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By the Numbers

  • There are 271 cities and towns in South Carolina ranging in population from 45 to 129,272.
  • Columbia is the state's largest city with a population of 129,272 followed by Charleston with a population of 120,083
  • With populations of 45, Smyrna and Tatum are the state's smallest cities, followed by Jenkinsville with a population of 46.
  • 46 percent of the state's municipalities have a population of less than 1,000 residents.
  • More than 1,655,448 people live in South Carolina cities and towns.

  • With a population of 1,472, Chesterfield is the smallest county seat of government in South Carolina and the smallest municipality in the state with a YMCA.


  • Aiken was the first city in South Carolina and the second in the country to introduce polo on horseback to the community. It has been written that polo was first played outdoors in Aiken in 1882.

  • Isle of Palms is home to the first female fire chief in South Carolina, Chief Ann M. Graham.

  • The first successful long-distance transmission of electricity in the south occurred in the city of Anderson on May 1, 1895, earning Anderson the nickname "The Electric City."

  • Sumter had the first manager/council form of government in the country. (Staunton, VA, also makes this claim. The International City-County Management Association credits both cities with this "first."). Sumter celebrated the 100th anniversary of the manager/council form of government in 2012.

Claims to Fame

  • Longest serving mayors

Mayor John Boyd McCrorey, Richburg - 41 years

Mayor Rutledge Leland, McClellanville - 40 years (still serving)

Mayor Tim Moore, Snelling - 40 years

Mayor Berlin Myers, Summerville - 40 years

Mayor Joe Riley, Charleston - 40 years

Mayor Jessie Martin “Marty” Schumpert, Elko - 40 years 

Mayor Odell Weeks, Aiken - approximately 40 years

  • Myrtle Beach and Awendaw have the only municipally owned libraries in South Carolina (libraries are typically a county operation).

  •  21 South Carolina cities run their own municipal electric utilities.

  • Winnsboro is reported to be home to the oldest running town clock in the country.

  • Greenwood is reported to have the widest Main Street in the country.