These Are The 10 Smartest Cities In South Carolina

John McLean
by John McLean
Rankings - 2 years ago
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One of the many qualities that people look for in a potential location or company is the intelligence of those around them. This factor can play a huge role in one’s experience at a particular company and can make or break an employee’s time there.

So finding a city with an intelligent population makes sense for both companies and employees. That’s where Zippia comes in; to help you identify those places in South Carolina that might have skipped a grade…or two.

You may be wondering how does one determine how intelligent a town really is?

Well we went to the source of all things demographic data – the Census – to figure out what criteria about a place would identify it is a smart cookie.

We set upon the percentage of adults (over 25) with at least a high school degree and the percentage of high school dropouts (aged 16-20) for the 62 largest cities in South Carolina with data. We then crunched the numbers and were left with this set of the brightest cities in the Palmetto State:

  1. Tega Cay
  2. Forest Acres
  3. Charleston
  4. Mauldin
  5. Port Royal
  6. Aiken
  7. Mount Pleasant
  8. Fort Mill
  9. Hilton Head Island
  10. Lexington

Read on to see why these places got into a four-year college or skip to the end to see a full chart of all the places in our analysis.

For more SC reading, check out:

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How we determined the smartest places in the Palmetto State

Before we could dive into the potential IQs of various places in South Carolina, we needed to know which places to look at in the first place. We settled upon any place with over 5,000 people and data available for every criteria.

This left us with 62 places in South Carolina.

We then looked at the following criteria to determine the cream from the crop when it comes to smarts:

Our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census.

We thought this criteria was representative of the current state of smarts with the potential for a place to improve the education levels of the next generation. And it’s not like we are setting the education bar incredibly high — 80% of students graduate from high school nowadays.

In order to determine the smartest, we ranked all the cities for each criteria from one to 62 with one being the “smartest” in any category.

We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the highest overall score being given the diploma for “Smartest City In South Carolina”.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart. Otherwise, learn more about how the top ten cities achieved their potential.

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1. Tega Cay

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 8,224
Adults Without High School Diploma: 2.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Graduating early is the town of Tega Cay. They’ll be hanging up their diplomas with pride.

Coming in our number one spot with only 2.3% of the population lacking a high school diploma and an ultra low dropout rate this town is going places. Tega Cay is our best hope for a bright future in South Carolina.

2. Forest Acres

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,533
Adults Without High School Diploma: 3.9%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.6%

Forest Acres has ranked #2 in our list of the smartest cities in South Carolina. With a population of 10,533 and a dropout rate of only .6% no wonder the citizens here are ranking up so high.

The IQs around here must be astonishing.

3. Charleston

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 125,458
Adults Without High School Diploma: 6.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 1.0%

The metropolis of Charleston, SC has come into the #3 spot. This lovely tourist destination is steeped in a rich history dating back to the founding of the nation. Based on the dropout rate of only 1% it seems like the students here have been brushing up on it too.

With so much to learn about the city it’s no wonder everyone here is such a smarty.

4. Mauldin

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 23,985
Adults Without High School Diploma: 8.2%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Mauldin, SC is our #4 Smartest city in the state of South Carolina. Even with a population over 23,000 strong the high school dropout rate is virtually non-existent.

Clearly the people here are some of the brightest bulbs in the area.

5. Port Royal

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,264
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 1.1%

The sea facing city of Port Royal has taken the #5 spot on our Smartest cities list. With just over 7% of the population walking around without a high school diploma and a high school dropout rate hovering around the 1% mark the students here are already bragging on their SAT scores!

6. Aiken

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 29,980
Adults Without High School Diploma: 9.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

The city of Aiken is chock full of intelligence. With a population of just under 30,000 people this city is on it’s way to doing pretty big things.

7. Mount Pleasant

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 72,379
Adults Without High School Diploma: 2.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 3.9%

Coming in hot in the #7 spot is Mount Pleasant, SC. Boasting nearly 73,000 residents within the city lines and only 2.4% of its adult population lacking a high school diploma this city is a breeding ground for intelligence.

8. Fort Mill

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,068
Adults Without High School Diploma: 10.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Taking the coveted #8 spot is the town of Fort Mill, SC. With virtually no high school dropouts around it’s no big surprise this city made our list.

