There are lots of great places around the United States to live, that are beautiful with a great population. They have fun places to go, beautiful sights, clean streets. Columbia, South Carolina is not one of them. I say that as someone who has lived there.
There are quite a few reasons not to live in Columbia, whilst they’re well known for their night-life and food, there’s a number of things that are important to consider when thinking about moving to Columbia, South Carolina.
17. It’s Not Inclusive
The south has not always been on the right side of history, and unfortunately, there are still people there today that continue to hold certain ideals. From 2013 to 2017, hate crimes reported in South Carolina increased by 70 percent, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The number of S.C. agencies reporting hate crimes increased from 39 to 46 in those years. Columbia itself is incredibly diverse, with almost 50% of the population being African American and 5% being non-white. However, this diversity still struggles with racist ideologies.
This causes issues with a number of hate crimes rising throughout the state with roughly 10-20 hate crimes being reported amongst citizens of Columbia SC. However, compared to the rest of SC this is relatively low, due to the fact that there’s a high “outsider” population.
Due to South Carolina being largely conservative, not only is racism a huge issue but so are things like homophobia or xenophobia.
Whilst Columbia is more liberal than the rest of South Carolina, that doesn’t mean that they’re openly inclusive. If you’re looking to move to Columbia, you have to face the idea that perhaps you might not be accepted by others around you.
16. Political Climate
The government within Columbia is also a deterrent. Politics are a large part of Columbia’s culture and you can expect a protest or two.
However, the reason that politics is a large part of the culture is because of how horrible the Government seems to be within Columbia. South Carolina is a predominantly Republican state, Columbia can be rather liberal. This means that there’s consistently a clash within the community.
However just because they’re to some degree liberal doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone, and because of this, there can be even more issues within the community. It’s a melting pot of people, and thus a melting pot of problems.
Whether you’re democratic, or republican, there’s potential for politics becoming a large part of your life when moving to Columbia.
15. It’s Filled with Bad Drivers
Columbia has some of the most unsafe drivers in the state, and South Carolina has some of the worst drivers in the NATION!
Columbia holds two major hot spots for drinkers and young people, or both. Fort Jackson, and the University of South Carolina. Both filled with young people, who are underdeveloped in their driving skills and are consistently and actively drinking.
This means that the county’s DUI rate is incredibly high.
So if you’re a bad driver, maybe this is the place to be. However, for anyone else, driving could be one of your breaking points.
14. It’s a College Town
There are multiple colleges and universities within South Carolina and a number of them are Columbia. This can be great with a large diverse population, however, that means there’s a lot of young people.
This means it can be quite a bit busier, than other cities which can make it harder or inconvenient for families or retirees.
This also means that gameday is a huge deal and can take up a majority of weekends. This means college students will go out, party, and participate in the city life but can create a mess, noise, and large amounts of drinking.
This can be hard for families, and if you’re not interested in the constant party from fall to spring, then this isn’t going to be an upside for you.
13. It’s Unclean
Columbia isn’t the cleanest in the state, mainly because it’s a capital. With a large population, and a constant level of bustling, trash gets thrown regularly on the streets and it’s not actively kept up with.
On top of this, there’s a Hepatitis A outbreak currently going about. So not only is it unclean on the outside but on the inside too.
Columbia also has a high pollution rate, with smog becoming a bigger and bigger issue in the county.
There is a lack of public transportation which requires people to use their own cars, polluting the air more as the years go on. This is an issue that’s only going to get worse unless legislation is created to take care of it.
12. It’s Busy
Again, because it’s the capital, there’s always something going on. This can be great with events and things to participate in, but not great if you’re looking for something relaxing.
Due to the high college student population, nightlife can be a large part of the culture, which can be harder for anyone with families. It’s also what contributes to uncleanliness and tax raises.
11. It’s HOT & Humid
The south is known to be hot, but goodness is Columbia HOT! It’s a subtropical climate, but unlike Florida, some have to travel a fair amount to reach a beach.
The average temperature is 70 degrees, dipping down to 50 in the winter but averaging 90 in the summer.
Not only that it’s humid! So not only are you sweating, but you’re sticky too. For anyone who enjoys seasons, or just not feeling like they’re in a sauna all the time, Columbia is not going to be your space.
With the heat and humidity, bugs are also an incredibly large part of South Carolina living, and especially Columbia. Bugs are year-round because the weather never gets cold enough for them all to die off. This equals bugs being consistently in your face.
Mosquitos are living strong in the summer making it more likely for you to be eaten up.
