"Unrivaled Quality Of Life"
|Named for||Nathanael Greene|
|• County Administrator||Joseph M. Kernell|
|• Total||795 sq mi (2,060 km2)|
|• Land||785 sq mi (2,030 km2)|
|• Water||9.7 sq mi (25 km2) 1.2%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||680/sq mi (260/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||3rd, 4th|
Greenville County is located in the state of South Carolina, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 525,534,making it the most populous county in the state. Its county seat is Greenville. The county is also home to the Greenville County School District, the largest school system in South Carolina. County government is headquartered at Greenville County Square.
Greenville County is the most populous county in Upstate South Carolina, as well as the state. It is the central county of the Greenville-Anderson, SC metropolitan statistical area, which in turn is part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson combined statistical area.
In 1786, due to population growth in Ninety-Six District and the victory of the American Whigs over the British and their colonial Tory and Cherokee allies, the state legislature formed Greenville County (originally spelled Greeneville), named for General Nathanael Greene,the hero of the American southern campaign. Greenville County was the first county created in the overarching Ninety-Six District, but from 1791 to 1798, both neighboring Pendleton County (the other county formed from Cherokee territory in northwestern Ninety-Six District) and it were part of the new overarching Washington District. From 1798 to 1800, it was part of the short-lived overarching Pendleton District. In 1798, all counties were reidentified as "elective districts" to be effective on 1 January 1800; thereafter, the Greenville District was no longer part of Pendleton District. In 1868, the districts were converted back to counties.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 795 square miles (2,060 km2), of which 9.7 square miles (25 km2) (1.2%) are covered by water.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||87,124||16.58%|
|Hispanic or Latino||58,025||11.04%|
As of the 2020 United States census, 525,534 people, 199,551 households, and 130,296 families were residing in the county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, 451,225 people, 176,531 households, and 119,362 families were residing in the county. The population density was 574.7 inhabitants per square mile (221.9/km2). The 195,462 housing units had an average density of 249.0 per square mile (96.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 73.8% White, 18.1% African American, 2.0% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 8.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 13.0% were American, 11.6% were German, 10.9% were English, and 10.7% were Irish.
Of the 176,531 households, 33.7% had children under 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.4% were not families, and 27.0% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49, and the average family size was 3.03. The median age was 37.2 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $46,830 and for a family was $59,043. Males had a median income of $45,752 versus $33,429 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,931. About 10.8% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.
| Native Hawaiian and|
other Pacific Islander
|Two or more races||1.9%||2.0%|
As of 2016, the largest self-reported ancestry groups in Greenville County were:
|Largest ancestries (2016)||Percentage|
Greenville County is governed by a 12-member county council. The current county administrator is Joseph Kernell, whom the council appointed in January 2004 after voting in late 2003 to hire him. Kernell was previously the county administrator for St. Charles County, Missouri. Other staff hired by the council include a clerk and an attorney.
Council members are elected by voters in each of the 12 state legislative districts (17–28) within the county and serve staggered four-year terms.
|18||Michael F. Barnes||Greer||2016|
|19||Willis Meadows (chair)||Greenville||2006|
|20||Steve Shaw||Travelers Rest||2020|
|23||Xanthene Norris (chair pro tem)||Greenville||1997|
|25||Ennis M. Fant Jr||Greenville||2016 (1984)|
|28||Dan Tripp (vice chair)||Mauldin||2018|
From the latter half of the 20th century onward, Greenville County has voted overwhelmingly Republican in presidential elections. It has gone Republican in every presidential election since 1960, and in all but one election since 1952. Even Jimmy Carter of neighboring Georgia failed to win the county in 1976 despite winning the state. To date, Carter's two runs are the last times that a Democrat has managed even 40% of the county's vote, and one of only two official Democratic candidates to do so since 1948. In 2020, Joe Biden became the first Democrat to obtain over 100,000 votes in the county, and Donald Trump's 18.2% margin of victory was the lowest for any Republican since 1980. Biden came within 320 votes of being only the second Democrat in 72 years to win 40% of the county's vote.
The county also rejects Democrats at the state level; it was one of the first areas of the state where Republicans were able to break the long Democratic monopoly on state and local offices.
