is Right for You?
Now that you know all about the largest cities in South Carolina, you’ll be able to decide which one you want to call home. If you’re preparing for an upcoming relocation in the Greenville area, the team at Auston Moving is the best option! Get in touch with our top-rated Greenville movers today at (888) 883-2795 or complete the Request a Quote form for a free moving quote!