Greenville County, South Carolina

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.

Greenville County
County of Greenville
Former Greenville County Courthouse (now a bookstore and office space)
Former Greenville County Courthouse (now a bookstore and office space)
Official seal of Greenville County
Motto(s): 
"Unrivaled Quality Of Life"
Map of South Carolina highlighting Greenville 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.
Coordinates: 34°53′N 82°22′W / 34.89°N 82.37°W / 34.89; -82.37
Country United States
State South Carolina
FoundedMarch 22, 1786
Named forNathanael Greene
SeatGreenville
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 zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts3rd, 4th
Websitewww.greenvillecounty.org

Greenville County is the most populous county in Upstate South Carolina, as well as in the State of South Carolina. 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.

HistoryEdit

18th centuryEdit

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 it and neighboring Pendleton County (the other county formed from Cherokee territory in northwestern Ninety-Six District) 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 re-identified 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]

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 795 square miles (2,060 km2), of which 785 square miles (2,030 km2) is land and 9.7 square miles (25 km2) (1.2%) is water.[7]

National protected areaEdit

State and local protected areasEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major water-bodiesEdit

Major highwaysEdit

Other major infrastructureEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
17906,503
180011,50476.9%
181013,13314.2%
182014,53010.6%
183016,47613.4%
184017,8398.3%
185020,15613.0%
186021,8928.6%
187022,2621.7%
188037,49668.4%
189044,31018.2%
190053,49020.7%
191068,37727.8%
192088,49829.4%
1930117,00932.2%
1940136,58016.7%
1950168,15223.1%
1960209,77624.8%
1970240,54614.7%
1980287,91319.7%
1990320,16711.2%
2000379,61618.6%
2010451,22518.9%
2020525,53416.5%
2021 (est.)533,834[8]1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2015[13]
2020[14]

2020 censusEdit

Greenville County racial composition[15]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 343,897 65.44%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 87,124 16.58%
Native American 893 0.17%
Asian 12,875 2.45%
Pacific Islander 398 0.08%
Other/Mixed 22,322 4.25%
Hispanic or Latino 58,025 11.04%

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

2010 censusEdit

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 451,225 people, 176,531 households, and 119,362 families residing in the county.[16][17] The population density was 574.7 inhabitants per square mile (221.9/km2). There were 195,462 housing units at an average density of 249.0 per square mile (96.1/km2).[18] The racial makeup of the county was 73.8% white, 18.1% black or 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.[16] In terms of ancestry, 13.0% were American, 11.6% were German, 10.9% were English, and 10.7% were Irish.[19]

Of the 176,531 households, 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.4% were non-families, and 27.0% of all households 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.[16]

The median income for a household in the county was $46,830 and the median income 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.[20]

Greenville County Racial Breakdown of Population[21]
Racial composition 2010 2019
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%

2016Edit

As of 2016 the largest self-reported ancestry groups in Greenville County, South Carolina are:[22]

Largest ancestries (2016) Percent
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%

EconomyEdit

CommunityWorks Federal Credit Union was chartered in 2014 to serve the residents of Greenville County. It is sponsored by CommunityWorks, Inc., a non-profit community development financial institution, and receives assistance from the United Way of Greenville County and the Hollingsworth Fund.[23]

CommunitiesEdit

In the past, Greenville County was partitioned into townships.[24] Their former names and boundaries were used for United States census counting purposes and census documentation through 1960, after which Census Counting Divisions (CCDs) were used. The 2010 Census lists six cities and 16 census designated places that are fully or partially within Greenville County.[25]

CitiesEdit

Census-designated placesEdit

Other unincorporated communitiesEdit

Government and politicsEdit

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.[26][27]

Council members are elected by voters in each of the twelve state legislative districts (17–28) within the county and serve staggered four-year terms.[28]

County Council members[28]
District Name/party[29][30] Home[31] Elected
17 Joe Dill Landrum 1998[32]
18 Michael F. Barnes Greer 2016[33][34]
19 Willis Meadows (chair) Greenville 2006[35]
20 Steve Shaw Travelers Rest 2020[36]
21 Chris Harrison Greer 2020[36]
22 Stan Tzouvelekas Greenville 2020[36]
23 Xanthene Norris (chair pro tem) Greenville 1997[37]
24 Liz Seman Greenville 2008[38]
25 Ennis M. Fant Jr Greenville 2016[39] (1984)[40]
26 Lynn Ballard Pelzer 2014[41]
27 Butch Kirven Simpsonville 2004[42]
28 Dan Tripp (vice chair) Mauldin 2018[43]
United States presidential election results for Greenville County, South Carolina[44]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 150,021 58.11% 103,030 39.91% 5,104 1.98%
2016 127,832 59.41% 74,483 34.62% 12,850 5.97%
2012 121,685 62.99% 68,070 35.23% 3,434 1.78%
2008 116,363 61.03% 70,886 37.18% 3,408 1.79%
2004 111,481 66.03% 55,347 32.78% 2,005 1.19%
2000 92,714 66.09% 43,810 31.23% 3,769 2.69%
1996 71,210 59.13% 41,605 34.55% 7,605 6.32%
1992 65,066 57.12% 34,651 30.42% 14,190 12.46%
1988 67,371 70.82% 27,188 28.58% 567 0.60%
1984 66,766 73.07% 24,137 26.42% 466 0.51%
1980 46,168 57.41% 32,135 39.96% 2,112 2.63%
1976 39,099 51.46% 35,943 47.31% 939 1.24%
1972 46,360 79.62% 10,143 17.42% 1,726 2.96%
1968 31,652 52.91% 12,928 21.61% 15,241 25.48%
1964 29,358 62.96% 17,275 37.04% 0 0.00%
1960 22,657 61.85% 13,976 38.15% 0 0.00%
1956 10,752 39.54% 11,819 43.46% 4,622 17.00%
1952 17,743 54.42% 14,863 45.58% 0 0.00%
1948 789 8.33% 2,745 28.97% 5,940 62.70%
1944 711 8.78% 7,107 87.81% 276 3.41%
1940 514 5.95% 8,118 94.05% 0 0.00%
1936 92 1.09% 8,310 98.91% 0 0.00%
1932 126 1.56% 7,930 98.41% 2 0.02%
1928 546 11.71% 4,116 88.25% 2 0.04%
1924 59 1.54% 3,728 97.36% 42 1.10%
1920 144 3.16% 4,409 96.84% 0 0.00%
1916 81 2.31% 3,384 96.66% 36 1.03%
1912 0 0.00% 3,140 98.28% 55 1.72%
1908 176 5.90% 2,774 92.93% 35 1.17%
1904 66 2.58% 2,489 97.42% 0 0.00%
1900 47 2.58% 1,777 97.42% 0 0.00%
1896 288 9.47% 2,718 89.38% 35 1.15%
1892 600 16.28% 3,026 82.09% 60 1.63%


