Lexington County, South Carolina

Lexington County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 293,991, and the 2021 population estimate was 300,137.[1] Its county seat and largest town is Lexington.[2] The county was chartered in 1785[3] and was named in commemoration of Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolutionary War.[4] Lexington County is the sixth-largest county in South Carolina by population and is part of the Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Lexington County
County of Lexington
Lexington County Courthouse in October 2013
Lexington County Courthouse in October 2013
Flag of Lexington County
Official seal of Lexington County
Official logo of Lexington County
Motto(s): 
"Grow with us"
Map of South Carolina highlighting Lexington 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: 33°54′N 81°16′W / 33.9°N 81.27°W / 33.9; -81.27
Country United States
State South Carolina
Founded1785
Named forBattle of Lexington and Concord
SeatLexington
Largest townLexington
Area
 • Total758 sq mi (1,960 km2)
 • Land699 sq mi (1,810 km2)
 • Water59 sq mi (150 km2)  7.8%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
300,137
 • Density429.4/sq mi (165.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.lex-co.com

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 758 square miles (1,960 km2), of which 699 square miles (1,810 km2) is land and 59 square miles (150 km2) (7.8%) is water.[5] The largest body of water is Lake Murray, while other waterways include the Broad River, the Saluda River and the Congaree River. Lexington County has urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. Much of the county's urbanization is in its eastern and northeastern areas.

Major water-bodiesEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit

State and local protected areasEdit

ClimateEdit

Lexington County averages 48 inches of rain per year; the U.S. average is 37. The average snowfall is 2 inches; the U.S. average is 25 inches. The average number of days with any measurable precipitation is 104.

On average, there are 218 sunny days per year in Lexington County. The July high is around 92 degrees and the January low is 33. The comfort index, which is based on humidity during the warmest months, is a 29 out of 100, where higher is more comfortable. The U.S. average on the comfort index is 44.[6]

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18106,641
18208,08321.7%
18309,06512.1%
184012,11133.6%
185012,9306.8%
186015,57920.5%
187012,988−16.6%
188018,56442.9%
189022,18119.5%
190027,26422.9%
191032,04017.5%
192035,67611.3%
193036,4942.3%
194035,994−1.4%
195044,27923.0%
196060,72637.1%
197089,01246.6%
1980140,35357.7%
1990167,61119.4%
2000216,01428.9%
2010262,39121.5%
2020293,99112.0%
2021 (est.)300,137[7]2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2019[12]
2020[13]

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 216,014 people, 83,240 households, and 59,849 families living in the county. The population density was 309 people per square mile (119/km2). There were 90,978 housing units at an average density of 130 per square mile (50/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.18% White, 12.63% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 83,240 households, out of which 35.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 22.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.10% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 31.60% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $44,659, and the median income for a family was $52,637. Males had a median income of $36,435 versus $26,387 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,063. About 6.40% of families and 9.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.10% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.

2010 censusEdit

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 262,391 people, 102,733 households, and 70,952 families living in the county.[15] The population density was 375.4 inhabitants per square mile (144.9/km2). There were 113,957 housing units at an average density of 163.0 per square mile (62.9/km2).[16] The racial makeup of the county was 79.3% white, 14.3% black or African American, 1.4% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 2.7% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.5% of the population.[15] In terms of ancestry, 17.2% were German, 14.0% were American, 12.5% were English, and 11.8% were Irish.[17]

Of the 102,733 households, 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.9% were non-families, and 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.01. The median age was 37.9 years.[15]

The median income for a household in the county was $52,205 and the median income for a family was $64,630. Males had a median income of $44,270 versus $34,977 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,393. About 8.5% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.7% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.[18]

2020 censusEdit

Lexington County racial composition[19]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 208,854 71.04%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 42,382 14.42%
Native American 894 0.3%
Asian 6,644 2.26%
Pacific Islander 185 0.06%
Other/Mixed 13,235 4.5%
Hispanic or Latino 21,797 7.41%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 293,991 people, 118,193 households, and 81,118 families residing in the county.

CommunitiesEdit

 
Lexington County (Cayce) from the banks of the Congaree River.
 
