Horry County, South Carolina

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Horry County, South Carolina
New Horry County Courthouse and county office complex, Conway, South Carolina (18 November 2006).jpg
Horry County Government and Justice Center
Seal of Horry County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Horry 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 1801
Named for Peter Horry
Seat Conway
Largest city Myrtle Beach
 • Total 1,255 sq mi (3,250 km2)
 • Land 1,134 sq mi (2,937 km2)
 • Water 121 sq mi (313 km2), 9.6%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 309,199
 • Density 237/sq mi (92/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.horrycounty.org

Horry County (/ˈɒr/ ORR-ee) is a county in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 289,650,[1] making it the fifth-most populous county in South Carolina. The county seat is Conway.[2]

Horry County is the central county in the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, approximately 90 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina and approximately 130 miles east of the state capital, Columbia.


Horry County (pronounced O'Ree) was incorporated in 1801. At that time the county had an estimated population of 550. It was almost completely surrounded by water[citation needed], which forced the inhabitants to survive virtually without any assistance from the "outside world". This caused the county residents to become an extremely independent populace, and they named their county "The Independent Republic of Horry". The county was named after, and in honor of, Revolutionary War hero, Peter Horry[3] who was born in South Carolina sometime around 1743. Horry started his military career in 1775 as one of 20 captains, elected by the Provincial Congress of South Carolina, to serve the 1st and 2nd Regiments. In 1790 he was assigned to the South Carolina militia under Brigadier General Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion[4][5]

The population has increased more than fourfold since 1970, as the area has become a destination for retirees and people owning second homes. It has been developed for resorts and retirement communities. The majority-white residents have constituted a majority-Republican voter base since the late 20th century.

On October 29, 2012, the county paid homage to the man for whom the county is named. It commissioned a bronze sculpture of Peter Horry, installing it inside the Horry County Government and Justice Center. The sculpture was designed by Lubbock, Texas artist Garland Weeks. Coastal Monument of Conway, South Carolina designed the stone base. The base of the sculpture is inscribed with the names of the 1801 commissioners on one side and the names of 2011 Horry County Council members on the other side; a brief bio of General Peter Horry is on the front. It cost slightly more than $16,200 for both the bust/sculpture and the stone base.[6] [7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,255 square miles (3,250 km2), of which 1,134 square miles (2,940 km2) is land and 121 square miles (310 km2) (9.6%) is water.[8] It is the largest county by area in South Carolina. The highest point in the county is 124 ft. above sea level.[4]

Horry County is located in the northeastern corner of South Carolina. It is a diverse land made up of rivers, beaches, forest and swamps. Horry County is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Little Pee Dee River and Drowning Creek (also known as the Lumber River) on Horry's western side, and North Carolina to the north. Waccamaw River, approximately 140 miles (225 km) long, runs through southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina into Horry County. The river runs through the coastal plain, along the eastern border between the two states, and into the Atlantic Ocean.[9]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 4,349
1820 5,025 15.5%
1830 5,245 4.4%
1840 5,755 9.7%
1850 7,646 32.9%
1860 7,962 4.1%
1870 10,721 34.7%
1880 15,574 45.3%
1890 19,256 23.6%
1900 23,364 21.3%
1910 26,995 15.5%
1920 32,077 18.8%
1930 39,376 22.8%
1940 51,951 31.9%
1950 59,820 15.1%
1960 68,247 14.1%
1970 69,992 2.6%
1980 101,419 44.9%
1990 144,053 42.0%
2000 196,629 36.5%
2010 269,291 37.0%
Est. 2016 322,342 [10] 19.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2015[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 269,291 people, 112,225 households, and 72,254 families residing in the county.[15] The population density was 237.5 inhabitants per square mile (91.7/km2). There were 185,992 housing units at an average density of 164.0 per square mile (63.3/km2).[16] The racial makeup of the county was 79.9% white, 13.4% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.5% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 3.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 6.2% of the population.[15] In terms of ancestry, 15.3% were American, 13.4% were African American (which can include other ethnicities), 13.3% were Irish, 12.8% were German, 11.3% were English, and 6.1% were Italian.[17]