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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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 enforcementEdit

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.[45]

HistoryEdit

When Greenville County was formed in 1786, it was serviced 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.[46]

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.[46]

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.[47][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]

HealthcareEdit

The Greenville Memorial Hospital was formerly operated by the municipal government, with Greenville Health System being the operating authority.[50] In 2016, Prisma Health began leasing the hospital and directly operating.[51] The GHA is the portion of the Greenville Health System that still existed after the hospital transitioned into being operated by Prisma.[50] 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.[52]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Greenville County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "History | VisitGreenvilleSC". www.visitgreenvillesc.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  4. ^ Heathcote, Charles William (2006) [1954]. "Historic Valley Forge: General Nathanael Greene". ushistory.org. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  5. ^ Lewis, J.D. "Greenville County, South Carolina". Carolana.com. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  6. ^ "History | Greenville, SC - Official Website". www.greenvillesc.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Greenville County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  11. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "Greenville County, South Carolina". US Census. US Census. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Greenville County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  16. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  18. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  19. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  20. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006–2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  21. ^ "Greenville County, South Carolina". Census Bureau. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ Birch, Ray (April 3, 2014). "CommunityWorks FCU Is First New CU Charter Of The Year". Credit Union Journal. Retrieved April 3, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Rootsweb: South Carolina Townships – Greenville County. Accessed 8 February 2022.
  25. ^ See http://factfinder.census.gov Archived 2020-02-12 at archive.today [1] [2] for population numbers and for municipality and CDP lists in the 2010 Census.
  26. ^ Mitchell, Anna B. (January 30, 2019). "Greenville County Council wants to review county administrator's $280K annual contract". The Greenville News. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  27. ^ "County Administrator". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  28. ^ a b "County Council". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  29. ^ "Candidate filing for November 2020" (PDF). Greenville County, South Carolina. June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  30. ^ "Record absentee votes recorded as polls open today". Greer Today. November 6, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  31. ^ "County Council Member Information". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  32. ^ "Joe Dill, District 17". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 3, 2021. originally elected to office in November 1998
  33. ^ Coyne, Amanda (May 29, 2016). "Three Greenville County Council districts headed to primary elections". The Greenville News. Retrieved June 3, 2021. Barnes will face off in a rematch of the 2012 Republican primary. In that race, Barnes won the election but was later kicked off the ballot
  34. ^ Coyne, Amanda (November 9, 2016). "Greenville County Council incumbents, primary victors win". The Greenville News. Retrieved June 3, 2021. Mike Barnes ... was also unopposed after winning his primary in June
  35. ^ "Willis Meadows, District 19". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 4, 2021. Elected in November 2006
  36. ^ a b c Maxwell, Anne (January 5, 2021). "Willis Meadows elected chair of Greenville County Council". WSPA-TV. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  37. ^ "Xanthene Norris, Chairman Pro Tem, District 23". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 4, 2021. elected for five terms since 1997
  38. ^ "Liz Seman, District 24". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 5, 2021. first elected in 2008 to represent District 24
  39. ^ "Greenville County SC Councilman In Hot Water Over Taxes". FITSNews. May 17, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2021. since returning to public life in 2016
  40. ^ 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
  41. ^ 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
  42. ^ 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
  43. ^ "Dan Tripp, District 28". Greenville County, South Carolina. Retrieved June 5, 2021. Tripp was elected in November of 2018
  44. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  45. ^ "Greenville County Sheriff's Office | Greenville County SC". www.gcso.org. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  46. ^ a b "History". Greenville County Sheriff's Office. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  47. ^ LaFleur, Elizabeth (February 19, 2019). "Grand jury indicts suspended Greenville Sheriff Will Lewis on 2 new criminal charges". Greenville News. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  48. ^ "GCSO Annual Reports". Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  49. ^ Gross, Daniel J. "Former Greenville sheriff fears prison violence after SC court denies rehearing". The Greenville News. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  50. ^ a b "Home". Greenville Health Authority. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  51. ^ Navarro, Marcus (April 21, 2021). "Greenville lawmakers want a more "proactive" Health Authority". Greenville News. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  52. ^ 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.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 34°53′N 82°22′W / 34.89°N 82.37°W / 34.89; -82.37