List of counties in South Carolina

The U.S. state of South Carolina is made up of 46 counties, the maximum allowable by state law.[1] They range in size from 359 square miles (930 square kilometers) in the case of Calhoun County to 1,358 square miles (3,517 square kilometers) in the case of Charleston County. The least populous county is McCormick County, with only 9,958 residents, while the most populous county is Greenville County, with a population of 498,776, despite the state's most populous city, Columbia, being located in Richland County.

Counties of South Carolina
LocationState of South Carolina
Populations9,958 (McCormick) – 498,766 (Greenville)
Areas392 square miles (1,020 km2) (Calhoun) – 1,358 square miles (3,520 km2) (Charleston)
GovernmentCounty government
Subdivisionscities, towns, unincorporated communities, census designated place


In the colonial period, the land around the coast was divided into parishes corresponding to the parishes of the Church of England. There were also several counties that had judicial and electoral functions. As people settled the backcountry, judicial districts and additional counties were formed. This structure continued and grew after the Revolutionary War. In 1800, all counties were renamed as districts. In 1868, the districts were converted back to counties.[2] The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has maps that show the boundaries of counties, districts, and parishes starting in 1682.[3]

Alphabetical list

FIPS code[4] County seat[5] Est.[5] Origin Etymology Population Area Map
Abbeville County 001 Abbeville1785Ninety-Six DistrictAbbeville, France 24,872 511 sq mi
(1,323 km2)
Aiken County 003 Aiken1871Barnwell, Edgefield, Lexington, and OrangeburgWilliam Aiken, founder of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company 167,458 1,080 sq mi
(2,797 km2)
Allendale County 005 Allendale1919Barnwell and HamptonP.H. Allen, first postmaster of the new county 9,045 413 sq mi
(1,070 km2)
Anderson County 007 Anderson1826Pendleton DistrictRobert Anderson, American Revolutionary War general and Southern surveyor 196,569 757 sq mi
(1,961 km2)
Bamberg County 009 Bamberg1897BarnwellFrancis Marion Bamberg (1838 - 1905), Confederate general in the American Civil War 14,434 395 sq mi
(1,023 km2)
Barnwell County 011 Barnwell1798OrangeburgJohn Barnwell, South Carolina State Senator and prisoner of war during the American Revolution 21,483 557 sq mi
(1,443 km2)
Beaufort County 013 Beaufort17691769 Judicial DistrictHenry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort, colonial proprietary landowner 183,149 576 sq mi
(1,492 km2)
Berkeley County 015 Moncks Corner1882CharlestonWilliam Berkeley, colonial proprietary governor and landowner 210,898 1,228 sq mi
(3,181 km2)
Calhoun County 017 St. Matthews1908Lexington and OrangeburgJohn C. Calhoun, U.S. Senator from South Carolina and states' rights advocate 14,796 392 sq mi
(1,015 km2)
Charleston County 019 Charleston17691769 Judicial DistrictKing Charles II of England 396,484 1,358 sq mi
(3,517 km2)
Cherokee County 021 Gaffney1897Spartanburg, Union, and YorkCherokee Native Americans 56,646 397 sq mi
(1,028 km2)
Chester County 023 Chester1785Camden DistrictChester, Pennsylvania 32,181 586 sq mi
(1,518 km2)
Chesterfield County 025 Chesterfield1798Cheraws DistrictPhilip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, an Enlightenment-era scholar, government official, and member of the British House of Lords 46,013 806 sq mi
(2,088 km2)
Clarendon County 027 Manning1855SumterEdward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, colonial proprietary landowner 33,951 696 sq mi
(1,803 km2)
Colleton County 029 Walterboro1800CharlestonJohn Colleton, colonial proprietary landowner 37,923 1,133 sq mi
(2,934 km2)
Darlington County 031 Darlington1785Cheraws DistrictDarlington, England 67,234 567 sq mi
(1,469 km2)
Dillon County 033 Dillon1910MarionJ.W. Dillon, founder of the Wilson Short Cut Railroad 30,858 407 sq mi
(1,054 km2)
Dorchester County 035 St. George1868Berkeley and ColletonDorchester, Massachusetts 153,773 577 sq mi
(1,494 km2)
Edgefield County 037 Edgefield1785Ninety-Six DistrictDisputed; either its location on the edge of the state or Edgefield, Norfolk, England 26,358 507 sq mi
(1,313 km2)
Fairfield County 039 Winnsboro1785Camden DistrictThe county's fair fields, as described by colonial governor Charles Cornwallis 22,653 710 sq mi
(1,839 km2)
Florence County 041 Florence1888Clarendon, Darlington, Marion, and WilliamsburgFlorence Harllee, daughter of Wilmington and Manchester Railroad founder W.W. Harllee 138,742 804 sq mi
(2,082 km2)
Georgetown County 043 Georgetown17691769 Judicial DistrictKing George II of Great Britain 61,399 813.55 sq mi
(2,107 km2)
Greenville County 045 Greenville1786Washington DistrictNathanael Greene, Revolutionary War general 498,766 795 sq mi
(2,059 km2)
Greenwood County 047 Greenwood1897Abbeville and EdgefieldGreenwood Plantation, the home of John McGee, the county's largest landowner 70,133 463 sq mi
(1,199 km2)
Hampton County 049 Hampton1787BeaufortWade Hampton, Congressman from South Carolina and once the nation's wealthiest citizen 19,922 563 sq mi
(1,458 km2)
Horry County 051 Conway1801GeorgetownPeter Horry, Revolutionary War general 322,342 1,255 sq mi
(3,250 km2)
Jasper County 053 Ridgeland1912Beaufort and HamptonWilliam Jasper, Revolutionary War sergeant 28,465 700 sq mi
(1,813 km2)
Kershaw County 055 Camden1798Claremont, Fairfield, Lancaster, and RichlandJoseph Kershaw, one of the county's pioneering settlers 64,097 740 sq mi
(1,917 km2)
Lancaster County 057 Lancaster1798Camden DistrictLancaster, England, and the House of Lancaster [6] 89,594 555 sq mi
(1,437 km2)
Laurens County 059 Laurens1785Ninety-Six DistrictHenry Laurens, president of the Second Continental Congress and prisoner of war during the American Revolution 66,777 724 sq mi
(1,875 km2)
Lee County 061 Bishopville1902Darlington, Kershaw, and SumterRobert E. Lee, Confederate general during the Civil War 17,635 411 sq mi
(1,064 km2)
Lexington County 063 Lexington1804OrangeburgBattle of Lexington, opening skirmish of the Revolutionary War 286,196 758 sq mi
(1,963 km2)
Marion County 067 Marion1800GeorgetownFrancis Marion, Revolutionary War general 31,726 494 sq mi
(1,279 km2)
Marlboro County 069 Bennettsville1785Cheraws DistrictJohn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, English general, diplomat, and confidant of monarchs 26,945 485 sq mi
(1,256 km2)
McCormick County 065 McCormick1914Abbeville, Edgefield, and GreenwoodCyrus McCormick, inventor of the mechanical reaper and founder of International Harvester 9,643 394 sq mi
(1,020 km2)
Newberry County 071 Newberry1785Ninety-Six DistrictDisputed; possibly Newbury, Berkshire, England, or from early settlers' notion that the landscape was as "pretty as a new berry" 38,079 647 sq mi
(1,676 km2)
Oconee County 073 Walhalla1868PickensOconee Native Americans 76,355 674 sq mi
(1,746 km2)
Orangeburg County 075 Orangeburg17691769 Judicial DistrictPrince William V of Orange 87,903 1,128 sq mi
(2,922 km2)
Pickens County 077 Pickens1826Pendleton DistrictAndrew Pickens, Governor of South Carolina 122,863 512 sq mi
(1,326 km2)
Richland County 079 Columbia1799Camden DistrictThe county's rich soil 409,549 772 sq mi
(1,999 km2)
Saluda County 081 Saluda1896EdgefieldSaluda River 20,197 462 sq mi
(1,197 km2)
Spartanburg County 083 Spartanburg1785Ninety-Six District"Spartan Regiment" of the state militia, which was the key force for victory in the Revolutionary War Battle of Cowpens 301,463 819 sq mi
(2,121 km2)
Sumter County 085 Sumter1798Claremont, Clarendon, and SalemThomas Sumter, Revolutionary War general and U.S. Senator from South Carolina 107,396 682 sq mi
(1,766 km2)
Union County 087 Union1798Ninety-Six DistrictUnion Church, the first Christian place of worship in the area 27,673 516 sq mi
(1,336 km2)
Williamsburg County 089 Kingstree1802Georgetown DistrictKing William III of England 31,955 937 sq mi
(2,427 km2)
York County 091 York1798Camden DistrictYork County, Pennsylvania 258,526 696 sq mi
(1,803 km2)

