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South Carolina

Basic Information

2010 Census Population: 4,625,364 (24th)
Land Area: 30,060.7 square miles (40th)
Density: 153.9 persons per square mile (20th)
Capital: Columbia
Became a State: May 23, 1788 (8th)
Bordering States: Georgia, North Carolina
Abbreviation: SC
ANSI Code: 45


The area of South Carolina was part of the original territory of the United States. Both North Carolina and South Carolina were included in the charter that established Carolina in 1663. The two areas separated in 1712—a separation that was finalized when the Carolina Colony was dissolved in 1729—with generally the same shared boundary as the present states. However, they did not settle on a final boundary until 1813. South Carolina ceded area to the United States to assume generally the same boundary as the present state; the ceded area became part of the Georgia and Mississippi Territory in 1802. South Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution on May 23, 1788; it was the eighth of the original 13 states to join the Union.

Census data for South Carolina are available beginning with the 1790 census.

About the Geographic Areas


South Carolina has one federally recognized American Indian reservation and six state designated tribal statistical areas (SDTSAs).


South Carolina has 10 metropolitan statistical areas, 13 micropolitan statistical areas, and 4 combined statistical areas.


There are 46 counties in South Carolina. All counties are functioning governmental units, each governed by a county council.


There are 299 county subdivisions in South Carolina. They are all census county divisions (CCDs), which are delineated for statistical purposes, have no legal function, and are not governmental units.  CCDs were first established for the 1960 census.  Prior to 1960, the minor civil divisions used in the census included townships (administrative, nonfunctioning governmental units) and school districts.


South Carolina has 395 places; 269 incorporated places and 126 census designated places (CDPs).  The incorporated places consist of 69 cities and 200 towns.  Incorporated places are each governed by a city or town council. 


There are 1,103 census tracts, 3,059 block groups, and 181,908 census blocks in South Carolina.


For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), South Carolina had six congressional districts.  For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), South Carolina has seven congressional districts as a result of reapportionment based on the 2010 Census.


South Carolina has 2 elementary school districts, 2 secondary school districts, and 86 unified school districts.  Two of the unified school districts are run by the Department of Defense.


There are 46 state senate districts and 124 state house districts in South Carolina.


South Carolina has 63 urban areas; 14 urbanized areas and 49 urban clusters.


There are 424 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in South Carolina.

Centers of Population

Year North Latitude West Longitude
20106 34° 01′ 31″ 81° 00′ 40″
20006 34° 02′ 04″ 81° 01′ 57″
19905 34° 01′ 58″ 81° 01′ 38″
19804 34° 02′ 50″ 81° 02′ 08″
19703 34° 03′ 35″ 81° 02′ 55″
19603 34° 03′ 45″ 81° 01′ 48″
19503 34° 04′ 22″ 81° 02′ 15″
19402 34° 05′ 25″ 81° 03′ 16″
19302 34° 05′ 22″ 81° 04′ 49″
19201 34° 02′ 35″ 81° 03′ 42″
19101 34° 02′ 02″ 81° 04′ 01″
19001 34° 00′ 18″ 80° 59′ 49″
18901 33° 59′ 12″ 80° 58′ 50″
18801 33° 58′ 47″ 80° 58′ 46″

1  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1923
2  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, recomputation for historical county level data which relied upon aggregate county level population data with an estimated county centroid resulting in a possible error of up to one mile.
3  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Centers of Population for States and Counties, 1974
4  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group/enumeration area data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
5  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
6  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, computation from national block-level data

Most Populous, Largest, and Dense Areas

Population Land Area
(square miles)
Population Density
(Persons per square mile)

Name Population Name Area Name Density
County Greenville County 451,225 Horry County 1,133.90 Greenville County 574.7

 - Inc Place Columbia city 129,272 Columbia city 132.21 Summerville town 2,404.7
 - CDP Taylors CDP 21,617 Hopkins CDP 16.51 Sangaree CDP 4,047.6

List of Entities

See the Gazetteer Files for a list of geographic entities. See the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas page for a list of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas and related statistical areas.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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