Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Berkeley, Charleston & Dorchester Counties

Printed from www.crda.org

Local Lifestyle

With a mild year-round climate, miles of beaches and waterway, a burgeoning art scene and several up-and-coming neighborhoods, it's no wonder people who visit Charleston have a hard time leaving. The region is becoming the destination of choice for today's young and experienced professionals.

Cited as the "best place to live" on the East Coast by Outside magazine and a "job market leader" by Bizjournals, Charleston provides the right mix of business opportunity and quality lifestyle found in few places around the world.
related information

Weather & ClimateCost of LivingHealthcareHousingLocal Media
The climate of greater Charleston is considered "temperate to subtropical." On average, the region enjoys 230 days of sunshine each year, and the average growing season lasts 294 days.

Latitude32 54' N
Longitude80 02' W
Average Daily Temperature65.9 F; 18.9 C
Average Daily High75.7 F; 24.3 C
Average Daily Low56.1 F; 13.4 C
Average Days with Sunshine63%
Average Precipitation50.14"; 127.36 cm
Average Relative Humidity86% (AM); 56% (PM)


Monthly Averages, Charleston International Airport, Charleston S.C. MSA

Month  Temp (F)  Temp (C)  Relative Humidity (AM)  Relative Humidity (PM)  Precipitation (inches)  Precipitation (centimeters) 
January 49.2 9.6 83% 55% 3.17 8.05
February 51.3 10.7 82% 53% 3.12 7.92
March 57.7 14.3 83% 50% 3.95 10.03
April 64.9 18.3 84% 49% 2.69 6.83
May 72.7 22.6 85% 53% 3.51 8.92
June 78.8 26.0 86% 59% 5.73 14.55
July 81.5 27.5 88% 62% 7.34 18.64
August 80.7 27.1 90% 63% 6.89 17.50
September 76.3 24.6 90% 62% 5.36 13.61
October 66.8 19.3 89% 56% 3.02 7.67
November 57.9 14.4 87% 53% 2.27 5.77
December 50.9 10.5 84% 55% 2.99 7.59
Annual 65.7 18.7 86% 56% 50.04 127.10
Source: Southeast Regional Climate Center, 5/2013.


Seasonal Conditions

In the Spring, surfers hit the beaches and Charleston's festival season is in full gear. Spring - In the Charleston region, the spring season is the most spectacular time of the year. From early March into early June, azaleas, dogwoods and other spring garden flowers bloom in abundance. Average springtime temperatures range from 58 F (14.4 C) to 72 F (22.2 C).
Summer is the time for local farmer's markets and days spent on the water. Summer - Summers in the Charleston region are warm and humid. Average daily temperatures range from 78 F (25.6 C) to 82 F (27.8 C), with daily highs averaging between 87 F (30.6 C) to 91 F (32.8 C). The area's coastal location results in a cooling effect, which often helps keep temperatures several degrees cooler than those inland. Summer is the area's wettest season, with 41% of total rainfall occurring during this period. However, cooling afternoon showers or thunderstorms are responsible for much of this rain.
Nothing says 'Fall' more than oyster roasts and other Lowcountry favorites. Autumn - From the start of autumn in late September continuing into early November, the weather is typically sunny and temperature extremes are rare. Pre-winter cold spells generally occur by late November. In September, temperatures average 76 F (24.4 C). By November, the average daily temperature has fallen to 58 F (14.4 C).
Winter is a special time for Charleston locals, with intimate gatherings of friends and neighbors. Winter - Winter in the Charleston region starts in December and runs through February. The winter season is typically mild, with periods of rain and a slight chance of snow flurries in late December and early January. Daily temperatures average between 47 F (8.3 C) and 52 F (11.1 C). The region generally experiences its first freeze in early December, with the last freeze in late February. Temperatures of 20 F (6.7 C) or less rarely occur.
Compared to many other thriving coastal communities, Charleston offers a reasonable cost of living according to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. This quarterly survey compares relative living costs for middle-management households among U.S. metropolitan areas and cities. Charleston residents also get a break when it comes to taxes, with the area's state and local tax burden significantly lower than the national average.

Charleston, S.C. MSA Cost of Living Index

All Items (Composite) 100.2
    Grocery Items 105.1
    Housing 89.4
    Utilities 113.6
    Transportation 96.0
    Health Care 103.5
    Miscellaneous Goods and Services 103.8
U.S. Cities Baseline Index = 100
Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index, www.coli.org, 2013 Annual Average.


S.C. Tax Burden Lower than U.S. Average

The South Carolina tax average is lower than the United States for property, sales & use, individual and corporate income.

For more information on personal income, sales and property taxes, visit our taxes and incentives section.

Tax Burden

  South Carolina  United States 
State and Local Taxes, Total (Per Capita) $2,742 $4,160
    Property $970 $1,388
    Sales & Use $686 $953
    Individual Income $617 $886
    Corporate Income $55 $151
Source: TaxFoundation.org, 8/2012
With more than 2,000 physicians and a strong commitment to medical research, the Charleston region offers a vital health and wellness community. Several nationally recognized hospital systems serve the region, as well as numerous medical centers considered among the best in the United States. In all, more than 30,000 people are employed by the local healthcare industry.