9. Hilton Head Island

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 38,497
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.2%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 2.5%

The lovely town of Hilton Head Island has ranked #9 on our list of the Smartest cities in SC. Despite having miles of amazing coastline to goof off on the kids here have buckled down and studied hard and so earned their #9 spot.

10. Lexington

Smartest South Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,007
Adults Without High School Diploma: 6.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 4.0%

The up and coming town of Lexington, SC has rounded out our list at the #10 spot. With a population hovering around 19,000 people and impressive high school dropout rates it’s no wonder this city is home to some of the smartest people in South Carolina.

And that’s how you graduate in style

There you have it folks, the Ten Smartest Cities in the state of South Carolina. They have the numbers to back it up so go ahead and visit them to soak up some of the smarts around town. If you’d like more information on different cities and states around the U.S. be sure to visit www.zippia.com to have all of your questions answered.

Detailed List Of Smartest Cities In South Carolina

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Dropouts
Tega Cay 1 8,224 2.3% 0.0%
Forest Acres 2 10,533 3.9% 0.6%
Charleston 3 125,458 6.8% 1.0%
Mauldin 4 23,985 8.2% 0.0%
Port Royal 5 11,264 7.4% 1.1%
Aiken 6 29,980 9.4% 0.0%
Mount Pleasant 7 72,379 2.4% 3.9%
Fort Mill 8 12,068 10.6% 0.0%
Hilton Head Island 9 38,497 7.2% 2.5%
Lexington 10 19,007 6.4% 4.0%
Goose Creek 11 38,545 7.3% 3.5%
Clemson 12 14,254 3.2% 4.1%
Hanahan 13 18,999 10.0% 1.8%
Bluffton 14 13,979 11.5% 1.3%
Camden 15 6,931 13.5% 0.0%
North Myrtle Beach 16 14,485 6.7% 5.2%
James Island 17 11,451 8.8% 3.9%
Georgetown 18 9,110 14.9% 0.0%
Cayce 19 12,944 12.1% 2.2%
Columbia 20 131,331 13.6% 1.4%
Central 21 5,170 14.9% 0.9%
Conway 22 18,645 15.6% 0.9%
Seneca 23 8,147 16.0% 0.0%
Clover 24 5,321 16.2% 0.0%
Marion 25 6,833 16.4% 0.0%
Summerville 26 44,717 7.5% 7.7%
Beaufort 27 12,702 10.9% 5.2%
Sumter 28 40,819 15.9% 1.8%
Florence 29 37,512 12.5% 4.4%
Irmo 30 11,518 7.2% 11.9%
Union 31 8,191 19.0% 0.0%
Simpsonville 32 19,219 9.1% 8.3%
Rock Hill 33 68,185 12.3% 5.3%
North Augusta 34 21,832 9.0% 8.3%
Orangeburg 35 13,790 15.5% 4.0%
Hartsville 36 7,857 15.3% 4.4%
Greenville 37 60,670 13.2% 6.8%
Lancaster 38 8,801 20.1% 1.8%
Fountain Inn 39 8,031 9.9% 14.3%
Greer 40 26,626 15.5% 5.4%
Spartanburg 41 37,216 18.3% 3.8%
Cheraw 42 5,809 28.1% 0.0%
Myrtle Beach 43 28,455 14.2% 9.0%
Laurens 44 9,136 21.1% 2.9%
Lake City 45 6,720 29.2% 0.0%
Newberry 46 10,259 27.1% 2.1%
Easley 47 20,242 17.8% 5.6%
West Columbia 48 15,623 15.7% 12.4%
Gaffney 49 12,565 22.1% 4.0%
Moncks Corner 50 8,711 14.4% 21.0%
Batesburg-Leesville 51 5,242 18.6% 8.4%
Darlington 52 6,232 20.3% 7.5%
North Charleston 53 102,143 19.3% 8.8%
Anderson 54 26,798 22.2% 5.8%
Clinton 55 8,525 27.4% 5.7%
Walterboro 56 5,339 17.5% 21.2%
Abbeville 57 5,207 23.3% 11.4%
Chester 58 5,543 29.0% 10.2%
Bennettsville 59 8,928 28.1% 13.2%
Greenwood 60 23,296 28.8% 13.5%
York 61 7,913 26.7% 24.7%
Dillon 62 6,731 36.4% 18.6%

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