Beaufort County, South Carolina
|Beaufort County, South Carolina|
Location in the state of South Carolina
South Carolina's location in the U.S.
|Largest city||Hilton Head Island|
|• Total||923 sq mi (2,391 km2)|
|• Land||587 sq mi (1,520 km2)|
|• Water||336 sq mi (870 km2), 36.41%|
|• Density||276/sq mi (106.7/km²)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 6th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Beaufort County is included in the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Beaufort County is one of the South's fastest-growing counties, primarily because of development south of the Broad River clustered along the U.S. Highway 278 corridor. The northern portions of the county have also grown steadily, due in part to the strong federal military presence around the city of Beaufort.
The two portions of the county are physically connected via the Broad River Bridge, which carries South Carolina Highway 170. Despite the connectivity, often the "north of Broad" and "south of Broad" populations of the county find each other at odds over county-wide issues dealing with growth management.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 923.4 square miles (2,391.6 km2), of which 576.3 square miles (1,492.6 km2) is land and 347.1 square miles (899.0 km2) (37.6%) is water.
- Colleton County, South Carolina - north
- Jasper County, South Carolina - west
- Hampton County, South Carolina - northwest
||Hampton County||Colleton County|
|Jasper County||Atlantic Ocean|
National protected areas
- Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
From the early days of plantations, African slaves outnumbered the European minority in the colony. The plantations on the Sea Islands had especially large concentrations of slaves, and frequently limited interaction with whites. The islands were sites of the development of the Gullah culture, which preserved elements from a variety of West African roots; the people also developed the Gullah language, a creole language. The county was majority black nearly to the mid-20th century.
Union troops took control of Beaufort County and occupied the area beginning in 1861. Many slaves escaped and went to Union lines. In some cases, planters had moved inland for refuge, leaving their slaves on the Sea Islands. Slaves began to organize schools and other parts of their communities early in the war in this county, especially on the islands. The Army founded Mitchellville on Hilton Head by March 1863 as a village where blacks could practice self-governance, and in 1865 it had 1500 residents. After the war this land was reclaimed by the Drayton family for their own use. In some cases the Union Army allocated plots for blacks for housing and cultivating crops.
When freedmen were granted citizenship and the franchise after the American Civil War by constitutional amendments, most joined the Republican Party. Although not the only black majority state, South Carolina was the only southern state during Reconstruction to elect a black majority of representatives to the state legislature. Beaufort County had many prominent black leaders, such as Robert Small, Jonathan Jasper Wright, William J. Whipper, Julius I. Washington, and Thomas E. Miller.
Increasing violence during election campaigns in the state from 1868 on was used by white insurgents and paramilitary groups to suppress black voting; results were also dependent on fraud. In 1876 the Democrats regained control of the state legislature and governor's office, although results were disputed. While black Republicans continued to be elected to local office in Beaufort County and other areas through the next decades, in 1895 the Democrat-dominated state legislature passed a new constitution that effectively disfranchised most blacks through making voter registration and voting more difficult. They were excluded from the political system and kept in second-class status for decades. In 1903 the county "was reported to have 3,434 literate black males to 927 whites," but due to the discriminatory practices, nearly all blacks were barred from voting.
From 1900 through 1950, Beaufort County's economy suffered from the decline in agriculture, which together with oppressive social conditions of Jim Crow contributed to the blacks making a Great Migration out of the South. African Americans went to northern and midwestern industrial cities for jobs and became an urbanized population. The total county population of 35,495 in 1900 dropped by more than one third to 1930, and did not reach the 1900 population level again until well after 1950, when the population was 26,933. Southern Democrats in Congress helped gain the establishment of military installations in the county and state, which added more population and stimulated area jobs in the second half of the 20th century.
In addition, vacation and resort areas were developed that attracted increasing numbers of tourists through the winter season, and then others all year-round as retirees.
As of the census of 2000, there were 120,937 people, 45,532 households, and 33,056 families residing in the county. The population density was 206 people per square mile (80/km²). There were 60,509 housing units at an average density of 103 per square mile (40/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 70.66% White, 23.98% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.84% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. 6.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 45,532 households out of which 30.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 12.00% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $46,992, and the median income for a family was $52,704. Males had a median income of $30,541 versus $25,284 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,377. About 8.00% of families and 10.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Some islands are also towns.
- Barataria Island
- Bull Island
- Callawassie Island
- Cane Island
- Coosaw Island
- Dataw Island
- Daufuskie Island
- Fripp Island
- Grays Hill
- Harbor Island
- Hilton Head Island
- Hunting Island
- Lady's Island
- Lemon Island
- Little Capers Island (uninhabited)
- Morgan Island
- Parris Island
- Poppy Hill
- Port Royal Island
- Pritchard Island (uninhabited research station)
- Saint Helena Island
- Spring Island
- St. Phillips Island
- Warsaw Island
- Robert Smalls, politician
- Pat Conroy, author
- Joe Frazier, boxer
- Candice Glover, American Idol Season 12 winner
- Bob Inglis, politician
- Greg Jones, football player
- James Saxon, football player
- Duncan Sheik, musician
- Wayne Simmons, football player
- Stan Smith, tennis player
- D. J. Trahan, golfer
- Kathryn R. Wall, American author of mystery novels
In popular culture
- The Big Chill
- Forrest Gump
- The Prince of Tides
- Full Metal Jacket
- The Great Santini
- The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy
- The Tara Rumor
- Commandment Keeper Church
- To Live as a Free Man
- Les Marines
- Daughters of the Dust
- The War
- The Jungle Book
- Something to Talk About
- White Squall
- Last Dance
- The Simpsons Movie
- Gone Fishin'
- G.I. Jane
- Forces of Nature
- Rules of Engagement
- The Legend of Bagger Vance
- Because of Winn Dixie
- In For a Penny
- And Not a Penny More
- Perdition House
- Judas Island
- Resurrection Road
- Bishop's Reach
- Sanctuary Hill
- The Mercy Oak
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Giselle White-Perry, "The Reconstruction Legacy of Renty Franklin Greaves of Beaufort County, South Carolina", Prologue Magazine, Fall 2010, Vol. 42, No. 3, accessed 14 November 2014
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "List of United States primary statistical areas". Retrieved 2013-03-29.
-  Accessed May 24, 2008.
- Lawrence S. Rowland; "The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina"; 1996, University of South Carolina Press, ISBN 1-57003-090-1.
- Beaufort County official website
- History and Nature of Beaufort County, South Carolina – Beaufort County Library
- Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Hilton Head - Bluffton Chamber of Commerce
- Beaufort County Information Page, from SCIway.net
- Beaufort County Library
- Arts Council of Beaufort County
- The Beaufort Gazette - Daily newspaper circulating primarily "north of the Broad"
- The Island Packet - Daily newspaper circulating primarily "south of the Broad"
- Beaufort Tourism Guide