Greenville County, South Carolina

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Greenville County
Old Greenville County Courthouse 2017.jpg
Former Greenville County Courthouse (now a bookstore and office space)
Greenville County logo.gif
Greenville County Logo.png
Motto: 
"Unrivaled Quality Of Life"
Map of South Carolina highlighting Greenville County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of South Carolina
South Carolina in United States.svg
South Carolina's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 34°53′N82°22′W / 34.89°N 82.37°W / 34.89; -82.37
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of South Carolina.svg  South Carolina
Founded1786
Named for Nathanael Greene
Seat Greenville
Largest cityGreenville
Government
  County AdministratorJoseph M. Kernell
Area
  Total795 sq mi (2,060 km2)
  Land785 sq mi (2,030 km2)
  Water9.7 sq mi (25 km2)  1.2%
Population
  Estimate 
(2021)
533,834
  Density680/sq mi (260/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 3rd, 4th
Website www.greenvillecounty.org

Greenville County is located in the state of South Carolina, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 525,534, [1] making it the most populous county in the state. Its county seat is Greenville. [2] 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.

Contents

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.

History

18th century

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, [3] the hero of the American southern campaign. [4] 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. [5] [6]

Geography

Greenville County, South Carolina
Interactive map of Greenville County

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. [7]

State and local protected areas

Adjacent counties

Major water bodies

Major highways

Major infrastructure

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1790 6,503
1800 11,50476.9%
1810 13,13314.2%
1820 14,53010.6%
1830 16,47613.4%
1840 17,8398.3%
1850 20,15613.0%
1860 21,8928.6%
1870 22,2621.7%
1880 37,49668.4%
1890 44,31018.2%
1900 53,49020.7%
1910 68,37727.8%
1920 88,49829.4%
1930 117,00932.2%
1940 136,58016.7%
1950 168,15223.1%
1960 209,77624.8%
1970 240,54614.7%
1980 287,91319.7%
1990 320,16711.2%
2000 379,61618.6%
2010 451,22518.9%
2020 525,53416.5%
2021 (est.)533,834 [14] 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [15]
1790–1960 [16] 1900–1990 [17]
1990–2000 [18] 2010–2015 [19]
2020 [14]

2020 census

Greenville County racial composition [20]
RaceNum.Perc.
White (non-Hispanic)343,89765.44%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic)87,12416.58%
Native American 8930.17%
Asian 12,8752.45%
Pacific Islander 3980.08%
Other/mixed 22,3224.25%
Hispanic or Latino 58,02511.04%

As of the 2020 United States census, 525,534 people, 199,551 households, and 130,296 families were residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, 451,225 people, 176,531 households, and 119,362 families were residing in the county. [21] [22] 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). [23] 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. [21] In terms of ancestry, 13.0% were American, 11.6% were German, 10.9% were English, and 10.7% were Irish. [24]

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. [21]

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. [25]

Greenville County Racial Breakdown of Population [26]
Racial composition20102019
White 73.8%76.3%
Black 18.1%18.4%
Asian 2.0%2.7%
Native American 0.3%0.5%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1%0.1%
Two or more races 1.9%2.0%
Other 3.8%0.0%

Ancestry

As of 2016, the largest self-reported ancestry groups in Greenville County were: [27]

Largest ancestries (2016)Percentage
English 12.9%
German 11.0%
Irish 10.2%
American 9.9%
Scots-Irish 3.1%
Italian 3.1%
Scottish 2.9%
French 2.2%
Polish 1.5%
Dutch 1.2%
Welsh 0.7%
Swedish 0.7%
Norwegian 0.6%

Government and politics

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. [28] [29]

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. [30]

