Charleston County, South Carolina
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|Charleston County, South Carolina|
Charleston County Courthouse
Location in the state of South Carolina
South Carolina's location in the U.S.
|• Total||1,358 sq mi (3,517 km2)|
|• Land||919 sq mi (2,380 km2)|
|• Water||440 sq mi (1,140 km2), 32.37%|
|• Density||381/sq mi (147.1/km²)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 6th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Charleston County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 350,209, making it the third-most populous county in South Carolina (behind Greenville and Richland counties). Its county seat is Charleston. The county was created in 1901 by an act of the South Carolina State Legislature.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,358 square miles (3,517.2 km2), of which 916.1 square miles (2,372.7 km2) is land and 441.9 square miles (1,144.5 km2) (32.37%) is water. It is the largest county in South Carolina by total land and water area.
- Berkeley County, South Carolina - north
- Georgetown County, South Carolina - northeast
- Colleton County, South Carolina - west
- Dorchester County, South Carolina - northwest
National protected areas
- Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
- Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
- Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Fort Moultrie National Monument
- Fort Sumter National Monument
- Francis Marion National Forest (part)
As of the census of 2000, there were 309,969 people, 143,326 households, and 97,448 families residing in the county. The population density was 338 people per square mile (130/km²). There were 141,031 housing units at an average density of 154 per square mile (59/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 61.9% White, 34.5% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 2.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 9.6% were of American, 9.5% English, 9.1% German and 7.6% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 123,326 households out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.20% were married couples living together, 15.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.20% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 23.70% under the age of 18, 12.00% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 22.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $37,810, and the median income for a family was $47,139. Males had a median income of $32,681 versus $25,530 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,393. About 12.40% of families and 16.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.90% of those under age 18 and 12.70% of those age 65 or over.
In the 2000 census, the county population was classified as about 86% urban. The Charleston-North Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area includes the populations of Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties.
Charleston County has a county council, consisting of nine at-large seats. The council elects a chairman from its members for a limited term. Originally organized as nine single-member districts representing the positions, the county government adopted the election of members by at-large seats in a popular referendum in 1989. The majority-white population supported the proposal at a rate higher than the substantial African-American minority in the county.
In January 2001, the US Department of Justice filed suit against the county government for racial discrimination based on the at-large system, which the suit contended violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It had tried to negotiate with the county in November 2000. Justice officials noted that at-large seats dilute the voting strength of the African-American minority in the country, who in 2000 comprised 34.5% of the population; and they have been unable to elect candidates of their choice. Whites or European Americans comprise 61.9 percent of the population in the county. Since the late 20th century, the white majority has elected Republican Party candidates. County officials noted that the majority of voters had approved the at-large seats by a popular referendum in 1989.
The DOJ officials noted that the voting preference issue is not simply a question of ethnicity; voters in black precincts in the county had rejected an African American Republican as a candidate for the council; they supported the Democratic Party at-large candidate. The suit noted that historically, black and white precincts in Charleston County have consistently supported different candidates for the Council. It noted that, because of the white majority, "white bloc voting usually results in the defeat of candidates who are preferred by black voters." Blacks live in compact areas of the county and could comprise the majority in three districts if the county seats were apportioned again as nine single-member districts.
- James Island
- Johns Island
- Kiawah Island
- Mount Pleasant
- Seabrook Island
- Sullivan's Island
- West Ashley
- Awendaw Special Tax District - Made up of unincorporated parts of Northern Charleston County, the Town of Awendaw, and the Town of McClellanville.
- James Island Public Service District - Made up of unincorporated parts of the island.
- North Charleston Public Service District - Responsible for sewer lines and treatment in the City of North Charleston.
- St. John's Fire District - Serving Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, unincorporated John's Island, and Wadmalaw Island
- Saint Andrews Public Service District - Made up of unincorporated parts of West Ashley.
- St. Pauls Fire District - Made up of all of the Towns of Hollywood, Ravenel, Meggett and unincorporated parts of the southern end of Charleston County.
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC)  operates numerous facilities within Charleston County. For more information abouut CCPRC and their facilities visit www.charlestoncountyparks.com
- Kiawah Beachwalker County Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
- Isle of Palms County Park, Isle of Palms, South Carolina
- Folly Beach County Park, Folly Beach, South Carolina
- Folly Beach Fishing Pier, Folly Beach, South Carolina
- Mt. Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Marinas and boat landings:
- Cooper River Marina
- Multiple county-wide boat landings
- Palmetto Islands County Park, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
- Caw Caw Nature and History Interpretive Center, Ravenel, South Carolina
- North Charleston Wannamaker County Park, North Charleston, South Carolina
- Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, Johns Island, South Carolina
- James Island County Park, Charleston, South Carolina
- Splash Island at Palmetto Islands County Park
- Splash Zone at James Island County Park
- Whirlin' Waters at North Charleston Wannamaker County Park
Off-leash dog parks are offered at James Island, Palmetto Islands, and North Charleston Wannamaker County Park.
James Island County Park, approximately 11 minutes by car from downtown Charleston, features a 50-foot climbing wall and bouldering cave; cabin, RV, and tent camping facilities; rental facilities, fishing dock, challenge course, kayaking programs, summer camps, paved trails, and many special events such as the Lowcountry Cajun Festival (usually the first weekend in April), East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival (3rd weekend in April), Holiday Festival of Lights (mid-November through the first of the year), and the summer outdoor reggae concerts.
Volunteer Rescue Squad
The Volunteer Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization consisting of over 50 members and a medical control physician. Members are certified in a variety of emergency skills, including auto extrication, fire fighting, structural collapse/urban search and rescue, diving, large animal rescue, rural search and rescue, and high angle/ technical rescue. In addition, many squad members are First Responders, EMT's and Paramedics.
For more information, please visit the organization's Web site: http://www.chasrescue.com
- Pernessa C. Seele (1954- ), immunologist, founder and CEO of the Balm in Gilead, Inc., an international organization based in Harlem, New York for 30 years to promote religious communities' role in education and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and support of families.
- Also see List of people from Charleston, South Carolina for many more notable residents
- "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.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- DAVID FIRESTONE (19 January 2001). "U.S. Sues Charleston County, S.C., Alleging Violation of Black Voting Rights". New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
- Dorie J. Gilbert and Ednita M. Wright, African American Women and HIV/AIDS, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Company, 2003, p. 154, accessed 23 January 2009
|Wikisource has the text of an 1879 American Cyclopædia article about Charleston County, South Carolina.|