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Richland County, South Carolina facts for kids

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Richland County
The Richland County Justice Center is located across from Columbia City Hall.
The Richland County Justice Center is located across from Columbia City Hall.
Map of South Carolina highlighting Richland 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 March 12, 1785
Seat Columbia
Largest city Columbia
 • Total 772 sq mi (2,000 km2)
 • Land 757 sq mi (1,960 km2)
 • Water 15 sq mi (40 km2)  1.9%%
 • Total 416,147
 • Density 539.1/sq mi (208.13/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 2nd, 6th

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 later went to Kershaw County (1791). The county seat 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 Dec. 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 more friendly 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.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 772 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 757 square miles (1,960 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (1.9%) is water. Richland County is situated in the center of South Carolina.

Rivers and lakes

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 3,930
1800 6,097 55.1%
1810 9,027 48.1%
1820 12,321 36.5%
1830 14,772 19.9%
1840 16,397 11.0%
1850 20,243 23.5%
1860 18,307 −9.6%
1870 23,025 25.8%
1880 28,573 24.1%
1890 36,821 28.9%
1900 45,589 23.8%
1910 55,143 21.0%
1920 78,122 41.7%
1930 87,667 12.2%
1940 104,843 19.6%
1950 142,565 36.0%
1960 200,102 40.4%
1970 233,868 16.9%
1980 269,735 15.3%
1990 285,720 5.9%
2000 320,677 12.2%
2010 384,504 19.9%
2020 416,147 8.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2020 census

Richland County racial composition
Race Num.


White (non-Hispanic) 172,644 41.49%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 188,141 45.21%
Native American 888 0.21%
Asian 11,330 2.72%
Pacific Islander 427 0.1%
Other/Mixed 16,622 3.99%
Hispanic or Latino 26,095 6.27%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 416,147 people, 153,484 households, and 90,802 families residing in the county.

2010 census

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 507.9 inhabitants per square mile (196.1/km2). There were 161,725 housing units at an average density of 213.6 per square mile (82.5/km2). 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.


Bus system

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.


  • I-26 (SC).svg I-26 Interstate 26 travels from northwest to southeast and connects the Columbia area to the other two major population centers of South Carolina: the Greenville-Spartanburg area in the northwestern part of the state and North Charleston – Charleston area in the southeastern part of the state.
  • I-20 (SC).svg I-20 Interstate 20 travels from west to east and connects Columbia to Atlanta and Augusta in the west and Florence in the east. It serves the nearby towns and suburbs of Pelion, Lexington, West Columbia, Sandhill, Pontiac, and Elgin. Interstate 20 is also used by travelers heading to Myrtle Beach, although the interstate's eastern terminus is in Florence.
  • I-77 (SC).svg I-77 Interstate 77 begins in Lexington county and ends in Cleveland, Ohio and is frequently used by travelers on the east coast heading to or from Florida.
  • I-126 (SC).svg I-126 Interstate 126 branches off from I-26 and leads into downtown Columbia and provides access to Riverbanks Zoo.





Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


  • Dutch Fork
  • Fort Jackson
  • Intown
  • Lower Richland
  • Northeast Richland
  • Upper Richland

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Richland (Carolina del Sur) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Renowned Hispanic scientists
Luis Walter Alvarez
Francisco J. Ayala
Baruj Benacerraf
Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski
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