Georgetown County, South Carolina

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Georgetown County, South Carolina
Harbor at Georgetown, SC IMG 4512.JPG
Glimpse of the harbor in Georgetown
Seal of Georgetown County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Georgetown 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 1769
Seat Georgetown
Largest city Georgetown
 • Total 1,035 sq mi (2,681 km2)
 • Land 814 sq mi (2,108 km2)
 • Water 221 sq mi (572 km2), 21%
 • (2010) 60,158
 • Density 74/sq mi (29/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Georgetown County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 60,158.[1] Its county seat is Georgetown.[2] The county was founded in 1769. It is named for George III of the United Kingdom.[3]

Georgetown County comprises the Georgetown, SC Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC-NC Combined Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,035 square miles (2,680 km2), of which 814 square miles (2,110 km2) is land and 221 square miles (570 km2) (21%) is water.[4]

Georgetown County has several rivers, including the Great Pee Dee River, the Waccamaw River, Black River, and Sampit River, all of which flow into Winyah Bay. The Santee River, which forms the southern boundary of the county, empties directly into the Atlantic. The Intracoastal Waterway crosses the county and Winyah Bay. The rivers and the bay have had a decisive effect on human development of the area, especially as the city of Georgetown has an excellent seaport and harbor.

Georgetown County is a diverse county with four distinct areas:

1. The Atlantic coastline, also called Waccamaw Neck, including the communities of Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island and DeBordieu, is part of "The Grand Strand" (beach), which includes Myrtle Beach to the north. The Georgetown County part of the Grand Strand used to be rural, but is exploding with development today. Condos line the shoreline at Litchfield, and many of the old cottages at Pawleys are being demolished for larger houses. DeBordieu is a gated community.

Winnowing house, Mansfield Plantation, Georgetown County

Empty beachfront has disappeared and wild areas are rapidly vanishing. A few wilder areas are being saved, as these provide critical habitat as part of the Atlantic Flyway for migratory birds. Huntington Beach State Park preserves some of the coastline and coastal marshes in the northern section, with nearby Brookgreen Gardens preserving a historical rice plantation and some forest. Brookgreen Gardens, with a nature center and many outdoor sculptures, is a popular tourist spot.

The University of South Carolina and Clemson University maintain the Belle W. Baruch research site at Hobcaw Barony on Waccamaw Neck. The islands around the outlet of Winyah Bay are designated as the "Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Heritage Preserve". This area is home to the northernmost naturally occurring hammocks of South Carolina's signature sabal palmetto tree.

2. The riverfronts have had little recent development. Such properties were once used for rice plantations, using a rice variety brought from Africa. After the Civil War, and the loss of slave labor, the plantations gradually ceased production. Today they are primarily wild areas, accessible only by boat. In some areas, the earthworks, such as dikes and water gates used for rice culture, still exist, as well as a few of the plantation houses. Litchfield Plantation has been redeveloped as a country inn; other properties have been developed as planned residential communities. Great blue herons, alligators, and an occasional bald eagle can be seen along the waterways. Fishing is a popular activity.

Fishing the Pee Dee off the old US 17 bridge near Georgetown

A tiny community accessible only by boat is on Sandy Island, in the Pee Dee River. Residents are descendants of slaves who worked plantations on the island, and they are trying to keep out development. Recently the Federal government began buying land along the rivers for the new Waccamaw Wildlife Refuge, which is intended to protect such wild areas. The headquarters of the refuge will be at Yauhannah in the northern part of the county.

3. Georgetown is a small historic city founded in colonial times. It is a popular tourist area and a port for shrimp boats. Yachting "snowbirds" are often seen at the docks in spring and fall; these people follow the seasons along the Intracoastal waterway.

4. The inland rural areas are thinly populated. Some upland areas are good for agriculture or forestry. Several Carolina bays are thought to be craters from a meteor shower. These areas are rich in biodiversity. Carvers Bay, the largest, was extensively damaged by use as a practice bombing range by US military forces during World War II. Draining of the bay has further damaged its environment.

International Paper Company on the Sampit River. It is the largest employer in Georgetown County.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 22,122
1800 22,938 3.7%
1810 15,679 −31.6%
1820 17,603 12.3%
1830 19,943 13.3%
1840 18,274 −8.4%
1850 20,647 13.0%
1860 21,305 3.2%
1870 16,161 −24.1%
1880 19,613 21.4%
1890 20,857 6.3%
1900 22,846 9.5%
1910 22,270 −2.5%
1920 21,716 −2.5%
1930 21,738 0.1%
1940 26,352 21.2%
1950 31,762 20.5%
1960 34,798 9.6%
1970 33,500 −3.7%
1980 42,461 26.7%
1990 46,302 9.0%
2000 55,797 20.5%
2010 60,158 7.8%
Est. 2014 60,773 [5] 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 55,797 people, 21,659 households, and 15,854 families residing in the county. The population density was 68 people per square mile (26/km²). There were 28,282 housing units at an average density of 35 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 59.69% White, 38.61% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. 1.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 21,659 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.10% were married couples living together, 15.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.80% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.20% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,312, and the median income for a family was $41,554. Males had a median income of $31,110 versus $20,910 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,805. About 13.40% of families and 17.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.80% of those under age 18 and 14.00% of those age 65 or over.

Quercus virginica, Live oak in winter. A pasture in Georgetown County.




Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

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. 136.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "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>
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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