Pee Dee towns among website's list of worst places to live in SC -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pee Dee towns among website's list of worst places to live in SC

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Cities throughout our area are being ranked as some of the worst places to live in the state on a website that claims to show "the real side of places that not everyone wants to hear," but many area residents and officials disagree with the rankings, and the site's methodology.

“I do feel like it’s a good area to invest in because it is growing,” said Caroline Tarantini who lives and owns a business in Lake City. Tarantini is the owner of Olio, it’s an art studio located on the hustle and bustle of Main Street in Lake City.

The website, “”, claims they have determined the 10 worst places to live in South Carolina by using "science and data." The author of the list said they used FBI crime data, population density, unemployment rates, median income, housing vacancy rates, expenditures per student, student-teacher ratio, and crime rates as criteria for determining the so-called worst places to live.

The article puts Lake City on the list, but people in Lake City disagree.

“You have to look at the town as a whole. You have to go visit the towns and see these places. That may be where we are at and where we were the past few years, but in five years we won’t be on the top ten,” said Tarantini.

Greg Moore, with the Greater Lake City Chamber of Commerce, vigorously defended his city, and took issue with the way operates.

"They sell advertising based off the number of views and shares," Moore stated. "The more controversial the better. They do not provide access to their research. They are difficult to contact."

Moore also pointed out that one of the statements about Lake City in the article is false: lists Lake City's population at 8,500, but he says the population is actually 6,700.

"I love my city," Moore said. "Lake City is a great place to work, live, play and raise a family. We have been the subject of National and International acclaim."

Lake City wasn’t the only municipality in the Pee Dee to make the list.

Dillon, Marion Cheraw and Darlington are also mentioned.

The creators of the website said they looked at high crime, unemployment and education to determine the order the S.C. cities are ranked.

“As you see areas like this where businesses have closed up and never opening again, it’s real obvious that this is a depressed area,” Pete Fusco,  Area Sales manager said.

Fusco said because of struggling education,  it’s hard to find people to employ for his company in the Lake City area.

The same can be said of Dillon.

“As far as jobs and employment and crime I think it’s kind of high in crime and unemployment there is not a lot of jobs here in Dillon,” Latrea Wilkes who grew up in Dillon said.

While Wilkes said she sees where the study would rank Dillon as one of the worst cites in the state to live she will not be packing her bags to leave anytime soon.

“There is not going to be anyone there [other cities] for me. Where here in Dillon, I can just go down the road and I’m with my friends or my family, coworkers. They can be there for me. In another city I would not get that there. I think overall hometown feel does for me win me over.”

See the list for yourself here: These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In South Carolina

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