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South Carolina (i /ˌsaʊθ kærəˈlaɪnə/) is a state in the United States that borders Georgia to the south and North Carolina to the north. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown during the American Revolution.
The colony was originally named in honor of King Charles I, as Carolus is Latin for Charles.
South Carolina was the first state to vote to secede from the Union and was the founding state of the Confederate States of America.
According to an estimate by the United States Census Bureau, the state's population in 2009 was 4,561,242 and ranked 24th among the U.S. states. South Carolina contains 46 counties and its capital is Columbia.
South Carolina is bordered to the north by North Carolina; to the south and west by Georgia, located across the Savannah River; and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
South Carolina is composed of thirty-six geographic areas, whose boundaries roughly parallel the northeast/southwest Atlantic coastline. In the Southeast part of the state is the Coastal Zone, with the lowest elevations, which is divided into three separate areas, the Grand Strand, the Santee River Delta, and the Barrier Islands. To the Northwest (inland) are the Coastal Plains, often divided into the Outer and Inner Coastal Plains, also known as the Lowcountry. Further inland, and higher in elevation are the Sandhills, which used to be South Carolina's fall line. Inland from the Sandhills is the Piedmont, which is hilly, and contains many major cities. The region with the highest elevation, in the Northwest of the state, is the Blue Ridge Region, a mountainous area which is the smallest region.
The state's coastline contains many salt marshes and estuaries, as well as natural ports such as Georgetown and Charleston. An unusual feature of the coastal plain is a large number of Carolina bays, the origins of which are uncertain. One prominent theory suggests that they were created by a meteor shower. The bays tend to be oval, lining up in a northwest to southeast orientation.
The terrain is flat and the soil is composed entirely of recent sediments such as sand, silt, and clay. Areas with better drainage make excellent farmland, though some land is swampy.
Just west of the coastal plain is the Sandhills region, also known as the Midlands. This region of the state is thought to contain remnants of old coastal dunes from a time when the land was sunken or the oceans were higher.
The Piedmont (Upstate) region contains the roots of an ancient, eroded mountain chain. It is generally hilly, with thin, stony clay soils, and contains few areas suitable for farming. Much of the Piedmont was once farmed, with little success. It is now reforested. At the southeastern edge of the Piedmont is the fall line, where rivers drop to the coastal plain. The fall line was an important early source of water power. Mills built to harness this resource encouraged the growth of several cities, including the capital, Columbia. The larger rivers are navigable up to the fall line, providing a trade route for mill towns.
The northwestern part of the Piedmont is also known as the Foothills. The Cherokee Parkway is a scenic driving route through this area. This is where Table Rock State Park is located.
Highest in elevation is the Blue Ridge Region, containing an escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which continue into North Carolina and Georgia, as part of the southern Appalachian chain. Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina's highest point at 3,560 feet (1,085 m) is located in this area. Also located in this area is Caesars Head State Park. The Chattooga River, located on the border between South Carolina and Georgia, is a favorite whitewater rafting destination.
Earthquakes do occur in South Carolina. The greatest frequency is along the central coastline of the state, in the Charleston area. South Carolina averages 10–15 earthquakes a year below magnitude 3 (FEMA). The Charleston Earthquake of 1886 was the largest quake to ever hit the Southeastern United States. This 7.2 magnitude earthquake killed 60 people and destroyed much of the city.. Faults in this region are difficult to study at the surface due to thick sedimentation on top of them. Many of the ancient faults are within plates rather than along plate boundaries.
South Carolina has several major lakes covering over 683 square miles, or 437,672 acres (1,770 km2). The following are the lakes listed by size.
South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), although high elevation areas in the "Upstate" or "Upcountry" area have less subtropical characteristics than areas on the Atlantic coastline. In the summer, South Carolina is hot and humid with daytime temperatures averaging between 86–93 °F (30–34 °C) in most of the state and overnight lows averaging 70–74 °F (21–23 °C) on the coast and from 66–73 °F (19–23 °C) inland. Winter temperatures are much less uniform in South Carolina. Coastal areas of the state have very mild winters with high temperatures approaching an average of 60 °F (16 °C) and overnight lows in the 40s°F (5-8 °C). Inland, the average January overnight low is around 35 °F (2 °C) in Columbia and just below freezing in the Upstate. While precipitation is abundant the entire year in almost the entire state, the coast tends to have a slightly wetter summer, while inland March tends to be the wettest month.
