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South Carolina State Guide

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Known as the "the Palmetto State", South Carolina is located in the Southeastern part of the US. South Carolina is bordered by North Carolina to the north, by Georgia to the south and west, and by Atlantic Ocean to the north. Columbia is the capital and the largest city. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin is its largest metro. South Carolina attained statehood on June 25, 1868.

South Carolina Fast Facts
  • Capital: Columbia
  • State Animal: White-tailed deer
  • State Tree: Palmetto tree
  • State Flower: Yellow jessamine
  • State Bird: Carolina wren
  • State Fish: Striped bass
  • State Insect: Carolina mantid
  • State Gemstone: Amethyst


History of South Carolina

South Carolina History Timeline

  • 1524 - 1st French ship explored the South Carolina coast

  • 1669 - Lords Proprietors approved Fundamental Constitution of Carolina

  • 1775 - The First Provincial Congress of Carolina meet

  • 1786 - Capital shifted from Charleston to Columbia

  • 1860 - South Carolina bacame the 1st state to secede from the Union prior to Civil War

  • 1868 - South Carolina readmitted to the Union

  • 1964 - Passes Civil Rights Act and ended segregation

Geography of South Carolina

Hemmed in the Southeastern region of the US, South Carolina is the 40th most extensive. South Carolina is bordered by North Carolina to the north, by Georgia to the south and west, and by Atlantic Ocean to the north. Columbia is the capital and the largest city. The state covers a total land area of 32,020[1] sq mi [2]. Sassafras Mountain at 3,560 ft is the highest point in the state. Some of its major rivers include Edisto River, Santee River, Pee Dee River, Savannah River.

Geography Fast Facts
  • Total Area: 32,020 sq mi
  • Latitude: 32o 2′ N to 35o 13′ N
  • Longitude: 78o 32′ W to 83o21′ W
  • Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean sea level
  • Highest Point: Sassafras Mountain at 3,560 ft
  • Central Point: at 350 ft
  • Major Rivers: Edisto River, Pee Dee River, Santee River, Savannah River

Topography of  South Carolina

South Carolina is defined by 3 areageographic land areas - the Piedmont, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and the Blue Ridge region. Local terms denote the Piedmont and the Blue Ridge region as Up Country and the eastern Atlantic Coastal Plain as the South Carolina Low Country. The Atlantic Coastal Plain that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the west covers two thirds of the state. Gradual rise of the land from the southeast to the northwest is prominent.

The Outer Coastal Plain is an area of the Atlantic Coastal Plain that is quite flat and consisting of multiple rivers. Another area is the Inner Coastal Plain that is made up of rolling hills and has most fertile soils.

The Pine Barrens in the central Atlantic Coastal Plain is a heavily forested area. Sand hills run along the western edge of the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

The Piedmont is located in the northwest of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. It is a region of higher elevations, consisting of rolling hills that become more hilly to the northwest and west. The Fall Line is the border between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Piedmont region.

The northwestern corner of the state consists of the Blue Ridge. This region is lower and less rugged and many forests cover the area. Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina is found here.

Mountains in South Carolina

Mountains in South Carolina include:
  • Sassafras Mountain
  • Pinnacle Mountain
  • Medlin Mpuntain
  • Caesars Head
  • Glassy Mountain
  • Fork Mountain
  • Brown's Mountain
  • Nanny Mountain

Climate of South Carolina

South Carolina has a humid sub tropical climate with hot and humid summers and milder winters in the coastal areas. The entire state receives abundant rainfall throughout the year. Winter is the driest season and the wettest month is march. The state receives frequent tropical cyclones and tornadoes. Hurricane Hazel  and Hurricane Hugo are 2 of the strongest hurricanes that had hit the state.

Forests in South Carolina

Forests in South Carolina are home to varied flora and fauna. The forests are important for the economic growth of the state. They are also important source of timber, paper, wood product, bio fuel and bio energy resources. The South Carolina Forestry Commission overlooks the forests of South Carolina. The department makes plans and policies for the conservation, development and uplift of the state forests. Currently, the Commission manages the five state forests - Sand Hills, Harbison, Manchester, Poe Creek, and Wee Tee.

Contact Detailsforest

South Carolina Forestry Commission
PO Box 21707, Columbia, SC
Phone: 803-896-8800

Read more on South Carolina forests

Demographics of South Carolina

South Carolina had an estimated population 4,896,146 as of 2015 estimation by the U.S Census Bureau, which reflected an increase of 5.9% since the year 2010 [3]. The population density of the state is 153.9 people per square mile. South Carolina’s center of population is situated in Richland County. Some of the major religious groups include Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Judaism and Muslim.