When Greenville County was formed in 1786, it was served by the sheriff of the Ninety Six District. A Washington District, including Greenville and Pendleton Counties, existed from 1791 to 1799. (Pendleton was split in 1826 into Pickens and Anderson Counties.) One of the district's first sheriffs, Revolutionary War hero Robert Maxwell, served from 1795 to 1797, when he was killed in an ambush.
Sheriffs in South Carolina were originally elected by the state legislature. In 1808, a law was enacted to provide for the election of the sheriff directly by the citizens of the county, rather than by politicians. This method of election was placed into the South Carolina State Constitution in 1868 and the Office of Sheriff in Greenville County began.
In 2017, Sheriff Will Lewis was suspended by Governor Henry McMaster for misconduct, perjury, and obstruction of justice. These charges came out of a sexual assault lawsuit filed by Lewis' female assistant. Although the sheriff said the relationship was consensual, he settled the claim for an undisclosed sum.Lewis was found guilty in 2019 and sentenced to a year of prison, although he did not begin his sentence until October 2021.
As of 2021 [update] , the sheriff of Greenville County is Hobart Lewis. The sheriff's office includes five divisions: Administrative Services, Community Services, Uniform Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Judicial Services.
CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union was chartered in 2014 to serve the residents of Greenville County. It is sponsored by CommunityWorks, Inc., a nonprofit community-development financial institution, and receives assistance from the United Way of Greenville County and the Hollingsworth Fund.
School districts include:
The Greenville Memorial Hospital was formerly operated by the municipal government, with Greenville Health System being the operating authority.In 2016, Prisma Health began leasing the hospital and directly operating. The GHA is the portion of the Greenville Health System that still existed after the hospital transitioned into being operated by Prisma. The Greenville Health Authority (GHA) is the owner of the hospital facilities operated by Prisma. Members of the South Carolina Legislature select a majority of the seats of the board of directors of the GHA.
In the past, Greenville County was partitioned into townships.Their former names and boundaries were used for United States census counting purposes and census documentation through 1960, after which census counting divisions were used. The 2010 Census lists six cities and 16 census designated places that are fully or partially within Greenville County.
Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 27,244. Its county seat is Union. The county was created in 1785.
Spartanburg County is a county located on the northwestern border of the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 327,997, making it the fifth-most populous county in South Carolina. Its county seat is Spartanburg.
Richland County is located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 416,147, making it the second-most populous county in South Carolina, behind only Greenville County. The county seat and largest city is Columbia, the state capital. The county was established on March 12, 1785. Richland County is part of the Columbia, SC metropolitan statistical area. In 2010, the center of population of South Carolina was located in Richland County, in the city of Columbia.
Pickens County is located in the northwest part of the U.S. state of South Carolina. It is located in the upstate SC. As of the 2020 census, its population was 131,404. Its county seat is Pickens. The county was created in 1826. It is part of the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Lexington County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 293,991, and the 2021 population estimate was 300,137. Its county seat and largest town is Lexington. The county was chartered in 1785 and was named in commemoration of Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolutionary War. Lexington County is the sixth-largest county in South Carolina by population and is part of the Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Chesterfield County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 43,273. Its county seat is Chesterfield. The largest city in the county is Cheraw. Chesterfield County is part of the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. It is located north of the Midlands, on its border with North Carolina.
Cherokee County is a county in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 56,216. The county seat is Gaffney. The county was formed in 1897 from parts of York, Union, and Spartanburg Counties. It was named for the Cherokee people who historically occupied this area prior to European encounter.
Anderson County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 203,718. Its county seat is Anderson. Named for Revolutionary War leader Robert Anderson, the county is located in northwestern South Carolina, along the state line of Georgia. Anderson County is included in the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. Anderson County contains 55,950-acre (226 km2) Lake Hartwell, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake with nearly 1,000 miles (2,000 km) of shoreline for residential and recreational use. The area is a growing industrial, commercial and tourist center. It is the home of Anderson University, a private, selective comprehensive university of approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Abbeville County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 24,295. Its county seat is Abbeville. It is the first county in the United States alphabetically. Abbeville County is traditionally included in the Upstate region of South Carolina. For a time, the county was included in the Greenwood, SC Micropolitan Statistical Area, but as of 2018 it was no longer included.