Snowfall in South Carolina is not common, with coastal areas receiving less than an inch (2.5 cm) annually on average. It is not uncommon for areas on the coast (especially the southern coast) to receive no recordable snowfall in a given year. The interior receives a little more snow, although nowhere in the state averages more than 6 inches (15.24 cm) of snow annually. The mountains of extreme Northwestern South Carolina tend to have the most substantial snow accumulation. Freezing rain tends to be a more common occurrence than snow in many areas. The many bridges in South Carolina are commonly marked: Bridge freezes over before road does.
The state is occasionally affected by tropical cyclones. This is an annual concern during hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30. The peak time of vulnerability for the southeast Atlantic coast is from early August to early October, during the Cape Verde hurricane season. Two memorable Category 4 hurricanes to hit South Carolina were Hazel (1954) and Hugo (1989). South Carolina averages around 50 days of thunderstorm activity a year. This is less than some of the states further south, and it is slightly less vulnerable to tornadoes than the states which border on the Gulf of Mexico. Still, some notable tornadoes have struck South Carolina and the state averages around 14 tornadoes annually. Hail is quite common with many of the thunderstorms in the state as there is often a marked contrast in temperature of warmer ground conditions compared to the cold air aloft.
The colony of Carolina was settled by English settlers, mostly from Barbados, sent by the Lords Proprietors in 1670, followed by French Huguenots. The original Carolina proprietors were aware of the threat posed by the French and Spanish presence to the south, whose Roman Catholic monarchies were enemies of England and English values. They needed to act swiftly to attract settlers. Therefore, they were one of the first colonies to grant liberty of religious practice in order to attract settlers who were Baptists, Quakers, Huguenots and Presbyterians. Jewish immigration was specifically encouraged in the Fundamental Constitutions, since Jews were seen as reliable citizens. The Jewish immigrants were fleeing the Spanish Inquisition, which was being perpetrated in the Spanish colonies in the New World. During the colonial period, Africans were the largest group, with a minority transported as indentured servants and majority transported to be slaves in the Middle Passage. They constituted a majority of the colony's population throughout the period. The Carolina upcountry was settled largely by Scots-Irish migrants from Pennsylvania and Virginia, following the Great Wagon Road.
From 1670–1717, English and British traders spurred the economy in South Carolina by conducting a booming trade in Indian slaves. The slave trade affected the entire southeast region. They bought or traded for slaves from American Indian tribes south of the Tennessee and east of the Mississippi rivers. Indians competed for European trade goods, including cloth and guns.
Historian Alan Gallay estimates that Carolinians exported 24,000-51,000 Indian slaves during this period. Oppressed by the slave trade, an alliance among the tribes developed, and they attacked the settlers in the Province of South Carolina in the Yamasee War (1715–1717). Its casualty rate was among the highest of the Indian Wars, and for more than a year, the Indians seriously threatened the continued existence of the colony. Among the settlers, there was dissatisfaction with the Proprietors who governed the colony. As a result, the Carolinas was split, and South Carolina became a royal colony in 1719. The emerging planter class had been using revenues from the sale of Indian slaves to finance the purchase of enslaved Africans; after the Yamasee War, South Carolina colonists turned to using exclusively African slaves for labor for their new commodity crops of rice and indigo crops.
On March 15, 1776, the colony declared its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government, the first colony to do so . To win South Carolina's support for the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson removed all material from the document that condemned slavery. On February 5, 1778, South Carolina became the first state to ratify the American Constitution as an entity — the Articles of Confederation. However, in 1780, South Carolinian loyalists to the British crown helped British troops recapture South Carolina from the previously successful rebels.
The current United States Constitution was proposed for adoption by the States on September 17, 1787, and South Carolina was the 8th state to ratify it, on May 23, 1788.
The American Revolution caused a shock to slavery in the South. Tens of thousands of slaves fought with the British to obtain freedom, and thousands left with them in the last days of the war; others secured their freedom by escaping in the turmoil. Estimates are that 25,000 slaves (30% of those in South Carolina) fled, migrated or died during the disruption of the war.
South Carolina politics between 1783 and 1795 were marred by rivalry between a Federalist elite's supporting the central government in Philadelphia and a large proportion of common people. The latter were often members of 'Republican Societies', and they supported the Republican-Democrats, headed by Jefferson and Madison. This party wanted more democracy in the US, especially in South Carolina.