Major Hospitals & Medical Facilities

Charleston S.C. MSA Major Hospitals & Medical Facilities Contact Beds/Employees
East Cooper Medical Center
First hospital in South Carolina to achieve five Gold Seals of Approval for heath care quality from The Joint Commission, a national health care accrediting organization.
www.eastcoopermedctr.com 130 beds; 750 employees
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Named "One of America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report with nearly 300 MUSC Health physicians on the prestigious Best Doctors in America list.
www.musc.edu 865 beds; 12,000 employees
Ralph H. Johnson V.A. Medical Center
Conducting prominent research focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, affective disorders, and mental health diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer's disease.
www.charleston.va.gov 117 beds; 950 employees
Roper St. Francis Healthcare Three area hospital facilities
Ranked among the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks in the nation, earning 96 national awards recognizing high levels of patient, physician and employee satisfaction.
www.ropersaintfrancis.com 657 beds; 5,100 employees
Trident Health System (HCA) Two area hospital facilities
Offering a state-of-the-art da Vinci Surgical System, a robot that allows surgeons to perform extensive surgery with very small incisions.
www.tridenthealthsystem.com 390 beds; 2,500 employees
Naval Health Clinic Charleston www.med.navy.mil/sites/chas 80 employees
Source: Center for Business Research, 1/2014
With more than 2,000 physicians, 10 major medical facilities and a strong commitment to medical research, the Charleston region offers a vital health and wellness community. Three nationally recognized hospital systems serve the region, as well as numerous medical centers considered among the best in the United States. Ambulatory care centers and branches of these medical centers are located throughout the region.

Area medical facilities offer a full range of specialized diagnostic and patient care options, including:
  • The only designated Level 1 Trauma Center in coastal South Carolina
  • A national top 10 children's hospital for emergency care
  • An emergency medical transport service, available 24 hours a day, to transfer patients by helicopter, fixed-wing airplane or ground ambulance services
  • The most complete line of cardiac and vascular services in the state of South Carolina
  • Comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care
  • One of the nation's top 10 psychiatric research centers in terms of research funding
  • The only center in South Carolina performing a full range of transplants, including heart, kidney, pancreas, liver, cornea, small bowel and bone marrow
  • A national top 40 hospital in the area of digestive diseases
  • The only PET scanner in coastal South Carolina

Major Hospitals & Medical Facilities

Charleston S.C. MSA Major Hospitals & Medical Facilities Contact Beds/Employees
East Cooper Medical Center
First hospital in South Carolina to achieve five Gold Seals of Approval for heath care quality from The Joint Commission, a national health care accrediting organization.
www.eastcoopermedctr.com 130 beds; 750 employees
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Named "One of America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report with nearly 300 MUSC Health physicians on the prestigious Best Doctors in America list.
www.musc.edu 865 beds; 12,000 employees
Ralph H. Johnson V.A. Medical Center
Conducting prominent research focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, affective disorders, and mental health diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer's disease.
www.charleston.va.gov 117 beds; 950 employees
Roper St. Francis Healthcare Three area hospital facilities
Ranked among the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks in the nation, earning 96 national awards recognizing high levels of patient, physician and employee satisfaction.
www.ropersaintfrancis.com 657 beds; 5,100 employees
Trident Health System (HCA) Two area hospital facilities
Offering a state-of-the-art da Vinci Surgical System, a robot that allows surgeons to perform extensive surgery with very small incisions.
www.tridenthealthsystem.com 390 beds; 2,500 employees
Naval Health Clinic Charleston www.med.navy.mil/sites/chas 80 employees
Source: Center for Business Research, 1/2014

In addition to the wide availability of Western medicine, this region also supports an abundant range of wellness programs, yoga and exercise centers, and a college for massage therapy.

For a comprehensive list of fitness centers, chiropractors and salons/spas in the area, please visit PalmettoBizBuzz.
With 27 incorporated communities, residential areas range from the rural towns of Jamestown and St. George to the vibrant, urban areas of Charleston and North Charleston. The growing demand for housing has spawned a number of new residential opportunities throughout the region, and most price ranges are well represented. For current residential real estate listings, visit the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Charleston S.C. MSA Residential Home Sales by Area

Area Name  Major Zip Codes  Residential Units Sold, 2013  Median Selling Price, 2013 
Total Charleston S.C. MSA 12,744 $206,530
Charleston Lower Peninsula 29401 394 $485,000
Charleston Upper Peninsula 29403 219 $276,250
Daniel Island 29492 309 $505,000
Edisto Island 29438 123 $325,000
Folly Beach 29439 103 $425,000
Goose Creek/Moncks Corner 29445/29461 1,663 $162,550
Hanahan 29410 287 $200,000
Hollywood/Ravenel/Meggett 29449/29470 98 $196,961
Isle Of Palms 29451 237 $650,000
James Island 29412 737 $229,500
Johns Island 29455 417 $217,280
Kiawah and Seabrook Islands 29455 95 $503,000
Mount Pleasant, above Hwy 41 29466 1,200 $335,000
Mount Pleasant, below Hwy 41 29464 1,106 $345,000
North Charleston Area, Dorchester Rd Corridor 29420/29456/29418 768 $178,000
Greater North Charleston 29405/29406 1,053 $131,450
St. George/Rural Dorchester County 29477/29448/29472 41 $113,600
St. Stephen/Rural Berkeley County 29479/29468/29431 110 $99,250
Sullivans Island 29482 42 $1,447,500
Summerville 29483/29485 1,542 $168,000
Wando/Cainhoy 29492/29450 196 $207,908
West Ashley 29407/29414 1,424 $198,000
Source: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, 4/2014.

