When WalletHub ranked the best and worst places to raise a family a few weeks ago, we were intrigued to find out where the Palmetto State landed. After all, we recently noted that South Carolina can be an affordable place to have a baby — at least in the Lowcountry.
The ranking was based on five criteria: family fun, such as number of attractions, share of families with young children and neighborhoods with a playground; health and safety; education and child care; affordability; and socioeconomics, such as separation and divorce rate, wealth gap, job opportunities and unemployment rate.
At No. 43, South Carolina didn’t fare so well on this ranking. The education system needs improvement, and we’ve been grappling with housing affordability for years, So if you have lived here for more than a year or two, the ranking probably isn’t surprising.
There are plenty of positives, though. We’ve got the aforementioned baby thing, and South Carolina had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, our population has grown by 11.3% (523,000 people) since 2010, the Census Bureau says, so at least that half a million people must think we're a good place to live.
And surely, definitively, overwhelmingly, the Palmetto State beats the top three states — Minnesota, Massachusetts and North Dakota — in at least one aspect: the weather. While Boston and Minneapolis suffer through freezing temperatures this weekend (we see your high of 25 today, Boston — good luck with that), we’ll be enjoying our 50s and 60s. And really, do we even need to mention North Dakota?
We’re pretty proud of where we live. Some people from off might only see us as data points, but, as a former governor used to say, “It’s a great day in South Carolina.” It’s dorky but it’s true.