Most people supported the French Revolution (1789–1795), as the French had been allies and they were proud of their own revolution. Charleston was the most French-influenced city in the USA after New Orleans, which was not yet part of the nation. Leading South Carolina figures, such as Pinckney and Governor Moultrie, backed with money and actions the French plans to further their political, strategic, and commercial goals in North America. This pro-French stance and attitude of South Carolina ended soon because of the XYZ Affair.
Antebellum, South Carolina did more to advance nullification and secession than any other Southern state. In 1832, a South Carolina state convention passed the Ordinance of Nullification, declaring the Federal tariff laws of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional, null and not to be enforced in the state of South Carolina after February 1, 1833. This led to the Nullification Crisis, in which U. S. President Andrew Jackson received congressional authorization, through the Force Bill, to use whatever military force necessary to enforce Federal law in the state. This was the first U. S. legislation denying individual states the right to secede. As a result of Jackson's threat of force, the South Carolina state convention was re-convened and repealed the Ordinance of Nullification in March.
Anti-abolitionist feelings ran strong in South Carolina. In 1856, South Carolina congressman Preston Brooks entered the United States Senate chamber and, with a metal-tipped cane, beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner. He drew blood and injured Sumner badly enough that the latter was unable to serve for several months. Brooks was retaliating for a speech Sumner had just given in which he attacked slavery and insulted South Carolinians. Brooks resigned his seat but received a hero's welcome on returning home.
On December 20, 1860, when it became clear that Lincoln would be the next president, South Carolina became the first state to declare its secession from the Union. On April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries began shelling Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and the American Civil War began. The Union Navy effectively blockaded Charleston and seized the Sea Islands. Planters had taken their families (and sometimes slaves) to points inland for refuge. The Union Army set up an experiment in freedom for the ex-slaves, in which they started education and farmed land for themselves. South Carolina troops participated in major Confederate campaigns, but no major battles were fought inland. General William Tecumseh Sherman marched through the state in early 1865, destroying numerous plantations, and captured the state capital of Columbia on February 17. Fires began that night and by next morning, most of the central city was destroyed.
After the war, South Carolina was restored to the United States during Reconstruction. Under presidential Reconstruction (1865–66), freedmen (former slaves) were given limited rights. Under Radical reconstruction (1867–1877), a Republican coalition of freedmen, carpetbaggers and scalawags was in control, supported by Union Army forces. The withdrawal of Union soldiers as part of the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction. White Democrats used paramilitary groups such as the Red Shirts to intimidate and terrorize black voters. They regained political control of the state under conservative white "Redeemers" and pro-business Bourbon Democrats.
Until the 1868 presidential election, South Carolina's legislature chose its electors for the presidential election, not the voters. South Carolina was the last state to choose its electors in this manner.
The state became a hotbed of racial and economic tensions during the Populist and Agrarian movements of the 1890s. Passage of the new conservative constitution of 1895 meant that almost all blacks and many poor whites were effectively disfranchised by new requirements for poll taxes, residency and literacy tests. By 1896, only 5,500 black voters remained on the registration rolls. The 1900 census demonstrated the extent of disfranchisement: African Americans comprised more than 58% of the state's population, but their total of 782,509 citizens was essentially without any political representation. "Pitchfork Ben Tillman" controlled state politics from the 1890s to 1910 with a base among poor white farmers.
Although the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was ratified nationally in 1920, South Carolina did not ratify it until July 1, 1969. It did not certify the ratification until August 22, 1973. Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana ratified the Amendment in 1970 and 1971; only Mississippi implemented it later than South Carolina, not ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment until 1984.
Early in the 20th century, South Carolina developed a thriving textile industry. The state also converted its agricultural base from cotton to more profitable crops, attracted large military bases, and created tourism industries.