Anderson is a city in and the county seat of Anderson County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 28,106 at the 2020 census, and the city was the center of an urbanized area of 75,702. It is one of the principal cities in the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin metropolitan statistical area, which had a population of 824,112 at the 2010 census. It is further included in the larger Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,266,995, at the 2010 census. It is just off Interstate 85 and is 120 miles (190 km) from Atlanta and 140 miles (230 km) from Charlotte. Anderson is the smallest of the three primary cities that make up the Upstate region, and is nicknamed the "Electric City" and the "Friendliest City in South Carolina". Anderson is the home of Anderson University, a private university with roughly 3,900 undergraduate and graduate students.
Five Forks is a census-designated place (CDP) in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 17,737 at the 2020 census, up from 14,140 in 2010, and 8,064 in 2000. It is a growing, affluent suburb of Greenville and is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Greenville is a city in and the seat of Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. With a population of 70,720 as of the 2020 Census, it is the sixth-largest city in the state. Greenville is located approximately halfway between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina along Interstate 85. Its metropolitan area also includes Interstates 185 and 385. Greenville is the anchor city of the Upstate, a combined statistical area with a population of 1,487,610 as of the 2020 Census. Greenville was the fourth fastest-growing city in the United States between 2015 and 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Simpsonville is a city in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 22,234 at the 2020 census, up from 18,238 in 2010. Simpsonville is part of the "Golden Strip", along with Mauldin and Fountain Inn, an area which is noted for having low unemployment due to a diversity of industries including H.B. Fuller, KEMET, Sealed Air and Milliken.
Pickens, formerly called Pickens Courthouse, is a city in Pickens County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 3,126 at the 2010 census. Pickens changed its classification from a town to a city in 1998, but it was not reported to the Census Bureau until 2001. It is the county seat of Pickens County. It was named after Andrew Pickens (1739–1817), an American revolutionary soldier and US Congressman for South Carolina.
Spartanburg is a city in and the seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States. The city of Spartanburg has a municipal population of 38,732 as of the 2020 Census, making it the 11th-largest city in the state. For a time, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) grouped Spartanburg and Union Counties together as the Spartanburg metropolitan statistical area, but as of 2018,the OMB defines only Spartanburg County as the Spartanburg MSA.
Greer is a city in Greenville and Spartanburg counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 35,308 as of the 2020 Census Greer is part of the Greenville–Anderson–Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is additionally part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area in Upstate South Carolina.
The Upstate is the region in the westernmost part of South Carolina, United States, also known as the Upcountry, which is the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the 10 counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina. This definition coincided with the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC combined statistical area, as first defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2015. In 2018, the OMB redefined the CSA such that it no longer included Abbeville County. That definition remains as of 2020. The region's population was 1,347,112 as of 2016. Situated between Atlanta and Charlotte, the Upstate is the geographical center of the Charlanta megaregion. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies, including others from Germany, have a substantial presence in the Upstate; several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the area. Greenville is the largest city in the region with a population of 72,227 and an urban-area population of 400,492, and it is the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg and Anderson are next in population.
The 4th congressional district of South Carolina is a congressional district in upstate South Carolina bordering North Carolina. It includes parts of Greenville and Spartanburg counties. The district includes the two major cities of Greenville and Spartanburg.
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health organization in South Carolina, formed by the merging of Palmetto Health and the Greenville Health System in November 2017.
South Carolina Highway 14 is a state highway in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The state highway runs 59.24 miles (95.34 km) from U.S. Route 76 Business in Laurens north to Interstate 26 (I-26) in Landrum. SC 14 connects Laurens and Landrum with Greer, the city between Greenville and Spartanburg where the highway crosses I-85 and US 29. The highway also parallels I-385 through Fountain Inn and Simpsonville, South Carolina in southeastern Greenville County. SC 14 is a part of the National Highway System between I-85 and US 29 in Greer.
originally elected to office in November 1998
Barnes will face off in a rematch of the 2012 Republican primary. In that race, Barnes won the election but was later kicked off the ballot
Mike Barnes ... was also unopposed after winning his primary in June
Elected in November 2006
elected for five terms since 1997
first elected in 2008 to represent District 24
since returning to public life in 2016
Fant served on Greenville County Council from 1984 to 1988
Newly elected Greenville County Councilman Lynn Ballard
Kirven ... has served on the council since 2004
Tripp was elected in November of 2018
The changes are significant in that the GHA board owns the facilities from which Prisma runs healthcare in the Upstate.