County Council members [30]
DistrictName/party [31] [32] Home [33] Elected
17Joe Dill Landrum 1998 [34]
18Michael F. Barnes Greer 2016 [35] [36]
19Willis Meadows (chair) Greenville 2006 [37]
20Steve Shaw Travelers Rest 2020 [38]
21Chris Harrison Greer 2020 [38]
22Stan Tzouvelekas Greenville 2020 [38]
23Xanthene Norris (chair pro tem) Greenville 1997 [39]
24Liz Seman Greenville 2008 [40]
25Ennis M. Fant Jr Greenville 2016 [41] (1984) [42]
26Lynn Ballard Pelzer 2014 [43]
27Butch Kirven Simpsonville 2004 [44]
28Dan Tripp (vice chair) Mauldin 2018 [45]
United States presidential election results for Greenville County, South Carolina [46]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.%No.%No.%
2020 150,02158.11%103,03039.91%5,1041.98%
2016 127,83259.41%74,48334.62%12,8505.97%
2012 121,68562.99%68,07035.23%3,4341.78%
2008 116,36361.03%70,88637.18%3,4081.79%
2004 111,48166.03%55,34732.78%2,0051.19%
2000 92,71466.09%43,81031.23%3,7692.69%
1996 71,21059.13%41,60534.55%7,6056.32%
1992 65,06657.12%34,65130.42%14,19012.46%
1988 67,37170.82%27,18828.58%5670.60%
1984 66,76673.07%24,13726.42%4660.51%
1980 46,16857.41%32,13539.96%2,1122.63%
1976 39,09951.46%35,94347.31%9391.24%
1972 46,36079.62%10,14317.42%1,7262.96%
1968 31,65252.91%12,92821.61%15,24125.48%
1964 29,35862.96%17,27537.04%00.00%
1960 22,65761.85%13,97638.15%00.00%
1956 10,75239.54%11,81943.46%4,62217.00%
1952 17,74354.42%14,86345.58%00.00%
1948 7898.33%2,74528.97%5,94062.70%
1944 7118.78%7,10787.81%2763.41%
1940 5145.95%8,11894.05%00.00%
1936 921.09%8,31098.91%00.00%
1932 1261.56%7,93098.41%20.02%
1928 54611.71%4,11688.25%20.04%
1924 591.54%3,72897.36%421.10%
1920 1443.16%4,40996.84%00.00%
1916 812.31%3,38496.66%361.03%
1912 00.00%3,14098.28%551.72%
1908 1765.90%2,77492.93%351.17%
1904 662.58%2,48997.42%00.00%
1900 472.58%1,77797.42%00.00%
1896 2889.47%2,71889.38%351.15%
1892 60016.28%3,02682.09%601.63%


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.

Law enforcement

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. [47]

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. [47]

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. [48] Lewis was found guilty in 2019 and sentenced to a year of prison, although he did not begin his sentence until October 2021. [49]

As of 2021, 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. [50]

Economy

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. [51]

Education

School districts include: [52]

Healthcare

The Greenville Memorial Hospital was formerly operated by the municipal government, with Greenville Health System being the operating authority. [55] In 2016, Prisma Health began leasing the hospital and directly operating. [56] The GHA is the portion of the Greenville Health System that still existed after the hospital transitioned into being operated by Prisma. [55] 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. [57]

Communities

In the past, Greenville County was partitioned into townships. [58] 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. [59]

Cities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

See also

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References

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  42. Coyne, Amanda (May 29, 2016). "Three Greenville County Council districts headed to primary elections" . The Greenville News. Retrieved June 5, 2021. Fant served on Greenville County Council from 1984 to 1988
  43. Welch, Stan (August 20, 2014). "Piedmont Public Service District report". The Journal. Piedmont, South Carolina . Retrieved June 5, 2021. Newly elected Greenville County Councilman Lynn Ballard
  44. Cary, Nathaniel (October 7, 2020). "Greenville County Council candidate accuses council of mishandling coronavirus pandemic". The Post and Courier. Greenville. Retrieved June 5, 2021. Kirven ... has served on the council since 2004
  45. "Dan Tripp, District 28". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 5, 2021. Tripp was elected in November of 2018
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  49. Gross, Daniel J. "Former Greenville sheriff fears prison violence after SC court denies rehearing". The Greenville News. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
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  53. "Schools". South Carlina Public Charter School District. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  54. "Our Schools". Charter Institute at Erskine. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
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  57. Mitchell, Anna B. (February 21, 2021). "Greenville Health Authority removes Prisma-linked president as hospital lease review nears". Post and Courier . Retrieved November 20, 2021. The changes are significant in that the GHA board owns the facilities from which Prisma runs healthcare in the Upstate.
  58. Rootsweb: South Carolina Townships – Greenville County. Accessed 8 February 2022.
  59. See http://factfinder.census.gov Archived 2020-02-12 at archive.today for population numbers and for municipality and CDP lists in the 2010 Census.
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Coordinates: 34°53′N82°22′W / 34.89°N 82.37°W / 34.89; -82.37