Like most states in the South, South Carolina continues to struggle with desegregation. The integration of Clemson University is an example of a state institution's ability to achieve "integration with dignity". Of extended controversy has been the State's display of the Flags of the Confederate States of America. On July 1, 2000, South Carolina became the last state to remove the Confederate Flag from over its statehouse (it had originally been placed there in 1962). The state Senate had approved a bill for its removal on April 12, 2000 by a margin of 36 to 7; the bill had specified that a Confederate flag be flown in front of the Capitol next to a monument's honoring fallen Confederate soldiers. Debate was more heated in the state House of Representatives, which passed the bill on May 18, 2000 by a margin of only 66 to 43, after including a measure's ensuring that the Confederate flag by the monument be 30 feet high. The flag by the monument continues to cause controversy. The NAACP maintains an economic boycott of the state of South Carolina. The NCAA refuses to allow South Carolina to host NCAA athletic events whose locations are determined in advance. On July 6, 2009, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced a decision to move three future baseball tournaments out of South Carolina, citing concerns by the NAACP's over the state's continuing display of the Confederate flag.
South Carolina's center of population is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) north of the State House in the city of Columbia.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2009, South Carolina had an estimated population of 4,561,242, which is an increase of 57,962 from the prior year and an increase of 549,230, or 13.6%, since the year 2000. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 36,401 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 115,084 people. Based on the 2000 Census South Carolina was ranked 21st in population density with just over 133 persons per sq. mi.
According to the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health, Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies, South Carolina's foreign-born population grew faster than any other state between 2000–2005. The Consortium reports that the number of Hispanics in South Carolina is greatly undercounted by census enumerators and may be more than 400,000.
The five largest ancestry groups in South Carolina are African American (29.5%), American (13.9%), English (8.4%), German (8.4%) and Irish (7.9%). For most of South Carolina's history, African slaves, and then their descendants, made up a majority of the state's population. Whites became a majority in the early 20th century, when tens of thousands of blacks moved north in the Great Migration. Most of the African-American population lives in the Lowcountry (especially the inland Lowcountry) and the Midlands; areas where cotton, rice, and indigo plantations once dominated the landscape. 6.6% of South Carolina's population were reported as under 5 years old, 25.2% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population in 2000.
South Carolina Office of Research & Statistics (Projection) Census Bureau(Estimates)
South Carolina's metro areas are actually much larger than their central city population counts suggest. South Carolina law makes it difficult for municipalities to annex unincorporated areas into the city limits, so city proper populations look smaller than the actual size of the area. For example, Spartanburg and Myrtle Beach each have municipal populations less than 50,000 persons, but their metro areas (MSA's) are over 200,000. Anderson's municipal population is smaller than Sumter's, but the Anderson area is actually much larger. The Sumter area population is under 100,000, but Anderson's is over 120,000, while Anderson County's population is nearing 200,000.
Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville all have urbanized area populations between 350,000-500,000, while their metro area (MSA) populations are all over 600,000. The Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson consolidated statistical area population consists of approximately 1.2 million people.
South Carolina, like most other Southern states, has a Protestant Christian majority, and a lower percentage of non-religious people than the national average. The religious affiliations of the people of South Carolina are as follows:
Sephardic Jews have lived in the state for more than 300 years, especially in and around Charleston. Until about 1830, South Carolina had the largest population of Jews in North America. Many of South Carolina's Jews have assimilated into Christian society, shrinking Judaism down to less than 1% of the total religious makeup. In addition, Roman Catholicism is growing in South Carolina due to immigration from the North.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, South Carolina's gross state product in current dollars was $97 billion in 1997, and $153 billion in 2007. Its per-capita real gross domestic product (GDP) in chained 2000 dollars was $26,772 in 1997, and $28,894 in 2007; that represents 85% of the $31,619 per-capita real GDP for the United States overall in 1997, and 76% of the $38,020 for the U.S. in 2007.
Major agricultural outputs of the state are: tobacco, poultry, cattle, dairy products, soybeans, rice and hogs. Industrial outputs include: textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery, automobiles and automotive products and tourism.
The state was especially hard hit by the 2008 economic crisis. As of January 2010, the states unemployment rate is 12.6%.
Major interstate highways passing through the state include: I-20 which runs from Florence in the east through Columbia to the southwestern border near Aiken; I-26 which runs from Charleston in the southeast through Columbia to Spartanburg and the northern border in Spartanburg County; I-77 which runs from York County in the north to Columbia; I-85 which runs from Cherokee County in the north through Spartanburg and Greenville to the southwestern border in Oconee County; I-385 which runs from Greenville and intersects with I-26 near Clinton; and I-95 which runs from the northeastern border in Dillon County to Florence and on to the southern border in Jasper County.
