Lexington County, South Carolina

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of Lexington County, South Carolina, exploring its multiple facets, its impact on society, its evolution over time and its relevance in the current context. From its origins to the present, Lexington County, South Carolina has played a fundamental role in various areas, generating debates, reflections and emotions among those who have experienced it. Through a detailed analysis, we will examine its influence on different cultures, its importance in history and its projection into the future. It doesn't matter if Lexington County, South Carolina is a person, a topic, a date or any other element, because its meaning transcends borders and opens endless possibilities to understand its essence and its impact on the world around us.

Lexington County
Lexington County Courthouse
Flag of Lexington County
Official seal of Lexington County
Motto: 
"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 / 33.90°N 81.27°W / 33.90; -81.27
Country United States
State South Carolina
Founded1785
Named forBattle of Lexington and Concord
SeatLexington
Largest communityLexington
Area
 • Total757.62 sq mi (1,962.2 km2)
 • Land699.00 sq mi (1,810.4 km2)
 • Water58.62 sq mi (151.8 km2)  7.74%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total293,991
 • Estimate 
(2023)
309,528
 • Density420.59/sq mi (162.39/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.lex-co.sc.gov

Lexington County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 293,991. Its county seat and largest community is Lexington. The county was chartered in 1785 and was named in commemoration of Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolutionary War. Lexington County is the sixth-most populous county in South Carolina by population and is part of the Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the Midlands region of South Carolina.

History

Lexington County was charted in 1785 and was named after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, fought at the outset of the American Revolutionary War.

Geography

Map
Interactive map of Lexington County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 757.62 square miles (1,962.2 km2), of which 699.00 square miles (1,810.4 km2) is land and 58.62 square miles (151.8 km2) (7.74%) is water. 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. The elevation in the county is 392 feet (119 m).

Climate

Lexington County averages 47 inches (1,200 mm) of rain per year; the U.S. average is 38 inches (970 mm). The average snowfall is 1 inch (25 mm); the U.S. average is 28 inches (710 mm). The average number of days with any measurable precipitation is 103.

On average, there are 218 sunny days per year in Lexington County. The July high is around 92.3 °F (33.5 °C) and the January low is 33.2 °F (0.7 °C). The comfort index rates the county a 7.3 out of 10, where higher is more comfortable. The U.S. average on the comfort index is a 7 out of 10.

State and local protected areas

Major water bodies

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
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%
2023 (est.)309,5285.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Lexington County racial composition
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 census, there were 293,991 people, 118,193 households, and 81,118 families residing in the county.

2010 census

At the 2010 census, there were 262,391 people, 102,733 households, and 70,952 families living in the county. The population density was 375.4 inhabitants per square mile (144.9 inhabitants/km2). There were 113,957 housing units at an average density of 163.0 units per square mile (62.9 units/km2). 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. In terms of ancestry, 17.2% were German, 14.0% were American, 12.5% were English, and 11.8% were Irish.

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.

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.

2000 census

At the 2000 census, 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 people/km2). There were 90,978 housing units at an average density of 130 units per square mile (50 units/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, 26.10% of the population was under the age of 18, 8.30% was from 18 to 24, 31.60% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.20% was 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.

Law and government

Politics

Lexington County was one of the first areas of South Carolina to support the Republican Party. The last official Democratic candidate to carry the county at a presidential level was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, and the official Democratic candidate last won 40 percent of the county's vote in 1952. It supported splinter Dixiecrat candidates in 1948 and 1956.

In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Lexington County voted 64.2% in favor of Republican Donald Trump and 34.1% in favor of Democrat Joe Biden with 72.6% of the eligible electorate voting. This was the strongest performance by a Democratic candidate for president since 1976.

United States presidential election results for Lexington County, South Carolina
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's Republican bent is not limited to national politics; its voters frequently reject Democrats at the state level as well. The county has supported the Republican candidate for governor in every election since 1982 when Richard Riley carried every county in the state. 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' Republican opponent, future Governor Henry McMaster. It was one of the first areas where Republicans broke the long Democratic monopoly on state and local offices; today, longtime state senator Nikki Setzler is the only elected Democrat above the county level.

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. That same day, residents voted to repeal a ban on alcohol sales on Sundays within the county.

Law enforcement

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.

Economy

UPS Airplanes Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Lexington County

In 2022, the GDP was $16.7 billion (about $53,814 per capita), and the real GDP was $13.8 billion (about $44,563 per capita) in chained 2017 dollars.

The Saxe Gotha Industrial Park near Cayce houses multiple distribution sites for major national companies, including Amazon, Chick-fil-A, The Home Depot and Nephron Pharmaceuticals. Near Lexington is the Michelin tire-production plant. Other manufacturers include Shaw Industries, Southeastern Freight Lines, and Flex, at which president Biden spoke in July 2023.

