Cost of Living in South Carolina


Key Takeaways

  • South Carolina’s cost of living is 6% lower than the national average.
  • The most expensive states to call home are found on the West Coast and in the Northeast, while the South includes the most states ranking in the bottom 10.
  • South Carolina is one of the most affordable states to live partly because it is one of the 10 lowest taxed states in the U.S.

       

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      Cost of Living in South Carolina vs National Average

       

      S.C. COST OF LIVING IN SOUTH CAROLINA

      COMPARED TO NATIONAL AVERAGE

      Housing (Mortgage or Rent)

      21% lower

      Utilities (Monthly)

      8% higher

      Food

      1% higher

      Healthcare

      6% lower

      Transportation

      4% lower

      Goods & Services

      2% lower

       

       

      Cost of Common Essentials in South Carolina

       

      COMMON ESSENTIALS

      COST

      HOUSING

       

      House Price

      $448,999

      Rent

      $1,675

      UTILITIES (Monthly)

       

      Energy Bill

      $258

      Phone Bill

      $194

      FOOD

      1% higher

      Whole Milk

      $4.59

      Bread

      $4.09

      Coffee

      $5.94

      HEALTHCARE

       

      Doctor Visit

      $137

      Dentist Visit

      $97

      Prescription Drug

      $373

      TRANSPORTATION

       

      Gasoline

      $3.18

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      Why Is It So Cheap to Live in South Carolina?

      One major factor that influences a city’s cost of living is tax.

      Because it is one of the 10 lowest taxed states, South Carolina residents enjoy a more affordable cost of living. In fact, our state’s property taxes are some of the country’s lowest. And when it comes to state income tax (peaking at 7%),  there are great deductions available for retirees. Gas taxes are lower as well, which translates to lower transportation expenses and savings at the pump.

      The cost of living is particularly low in South Carolina’s many rural towns. From rent to restaurants, families in these smaller cities pay significantly less than many Americans to maintain a comfortable way of life.

      South Carolina Median Household Income (2012-2021)*

       