In March 2008, "The American State Litter Scorecard," presented at the American Society for Public Administration conference, rated South Carolina a nationally "Worst" state for removing litter from public properties such as highways. The state has an extremely high fatality rate from litter/debris-related vehicle accidents, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
Amtrak operates four passenger routes in South Carolina: the Crescent, the Palmetto, the Silver Meteor, and the Silver Star. The Crescent route serves the Upstate cities, the Silver Star serves the Midlands cities, and the Palmetto and Silver Meteor routes serve the Lowcountry cities.
South Carolina is served by many freight carriers, but the most common carriers are CSX Transportation (CSXT) and The Norfolk Southern Railway (NS).
There are seven significant airports in South Carolina, all of which act at regional airport hubs. The busiest by passenger volume is Charleston International Airport. Just across the border in North Carolina is Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, the 30th busiest airport in the world, in terms of passengers.
South Carolina's state government consists of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.
South Carolina has historically had a weak executive branch and a strong legislature. Before 1865, governors in South Carolina were appointed by the General Assembly, and held the title "President of State." The 1865 Constitution changed this process, requiring a popular election. In 1926 the governor's term was changed to four years, and in 1982 governors were allowed to run for a second term. In 1993 a limited cabinet was created, all of which must be popularly elected.
The South Carolina Constitution provides for separate election of nine executive officers, which is very large compared to most states:
The governor of South Carolina is the chief executive of the state. The governor is elected for a four-year term and may serve up to two consecutive terms. The current governor is Republican Mark Sanford. Sanford was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006.
Each officer is elected at the same time as the Governor. The separately elected positions allow for the possibility of multiple parties to be represented in the executive branch. The Governor's Cabinet also contains several appointed positions. In most cases, persons who fill cabinet-level positions are recommended by the governor and appointed by the Senate.
The South Carolina General Assembly is the state legislature. It is bicameral, consisting of a 124-member South Carolina House of Representatives and a 46-member South Carolina Senate. Representatives serve two-year terms and Senators serve four-year terms. The two houses meet in the South Carolina State House.
The Family Court deals with all matters of domestic and family relationships, as well as generally maintaining exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving minors under the age of seventeen, excepting traffic and game law violations. Some criminal charges may come under Circuit Court jurisdiction.
The South Carolina Circuit Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction court for South Carolina. It consists of a civil division (the Court of Common Pleas) and a criminal division (the Court of General Sessions). It is also a superior court, having limited appellate jurisdiction over appeals from the lower Probate Court, Magistrate's Court, and Municipal Court, and appeals from the Administrative Law Judge Division, which hears matters relating to state administrative and regulatory agencies. South Carolina's 46 counties are divided into 16 judicial circuits, and there are currently 46 judges. Circuit court judges are elected by the General Assembly to staggered six-year terms.
The South Carolina Court of Appeals is the state intermediate appellate court. It hears all Circuit Court and Family Court appeals, excepting appeals that are within the seven classes of exclusive Supreme Court jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals is selected by the General Assembly to staggered six-year terms. The court comprises a chief judge, and eight associate judges, and may hear cases as the whole court, or as three panels with three judges each. The court may preside in any county.
The South Carolina Supreme Court is the state supreme court. The Chief Justice and four Associate Justices are elected to staggered ten-year terms. There are no limits on the number of terms a justice may serve, but there is a mandatory retirement age of 72. The overwhelming majority of vacancies on the Court occur when Justices reach this age, not through the refusal of the General Assembly to elect a sitting Justice to another term.
South Carolina has had seven constitutions:
Since 1895, there have been many calls for a new Constitution, one that is not based on the politics of a post-Civil War population. The most recent call for reformation was by Governor Mark Sanford in his 2008 State of the State speech. Several hundred amendments have been made to the 1895 Constitution (in 1966 there were 330 amendments). Amendments have been created to comply with Federal acts, and for many other issues. The most recent was in 1988. The volume of amendments makes South Carolina's Constitution one of the longest in the nation.
Like most Southern states, South Carolina consistently voted Democratic in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century as a part of the Democrats' Solid South. The Republican Party became competitive in the 1960 presidential election when Richard Nixon lost the state to John F. Kennedy by just two percentage points. In 1964, Barry Goldwater became the first Republican to win the state since Reconstruction. Since then, South Carolina has voted for a Republican in every presidential election from 1964 to 2008, with the exception of 1976 when Jimmy Carter, from neighboring Georgia, won the state over Gerald Ford. John McCain won the state in 2008 with 54% of the statewide vote over Barack Obama. Republicans now hold the governor's office and eight of nine statewide offices, control both houses of legislature, and include both U.S. Senators, and four of six members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Every presidential election year, the South Carolina primary is the first such primary in the South and holds importance to both the Republicans and the Democrats. The primary is important to the Republicans because it is a conservative testing ground, and it holds importance to the Democrats because of the large proportion of African-Americans that vote in that primary. From 1980 to 2008 the winner in the Republican primary has gone on to become the party nominee.
