Drone view of North Augusta South Carolina

The 15 Most Conservative Cities in South Carolina

Most Conservative Cities in South Carolina

As a realtor with a wide tapestry of experiences across America, I resonate with South Carolina’s strong conservative culture. The state has been known for years to always stand up for Republican ideals. Its political scene is full of tradition and community spirit. 

With its history, stunning coastlines, and southern hospitality, South Carolina has cities where conservative principles are valued. These cities, each with its own conservatism, show how politics, culture, economy, and lifestyle are tied to traditional ideals.

This article explores South Carolina’s 15 most conservative cities, each a tribute to the state’s conservative values. From our number 15 all the way to the city that represents South Carolina’s conservative ideals, this tour will take you deep into the state’s conservative soul.

For the most conservative cities in Indiana, read here.

15. Beaufort

Beaufort, with its small-town charm and military backbone, begins our list. This coastal city is home to the Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot as well as the Marine Corps Air Station therefore making it a hub of military activity[16].

The presence of these institutions often correlates with a conservative outlook since military communities tend to lean more conservative with an emphasis on patriotism and support for defense spending. In Beaufort, residents have continually voted Republican in the past elections demonstrating their conservative political inclination[17].

Additionally, Beaufort reflects a strong sense of community and traditions. Local festivals like the Water Festival and Shrimp Festival are quite popular exhibiting cultural heritage that is distinctly tangible in the city.

Furthermore, the historic downtown in the city with its historic architecture oftentimes attracts tourists thus adding to its charm. Beaufort’s mix of history along with military influence as well as cultural traditions sets up some pace for all other cities on this list.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age –  35.6 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 20.8% (more seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.3%  (lower than the national average rate)[1]

14. Anderson

Moving inland, in 14th place, is Anderson—often referred to as “The Electric City”— a city that owes its moniker to being the first in the South to boast a continual supply of electricity. The testament to said industrious spirit earned the city its nickname. Over time, Anderson has shown a consistent preference for Republican candidates both locally and nationally[19].

Anderson’s conservative fabric is also woven by its religious population, identifying as Protestants with a majority[18]. This religious group has been traditionally linked to conservative views. The city likewise preserves family values, regularly hosting community events such as the annual Balloons Over Anderson (Hot-Air Balloon Festival) for family gathering and bonding in the community.

In general, Anderson is known for its hard working residents as well as the religious beliefs and values of the family. These qualities contributed to its conservative nature hence making it a comfortable place to people seeking a mid-sized city having conservative values.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age –  36.6 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 19.5% (more seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.4%  (on par with the national average rate)[2]

13. North Augusta

North Augusta comes in 13th on our list, located along the banks of the Savannah River. The city’s population has consistently backed Republican candidates, indicating a leaning towards conservative politics[20]. But North Augusta’s conservatism extends beyond voting trends.

The city cultivates a family-friendly atmosphere. Numerous parks and outdoor spaces like the iconic Riverview Park provide venues for family activities as well as community events, fostering strong senses of community.

Families come together each year to celebrate autumn with music at the annual Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee Festival where tradition and community are honored. North Augusta is specifically a fantastic place to live for black families in South Carolina.

Lastly, North Augusta is home to many churches, symbolizing how important religion is in the city’s daily life often associated with more conservative views[21]. Thus for North Auguatas emphasis on community, tradition and religion to solidify its place on this list of conservative cities in South Carolina.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age –  40.3 (older than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 18.7% (more seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.4%  (on par with the national average rate)[3]

12. Easley

The 12th position is taken by Easley, a small city known for its southern hospitality and conservative systems. One can definitely see the city’s conservatism expressed in its voting habits as a majority favor Republican candidates[23]. But more than politics, the conservatism of the city comes from local culture and established values.

Easley’s strong sense of community is reflected in its numerous local events such as the annual Historic Downtown Easley 4th of July Festival[22]. These get-togethers build a strong feeling of unity and jubilation among citizens within the city, which echoes conservative values of community and patriotism.

Religion is also an important aspect of Easley, as many churches are scattered throughout the city. The religious strong-hold of Easley is a ‘visible reminder’ of its conservative ethos since religious adherence often correlates to conservative political and social views.

Therefore, Easley’s mix of political conservatism, strong community ties, and religious orientation make it on the list

Key Statistics

  • Median Age –  42.1 (older than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 20.9% (more seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.3% (lower than the national average rate)[4]

11. Lexington

On our list outside of Columbia is Lexington. Despite being close to a bigger urban area, Lexington maintains a small-town feel and conservative value system. The voting behavior in Lexington constantly votes for the Republicans which illustrates political conservatism of the city[24].

