South Carolina is a state known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and vibrant cities. From the coastal charm of Charleston to the bustling capital of Columbia, the Palmetto State offers a diverse range of experiences.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 8 largest cities in South Carolina and discover what makes each of them unique.

Top 8 Largest Cities in South Carolina

  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • North Charleston
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Rock Hill
  • Greenville
  • Summerville
  • Goose Creek


Largest Cities in South Carolina

Nestled along the picturesque coastline, Charleston is a city that effortlessly blends history, charm, and natural beauty. With a population of over 153,040 residents, it is the largest city in South Carolina. Known for its well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant culinary scene, Charleston offers a captivating mix of old-world charm and modern amenities.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Charleston. From strolling along the Battery promenade overlooking the harbor to visiting the iconic Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, there are endless opportunities to connect with nature. The city's rich history is also evident in its numerous historic sites, such as Fort Sumter and the Charleston City Market.


As the capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is a bustling urban center with a population of approximately 137,996 residents. It serves as a hub for education, culture, and commerce in the state. Home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia boasts a vibrant arts scene, including the Columbia Museum of Art and the Koger Center for the Arts.

For those seeking outdoor recreation, Columbia offers a variety of parks and green spaces. The Congaree National Park, located just outside the city, is a haven for nature enthusiasts, with its ancient cypress trees and diverse wildlife. The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is another popular attraction, providing visitors with the opportunity to observe exotic animals and explore beautifully landscaped gardens.

North Charleston

Situated in Charleston County, North Charleston is the third-largest city in South Carolina. With a population of around 118,703 residents, it is a thriving community with a strong industrial presence. North Charleston is home to the Boeing South Carolina facility, which plays a crucial role in the aerospace industry.

Beyond its industrial significance, North Charleston offers a range of recreational activities. The city boasts the North Charleston Coliseum, a popular venue for concerts and sporting events. The Tanger Outlets provide ample shopping opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby Wannamaker County Park, which features scenic trails, a dog park, and a waterpark.

Mount Pleasant

Located just across the Cooper River from Charleston, Mount Pleasant is a charming suburban city with a population of approximately 92,921 residents. It offers a relaxed coastal lifestyle and a strong sense of community. Mount Pleasant is known for its scenic beauty, with breathtaking views of the Charleston Harbor and the Ravenel Bridge.

One of the main attractions in Mount Pleasant is the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, where visitors can explore historic warships and learn about the region's maritime heritage. The city is also home to several golf courses, making it a haven for golf enthusiasts. Shem Creek, with its picturesque waterfront restaurants and bustling shrimp boats, is a popular spot for dining and relaxation.

Rock Hill

Largest Cities in South Carolina

Situated in York County, Rock Hill is the fifth-largest city in South Carolina, with a population of over 73,992 residents. Known as the "Gateway to South Carolina," Rock Hill offers a mix of small-town charm and modern amenities. The city is home to Winthrop University, which contributes to its vibrant cultural scene.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the variety of recreational opportunities in Rock Hill. The Anne Springs Close Greenway, a 2,100-acre nature preserve, offers miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. For sports enthusiasts, the Rock Hill Outdoor Center hosts various sporting events, including BMX racing and disc golf.


Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville is a dynamic city with a population of approximately 74,548 residents. It has undergone a significant revitalization in recent years, transforming into a vibrant cultural and culinary destination. Greenville's downtown area, known as the West End, is filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to explore nature in Greenville. The city is situated near several state parks, including Paris Mountain State Park and Caesars Head State Park, offering hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and waterfalls. The Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 22-mile multi-use trail, is a favorite among cyclists and joggers.


Situated in Dorchester County, Summerville is a charming suburban town with a population of around 51,631 residents. Known as the "Flower Town in the Pines," Summerville is celebrated for its beautiful gardens and historic homes. The town's downtown area offers a mix of boutique shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Summerville's commitment to preserving green spaces. Azalea Park, with its stunning azalea blooms in the spring, is a popular spot for picnics and leisurely strolls. The Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site provides a glimpse into the town's colonial past, with the remains of a fort and a historic church.

Goose Creek

Largest Cities in South Carolina

Rounding out the list of the largest cities in South Carolina is Goose Creek, located in Berkeley County. With a population of approximately 47,105 residents, Goose Creek offers a suburban setting with a strong sense of community. The city is known for its excellent schools and family-friendly environment.

Outdoor recreation is a highlight in Goose Creek. The city boasts several parks, including Crowfield Golf & Country Club, where golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf surrounded by picturesque landscapes. For those seeking water activities, Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion are just a short drive away, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming.