South Carolina State Facts and Higher Education Information

South Carolina is the 24th-largest state in the U.S. and one of the original 13 colonies. The state is home to numerous technical institutes, public universities, private colleges and a military college. Find out more about the state's economy, attractions and school choices below.

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Information about South Carolina

South Carolina, the 'Palmetto State', was the first Confederate state to secede from the union during the American Civil War, and today the state has nearly 4.9 million inhabitants, according to 2015 U.S. census estimates. About 68.3% of the state's residents are white, 5.4% are Hispanic and 27.8% are African American, as of 2014 census data.

Attractions in South Carolina include the historic districts of such cities as Charleston and Columbia, where some neighborhoods have gained a widespread reputation for entertainment and culture. The Upstate and Foothills portions of the state are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a branch of the larger Appalachian chain extending from Alabama to Canada. The combination of mountains and an extensive Atlantic coastline provides South Carolina residents and visitors with opportunities for surfing, camping, white water rafting, hiking and a range of other outdoor activities.

Higher Education

South Carolina has 113 colleges, proprietary schools and universities, including the College of Charleston, the 13th-oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. It was listed in 11th place among regional universities in the South in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. The largest school in the state is the University of South Carolina at Columbia, which had nearly 33,000 students, as of Fall 2014. Its international business graduate and undergraduate programs were ranked first by U.S. News in 2016, and its online graduate nursing programs were also ranked number one.

Large colleges and universities in the state include Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, Winthrop University and several technical colleges, such as Trident Technical College, Greenville Technical College and Midlands Technical College. The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, is one of the nation's most well-known military postsecondary institutions.

The state's other schools include the Medical University of South Carolina, Bob Jones University and numerous community colleges, career schools and private Christian colleges.

Economy and Employment

South Carolina's economy is dependent on automotive manufacturing, transportation, biotechnology and life sciences and aerospace and aviation. The median household income in the state was about $45,033, compared to $53,482 for the rest of the nation, according to 2010-2014 census data. Per data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of March 2016, trade, transportation, and utilities employed nearly 393,000 people in South Carolina. Government employed nearly 363,000 people, while professional and business services employed about 270,000 people.


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