However, Lexington’s conservatism doesn’t stop in the political world. Its community-oriented spirit is implicit in events like the Lexington Wine Walk and the Farmers Market that give a platform to local businesses to showcase their products and residents an opportunity to interact and develop a sense of community[36].

Religious faith has also played a major role in Lexington, with many churches serving its populace[24]. The city’s strong adherence to faith echoes traditional conservative beliefs as well, albeit complementing its political conservatism. Hence, there is enough clarity about Lexington’s blend of political conservatism, community spirit and religious adherence to land it on this list.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 37.9 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 16.1% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.2% (lower than the national average rate)[5]

10. Simpsonville

The beautiful city of Simpsonville, located along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, opens up the top 10. Simpsonville’s mellow character is proved by its loyal support for the Republican Party during recent elections[25]. Still, its conservatism is deeper than political preference.

Having visited this city, I was able to explore a variety of adorable little boutiques, local restaurants, and family-friendly events. Simpsonville is also renowned for its rich traditions, notably the Veterans Day Ceremony, a key event reflecting the community’s conservative values[26].

I also noticed the city’s numerous churches highlight its commitment to faith, with the National Day of Prayer exemplifying its dedication to integrating religious belief into its social fabric.

Frequently assailing in conservative principles, this deep-rooted religious commitment often coincides with such credentials further providing solid ground for Simpsonville conservatism credentials.

Thus, the city’s blend of political alignment, traditional community values, and strong religious beliefs firmly establishes Simpsonville’s position among South Carolina’s most conservative cities.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 39 (older than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 16.4% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.4%  (on par with the national average rate)[6]

9. Greenwood

Greenwood is a city full of southern charm and conservative values. Greenwood’s conservative leanings are evident in its political preferences, with also a history of supporting Republican candidates in local and national elections.

Concretely taking up the conservatism fervor, Greenwood’s conservatism nurtures a deeply grounded feeling. Clearly expressed through their annual Festival of Flowers – where locals and visitors put together a hand to celebrate springtime’s beauty to emphasize this clearly-communal character often understood with conservative cities[27].

Religion is important to Greenwood’s conservatism as well. A large number of churches serve the city’s populace, and this strong adherence to faith often tends toward traditional conservative values that cement Greenwood on our list.

Therefore, Greenwood’s blend of political conservatism, robust community spirit, and religious orientation qualifies it as an archetypical conservative city in South Carolina.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 34.3 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 16.6% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.3% (lower than the national average rate)[7]

8. Rock Hill

Despite being one of the largest cities in the state, Rock Hill maintains a conservative streak since voters consistently support Republican candidates for elections.

However, conservatism runs deep in Rock Hill. The city fosters strong community bonds through numerous events that take place every year like the annual ChristmasVille festival which exemplifies the city’s spirit of community and reverence for tradition characteristic to those values often associated with conservative bends[28].

Moreover, Rock Hill is celebrated for its robust educational institutions and focus on preserving local history, which adds another dimension to its conservative identity. The city’s commitment to education is evident in its well-regarded public schools and universities, which play a significant role in community life.

Additionally, Rock Hill’s efforts to preserve its rich history, from its pivotal roles in the Civil Rights Movement to its industrial past, reflect a broader conservative appreciation for heritage and legacy[37].

This blend of educational prominence and historical preservation further cements Rock Hill’s reputation as a bastion of conservative values in South Carolina, showcasing a community where tradition and progress go hand in hand.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 35.8 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 14.9% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.4% (on par with the national average rate)[8]

7. Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant lies just north of Charleston, claiming the 7th spot on our list of the most conservative cities in South Carolina. Although it shares a more liberal-leaning Charleston with strong voting patterns for Republican candidates, Mount Pleasant still maintains its conservative character[29].

The city’s busy schedule, which includes the Sweetgrass Half Marathon, Mount Pleasant ArtFest, and the famed Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival, demonstrates its commitment to community cohesiveness and the appreciation of local heritage[38].

These events, from races that meander through picturesque neighborhoods to festivals that showcase the area’s artistic talents and maritime legacy, capture the spirit of Mount Pleasant’s conservative character through a communal lens.

Together, Mount Pleasant’s mix of political conservatism, community engagement, and historical preservation not only cements its status as one of South Carolina’s most conservative cities but also illustrates the dynamic ways in which conservative values manifest in communal and cultural expressions. 