Charleston S.C. MSA Apartments, Average Monthly Rent by Sub-Market

Submarket (view map at http://www.aptindex.com/maps/CST.htm)  1-bedroom unit  2-bedroom unit  3-bedroom unit 
Central (Charleston Peninsula up to I-526 loop) $795 $771 $748
West of the Ashley River $726 $825 $969
Goose Creek $801 $775 $975
James Island $863 $1,013 $1,200
Mount Pleasant $992 $1,134 $1,411
North Charleston $655 $728 $828
Summerville $730 $829 $975
Total Charleston S.C. MSA $777 $848 $1,013
Source: Real Data Inc.'s March 2013 study, www.aptindex.com, 6/2013. The Charleston S.C. MSA has more than 29,000 rental apartment units. Average monthly rent prices exclude all utilities except water.


For information on current residential real estate offerings, visit the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.
More than 70,000 households in the Charleston region include children under the age of 18 (totaling more than 136,000 children). For two-thirds of those children, working parents mean a high demand for reliable child care services. In addition to private day care centers and in-home child care, many public schools offer pre-school programs. To search for child care services in the region, please visit PalmettoBizBuzz or learn more about our area's school programs.

From the mouths of Charleston parents regarding child care day services in the area:

"I really feel my son has advanced since joining this school. The staff cares about the children and they all seem to love their jobs."

"My children have been going here for two years. We are very happy. My children are challenged daily by the age appropriate curriculum and loved by the caring staff members."

"Great teachers, caring atmosphere, structured curriculum, wonderful extras. Clean, bright in a quiet church environment. My children have flourished here and made lasting friendships."
For many area residents, religion and spirituality play a central role in their lives. Charleston was founded on the notion of religious freedom, and many historic churches and synagogues are still in use. Often referred to as the "Holy City," newer churches and places of worship are located throughout the region.

For a comprehensive list of churches and religious centers in the area, please visit PalmettoBizBuzz.

Church steeples can be seen throughout Charleston's skyline adding the historic charm and architectural beauty of the region.

From the mouths of Charleston residents regarding churches and worship centers in the area:

"Great church community! Lots of love and fellowship and lots of caring can be found at this church! Good, practical teaching and great music! Wonderful 35-plus singles ministry!"

"Nice, low-key friendly place to look for a new church. Nice people - a younger 20s to early 50s type group at the modern service, lots of emphasis on family and children's classes/Sunday school. Excellent pre-school is open to non-members, too."

"Wonderful church family! Very friendly, services range from Sat evenings for the younger folks to traditional Sun 8 a.m. svcs for the older folks and regular services at 8:45 & 11 for everyone else. Music groups of all sorts and ages available, sports groups as well. If you are looking for a church home this is the place!"
Local media websites are excellent resources for learning about business and community issues in the Charleston region.

Newspapers / Online News

The Post and Courier - Published each morning, this is the Charleston region's daily newspaper.
Charleston Currents - Published twice-weekly, this online-only publication, offers insightful community comment and good news on events.
Charleston Regional Business Journal - Produced twice monthly, this journal chronicles business activities in the region.
Charleston City Paper - The Charleston area's alternative weekly newspaper; includes news, features and entertainment.
Summerville Journal Scene - Published twice each week, this newspaper covers the growing Summerville area.
Swamp Fox - This online resource compiles news of the knowledge economy in South Carolina.
The Digitel - Charleston's complete community news source providing commentary and insight into local media stories

Blogs

Charleston Inspired - A grassroots effort to promote the Charleston regional branding initiative, Charleston Inspired.
Charleston Magazine - Information about Charleston 'society', 'style' and 'Spoleto Festival USA'.

Magazines

Charleston Magazine - This glossy, four-color monthly publication provides lifestyle articles for locals and frequent visitors.
Skirt! - This monthly magazine is focused on issues of importance to women.
The Charleston Review - This bi-monthly publication highlights the luxuries of the region, focusing on local business, arts, dining, events, travel, and home and garden.

Television Stations

WCSC TV 5 - Local CBS affiliate.
WCIV TV 4 - Local ABC affiliate.
WCBD TV 2 - Local NBC affiliate.

News Radio

730 WSC - Local station featuring a news / talk format.
1250 WTMA - Local station featuring a news / talk format.
94.3 WSC FM - Local station featuring a news / talk format.

For a full list of local media, visit SCIway.net.