Major racial ethnic groups in South Carolina - 2014
  • White alone: 68.3%
  • Black or African American: 27.8%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.5%
  • Asian: 1.5%
  • Two or More Races: 1.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 5.4%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 63.9%

South Carolina Population Quick Facts
  • Population, 2015: 4,896,146
  • Population, 2014: 4,832,482
  • Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015: 5.9%
  • Population, 2010: 4,625,364
  • Persons under 5 years, percent, 2014: 6%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2014: 22.4%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2014: 15.8%
  • Female persons, percent, 2014: 51.4%

Economy of South Carolina

The total gross state product for 2007 was $153 billion[4], according to the survey done by Bureau of Economic Analysis. The major sectors that contribute in the economic development of the state are agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, hospitality, service sector, education and heath care services. Median household income of the state in 2014 dollars is $45,033. Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2014 dollars) is $24,222.

Agriculture in South Carolina

  • The top five agricultural products of South Carolina are broilers, turkeys, greenhouse and nursery products, tobacco and cattle and calves .
  • The state's most important source of revenue is greenhouse and nursery products.
  • South Carolina's important fruit crop is peach.
  • Other valuable crops include soybeans, tobacco, cotton, and corn for grain
  • The state also produces pecan.

  • Valuable contributors to the agricultural revenues of the state include turkeys, chicken eggs, beef cattle and calves and hogs.

  • The state also produces honey.

Industry in South Carolina

  • South Carolina's leading manufactured products are chemicals producing synthetic fibers, dyes, plastic resins and pharmaceuticals.
  • 2nd ranking manufacturing activity include textile productions.
  • Ranking third in manufacturing activity is forest products such as pulp, wood and paper products.
  • The state's most important mined products are granite and limestone.

  • Kaolin, mica, and vermiculite are also produces in abundance in the state.
  • Shrimp is South Carolina's most important catch.
  • In service industries, retail and wholesale trade ranked first.

  • Business, community and personal services sectors ranked second in service industries. ranking 3rd is government services.

Tourism in South Carolina

Tourism also plays a vital role in the economy of South Carolina. Some of the major tourist attractions in th state include:

Education in South Carolina

South Carolina has a very well functioning education system. The South Carolina Department of Education supervises and manages the educationworkings of all schools, and higher education systems in the state. The department’s mission is to provide world class education and best values to the students to ensure overall progress and success. South Carolina is including among the 3 states that does not agree to follow competitive international math and language standards as of 2010. The state encompasses 1,144 K-12 schools.

The topmost universities and colleges in South Carolina are the following:

  • The College of Charleston
  • The University of South Carolina
  • Furman University
  • Erskine College
  • The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
  • Claflin University
  • Wofford College
  • Lander University
  • Presbyterian College
  • Winthrop University
  • Clemson University
  • South Carolina State University

Sports in South Carolina

South Carolina does not have major league professional franchises but has many minor league teams. The state is a prime spot for water sports and golf. Some of the major sports teams with large fan following in South Carolina include
  • South Carolina Gamecocks football
  • Clemson Tigers football
  • The Citadel Bulldogs football
  • S. Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball3
  • Furman Paladins football

Health Care in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control works efficiently to improve the health and living standards of the community by implementing many health regulating services and policies. The department also encompasses a division which provides all vital records and health statistics of the state. The health department also implements various health care plans and human services for seniors, adults, families and children to minimize illness and ensure that people live a healthy life. SC health department is also one of the largest employers of the state. Donate Life South Carolina is the state-authorized non-profit organization that is committed to provide and manage the organ, eye and tissue donations to the people in need and help save as many lives as possible. The Donate Life South Carolina is affiliated with Donate Life America and has been diligently functioning in collaboration with many volunteers to help provide organ, eye and tissue donation to meet all transplant needs.

Read more on South Carolina Health Care

Government of South Carolina

The Constitution of South Carolina is the guardian of the Government of South Carolina. It establishes and structures the state government. It was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. It ratifies the U.S. Constitution as the eighth state. South Carolina was admitted to the Union on June 25, 1868.
The Executive Branch is a well functioning body of the state government of South Carolina. Several state government departments work under the executive branch for the smooth functioning of the government. The Governor leads the executive branch of the government as the supreme executive head.
The Legislature is the law making and supervising body of the state government of South Carolina. The Legislative power is vested in the legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Judiciary is the system that employs and applies law and regulates any disputes ensuring justice in the state. The Judiciary has the authority to review the legislative and the executive actions. The judicial power of the state is vested in the Supreme Judicial Court and such other courts.

Read more on South Carolina Government

Interesting Facts about South Carolina

  • Motto of South Carolina is While I Breathe I Hope.

  • The Palmetto State is its nickname.

  • The official state amphibian is the salamander.

  • SC became the 8th state of the Union on 1788.

  • The Shag is the state dance.

  • Fort Sumter is where the 1st battle of the Civil War is fought.

  • McCormick at 360 sqml. is the state's smallest county.

  • The world's largest Gingko farm is Sumter.

  • Carolina's Johnston is called the Peach Capital of the World.

  • The first airport in South Carolina is the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport, opened in October 1927


  1. South Carolina Statehood
  2. South Carolina Area
  3. South Carolina Population
  4. South Carolina Economy
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