Thinking of moving to the Charleston, SC? If so, then you are probably wondering about the living costs. Knowing about the cost of living in Charleston makes the transition a bit easier.

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about Charleston, SC living costs.


Charleston, SC Living Cost:


Taxes in Charleston

The income tax in Charleston, SC is a progressive one. With a 7% marginal tax rate, it’s the thirteenth-highest in the country. However, there is no state income tax for those making anything from $0 to $2,910 in annual income.

From there, the next tax bracket begins at three percent, then jumps to four, five and six percent.


Planning to become a homeowner in Charleston? If so, then you are in luck. The property taxes in Charleston are low. In fact, the state has the seventh-lowest average effective property tax rate in the nation.

Aside from the low property taxes, Charleston is a good city to retire in. Living here means you don’t have to pay tax on Social Security retirement benefits. In addition, seniors receiving any other type of retirement income have a $15,000 deduction.


Healthcare Costs in Charleston, SC

Healthcare quality in Charleston, SC comes down to access, affordability, and outcomes. The city ranks seventh for healthy behaviors, three for health factors, and four for health outcomes.

Residents have plenty of options when it comes to health care. The options include:

  • Trident Health System: It offers multiple in-patient facilities, including Summerville Medical Center and Trident Medical Center.
  • Roper St. Francis Health Care: This is comprised of three full-service hospitals, Mount Pleasant, Bon Secours, and Roper, and has plans to establish one in the Berkeley community.
  • Medical University of South Carolina: This is a leading and reputable teaching center. It even made it to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Hospitals in 2009.
  • East Cooper Medical Center: Due to its quality care, it was the first hospital in the state to be recognized by the J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Hospital Program.



Average Food Prices in Charleston

Food prices in Charleston, South Carolina are slightly above average. The following table summarizes the average cost of food to expect.

Food Item Price
Bread for two people for one day $2.19
Coca-Cola (2L) $2.08
Bottle of red table wine, good quality $12
0.5L (16 oz.) domestic beer in the supermarket $2.25
1kg (2lb.) of potatoes $1.70
1kg (2lb.) of apples $3.30
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese $7
1kg (2lb.) of tomatoes $4.21
12 eggs, large $2.73
1 liter (1qt.) of whole fat milk $0.91
500 gr (1lb.) of boneless chicken breast $4.77
Combo meal in fast in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) $8
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district $15


Cost of Utilities in Charleston, SC

Whether you buy or rent in Charleston, you will likely have to pay your utility bill. The average monthly utility bill in the state is $147.74, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

That’s 29.5% above the nation’s average of $114.11.


According to, here is what to expect in terms of monthly utilities.

Utilities Price
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL) $61.25
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff local (no discounts or plans) $0.10
Basic (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85 sq.m. apartment $206.65


Rent in Charleston, SC

Compared to the national average, the average monthly rent in Charleston, SC is low. According to, here is what to expect if you are going to rent.

All Rentals Studio 1 Bed 2 Beds 3 Beds
Average Apartment Size 938 sq. ft. 620 sq. ft. 754 sq. ft. 1,012 sq. ft. 1,263 sq. ft.
Y-o-Y Change 2% 12% 4% 2% -1%
Average Rent $1,287 $1,193 $1,172 $1,270 $1,582


Average Home Prices in Charleston

Want to build equity in some beachfront property on a Charleston island? Or maybe make a down payment on one of the stately homes in Charleston? In the last few years, home prices in the city have gone down while days on the market and inventory have gone down.

The home prices are generally higher than the national average, and considerably higher than the rest of the state.

According to, the average listing price for a home in Charleston is $524,499.



There is more to life than just the necessities. Living in Charleston, SC means you’ll have to get used to friendly people, delicious cocktails, and jaw-dropping landscapes.

Its Sothern hospitality radiates from the award-winning establishments, while its unique brand of Southern-style shines in the bespoke boutiques that line downtown’s King Street.

It’s no wonder Charleston is ranked so highly in numerous “best places to live in the U.S.” lists.


There you have it. Everything you need to know about Charleston’s, SC living costs. If you need more help, consider hiring a financial advisor to assist you in navigating the big life changes that come with a cross-country move.