Pawleys Island, SC
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Pawleys Island profile


Living in Pawleys Island


Pawleys Island is a tiny coastal town (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of South Carolina. With a population of 106 people and three constituent neighborhoods, Pawleys Island is the 267th largest community in South Carolina.

Pawleys Island home prices are not only among the most expensive in South Carolina, but Pawleys Island real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in America.

Pawleys Island is a decidedly white-collar town, with fully 100.00% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Pawleys Island is a town of managers, professionals, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Pawleys Island who work in management occupations (36.36%), sales jobs (18.18%), and healthcare (15.15%).

And if you like science, one thing you'll find is that Pawleys Island has lots of scientists living in town - whether they be life scientists, physical scientists (like astronomers), or social scientists (like geographers!). So, if you're scientific-minded, you might like it here too.

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 21.88% of the workforce. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce this is high compared to the rest of the county. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

Another notable thing is that Pawleys Island is an extremely popular destination for tourists and seasonal residents. So much of the population is seasonal such that the town’s population swells significantly during the vacation season, and drops again when the season ends. Because of this, much of the local economy is centered around tourism; some businesses may be operated only during the high season. During the low season, year-round residents will notice that the city is a substantially quieter place to live.

In addition, Pawleys Island is home to many people who could be described as "urban sophisticates". Urban sophisticates are people who are both educated and wealthy, and thus tend to be older, richer, and more established than young professionals. "Urban sophisticates" is not just about being educated and well-off financially: it is a point of view and state of mind, one that you might call 'urbaneness'. But such people can and do regularly live in small towns, suburbs and rural areas, as well as in big cities. They read, support the arts and high-end shops, and love travel.

Because of many things, Pawleys Island is a great place for families with children to consider. First of all, many other families with children live here, making Pawleys Island a place where both parents and children are more likely to develop social ties with other families, as well as find family-oriented services and community. The town’s good public school district and large population of college-educated adults provide an environment conducive to academic values. With regard to real estate, Pawleys Island has a high rate of owner-occupied single family homes, which tends to reflect stability in the local community. Finally, Pawleys Island’s overall crime rate ranks among the lowest in the country, making it one of the safest places to raise a family.

The town is relatively quiet, having a combination of lower population density and few of those groups of people who have a tendency to be noisy. For example, Pawleys Island has relatively fewer families with younger children, and/or college students. Combined, this makes Pawleys Island a pretty quiet place to live overall. If you like quiet, you will probably enjoy it here.

Pawleys Island is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various waterfront activities.

One of the benefits of Pawleys Island is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 14.70 minutes, which is substantially less than the national average. Not only does this mean that the drive to work is less aggravating, but noise and pollution levels are lower as a result.

Pawleys Island is very much a car-oriented town. This is because the population of Pawleys Island isn't large enough or dense enough to support an extensive public transit system. It has a lot of rural roads, and the distance between houses can be quite large, which together tends to discourage walking and bicycling to work. 100.00% of residents commute to work in their own car (and the drive is typically to a job out of town). People also tend to drive out of town for other services as well, such as shopping, doctors appointments, and more.

Pawleys Island is a small town, and as such doesn't have a public transit system that people use to get to and from their jobs every day.

Do you have a 4-year college degree or graduate degree? If so, you may feel right at home in Pawleys Island. 69.23% of adults here have a 4-year degree or graduate degree, whereas the national average for all cities and towns is just 21.84%.

The per capita income in Pawleys Island in 2010 was $88,829, which is wealthy relative to South Carolina and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $355,316 for a family of four.

The people who call Pawleys Island home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Pawleys Island residents report their race to be White. Important ancestries of people in Pawleys Island include English, French, Scots-Irish, German, and Irish.

The most common language spoken in Pawleys Island is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and African languages.


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