RICHLAND County, SC
Richland County is located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 384,504, making it the second-most populous county in South Carolina, behind only Greenville County. The population increased to 416,417 at the 2020 census. 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.
Richland County was probably named for its "rich land." The county was formed in 1785 as part of the large Camden District. A small part of Richland County was later ceded to adjacent Kershaw County in 1791. The county seat and largest city is Columbia, which is also the state capital. In 1786, the state legislature decided to move the capital from Charleston to a more central location. A site was chosen in Richland County, which is in the geographic center of the state, and a new town was laid out. Richland County's boundaries were formally incorporated on December 18, 1799. Cotton from the surrounding plantations was shipped through Columbia and later manufactured into textiles there. General William T. Sherman captured Columbia during the Civil War and his troops burned the town and parts of the county on February 17, 1865. The U. S. Army returned on friendlier terms in 1917, when Fort Jackson was established, which is now the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center in the U.S. Army. The South Carolina State House is located in downtown Columbia.
Unincorporated communities and neighborhoods
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (1.9%) is water. Richland County is situated in the center of South Carolina.
Rivers and lakes
National protected area
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 416,147 people, 153,484 households, and 90,802 families residing in the county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 384,504 people, 145,194 households, and 89,357 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 161,725 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the county was 45.3% white, 48.9% black or African American, 2.2% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.9% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 9.6% were German, 8.6% were English, 7.6% were Irish, and 7.1% were American.
Of the 145,194 households, 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 17.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.5% were non-families, and 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.05. The median age was 32.6 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,922 and the median income for a family was $61,622. Males had a median income of $42,453 versus $34,012 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,805. About 10.0% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.
Richland County is governed by a County Council, who hold concurrent four-year terms. Richland County is governed under the Council-Administrator form of government, which is very similar to the Council-Manager form of government. The major difference between the Council Manager and Council Administrator forms of government is the title of the chief executive, being Manager in one and Administrator in the other.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections, headquartered in Columbia and in Richland County, operates several correctional facilities in Columbia and in Richland County. They include the Broad River Correctional Institution, the Goodman Correctional Institution, the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution, the Stevenson Correctional Institution, and the Campbell Pre-Release Center. Graham houses the state's female death row. The State of South Carolina execution chamber is located at Broad River. From 1990 to 1997 Broad River housed the state's male death row.
In March 2008, the Richland County Sheriff's Department acquired an armored personnel carrier equipped with a .50 caliber machine gun. Reason magazine criticized the acquisition as "overkill".
Richland County was one of the first areas of South Carolina to break away from a Solid South voting pattern. From 1948 to 1988, it only supported the official Democratic candidate for president once, in 1976. It voted for splinter Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 1948, and for unpledged electors in 1956.
Since 1992, Richland County has been one of the stronger Democratic bastions in South Carolina, following the trend of most urban counties across the country.
Public transportation in Richland County is provided by the COMET, or officially the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (CMRTA). The bus system is the main public transit system for the greater Columbia area. In Richland County, the bus system runs in the areas of Columbia, Forest Acres, Fort Jackson, Irmo, St. Andrews, Northeast Richland, Lower Richland, and Eastover. Additionally, COMET offers Dial-a-ride transit (DART), which provides personalized service passengers with disabilities.
Columbia has one Amtrak station (CLB) that serves over 30,000 passengers per year on the Silver Star rail line. Additionally, Richland County has an operating facility for CSX Transportation, a company that transports over one million carloads of freight on South Carolina's rail network.
The Jim Hamilton–L.B. Owens Airport operates over 56,000 aircraft annually but is a smaller airport used mostly for small and private planes. The main airport for the region is the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, which is located in neighboring Lexington County. In 2018, the Columbia Metro Airport served 1,197,603 passengers with 12,324 flights.
In popular culture
Richland County was one of several counties across the country used as a filming location for the A&E reality documentary series Live PD, which worked in collaboration with the Richland County Sheriff's Department. The show first premiered in 2016 and aired for four years until its cancellation in 2020.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Richland County, SC, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.