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Colleton County, South Carolina facts for kids

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Colleton County
Colleton County Courthouse
Colleton County Courthouse
Map of South Carolina highlighting Colleton County
Location within the U.S. state of South Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting South Carolina
South Carolina's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  South Carolina
Founded 1800
Named for Sir John Colleton, 1st Baronet
Seat Walterboro
Largest city Walterboro
 • Total 1,133 sq mi (2,930 km2)
 • Land 1,056 sq mi (2,740 km2)
 • Water 77 sq mi (200 km2)  6.8%
 • Total 38,892
 • Estimate 
 • Density 33/sq mi (13/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 6th

Colleton County is in the Lowcountry region of the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 38,892. Its county seat is Walterboro. The county is named after Sir John Colleton, 1st Baronet, one of the eight Lords Proprietor of the Province of Carolina. After two previous incarnations, the current Colleton County was created in 1800.


In 1682, Colleton was created as one of the three original proprietary counties, located in the southwestern coastal portion of the new South Carolina Colony and bordering on the Combahee River.

In 1706, the county was divided between the new Saint Bartholomew and Saint Paul parishes. This area was developed for large plantations devoted to rice and indigo cultivation as commodity crops. The planters depended on the labor of African slaves transported to Charleston for that purpose. In the coastal areas, black slaves soon outnumbered white colonists, as they did across the colony by 1708.

In 1734, most of the coastal portion of Saint Paul's Parish was separated to form the new Saint John's Colleton Parish. In 1769, the three parishes were absorbed into the Charleston Judicial District, the southwestern portion of which was referred to as Saint Bartholomew's.

In 1800, the new Colleton District was formed from the western half of the Charleston District. In 1816, it annexed a small portion of northwestern Charleston District.

In 1868, under the Reconstruction era new state constitution, South Carolina districts were reorganized as counties. Officials were to be elected by the resident voters rather than by state officials, as was done previously, thus giving more democratic power to local residents.

In 1897, the northeastern portion of the county was separated to form the new Dorchester County, with its seat at Saint George.

In 1911, the portion of the county east of the Edisto River was annexed by Charleston County. In 1919 and again in 1920, tiny portions of northwestern Colleton County were annexed to Bamberg County.

In March 1975, the town of Edisto Beach was annexed to Colleton County from Charleston County, thus bringing the county to its present size.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,133 square miles (2,930 km2), of which 1,056 square miles (2,740 km2) is land and 77 square miles (200 km2) (6.8%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in South Carolina by land area and fourth-largest by total area.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected area

  • Colleton State Park

Edisto Island State Park is also located in Colleton County. Located at 8377 State Cabin Rd, Edisto Island, SC 29438 Phone: (843) 869-2156 Has 113 improved campsites.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 24,903
1810 26,359 5.8%
1820 26,404 0.2%
1830 27,256 3.2%
1840 25,548 −6.3%
1850 39,505 54.6%
1860 41,916 6.1%
1870 25,410 −39.4%
1880 38,386 51.1%
1890 40,293 5.0%
1900 33,452 −17.0%
1910 35,390 5.8%
1920 29,897 −15.5%
1930 25,821 −13.6%
1940 26,268 1.7%
1950 28,242 7.5%
1960 27,816 −1.5%
1970 27,622 −0.7%
1980 31,776 15.0%
1990 34,377 8.2%
2000 38,264 11.3%
2010 38,892 1.6%
2020 (est.) 37,679 −3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 38,892 people, 15,131 households, and 10,449 families living in the county. The population density was 36.8 inhabitants per square mile (14.2/km2). There were 19,901 housing units at an average density of 18.8 per square mile (7.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 57.0% white, 39.0% black or African American, 0.8% American Indian, 0.3% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 25.0% were American, 7.3% were English, 6.5% were German, and 5.2% were Irish.

Of the 15,131 households, 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.9% were non-families, and 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.07. The median age was 40.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,263 and the median income for a family was $40,955. Males had a median income of $36,622 versus $25,898 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,842. About 17.7% of families and 21.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.3% of those under age 18 and 17.2% of those age 65 or over.


The largest self-identified ancestry groups in Colleton County in 2019 were:

  • 39% African-American
  • 32.3% English
  • 6.5% German
  • 5.2% Irish

2020 census

Colleton County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 21,816 56.51%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 13,401 34.71%
Native American 302 0.78%
Asian 186 0.48%
Pacific Islander 16 0.04%
Other/Mixed 1,503 3.89%
Hispanic or Latino 1,380 3.57%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 38,604 people, 15,075 households, and 9,565 families residing in the county.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


  • Colleton County School District operates public schools, including Colleton County High School.
  • Degrees can be earned at the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie in Walterboro.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Colleton para niños

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