Colleton County, South Carolina

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Colleton County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Colleton County
Location in the U.S. state of South Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting South Carolina
South Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1800
Named for Sir John Colleton, 1st Baronet
Seat Walterboro
Largest city Walterboro
 • Total 1,133 sq mi (2,934 km2)
 • Land 1,056 sq mi (2,735 km2)
 • Water 77 sq mi (199 km2), 6.8%
 • (2010) 38,892
 • Density 37/sq mi (14/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 6th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Colleton County is a county located in the Lowcountry region of the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 38,892.[1] Its county seat is Walterboro.[2] The county is named after Sir John Colleton, 1st Baronet,[3] one of the eight Lords Proprietor of the Province of Carolina. After two previous incarnations, the current Colleton County was created in 1800.[4]


In 1682, Colleton was created as one of the three original proprietary counties, located in the southwestern coastal portion of the new South Carolina Colony and bordering on the Combahee River.

In 1706, the county was divided between the new Saint Bartholomew and Saint Paul parishes. This area was developed for large plantations devoted to rice and indigo cultivation as commodity crops. The planters depended on the labor of African slaves transported to Charleston for that purpose. In the coastal areas, black slaves soon outnumbered white colonists, as they did across the colony by 1708.

In 1734, most of the coastal portion of Saint Paul's Parish was separated to form the new Saint John's Colleton Parish. In 1769, the three parishes were absorbed into the Charleston Judicial District, the southwestern portion of which was referred to as Saint Bartholomew's.

In 1800, the new Colleton District was formed from the western half of the Charleston District. In 1816, it annexed a small portion of northwestern Charleston District.

In 1868, under the Reconstruction era new state constitution, South Carolina districts were reorganized as counties. Officials were to be elected by the resident voters rather than by state officials, as was done previously, thus giving more democratic power to local residents.

In 1897, the northeastern portion of the county was separated to form the new Dorchester County, with its seat at Saint George.

In 1911, the portion of the county east of the Edisto River was annexed by Charleston County. In 1919 and again in 1920, tiny portions of northwestern Colleton County were annexed to Bamberg County.

In March 1975, the town of Edisto Beach was annexed to Colleton County from Charleston County, thus bringing the county to its present size.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,133 square miles (2,930 km2), of which 1,056 square miles (2,740 km2) is land and 77 square miles (200 km2) (6.8%) is water.[5] It is the fifth-largest county in South Carolina by land area and fourth-largest by total area.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 24,903
1810 26,359 5.8%
1820 26,404 0.2%
1830 27,256 3.2%
1840 25,548 −6.3%
1850 39,505 54.6%
1860 41,916 6.1%
1870 25,410 −39.4%
1880 38,386 51.1%
1890 40,293 5.0%
1900 33,452 −17.0%
1910 35,390 5.8%
1920 29,897 −15.5%
1930 25,821 −13.6%
1940 26,268 1.7%
1950 28,242 7.5%
1960 27,816 −1.5%
1970 27,622 −0.7%
1980 31,776 15.0%
1990 34,377 8.2%
2000 38,264 11.3%
2010 38,892 1.6%
Est. 2014 37,771 [6] −2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 38,264 people, 14,470 households, and 10,490 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 18,129 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 55.52% White, 42.18% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,470 households out of which 33.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.10% were married couples living together, 16.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.50% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,733, and the median income for a family was $34,169. Males had a median income of $28,518 versus $19,228 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,831. About 17.30% of families and 21.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.70% of those under age 18 and 19.10% of those age 65 or over.

According to the 2000 Census, the Colleton County population is nearly 75% rural, with the exception of the Walterboro Urban Cluster (2000 pop.: 10,064). The total county population is also designated as the Walterboro Micropolitan Statistical Area.


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 87.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "South Carolina: Individual County Chronologies". South Carolina Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 16, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 16, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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