Walking trail in Cayce, SC, crossing beneath railroad tracks
 
Columbiana Mall in city of Columbia, SC in Lexington County
 
A farm in rural Lexington County near Swansea
Municipalities[20][21]
Type Name Pop. (2021 est.) Notes
City Columbia 139,912* *Total population of city, only small parts are in the county
Town Lexington 22,260 County Seat and largest Town
City West Columbia 18,645
CDP Seven Oaks 16,365
City Cayce 15,010 Partly in Richland County
Town Irmo 12,364 Partly in Richland County. Harbison is a neighborhood within the city with a population of 5,204 in 2010.[22][23]
CDP Oak Grove 11,376
CDP Red Bank 11,177
Town Batesburg-Leesville 5,731 Partly in Saluda County
Town Springdale 3,038
Town South Congaree 2,493
Town Pine Ridge 2,490
Town Gaston 1,951
Town Chapin 1,943 Partly in Richland County and Newberry County
Town Swansea 920
Town Pelion 739
Town Gilbert 618
Town Summit 440
Town Granby 0 Former town

EducationEdit

Education in Lexington County
Public school district name Enrollment Employees Schools
Lexington School District One[24] 27,300 3,900 31
Lexington School District Two[25] 8,947 900 12
Lexington School District Three[26] 2,000 350 4
Lexington School District Four 3,350 300 7
Lexington & Richland County School District Five[a] 16,680 1,500 21
Colleges Enrollment Campuses
Midlands Technical College[b] 15,000[27] 3
Public libraries Visitors (counted once) Branches
Lexington County Public Library System 160,336[27] 10

TransportationEdit

Public TransportationEdit

 
COMET Bus in West Columbia, Lexington County

Public transportation in Lexington 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 Lexington County, the bus system runs in the areas of West Columbia, Cayce, Irmo, Springdale, Seven Oaks, and Harbison. Additionally, COMET offers Dial-a-ride transit (DART), which provides personalized service passengers with disabilities.[28]

Columbia Metropolitan AirportEdit

 
President Donald Trump arrives at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport greeted by Governor Henry McMaster, Senator Tim Scott, and Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette.

The Columbia Metropolitan Airport serves as the main airport system for the greater Columbia area. In 2018, the airport served 1,197,603 passengers with 12,324 flights. Additionally, the airport is also the regional hub for UPS Airlines, transporting 136.7 million pounds of freight/mail in 2018.[29] The airport was named Lexington County Airport, and during World War II, trained pilots for B-25 Mitchell crews.

InterstatesEdit

  •   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-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-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.

U.S. RoutesEdit

State RoutesEdit

Tourism and attractionsEdit

 
Lake Murray Dam generates electricity for the region. The lake serves as an attraction for fishing, boating, swimming, and walking.
 
Riverbanks Zoo Waterpark (Lexington County portion)

Top employersEdit

 
Two towers of Lexington Medical Center.
Top ten employers (2019)[27]
Rank Employer Employees
1 Lexington Medical Center 6,450
2 Lexington School District 1 3,550
3 Amazon 2,825
4 Michelin 2,425
5 Lexington School District Five 2,354
6 State government 2,327
7 Wal-Mart 2,013
8 SCANA 1,790
9 County of Lexington 1,741
10 Lexington School District 2 1,267

GovernmentEdit

PoliticsEdit

Lexington County was one of the first areas of South Carolina to turn Republican. The last official Democratic candidate to carry the county at a presidential level was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. It supported splinter Dixiecrat candidates in 1948 and 1956.

In the 2020 Presidential election, Lexington County voted 64.2% in favor of Republican Donald Trump and 34.2% in favor of Democrat Joe Biden[30] with 72.6% of the eligible electorate voting. This was the strongest performance by a Democratic candidate for President since 1976.[31]

United States presidential election results for Lexington County, South Carolina[32]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 92,817 64.20% 49,301 34.10% 2,450 1.69%
2016 80,026 65.55% 35,230 28.86% 6,837 5.60%
2012 76,662 68.07% 34,148 30.32% 1,813 1.61%
2008 74,960 68.45% 33,303 30.41% 1,249 1.14%
2004 67,132 71.85% 25,393 27.18% 907 0.97%
2000 58,095 69.93% 22,830 27.48% 2,156 2.60%
1996 39,658 63.23% 18,907 30.15% 4,155 6.62%
1992 41,759 60.50% 18,312 26.53% 8,951 12.97%
1988 41,467 77.89% 11,366 21.35% 405 0.76%
1984 38,628 80.95% 8,828 18.50% 265 0.56%
1980 28,313 67.60% 12,334 29.45% 1,239 2.96%
1976 21,442 59.43% 14,339 39.75% 296 0.82%
1972 25,327 84.75% 4,069 13.62% 490 1.64%
1968 12,204 48.49% 4,058 16.12% 8,907 35.39%
1964 12,041 71.47% 4,807 28.53% 0 0.00%
1960 6,511 61.02% 4,159 38.98% 0 0.00%
1956 1,188 20.71% 2,094 36.50% 2,455 42.79%
1952 4,018 53.35% 3,513 46.65% 0 0.00%
1948 58 2.03% 566 19.78% 2,237 78.19%
1944 20 0.94% 1,986 93.68% 114 5.38%
1940 17 1.12% 1,496 98.88% 0 0.00%
1936 32 1.47% 2,138 98.53% 0 0.00%
1932 5 3.40% 141 95.92% 1 0.68%
1928 61 4.73% 1,228 95.27% 0 0.00%
1924 7 0.50% 1,395 99.36% 2 0.14%
1920 59 3.15% 1,813 96.85% 0 0.00%
1916 31 1.43% 2,060 95.15% 74 3.42%
1912 3 0.24% 1,201 94.94% 61 4.82%
1908 80 3.09% 2,508 96.87% 1 0.04%
1904 60 2.44% 2,403 97.56% 0 0.00%
1900 30 2.25% 1,302 97.75% 0 0.00%
1896 197 10.54% 1,672 89.46% 0 0.00%
1892 71 4.43% 1,287 80.39% 243 15.18%