Gnats are a large part of the bug ecosystem in South Carolina and can be irritating, hard to kill, and easily become an issue within your home. If you’re not a bug person, then South Carolina is going to be a state you want to stay far away from.
9. Natural Disasters
Not only is hot and humid, but it’s also prone to a natural disaster. With a little bit of everything, earthquakes, tornados, but the most common being Hurricanes.
South Carolina gets an average of 50 inches of rain per year, and that’s even more for Columbia because it’s closer to the coast.
This creates a number of problems but the biggest one being home insurance. They have specialized insurance for these natural disasters making insurance levels go through the roof. This can make it more expensive to live in Columbia, and less inclining.
8. Underfunded Schools
While there’s no shortage of good universities within Columbia, in terms of the rankings of public education they don’t rank high.
Because a large amount of public funding goes to universities, K-12 schools end up being neglected. This means that the schools are underfunded, overcrowded, and ranked poorly.
Not only are they ranked poorly they’re often unclean due to underfunding and can create a roadblock for your child’s learning.
If you’re looking to move your children into South Carolina, Columbia isn’t the place to be.
7. High Rate of Poverty
Poverty is strong within Columbia. 22.5% of the population for whom poverty status is determined in Columbia, SC (23.7k out of 105k people) live below the poverty line.
This number is higher than the national average of 13.1%. It also has an incredibly large homeless population. This is due to the high cost of living within SC. This creates a large homeless population within Columbia, which can deter people from considering moving to Columbia.
6. Cost of Living
Although the fuel tax in South Carolina is low compared to the national standard, the other taxes that you will pay for the items you want are relatively high.
If you purchase alcohol in a restaurant, then you might pay a tax of up to 15% on the amount you buy. Clothing is taxed at a rate of 8.5%. Even the food you purchase at a diner comes with a 10.5% tax. The pain doesn’t stop there, since there is a 6% sales tax active in the state.
Counties can impose an additional 2% on top of that.
You will also need to pay an income tax when you live in South Carolina, where the state does not differentiate between filing statuses. If you make over $15,000 per year, then you are going to pay 7% of your income to the state once you get through your deductions.
This, coupled with a low-income level within Columbia, means that living within the city can be expensive. Especially when there are cheaper parts of South Carolina to live in, Columbia becomes a bit of a turn-off for those looking to move.
Construction is apart of any large city, but it’s one of the biggest issues surrounding Columbia. Things never seem to get done, or if they do, there’s another project.
In a city where it can be difficult to get around already, construction certainly doesn’t make it any easier. It ups the noise and air pollution, as well as makes commute times longer, and irritates citizens.
Whilst construction is always great in bettering a city, constant construction can be irritating for some.
4. The Roads are Terrible!
You’d think with all that construction there would be no road un-paved but that’s not the case in Columbia. F
or a city street, the roads tend to be littered with potholes or be bumpy and hard to drive on. This creates a number of issues for commuters, and it’s one of the biggest complaints that citizens have aside from the homeless population and construction.
This, coupled with bad driving as mentioned earlier, makes it incredibly difficult to drive around in Columbia and can be hard to put up with! It wears on you daily. Especially because local transportation isn’t great either.
If you’re moving to Columbia, or anywhere in South Carolina, without knowing anything about Southern culture, you may face a few roadblocks or things you didn’t know about!
Politeness is a large part of the culture, and if you’re not aware of it, locals can become stand-offish. It’s a bit of an oxymoron.
Whether you’re being intentionally offensive or not, you could accidentally not follow unsaid rules. Things such as saying “yes ma’am/sir, no ma’am/sir/” or holding the doors open for others.
Chivalry is a large part of southern culture and not knowing about it can create difficulties when trying to adapt to your new environment.
South Carolina is well known for its barbecue, and its food. If there was ever a place to go for food, this would be it. It has its downsides though.
The food’s incredible taste comes at a health cost. Butter and grease being a large part of the diet, means whilst the food may be delicious, it might cause a number of health issues in the long run.
There aren’t a lot of things the government does to help to encourage getting healthy either.
Columbia is a tourist hot spot. This is great for local business and nightlife.
However, for people living there, it means that summers and holidays are incredibly busy making it hard to get around town or get to the things you really want to. If you’re not interested in a constant state of business, Columbia isn’t for you.
Overall there are plenty of terrible reasons to live in Columbia, but there are also a number of great ones, and at the end of the day you’re the only one who is going to know whether or not you’re going to enjoy a city!
Now you have a better idea of what you are getting yourself into.
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