      County

      2012

      2013

      2014

      2015

      2016

      2017

      2018

      2019

      2020

      2021

      South Carolina

      $43,290

      $44,310

      $45,337

      $47,308

      $49,587

      $50,675

      $52,449

      $56,360

      $57,216

      $59,447

      Abbeville

      $35,456

      $36,187

      $35,525

      $35,932

      $40,211

      $41,118

      $42,412

      $46,499

      $47,219

      $49,485

      Aiken

      $45,699

      $43,876

      $48,537

      $48,012

      $47,394

      $51,583

      $52,633

      $56,824

      $57,128

      $56,711

      Allendale

      $25,633

      $25,753

      $25,530

      $27,089

      $26,864

      $28,135

      $29,124

      $32,147

      $32,701

      $31,262

      Anderson

      $39,905

      $41,591

      $43,124

      $44,745

      $45,821

      $48,846

      $51,740

      $54,496

      $52,667

      $58,951

      Bamberg

      $30,170

      $30,762

      $30,349

      $29,642

      $32,245

      $32,693

      $36,230

      $35,364

      $39,969

      $37,906

      Barnwell

      $32,042

      $31,899

      $32,205

      $33,280

      $41,803

      $36,568

      $38,131

      $36,675

      $41,717

      $42,265

      Beaufort

      $54,139

      $56,354

      $55,427

      $60,071

      $65,354

      $60,319

      $65,843

      $73,890

      $76,515

      $72,661

      Berkeley

      $49,872

      $50,794

      $52,436

      $55,876

      $58,690

      $57,399

      $62,204

      $68,690

      $70,371

      $74,289

      Calhoun

      $42,006

      $40,593

      $41,209

      $41,277

      $41,786

      $45,149

      $45,385

      $47,090

      $50,977

      $39,476

      Charleston

      $48,200

      $51,206

      $52,752

      $56,244

      $56,564

      $60,144

      $62,958

      $70,980

      $72,451

      $71,755

      Cherokee

      $37,135

      $37,726

      $38,947

      $37,098

      $38,273

      $34,962

      $42,542

      $46,905

      $45,085

      $45,829

      Chester

      $33,718

      $36,523

      $37,537

      $35,006

      $39,972

      $40,850

      $42,116

      $45,400

      $45,366

      $46,500

      Chesterfield

      $31,936

      $33,591

      $34,949

      $36,520

      $39,869

      $38,881

      $39,046

      $42,441

      $44,792

      $45,395

      Clarendon

      $30,519

      $30,096

      $32,268

      $34,654

      $34,541

      $36,647

      $36,722

      $39,900

      $52,983

      $41,240

      Colleton

      $33,208

      $33,817

      $35,558

      $33,745

      $35,760

      $36,139

      $39,079

      $40,808

      $44,399

      $46,629

      Darlington

      $34,103

      $34,209

      $35,640

      $36,719

      $37,711

      $38,886

      $37,206

      $44,007

      $42,082

      $46,291

      Dillon

      $29,205

      $33,696

      $30,516

      $31,094

      $31,761

      $32,229

      $33,159

      $35,483

      $40,930

      $39,613

      Dorchester

      $53,924

      $55,193

      $56,388

      $55,595

      $58,167

      $63,269

      $65,468

      $68,051

      $62,928

      $71,548

      Edgefield

      $42,065

      $44,862

      $44,129

      $46,430

      $46,816

      $48,059

      $48,818

      $52,591

      $55,005

      $57,774

      Fairfield

      $34,007

      $35,531

      $35,490

      $36,622

      $36,715

      $40,285

      $39,522

      $42,496

      $45,648

      $40,766

      Florence

      $40,577

      $41,028

      $42,232

      $41,197

      $45,044

      $43,727

      $47,949

      $49,770

      $47,429

      $52,062

      Georgetown

      $40,962

      $41,213

      $44,283

      $44,395

      $47,842

      $48,373

      $46,058

      $53,747

      $57,991

      $58,419

      Greenville

      $47,044

      $49,476

      $49,659

      $52,017

      $55,452

      $56,311

      $61,162

      $64,399

      $62,475

      $68,487

      Greenwood

      $37,187

      $37,217

      $38,878

      $42,240

      $40,599

      $42,740

      $43,879

      $43,958

      $43,711

      $52,462

      Hampton

      $32,934

      $32,941

      $33,644

      $30,772

      $35,667

      $36,834

      $35,871

      $37,560

      $43,614

      $41,281

      Horry

      $40,249

      $41,808

      $42,830

      $47,083

      $45,608

      $45,979

      $49,082

      $53,648

      $55,055

      $56,342

      Jasper

      $35,692

      $34,852

      $37,715

      $37,231

      $41,902

      $40,960

      $43,125

      $50,790

      $48,988

      $54,099

      Kershaw

      $46,019

      $44,787

      $45,411

      $48,233

      $48,824

      $50,627

      $52,270

      $56,318

      $60,397

      $54,900

      Lancaster

      $43,479

      $40,837

      $44,854

      $47,279

      $53,421

      $57,667

      $58,035

      $63,842

      $63,019

      $68,993

      Laurens

      $36,483

      $36,771

      $38,268

      $39,731

      $43,191

      $41,695

      $42,099

      $47,038

      $43,766

      $53,130

      Lee

      $30,053

      $30,972

      $31,510

      $31,525

      $32,015

      $33,756

      $33,199

      $37,710

      $40,400

      $39,125

      Lexington

      $52,249

      $53,880

      $54,098

      $55,413

      $57,623

      $60,329

      $60,627

      $62,059

      $62,839

      $65,016

      McCormick

      $39,413

      $38,186

      $38,694

      $41,589

      $43,262

      $44,644

      $44,683

      $48,645

      $50,698

      $50,005

      Marion

      $29,140

      $28,520

      $32,283

      $30,528

      $31,556

      $31,438

      $34,365

      $35,138

      $38,498

      $37,534

      Marlboro

      $28,927

      $31,185

      $31,170

      $32,485

      $32,991

      $33,412

      $33,534

      $34,532

      $38,877

      $38,254

      Newberry

      $38,808

      $37,890

      $42,000

      $41,120

      $42,128

      $42,538

      $48,029

      $50,773

      $52,202

      $57,072

      Oconee

      $42,062

      $42,077

      $39,548

      $44,819

      $46,996

      $51,087

      $50,529

      $52,240

      $58,061

      $53,432

      Orangeburg

      $33,796

      $32,180

      $31,382

      $37,651

      $34,557

      $36,358

      $37,134

      $38,736

      $41,335

      $39,832

      Pickens

      $39,823

      $42,400

      $41,375

      $44,091

      $46,154

      $48,133

      $48,794

      $52,949

      $54,588

      $54,415

      Richland

      $47,606

      $47,492

      $49,782

      $51,065

      $51,973

      $52,187

      $52,611

      $52,905

      $56,993

      $56,940

      Saluda

      $41,552

      $40,366

      $42,286

      $41,409

      $43,685

      $44,487

      $46,019

      $49,493

      $46,216

      $50,440

      Spartanburg

      $41,327

      $42,638

      $44,050

      $45,768

      $47,706

      $51,035

      $53,567

      $55,588

      $53,485

      $60,470

      Sumter

      $39,014

      $39,182

      $37,906

      $41,058

      $41,205

      $44,375

      $45,181

      $49,611

      $45,724

      $48,286

      Union

      $32,717

      $34,042

      $37,501

      $35,467

      $39,119

      $41,327

      $40,686

      $42,851

      $46,567

      $43,615

      Williamsburg

      $28,121

      $29,391

      $29,609

      $28,943

      $28,314

      $32,421

      $32,814

      $34,409

      $38,186

      $40,235

      York

      $51,427

      $54,927

      $54,196

      $57,302

      $61,044

      $62,620

      $64,904

      $68,468

      $72,579

      $73,466

      *Source: South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office

      FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

      What does cost of living mean?