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 41.6 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 18.0% (more seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.2% (lower than the national average rate)[9]

6. Summerville

Summerville, distinguished for its alignment with the Republican Party, delves deeper into conservatism through a fabric of community engagement and religious devotion. However, Summerville conservatism goes deeper than politics. The city’s community-oriented atmosphere is evident in its many festivals, like the Flowertown Festival, which attracts locals and tourists alike, fostering a strong community bond, a characteristic often associated with conservatism[30].

Religious participation plays a pivotal role in reinforcing Summerville’s conservative ethos. With a significant portion of its population engaged in religious practice across various denominations, including Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, and more, the city reflects a deep-seated faith-based orientation. This religious diversity contributes to Summerville’s conservative identity, supporting a community framework that values traditional principles[39].

Thus, Summerville’s blend of political conservatism, a community-centric approach, and a strong religious foundation firmly establishes it as one of South Carolina’s most quintessentially conservative cities.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 38.3 (slightly younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 16.3% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.3% (lower than the national average rate)[10]
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5. Greer

Nestling snugly between the vibrant cities of Greenville and Spartanburg, Greer secures its spot at number five on our list, and it’s not just the geography that makes it stand out. Greer, with its conservative political heartbeat, has consistently shown its support for Republican candidates, a testament to the city’s deep-rooted values that resonate through local and national elections alike[31].

But Greer’s conservatism isn’t just confined to the ballot box. It’s in the very air the residents breathe, in the traditions they uphold, and in the vibrant community events that dot their calendars. Take, for example, the International Festival and Family Fest[40]. These aren’t just events; they’re celebrations of community and tradition, virtues held in high esteem in conservative circles. 

Religion is, of course, a major aspect of life in Greer. The city also has many churches, indicating a strong religious adherence often seen in conservative communities. This strong commitment to faith, combined with the city’s political leaning and community spirit, puts Greer right up there as one of South Carolina’s most conservative cities.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 36.1 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 13.7% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.3% (lower than the national average rate)[11]

4. Spartanburg

Fourth on our list is Spartanburg, the ‘Hub City’ due to its history as a railroad hub. This industrious city has a strong conservative political bent, as demonstrated again by the continued support of the Republican Party[32].

Cultural conservatism is firmly rooted in Spartanburg’s community values and events, such as its annual Spring Fling and the International Festival. These annual events foster a deep sense of community and uphold the conservative value of cultural preservation. There is also this so-called Spartanburg County Historical Association, which has a mission to preserve and promote the rich history of Spartanburg[41].

Spartanburg is rich in religious diversity, too, as so many churches serve its populace. Such a powerful religious fabric aligns with the conservative values underlying Spartanburg’s conservative character. Thus, Spartanburg has one of the most conservative city mixes among South Carolina’s cities.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 35.7 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 17.4% (more seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.5% (higher than the national average rate)[12]

3. Fort Mill

As we reach the top three, Fort Mill earns its place. This city, known for its community closeness and strong school district, leans decidedly towards the Republican Party indicating its conservative political positioning[33].

Fort Mill’s small-town vibe and classic southern hospitality reflect a strong dedication to community and family values, which are fundamental to conservative ideology. The presence of the Strawberry Festival, which promotes local agriculture while also building a sense of community, exemplifies the city’s conservative values[42].

Furthermore, the importance of faith in Fort Mill is also revealed by its many churches. The city’s strong orientation toward faith was reinforced by its political and social conservatism, making it one of South Carolina’s most conservative cities.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 36.7 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 11.5% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.2% (lower than the national average rate)[13]

2. Greenville

Greenville is a metropolitan statistical area located in the state of South Carolina. Even though it’s classified as a big city, Greenville presents more conservatism than most East Coast cities do during some parts of the year. In fact, most recent data shows that Greenville has the highest number of votes in the GOP primary[34].

The city fosters a sense of community and tradition with annual events like Artisphere and Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays, which celebrate local art, culture, and cuisine[43]. These events showcase the city’s commitment to community values, a key component of conservatism.