Defunct parishes, counties and districts


Until the late 19th century, the South Carolina Lowcountry was divided into parishes which in turn were subdivided several "districts"; these civil parishes were based on and generally coincident (even well after disestablishment) with Anglican ecclesiastical parishes.[7]

  • St. Helena's Parish (Beaufort District)
  • St. Luke's Parish (Beaufort District) created on May 23, 1767, located on Hilton Head Island and the adjacent mainland
  • St. Peter's Parish (Beaufort District)
  • Prince William Parish (Beaufort District)
  • St. Andrew's Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. Bartholomew's Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. John's Colleton Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. George's Dorchester Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. Philip's & St. Michael's Parish (Charleston District)
  • Christchurch Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. James' Goose Creek Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. Thomas' & St. Denis' Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. John's Berkeley Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. Stephen's Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. James' Santee Parish (Charleston District)
  • St. Paul's Parish (Charleston District)
  • All Saints' Parish (Georgetown District)
  • Prince George, Winyah, Parish (Georgetown District)
  • Prince Frederick Parish (Georgetown District)
  • St. David's Parish (Cheraw District)
  • St. Mark's Parish (Cheraw District)
  • St. Matthew's Parish (Orangeburgh District)



Proposed counties

  • Birch County proposed in 2013 (portions of Lexington and Richland counties)


  1. Section 3, Article VIII of the South Carolina Constitution Archived January 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Edgar, Walter, ed. The South Carolina Encyclopedia, University of South Carolina Press, 2006, pp. 230-234, ISBN 1-57003-598-9
  3. South Carolina Department of Archives and History maps.
  4. "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". EPA. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
  5. National Association of Counties. "NACo - Find a county". Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
  6. "History of Lancaster", Lancaster County, South Carolina Archived May 15, 2019, at the Wayback Machine
  7. The Newberry Library (2009). "South Carolina: Individual County Chronologies, South Carolina Atlas of Historical County Boundaries". Chicago, Illinois, US. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  8. "Winton, California (CA 95388) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders". Retrieved February 25, 2019.


  • Landrum, John Belton O'Neall (1897) Colonial and revolutionary history of upper South Carolina: embracing for the most part the primitive and colonial history of the territory comprising the original county of Spartanburg with a general review of the entire military operations in the upper portion of South Carolina and portions of North Carolina Shannon and Company, Greenville, South Carolina, OCLC 3492548

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