Of the 112,225 households, 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.6% were non-families, and 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 41.1 years.[15]

The median income for a household in the county was $43,142 and the median income for a family was $51,608. Males had a median income of $37,351 versus $29,525 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,811. About 11.6% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.[18]

Law and government[edit]

County Council[edit]

Horry County has a county council whose members represent 11 single-member districts within the county, with a chairman voted at-large. The county council usually meets at 6 p.m on first and third Tuesday of every month in the Council Chambers at the Horry County Government and Justice Center located at 1301 2nd Avenue in Conway.

County Council members[edit]

Name Political Affiliation District Term Expires
Mark Lazarus Republican Chairman 12/31/2018
Harold Worley Republican 1 12/31/2018
Bill Howard Republican 2 12/31/2018
Jimmy Washington Democrat 3 12/31/2016
Gary Loftus Republican 4 12/31/2016
Tyler Servant Republican 5 Vice Chairman 12/31/2018
Cam Crawford Republican 6 12/31/2016
Harold Philips Democrat 7 12/31/2016
Johnny Vaught Republican 8 12/31/2018
W. Paul Prince Republican 9 12/31/2016
Jody Prince Republican 10 12/31/2016
Al Allen Republican 11 12/31/2018
  • Patricia S. Hartley - Clerk to Council

Law enforcement[edit]

Horry County has its own police force, the Horry County Police Department, which provides 24-hour services to the unincorporated areas of the county. It is the only county police department in the State of South Carolina.[19] The Horry County Sheriff's Office is responsible for numerous tasks that include: courthouse security, processing of warrants, fingerprinting, registration of sex offenders, funeral escorts, background checks and managing the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.[20] The South Carolina Highway Patrol has a Troop 5 barracks located in Conway, and they provide services throughout the county.[21] Myrtle Beach, Conway, Briarcliffe Acres, Atlantic Beach, Surfside Beach, Loris, and Aynor all have their own Police Departments, which patrol within the relevant town or city's border. North Myrtle Beach has a Public Safety Department, which provides police and fire services in the city of North Myrtle Beach.[22]


In 2013, PTR Industries, a gunmaker,[23] relocated to the Cool Springs Business Park[24] near Aynor from Bristol, Connecticut. That state had passed restrictive gun control legislation following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Twenty-one PTR employees relocated from Bristol. The company said that it would hire an additional 30 workers in the first quarter of 2014, with a goal of having 120 employees by 2017.[25]



Mass transit[edit]

Major highways[edit]




Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 161. 
  4. ^ a b Horry County 2011-2012 Budget: Community Profile on page 24 Archived 2012-05-16 at the Wayback Machine. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Horry_County_2011-2012_Budget:Community_Profile_on_page_24" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  5. ^ Francis Marion (1732-1795)
  6. ^ Dickerson, Brad (29 October 2012). "Horry County honors its namesake". The Sun News. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Sculpture of Gen. Peter Horry being unveiled". Associated Press. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ A Historical Look at Horry County Archived 2012-06-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  16. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  17. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  18. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  19. ^ "Horry County Government: Police Department Info Page". horrycounty.org. Horry County Government. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Horry County Government: Sheriff's Office Info Page". horrycounty.org. Horry County Government. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  21. ^ Retrieved 2011-06-04
  22. ^ Retrieved 2011-06-04
  23. ^ PTR Industries
  24. ^ Cool Springs Business Park Archived 2014-01-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ Miller, Joshua (7 January 2014). "Locked & loaded: Gun maker finds warmer surroundings in South Carolina after leaving Connecticut". Fox News. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  26. ^ The Coast RTA

Further reading[edit]

  • Horry County, South Carolina, 1730-1993, Catherine Heniford Lewis, University of South Carolina Press, 1998, ISBN 1-57003-207-6

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°55′N 78°59′W / 33.91°N 78.98°W / 33.91; -78.98