Newberry County, South Carolina

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Newberry County, South Carolina
Newberry County Courthouse.jpg
Newberry County Courthouse
Map of South Carolina highlighting Newberry County
Location in the state of South Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting South Carolina
South Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1785
Seat Newberry
Largest city Newberry
 • Total 647 sq mi (1,676 km2)
 • Land 630 sq mi (1,632 km2)
 • Water 17 sq mi (44 km2), 2.7%
 • (2010) 37,508
 • Density 60/sq mi (23/km²)
Congressional districts 3rd, 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Newberry County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 37,508.[1] Its county seat is Newberry.[2] The name is of unknown origin.

Newberry County comprises the Newberry, SC Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Columbia-Orangeburg-Newberry, SC Combined Statistical Area.


Newberry County was formed from Ninety Six District in 1785. Prior to its formal founding, the area was the site of several American Revolutionary War battles: Williams' Plantation, Dec. 31, 1780; Mud Lick, March 2, 1781; and Bush River, May 1781.[3] The town of Newberry was founded in 1789 as the county seat and was sometimes called Newberry Courthouse for that reason.

Originally settled by yeomen farmers, in the nineteenth century numerous plantations were established for the cultivation of short-staple cotton. Its processing had been made profitable by invention of the cotton gin. Cotton was the primary crop grown in Newberry County before the American Civil War, supported by the labor of enslaved African Americans, who comprised a majority of the population in the county. With numerous plantations yielding good revenue, planters formed the social elite of the county and city. Newberry was a trading town, and expanded with the arrival of the railroad in the early 1850s, which connected it to major towns and markets. Newberry College was established by the Lutheran Church in 1856.

The Civil War interrupted growth in the county; the warfare and loss of lives of many southern men disrupted the state economy. Emancipation of slaves after the war began to change the social order during Reconstruction. By the late 1870s, white Democrats had regained their political power in the state legislature. In the later 19th century, they passed a new constitution and other measures to disfranchise the blacks. White legislators passed Jim Crow laws enforcing racial segregation, which also lasted until the mid-1960s. This exclusion from politics lasted for most black residents until after the passage of civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s.

The first cotton mills were constructed in the county in the 1880s, and quickly became an important part of the economy and a source of jobs. For decades, jobs at the mills were limited to white workers.[4] With the mechanization of agriculture in the early 20th century, labor needs were reduced. Many rural blacks left the county and state to migrate to northern and midwestern industrial cities for work during the Great Migration, which had two waves, before and after World War II. Less noticeable were rural whites who departed for opportunities in southern urban and suburban locations.

Since the 1970s the population of Newberry County has been growing due to increasing local economic prosperity.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 647 square miles (1,680 km2), of which 630 square miles (1,600 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (2.7%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 9,342
1800 12,006 28.5%
1810 13,964 16.3%
1820 16,104 15.3%
1830 17,441 8.3%
1840 18,350 5.2%
1850 20,143 9.8%
1860 20,879 3.7%
1870 20,775 −0.5%
1880 26,497 27.5%
1890 26,434 −0.2%
1900 30,182 14.2%
1910 34,586 14.6%
1920 35,552 2.8%
1930 34,681 −2.4%
1940 33,577 −3.2%
1950 31,771 −5.4%
1960 29,416 −7.4%
1970 29,273 −0.5%
1980 31,242 6.7%
1990 33,172 6.2%
2000 36,108 8.9%
2010 37,508 3.9%
Est. 2014 37,783 [6] 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2000 census,[11] there were 36,108 people, 14,026 households and 9,804 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 16,805 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 64.02 percent White, 33.12 percent Black or African American, 0.28 percent Native American, 0.29 percent Asian, 0.09 percent Pacific Islander, 1.30 percent from other races, and 0.90 percent from two or more races. Some 4.25 percent of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,026 households out of which 30.4 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2 percent were married couples living together, 16.1 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1 percent were non-families. 26.5 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 12 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.5 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.1 percent under the age of 18, 9.8 percent from 18 to 24, 27.6 percent from 25 to 44, 23.7 percent from 45 to 64, and 14.7 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,867, and the median income for a family was $40,580. Males had a median income of $29,871 versus $21,274 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,045. About 13.6 percent of families and 17 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.8 percent of those under age 18 and 16 percent of those age 65 or over.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ South Carolina Revolutionary War Military Engagements, SCIWay
  4. ^ Newberry County History, Official Newberry County Historical Society website
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°17′N 81°36′W / 34.29°N 81.60°W / 34.29; -81.60