Religion is a key factor in Greenville’s conservative nature. With a large number of churches existing in the city, it’s quite easy for people to keep up their faith. This strong stay on religion very often aligns with traditional conservative values and makes Greenville one definitive entry among South Carolina’s most conservative cities.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 34.3 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 14.7% (fewer seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.4% (on par with the national average rate)[14]

1. Aiken – Most Conservative City in South Carolina

Aiken, an understated gem in the western part of South Carolina, tops our list. Although smaller than other cities on this list, Aiken epitomizes the phrase ‘most conservative city in South Carolina’ for their unwavering support for the Republicans in every presidential election since 2000, demonstrating a deep-rooted conservative political alignment[44].

But Aiken’s conservative spirit extends well beyond politics and elections. The city’s cultural and social life, highlighted by annual events like the Aiken Steeplechase, reflects its conservative leanings. These events are not just social gatherings but celebrations of Aiken’s rich heritage and traditions, fostering a sense of community across generations and underscoring a collective reverence for history and culture.

During my visit here, I was immediately struck by its numerous churches, reflecting its strong religious conviction. Equally captivating was the prevalent horse culture, a sight to behold, which, along with the well-preserved historic districts, speaks volumes about the city’s dedication to conserving its natural beauty[35]. I must say that its commitment to preserving its natural beauty indeed aligns with conservative stewardship values.

So, Aiken’s blend of political conservatism, respect for community and tradition, strong religious commitment, and emphasis on stewardship crowns it as the most conservative city in South Carolina. From its political preferences to its lifestyle and values, Aiken’s conservative ethos permeates every aspect of life in the city, making it a beacon of conservatism in the state.

Key Statistics

  • Median Age – 47.6 (younger than the national average)
  • Population Aged 65 or over – 29.3% (more seniors than the national average)
  • Same sex relationship status – 0.3% (lower than the national average rate)[15]

Final Thoughts

These 15 cities form a spectrum of conservative communities in South Carolina, each unique in their ways yet shared by their common conservative values. From thriving metropolitan areas like Greenville to smaller, charming cities like Aiken, the conservative landscape of South Carolina is as varied as it is steadfast.

For the best places to live in New Jersey for black families, check out this article.

Reference List

1 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4504690

2- https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4501360

3 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4550695

4 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4521985

5 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4541335

6 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4566580

7 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4530895

8 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4561405

9 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4548535

10 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4570270

11 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4530985

12 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4568290

13 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4526890

14 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4530850

15 – https://data.census.gov/table/DECENNIALDP2020.DP1?q=United%20States&t=Same%20Sex%20Couples&g=160XX00US4500550

16 – https://www.military.com/base-guide/beaufort-south-carolina-military-bases

17 – https://www.bestplaces.net/voting/city/south_carolina/beaufort

18 – https://www.bestplaces.net/religion/city/south_carolina/anderson

19 – https://www.bestplaces.net/voting/city/south_carolina/anderson

20 – https://www.wrdw.com/2021/04/28/city-of-north-augusta-election-day-results/

21 – https://www.bestplaces.net/religion/city/south_carolina/north_augusta

22 – https://www.cityofeasley.com/entities/park-rec-community-events

23 – https://ballotpedia.org/Easley,_South_Carolina

24 – https://dwellics.com/state/south-carolina/community-in-lexington

25 – https://greenvillegop.com/greenville-county-republican-party-congratulates-chad-orear/

26 – https://simpsonville-sentinel.com/the-news/read-news.php?sid=676

27 – https://scfestivalofflowers.org/

28 – https://www.christmasvillerockhill.com/

29 – https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/mount-pleasant-charleston-sc/

30 – https://www.charlestoncvb.com/events/flowertown-festival~9764/

31 – https://www.bestplaces.net/voting/city/south_carolina/greer

32 – https://spartanburggop.org/elected-officials/

33 – https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/fort-mill-york-sc/

34 – https://www.foxcarolina.com/2024/02/25/greenville-county-ranks-first-sc-gop-primary-voter-turnout/

35 – https://www.cityofaikensc.gov/government/boards-commissions-committees/energy-environmental-committee/

36 – https://lexingtonsc.org/community-event/lexington-wine-walk

37 – https://civilrightstrail.com/attraction/mccrorys-five-dime/

38 – https://experiencemountpleasant.com/play/events/

39 – https://www.bestplaces.net/religion/city/south_carolina/summerville

40 – https://allevents.in/greer/greer-goes-global-an-international-festival/200026047798655

41 – https://www.spartanburghistory.org/

42 – https://www.fortmillsc.gov/460/SC-Strawberry-Festival-Events

43 – https://www.greenvillesc.gov/72/Events-Cultural-Arts

44 – https://www.bestplaces.net/voting/city/south_carolina/aiken

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