Bamberg County, South Carolina
|Named for||Francis Marion Bamberg|
|• Total||396 sq mi (1,030 km2)|
|• Land||393 sq mi (1,020 km2)|
|• Water||2.2 sq mi (6 km2) 0.6%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||40/sq mi (16/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Bamberg County is a county located in the southwestern portion of U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,987, making the rural county the fourth-least populous of any in South Carolina. Its county seat is Bamberg.
Part of an agricultural area since the antebellum years, this upland area was developed for the cultivation of short-staple cotton. As a result, African Americans have comprised a large portion of the workers and population for much of the county's history.
The rural county was created from the eastern portion of Barnwell County, under the new South Carolina Constitution adopted in 1895; it included an article prescribing the process to establish new counties. The referendum on creating Bamberg County was held on January 19, 1897. The name Bamberg was selected to honor General Francis Marion Bamberg. In 1919 and again in 1920, tiny portions of northwestern Colleton County were annexed to Bamberg County.
The Bamberg county council is the governing body in the county. The council consists of seven members, elected from single-member districts:Sharon Hammond-District 2, Larry Haynes-District 3, Joe Guess, Jr- District 4, Isaiah Odom-District 5, Evert Comer, Jr- District 6, Clint Carter-District 7.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 396 square miles (1,030 km2), of which 393 square miles (1,020 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) (0.6%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in South Carolina by land area and third-smallest by total area.
- Orangeburg County – north
- Dorchester County – east
- Colleton County – southeast
- Hampton County – south
- Allendale County – southwest
- Barnwell County – west
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,658 people, 6,123 households, and 4,255 families living in the county. The population density was 42 people per square mile (16 per km2). There were 7,130 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (7per km2). The racial makeup of the county was 62.50% Black or African American, 36.47% White, 0.16% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. 0.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,123 households, out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.60% were married couples living together, 21.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.60% 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 3.10.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.40% under the age of 18, 12.90% from 18 to 24, 24.60% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 88.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $24,007, and the median income for a family was $29,360. Males had a median income of $25,524 versus $3 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,584. About 23.90% of families and 27.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 87.00% of those under age 18 and 80% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,987 people, 6,048 households, and 3,920 families living in the county. The population density was 40.6 inhabitants per square mile (15.7/km2). There were 7,716 housing units at an average density of 19.6 per square mile (7.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 61.5% black or African American, 36.1% white, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 5.1% were American, and 5.0% were German.
Of the 6,048 households, 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 21.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.2% were non-families, and 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.07. The median age was 39.3 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,538 and the median income for a family was $41,625. Males had a median income of $33,893 versus $27,324 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,236. About 23.6% of families and 29.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.7% of those under age 18 and 27.0% of those age 65 or over.
Prior to 1948, Bamberg County and South Carolina were Democratic Party strongholds similar to the rest of the Solid South, dominated by white Democrats. Most of the majority population of African Americans, who had supported the Republican Party during Reconstruction and the nineteenth century, had been disenfranchised by Democrats under the 1895 state constitution and related laws. These raised barriers to black voter registration and voting in South Carolina, as did similar laws across the South. After excluding blacks from the political system, the white-dominated legislature passed Jim Crow laws imposing legal segregation. Most blacks did not recover the ability to vote until years after passage of federal civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s.
As a result of the exclusion of black Republicans, white Democratic voters controlled elections in this state and others of the former Confederacy for decades, creating the Solid South. They elected Democratic presidential candidates by nearly unanimous margins of victory, while preserving all the power associated with apportionment based on total population.
The twenty years from 1948 to 1968 were transitional years for the politics of South Carolina and Bamberg County. President Harry Truman ordered integration of the military and took other initiatives on civil rights issues. Discontented with that direction, Southern Dixiecrat candidates twice carried the county, and Republican candidates carried the county three times in this timespan, twice before many African Americans began to vote.
Following Congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as a consequence of the civil rights movement, most African Americans in Bamberg County entered the Democratic Party, which had supported enforcement of their rights on the national level. But they did not get to full voting strength in the county until after the 1972 presidential election, in which conservative whites carried the county for incumbent Republican President Richard M. Nixon. He had gained considerable support among whites in the South, a sign of what has become a nearly total shifting of their alliance to the Republican Party. In elections since 1972, the majority of county voters, with the enfranchisement of African Americans, have backed a Republican presidential candidate only once, voting for the popular incumbent Ronald Reagan.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Bamberg County, South Carolina
- USS Bamberg County (LST-209)
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Article VII Archived 2009-03-31 at the Wayback Machine – Counties and County Government of the South Carolina Constitution
- Lawrence 2003: Chapter 6 – 1897–1899 Bamberg County Created.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- US Census Bureau Demographics Data
- "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DP02 Selected Social Characteristics in the United States – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DP03 Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- Lawrence, Margaret Spann (2003). Betty Jane Barker Miller (ed.). History of Bamberg County, South Carolina : commemorating one hundred years (1897–1997. Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Co. ISBN 0-87152-543-7. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- Copeland, D. Graham (1940). Many Years After : a bit of history and some recollections of Bamberg, with appendix of data concerning a few Bamberg County families and their connections. Retrieved 5 October 2014.