In the 110th United States Congress, the South Carolina delegation to the U.S. Senate are:
South Carolina currently has six representatives in Congress:
A district map is found here.
Even though the state does not allow casino gambling, it did allow the operation of video poker machines throughout the state with approximately $2 billion dollars per year deposited into the state's coffers. However, at midnight on July 1, 2000, a law took effect which outlawed the operation, ownership and possession of video poker machines in the state with machines required to be shut off at that time and removed from within the state's borders by July 8 or owners of such machines would face criminal prosecution.
The state's personal income tax has a maximum marginal tax rate of 7 percent on taxable income of $13,351 and above.
State sales tax revenues are used exclusively for education. There is a general state sales tax rate of 6%, and some items have different rates; e.g., the tax is 3% on unprepared food items and 7% on sleeping accommodation rentals. Individuals 85 or older get a one-percent exclusion from the general sales tax. Counties may impose an additional 1% local option sales tax and other local sales taxes, and local governments may impose a local accommodations tax of up to 3%.
South Carolina imposes a casual excise tax of 5% on the fair market value of all motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, motors and airplanes transferred between individuals. The maximum casual excise tax is $300.
Property tax is administered and collected by local governments with assistance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Both real and personal property are subject to tax. Approximately two-thirds of county-levied property taxes are used for the support of public education. Municipalities levy a tax on property situated within the limits of the municipality for services provided by the municipality. The tax is paid by individuals, corporations and partnerships owning property within the state. Intangible personal property is exempt from taxation. There is no inheritance tax.
South Carolina is one of just three states that have not agreed to using competitive international math and language standards.
(In order of foundation date)
South Carolina hosts a diverse cohort of institutions of higher education, from large state-funded research universities to small colleges that cultivate a liberal arts, religious or military tradition.
Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston is the oldest institution of higher learning in South Carolina, the 13th oldest in the United States, and the first municipal college in the country. The College is in company with the Colonial Colleges as one the original and foundational institutions of higher education in the United States. Its founders include three signers of the United States Declaration of Independence and three signers of the United States Constitution. The College's historic campus, which is listed on the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places, forms an integral part of Charleston's colonial-era urban center. As one of the leading institutions of higher education in its class in the Southeastern United States, the College of Charleston is celebrated nationally for its focus on undergraduate education with strengths in Marine Biology, Classics, Art History and Historic Preservation. The Graduate School of the College of Charleston, offers a number of degree programs and coordinates support for its nationally recognized faculty research efforts. According to the Princeton Review, C of C is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education and U.S. News and World Report regularly ranks C of C among the best masters level universities in the South. C of C presently enrolls approximately 10,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students.
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational, research university located in Columbia. The University's campus covers over 359 acres (1.5 km2) in the urban core less than one city block from the South Carolina State House. The University of South Carolina maintains an enrollment of over 27,000 students on the Columbia campus. The institution was founded in 1801 as South Carolina College in an effort to promote harmony between the Lowcountry and the Upstate. The College became a symbol of the South in the antebellum period as its graduates were on the forefront of secession from the Union. From the Civil War to World War II, the institution lacked a clear direction and was constantly reorganized to meet the needs of the political power in office. In 1957, the University expanded its reach through the University of South Carolina System.
Furman University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian, liberal arts university in Greenville. Founded in 1826, Furman enrolls approximately 2,600 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. Furman is the largest private institution in South Carolina. The university is primarily focused on undergraduate education (only two departments, education and chemistry, offer graduate degrees).
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston. Founded in 1842, the college is best known for its undergraduate Corps of Cadets military program for men and women, which combines academics, physical challenges and military discipline. In addition to the cadet program, civilian programs are offered through the Citadel's College of Graduate and Professional Studies with its evening undergraduate and graduate programs. The Citadel enrolls almost 2,000 undergraduate cadets in its residential military program and 1,200 civilian students in the evening programs.