Employment and Wage Statistics by Industry in Lexington County, South Carolina - Q3 2023
Industry Employment Counts Employment Percentage (%) Average Annual Wage ($)
Accommodation and Food Services 12,892 9.9 20,436
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services 7,696 5.9 39,000
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 608 0.5 55,432
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 956 0.7 23,140
Construction 7,402 5.7 62,244
Educational Services 10,238 7.9 50,596
Finance and Insurance 3,276 2.5 73,736
Health Care and Social Assistance 19,302 14.9 56,992
Information 2,252 1.7 62,972
Management of Companies and Enterprises 1,388 1.1 77,272
Manufacturing 12,343 9.5 69,108
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 143 0.1 73,164
Other Services (except Public Administration) 4,281 3.3 48,048
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 4,951 3.8 71,032
Public Administration 5,240 4.0 56,004
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 1,625 1.3 54,860
Retail Trade 18,087 13.9 34,996
Transportation and Warehousing 9,682 7.5 46,904
Utilities 1,410 1.1 92,144
Wholesale Trade 6,158 4.7 83,252
Total 129,930 100.0% 51,735

Top Employers

Two towers of Lexington Medical Center
Top ten employers (2021)
Rank Employer Employees
1 Lexington Medical Center 7,893
2 Lexington School District 1 3,674
3 Amazon 3,050
4 Wal-Mart 2,603
5 State government 2,308
6 Michelin 2,240
7 County of Lexington 1,855
8 Dominion Energy 1,486
9 Lexington School District 2 1,274
10 Lexington School District Five 1,136

Transportation

Interstates

  • 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. Routes

State Routes

Columbia Metropolitan Airport

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. The airport was named Lexington County Airport, and during World War II, trained pilots for B-25 Mitchell crews.

Public Transportation

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.

Education

Education in Lexington County
Public school district name Enrollment Teachers Schools
Lexington County School District One 27,072 1,959 31
Lexington County School District Two 8,582 636 13
Lexington County School District Three 2,020 160 4
Lexington County School District Four 3,245 224 6
Lexington & Richland County School District Five 16,780 1,332 22
Colleges Enrollment Campuses
Midlands Technical College 15,000 3
Public libraries Visitors (counted once) Branches
Lexington County Public Library 160,336 10

Attractions

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)

Communities

Lexington County (Cayce) from the banks of the Congaree River.
Walking trail in Cayce, crossing beneath railroad tracks
Columbiana Mall in Columbia
A farm in rural Lexington County near Swansea

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Ghost town

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2020 census of Lexington County.

= county seat

Rank Name Type Population
(2020 census)
1 Columbia City 136,632
2 Lexington Town 23,568
3 West Columbia City 17,416
4 Seven Oaks CDP 14,652
5 Cayce City 13,781
6 Oak Grove CDP 12,899
7 Irmo Town 11,569
8 Red Bank CDP 10,924
9 White Knoll CDP 7,858
10 Batesburg-Leesville Town 5,270
11 Springdale Town 2,744
12 South Congaree Town 2,377
13 Pine Ridge Town 2,167
14 Chapin Town 1,809
15 Gaston Town 1,608
16 Edmund CDP 969
17 Swansea Town 722
18 Pelion Town 631
19 Gilbert Town 571
20 Fairview Crossroads CDP 540
21 Summit Town 423

Notable person

See also

Notes

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

References

  1. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Lexington County, South Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 22, 2024.
  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. ^ "2020 County Gazetteer Files – South Carolina". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2022. Retrieved September 10, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c "Climate in Lexington County, South Carolina". www.bestplaces.net. Retrieved September 10, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c "SCDNR Public Lands". www2.dnr.sc.gov. Retrieved April 1, 2023.
  8. ^ "Saluda Shoals Park". Icrc.net. Retrieved February 16, 2024.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
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  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  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.
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  23. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 1982 Gubernatorial General Election Results – South Carolina
  24. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 1986 Senatorial General Election Results – South Carolina
  25. ^ "Lexington County Voters Reject Penny Tax". Wltx.com. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  26. ^ "Lexington County, Cayce voters repeal Sunday alcohol sales ban". Coladaily.com. November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ "Former Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts Sentenced". www.justice.gov. April 27, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  29. ^ "The Sheriff Who Sold Amnesty". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  30. ^ "South Carolina's Longest-Serving Sheriff James Metts Indicted". NBC News. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  31. ^ U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (January 1, 2001). "Gross Domestic Product: All Industries in Lexington County, SC". FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  32. ^ U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (January 1, 2001). "Real Gross Domestic Product: All Industries in Lexington County, SC". FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  33. ^ "Saxe Gotha Industrial Park". lexingtoncountyusa.sc.gov. Lexington County. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  34. ^ McMaster, Henry. "Chick-fil-A Supply establishing distribution center in Lexington County". governor.sc.gov. Governor's Office of South Carolina. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  35. ^ "TOP EMPLOYERS". lexingtoncountyusa.sc.gov. Lexington County. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  36. ^ Chhetri, Devyani. "Live Updates: Joe Biden in SC: President lands in Columbia ahead of Investing in America stop". Greenville News. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
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  38. ^ "Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, 2020-2021" (PDF). Lexington County (S.C.). n.d. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  39. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for CAE PDF, effective December 20, 2007
  40. ^ "The Comet Tracker". The Central Midlands Transit Authority. n.d. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  41. ^ "District of Lexington County School District One". South Carolina Department of Education. 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  42. ^ "District of Lexington School District Two". South Carolina Department of Education. 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  43. ^ "District of Lexington County School District Three". South Carolina Department of Education. 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  44. ^ "District of Lexington School District Four". South Carolina Department of Education. 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  45. ^ "District of School District Five Of Lexington & Richland Count". South Carolina Department of Education. 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
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  47. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Archived from the original on July 11, 2022. Retrieved May 18, 2023.

External links