The county is no less Republican at the state level. It has supported the Republican candidate for governor in every election since 1982 when Richard Riley carried every county in the state.[33] As late as 2006, Tommy Moore did manage 44 percent of the vote.[34] The last Democratic senatorial nominee to manage even 30 percent of the county's vote was Inez Tenenbaum in 2004, and no Democrat has carried the county since Ernest "Fritz" Hollings did so in 1980. In 1986, it was the only county in the state to support Hollings' GOP opponent Henry McMaster.[35]

On November 4, 2014, Lexington County residents voted against a proposed sales tax increase. The money generated from this tax would have mostly been used to improve traffic conditions upon roadways.[36] Likewise on November 4, 2014, residents voted to repeal a ban on alcohol sales on Sundays within the county.[37]

Law enforcementEdit

In 2015, long-time county sheriff James Metts pled guilty to charges of conspiring to harbor and conceal illegal aliens. Metts accepted bribes to keep undocumented immigrants out of federal databases. Metts had been sheriff since 1972.[38][39][40][41]

Notable peopleEdit

Floyd Spence Lexington County resident & Congressman for 30 years.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Partly in Richland County
  2. ^ 3 of 6 campuses are in Lexington County
  3. ^ Partly in Richland County

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "QuickFacts Lexington County, South Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts. 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "South Carolina: Individual County Chronologies". South Carolina Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2009. Archived from the original on January 3, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  4. ^ Barefoot, Daniel W. (1999). Touring South Carolina's Revolutionary War Sites. John F. Blair, Publisher. p. 293. ISBN 9780895871824.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  6. ^ Climate in Lexington County, South Carolina. Bestplaces.net. Retrieved on 2013-07-24.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Lexington County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Lexington County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  15. ^ 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 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  17. ^ "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 11, 2016.
  18. ^ "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 11, 2016.
  19. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts". U.S. Census. July 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  21. ^ "Lexington County SC - Cities, Towns, Neighborhoods, & Subdivisions". southcarolina.hometownlocator.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  22. ^ "Census Tract 211.11, Lexington County, South Carolina". U.S. Boundary. 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  23. ^ "Census Tract 211.12, Lexington County, South Carolina". U.S. Boundary. 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  24. ^ "About Lexington School District One". Lexington County School District One. n.d. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  25. ^ "SC Report Cards". South Carolina Department of Education. n.d. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  26. ^ "About Us: Lexington Three". Lexington School District Three. n.d. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" (PDF). Lexington County Government. 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  28. ^ "The Comet Tracker". The Central Midlands Transit Authority. n.d. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  29. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for CAE PDF, effective 2007-12-20
  30. ^ "South Carolina Election Results". New York Times. November 7, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  31. ^ "2020 Statewide General Election". SC Votes. November 7, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  32. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  33. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 1982 Gubernatorial General Election Results – South Carolina
  34. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 2006 Gubernatorial General Election Results – South Carolina
  35. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 1986 Senatorial General Election Results – South Carolina
  36. ^ "Lexington County Voters Reject Penny Tax". Wltx.com. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  37. ^ "Lexington County, Cayce voters repeal Sunday alcohol sales ban". Coladaily.com. November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  38. ^ "Former Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Harbor and Conceal Illegal Aliens — FBI". www.fbi.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  39. ^ "Former Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts Sentenced". www.justice.gov. April 27, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  40. ^ "The Sheriff Who Sold Amnesty". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  41. ^ "South Carolina's Longest-Serving Sheriff James Metts Indicted". NBC News. Retrieved November 9, 2021.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 33°54′N 81°16′W / 33.90°N 81.27°W / 33.90; -81.27