What's it like to live in Greenville, SC?

Kelsey Nelson

Profile written by local expert:

Kelsey Nelson

Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville has transformed from a blip on the national map to a bustling metropolis. The former textile powerhouse now has an influx of manufacturing jobs to thank for its growth, with companies like GE and Michelin moving in and infusing the town with new energy. The reinvigorated downtown serves as the focal point of the region, attracting new business, hosting an emerging culinary scene and housing what some call the crown jewel of Greenville: Falls Park on the Reedy.

Greenville encompasses big-city amenities without attracting the same unpleasantries that come with a more populated, urban metro area. The 10-block stretch of Main Street is lined with a variety of boutiques, restaurants, businesses and bars.

A low cost of living and mild temperatures year-round make Greenville desirable to many. Plus, being located steps away from the mountains without giving up any of the offerings of a developed region, makes it easy to enjoy what nature has to offer.

See all the best places to live in South Carolina.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Greenville, South Carolina is ranked:

#32 in Best Places to Live

#44 in Best Places to Retire

#2 in Best Places to Live in South Carolina

#19 in Cheapest Places to Live




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Greenville, SC Quick Stats

  • 883,853

    Metro Population

  • $43,960

    Average Annual Salary

  • 70.3° / 50.5°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 38.6

    Median Age

  • $183,200

    Median Home Price

  • 50.8 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 2.6%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $822

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 23.3 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Greenville, SC?

It can be argued that a good chunk of many residents' time can be spent on one thing in Greenville: college football. The athletic spirit of the region is without a doubt rooted in the Clemson University and University of South Carolina football rivalry.

The art scene is thriving in Greenville, too. Artisphere, a three-day outdoor event held in May that brings in international artists, has received regional and national acclaim and gives residents a chance to meet artists face to face and shop for one-of-a-kind artwork. The Peace Center, which includes an amphitheater, concert hall and theater, regularly brings in top Broadway hits and symphony orchestra concerts.

Local trails and parks, like Lake Conestee Nature Park, Gower Estates Park and Cleveland Park, give runners, hikers and families a natural escape from the city bustle.

What's the cost of living in Greenville, SC?

Recent years have seen an increase in home buying. More than 40% of residents own a home, and development downtown has resulted in many new condominiums and apartment complexes. The median home sale price in Greenville is lower than the national median.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Greenville, South Carolina.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.8 /10

How we calculate this.

Greenville offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Greenville, SC.

What's the weather like in Greenville, SC?

Although summers in South Carolina can get hot and humid, mild weather during the spring, fall and winter makes Greenville a relatively comfortable region to live in year-round.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

4.2 in


4.6 in


4.9 in


4.3 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Greenville, SC?

A walkable downtown combined with minor traffic makes it easy to get around the metro area. Most people drive to get from place to place, in part thanks to a lower-than-average commute time. Interstate 85 will get you to nearby metro areas like Atlanta or Charlotte, North Carolina.

With 700 on-street spaces available for free, plus many garages that offer the first hour free, downtown Greenville has plenty of space for parking. Additionally, some garages and monthly lots are free on weekends and local merchants open parking lots and spaces to the public on a daily basis.

Greenville has two public forms of transportation. The Greenlink bus system offers residents an affordable transit option that runs throughout the entire region, and the open-air downtown trolley is free and available to the public during limited hours Thursday through Sunday.

The Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is serviced by five major airlines.

Commuting in Greenville, SC

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

23.3 minutes

3.3 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Greenville, SC?

Greenville is family-friendly with its walkable downtown that includes parks and museums that make it easy to enjoy the area at a low cost. Being in close proximity to Clemson University, Furman University and other colleges, Greenville's population feels young despite the median age of the population being around 38.

There are more than 1,000 churches of varying religious affiliations in the Greenville metro area, the majority of them being overwhelmingly Christian-based.

While development is positive, Greenville is working to alleviate homelessness in the area.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Greenville as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.