Wofford College is a small liberal arts college located in Spartanburg. Wofford was founded in 1854 with a bequest of $100,000 from the Rev. Benjamin Wofford (1780–1850), a Methodist minister and Spartanburg native who sought to create a college for "literary, classical, and scientific education in my native district of Spartanburg." Wofford is one of the few four-year institutions in the southeastern United States founded before the American Civil War and still operating on its original campus.
Presbyterian College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1880 in Clinton. Presbyterian College, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, and enrolls around 1300 undergraduate students. In 2007, Washington Monthly ranked PC as the #1 Liberal Arts College in the nation.
Winthrop University, founded in 1886 as a woman's only teaching school, it became a co-ed institution in 1974. Winthrop is now a public university that has an enrollment of just over 6,000 students. It is currently one of the fastest growing universities in the state, with several new academic and recreational buildings being added to the main campus in the past 5 years, as well as several more planned for the near future. The Richard W. Riley College of Education is still the school's most well known area of study.
Clemson University, founded in 1889 is a public, coeducational, land-grant research university located in Clemson. Clemson The University currently enrolls more than 17,000 students from all 50 states and from more than 70 countries. Clemson is currently in the process of expanding, by adding the CU-ICAR, or the Center for Automotive Research, in partnership with BMW and Michelin. The facility will offer an M.S. and Ph. D in Automotive Engineering. Clemson is also the home to the South Carolina Botanical Garden.
South Carolina State University, founded in 1896, is a historically Black university located in Orangeburg. It is the only state-supported land grant institution in the state of South Carolina. SCSU has a current enrollment of nearly 5,000, and offers undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees. SCSU boasts the only Doctor of Education program in the state.
Anderson University, founded in 1911 is a selective comprehensive university located in Anderson, offering bachelors and masters degrees in approximately 50 areas of study. Anderson University currently enrolls around 2,300 students.
Bob Jones University, founded in 1927, is a non-denominational University founded on fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Originally based in Florida, after a move to Tennessee, the school finally settled in South Carolina. With 5000 students, the school is larger than Wofford, Furman and Presbyterian College. BJU also offers over 115 undergraduate majors and has over 70 graduate programs.
For overall health care, South Carolina is ranked 33rd out of the 50 states, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a private health foundation working to improve the health care system. The state’s teen birth rate was 53 births per 1000 teens, compared to the average of 41.9 births for the US, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The state’s infant mortality rate was 9.4 deaths per 1000 births compared to the US average of 6.9 deaths. There were 2.6 physicians per 1000 people compared to the US average of 3.2 physicians. There was $5114 spent on health expenses per capita in the state, compared to the US average of $5283. There were 26 percent of children and 13 percent of elderly living in poverty in the state, compared to 23 percent and 13 percent, respectively, doing so in the US. And, 34 percent of children were overweight or obese, compared to the US average of 32 percent.
South Carolina has no major professional franchise of the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS, or MLB located in the state; however the NFL's Carolina Panthers (based in Charlotte, North Carolina), and the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes (based in Raleigh, North Carolina) represent both North and South Carolina. In addition, the Panthers played their first season in Clemson, and maintain training facilities at Wofford College in Spartanburg. There are numerous minor league teams that are either based in the state, or play much of their schedule within its borders. The Charlotte Knights, an AAA minor league baseball team, play at a stadium in Fort Mill, South Carolina, just across the border from Charlotte. Another minor league franchise is the USL Division 1 Soccer team, the Charleston Battery. The team plays in the soccer-specific Blackbaud Stadium, located on Daniel Island in Charleston. Currently, only Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston still boast any other level (in each case single-A) of professional baseball. Curiously enough, for a state where natural ice is a rarity, professional ice hockey has been popular in a number of areas of the state since the 1990s. Though 4 teams competed at one time in South Carolina, the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) currently oversees operations of only two franchises, one, the Columbia Inferno, the other, the South Carolina Stingrays (who play in Charleston). According to the league, however, Myrtle Beach is slated to receive a franchise when their new arena is completed in 2008/9.
College sports in particular are very big in South Carolina. Clemson University's Tigers and the University of South Carolina's Gamecocks regularly draw more than 80,000 spectators at the schools' home football games. Smaller universities located in South Carolina also have very competitive sports programs, including The Citadel, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, Francis Marion, Furman, Anderson University, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Lander University, SC State, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College, USC Upstate, Winthrop, Wofford.