      Cost of living refers to the expense of maintaining a certain standard of living in a specific location.

      Changes in the cost of living over time can be found in a comprehensive cost-of-living index. These calculations are helpful for comparing the cost of maintaining a certain lifestyle in different regions.

      Is South Carolina an expensive place to live?
      Compared to the national average, living in South Carolina is about 6% cheaper.
      Housing is significantly more affordable – 21% below the national average! Everyday essentials are slightly cheaper as well, with both groceries and clothing costing 2% less than the rest of the country.  Utilities, however, run 8% above the national average
      How much money do you need to live comfortably in South Carolina?

      Estimates show that the yearly living wage for a South Carolinian family of four is $84,062. U.S. Census data reveals that the median household income is $58,234, ranking our state 27th among those that require the highest living wages.

      What is middle class income in SC?

      In South Carolina, a family of four must have a household income of at least $61,000 to be considered middle class.

      What income is considered rich in SC?

      South Carolina’s top earners make $79,000 a year, on average – approximately $41.33 per hour.

      What income is considered wealthy in SC?

      In South Carolina, to reach the top 5% of earners, you must make at least $374,427 annually. To be among the top 20% of earners, you would have to make $116,032.

      What is considered low income in South Carolina?

      According to reports by SC Legal Services, South Carolina’s poverty threshold for a family of four is $31,200. For individuals, the threshold sits at $15,060.

      Is it cheaper to live in SC or NC?

      The cost of living in both states falls slightly below the national average, making each an affordable option. The housing market is one differentiating factor, with South Carolina’s a little cheaper than North Carolina’s. That puts SC just ahead of NC in terms of affordability.

      Why is it so cheap to live in South Carolina?

      South Carolina is in the top 10 lowest taxed states, requiring residents to pay less in real estate tax, sales tax, and personal income tax. Gas taxes are lower as well to keep transportation costs some of the lowest in the nation.

      Where is it cheap to live in South Carolina?

      The seven cheapest SC cities to live include:

      • Dillon, SC
      • Bennettsville, SC
      • Union, SC
      • Orangeburg, SC
      • Laurens, SC
      • Newberry, SC
      • Gaffney, SC
      Is South Carolina red or blue?

      South Carolina is largely considered a red state, with the majority of residents voting Republican.

      In fact, South Carolina was one of only six states to vote for Barry Goldwater in 1964, and it has voted Republican since – with Jimmy Carter as the only exception in 1976. In 2020, Donald Trump beat Joe Biden, garnering 55% of the vote compared to his opponent’s 43%.

      Is South Carolina as humid as Florida?

      It’s no secret that South Carolina’s climate includes hot, humid summers.

      But the humidity isn’t typically as high or as frequent as it is in the Sunshine State. Plus, South Carolina offers some relief from the heat and humidity during the fall and water – while Florida remains warm and muggy much of the year.

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      Title Loans in South Carolina

      A title loan is a quick and easy way to get the cash you need, using your vehicle’s title for collateral instead of your credit score. The amount will be determined by our expert appraisers. Auto Money offers competitive interest rates and gives you the most money for your title with instant approval. And the best part is, you get to keep driving your vehicle!

      SC Consumer Loans: Your Rights and Responsibilities

      Disclaimer: This is a high interest loan. You should go to another source if you have the ability to borrow at a lower rate of interest. You are placing your vehicle at risk if you default on this loan.

      Title Pawns in Georgia

      A title pawn is a quick and easy way to get the cash you need, using your vehicle’s title as collateral towards borrowing money. At our Georgia Auto Money stores, you have 30 days to repay the title pawn. If you are unable to pay off the balance within 30 days, Auto Money’s professional and courteous staff is available to discuss repayment options with you.

      Title Loans in North Carolina

      Disclaimer: At Auto Money, we uphold all federal and state laws related to Title Loans. Title loan transactions are prohibited within the state of North Carolina.

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      * $20,000 instant approval loan or pawn amount is the maximum an applicant can receive. Actual amount of title loan or title pawn is subject to vehicle appraisal by an Auto Money employee and a complete application is required to be submitted and approved in-person by the party requesting a title loan or title pawn. Certain limitations apply. All title loans or title pawns issued by Auto Money are subject to the customer’s ability to repay the title loan or title pawn.

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