South Carolina vs. Florida Living: Which is Better?
Published March 18, 2022
If you’re a beach lover, choosing between South Carolina and Florida can be a challenge. Aside from gorgeous beaches, both states also offer plenty of recreation options. Not to mention a year-round tropical climate.
But if you’re planning to make a permanent move, choosing the best state to live in is crucial. I mean, the place you end up choosing will be your home for probably the rest of your life.
So if you’re having a hard time choosing between these two states, this post is for you. Here’s a comprehensive comparison of South Carolina vs. Florida living.
At a Glance
Here’s a quick comparison of the pros and cons of living in Florida vs. South Carolina:
- warm weather all year round
- rarely any snow
- plenty of recreation options
- no personal income tax
- prone to hurricanes, storms, and floods
- higher property tax rates
- higher cost of living
- lower average hourly wage
- warm weather for most parts of the year
- offers a wide range of recreation activities
- cheaper cost of living
- higher average hourly wage
- prone to storms and hurricanes
- imposes a personal income tax
South Carolina vs. Florida Living
To give you a detailed look into what you’re getting in South Carolina vs. Florida, we’ll compare the factors that you typically consider when moving:
Weather and Climate
Both Florida and South Carolina have warm, pleasant weather for the most part of the year. They tend to have milder winters than most states too. However, the summers can be long and brutal.
In South Carolina, the temperature averages at 62.4ºF annually. During summer, day temperatures typically climb up to well over 90°F. While winter temperatures may drop to below-freezing in higher altitude areas.
Florida winters, on the other hand, are usually limited to the northern parts of the state like Jacksonville and Tallahassee. These areas also get snow sometimes. While in southern areas like Miami, the temperature rarely falls below freezing.
Hurricanes and storms are pretty frequent in both states too.
Cost of Living
In general, Florida is more expensive than South Carolina.
According to a 2021 survey, the average cost of living index in Florida is at 100.3 while South Carolina’s index is at 93.6. The national average is 100. This means that South Carolina is much cheaper to live in than in most parts of the country and certainly much more than Florida.
One aspect where South Carolina is clearly winning is the housing costs. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the state is $760 a month. While the median home cost is around $170,000. You’ll be lucky to find such prices in Florida, especially in the Miami area.
Because most areas of the state are close to a body of water, beach sports and other water-related recreation activities are big in Florida. But the state also has lots of parks and green spaces as well as family-friendly destinations.
South Carolina also offers a wide range of recreation activities. From biking, hiking, and golf to fishing, you have a vast array of options to keep yourself from boredom.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in South Carolina is 3.6% while Florida has 3.5%.
A majority of the South Carolina labor force works in trade, transportation, and utility industries. Many also work for the government and in manufacturing jobs.
Many people in Florida are also working in trade, transportation, and utilities. Though, instead of manufacturing jobs, the state’s biggest employers are education, health, and business services.
This survey suggests that wages in South Carolina average at $30 hourly and $68,244 annually. Florida has a similar annual average wage but a slightly lower hourly average wage at $25.
Florida has no personal income tax. Meaning, the state won’t take a chunk out of your paycheck. Though the state has a sales tax of 6% as well as business and corporate income taxes. And if you’re planning to buy a house, the state also imposes a real property tax averaging at $0.98.
South Carolina, meanwhile, imposes an individual income tax ranging from 0% to 7%. While sales tax can be anywhere from 6% to 9% and property taxes average at 0.55%.
Which is Better?
To sum it up, South Carolina and Florida both offer ample beaching opportunities and a healthy dose of sunshine.
But Florida, for the most part, is more expensive than South Carolina especially if you’re planning to buy a house. And with similar average wages, your monthly paycheck can go much farther in South Carolina. But if you don’t like paying personal income taxes or want to work in the professional or business services sector, then Florida is a better option.
At the end of the day, which is better between South Carolina and Florida ultimately depends on your preferences and employment situation. Though we hope that this post will help you make an informed decision.
Thinking Of Moving To South Florida?
Contact our South Florida realtors today to explore real estate and discuss your funding options. Licensed realtors are ready to help you find homes that fit your budget in Miami, Boca Raton, and beyond. Curious about what’s availble? Search real estate on our website and contact us if you want to book a viewing.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and SEO specialist. She works hard to ensure her work uses accurate facts by cross checking reputable sources. She is the lead author for several prominent websites covering a variety of topics including law, health, nutrition, and more.