NASCAR racing was born in the South, and South Carolina has in the past hosted some very important NASCAR races, at the Darlington Raceway. Darlington Raceway still has the one NASCAR race weekend, usually Mother's Day weekend. All four of NASCAR's series come to Darlington including Whelen, Camping World Trucks, Nationwide Cars, and Sprint Cup cars.
South Carolina is a popular golf destination. With nearly one hundred golf courses, the Grand Strand region has more public golf courses per capita than any other place in the country. Some have hosted PGA and LGPA events in the past, but most have been designed for the casual golfer. Hilton Head Island & Kiawah Island have several very nice golf courses and host professional events every year. The upstate of South Carolina also has many nice golf courses, most of the nicer courses are private including the Cliff's courses and Cross Creek Plantation (the Cliff's courses host the annual BMW PRO/AM that brings many celebrities and professionals to South Carolina. Cross Creek Plantation located in Seneca, also private hosted a PGA Qualifier in the 90's). In 2007, "The Ocean Course" On Kiawah Island was ranked #1 in Golf Digest Magazine's "America's 50 Toughest Golf Courses" and #38 on their "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses".
Watersports are also an extremely popular activity in South Carolina. With a large coast line, South Carolina has many different beach activities such as surfing, boogie boarding, deep sea fishing, and shrimping. The Pee Dee region of the state offers exceptional fishing. Some of the largest catfish ever caught were caught in the Santee Lakes. The Upstate of South Carolina also offers outstanding water activities. The Midlands region also offers water-based recreation revolving around Lakes Marion and Murray and such rivers as the Congaree, Saluda, Broad, and Edisto.
While there are no race tracks with betting in South Carolina there is significant horse training activity, particularly in Aiken and Camden, which hold steeplechase races.
Professional bass fishing tournaments are also found in South Carolina. Lake Hartwell, Lake Wylie, and Lake Murray both host Bassmaster Classic tournaments.
Some of the most influential individuals in American life from South Carolina include:
Prohibition was a major issue in the state's history. Voters endorsed prohibition in 1892 but instead were given the "Dispensary System" of state-owned liquor stores, They soon became symbols of political corruption controlled by Ben Tillman's machine and were shut down in 1907. Today, the retail sale of liquor statewide is permitted from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday — Saturday, and Sunday sales are banned by state law. However, counties and/or cities may hold referendums to allow Sunday sales of beer and wine only. Seven counties currently allow Sunday beer and wine sales; Richland, Lexington, Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort, Horry, and York. Cities and towns that have passed laws allowing Sunday beer and wine sales include Columbia, Spartanburg, Greenville, Aiken, Rock Hill, Summerville, Santee, Daniel Island and Tega Cay.
While there are no dry counties in South Carolina, and retail liquor sales are uniform statewide, certain counties may enforce time restrictions for beer and wine sales in stores (e.g., no sales after 2 a.m. in Pickens County) while others do not (in-store beer and wine sales are allowed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Charleston). Columbia, the state's capital, largest city, and the home of the University of South Carolina, takes one of the more relaxed stances on alcohol sales in bars compared to other cities in the state. Many bars, especially those catering to younger crowds in the busy Five Points district, serve alcohol until sunrise, and it is not unheard of for bars and clubs to serve alcohol until 7 or 8 a.m., although the legality of this practice is questionable. In Greenville city limits, it is illegal to serve alcohol after 2 a.m. at bars and restaurants unless the establishment continues to serve food. There are a few bars that take advantage of this loophole.
Before 2006, South Carolina was infamous amongst tourists and residents alike for being the last state in the nation to require cocktails and liquor drinks to be mixed using minibottles, like those found on airplanes, instead of from free-pour bottles. The original logic behind this law was twofold: it made alcohol taxation simpler and allowed bar patrons to receive a standardized amount of alcohol in each drink. However, minibottles contain 1.75 oz (52 ml) of alcohol, approximately 30% more than the typical 1.2 oz (35 ml) found in free-pour drinks, with the obvious result of overly strong cocktails and inebriated bar customers. The law was changed in 2006 to allow both free-pour and minibottles in bars, and the vast majority of bars quickly eschewed minibottles in favor of free-pour.
As of May 2009, there are four South Carolina counties and 22 cities and towns with smoke-free laws: