South Carolina, a state in the southeastern United States. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachians between North Carolina and Georgia and, with an area of 32,007 square miles (82,898 km 2), is the smallest of the Southern states. South Carolina is a land of considerable variety, stretching from sandy beaches and subtropical islands along the coast through vast pine forests and fields of tobacco and cotton to the hazy peaks of the Blue Ridge.

One of the original 13 colonies, South Carolina is rich historically and has preserved much of its heritage while building a modern industrial society. Before the Civil War it played a major role in the affairs of the nation and was the most ardent defender of Southern rights. Reminders of those days survive in the old, restored sections of Charleston, in graceful antebellum mansions, and in battle sites such as Kings Mountain and Cowpens. Representing the new South Carolina are sprawling factories, numerous hydroelectric plants, and the bustling port of Charleston—all bringing increased prosperity after many decades of economic problems.

South Carolina'sSouth Carolina's state bird is the Carolina wren.
South Carolina in brief
General information
Statehood: May 23, 1788, the 8th state.
State abbreviations: S.C. (traditional); SC (postal).
State capital: Columbia, the capital of South Carolina since 1790. Charleston served as capital from 1670 to 1790.
State mottoes: Animis Opibusque Parati (Prepared In Mind and Resources); Dum Spiro Spero (While I Breathe, I Hope).
Popular name: The Palmetto State.
State song: "Carolina." Words by Henry Timrod; music by Anne Custis Burgess. “South Carolina on My Mind.”
Symbols of South Carolina
State bird: Carolina wren.
State flower: Yellow jessamine.
State tree: Sabal palmetto.
State flag and seal: South Carolina's state flag, adopted in 1861, bears a palmetto tree and a crescent on a blue background. The state seal, authorized in 1776, displays two scenes. In the scene on the left, a palmetto over a dead oak symbolizes the defenses in 1776 of the palmetto-log fort on Sullivan's Island against the United Kingdom's oaken ships. On the right, a woman walking on a sword-covered beach represents hope overcoming danger.
Land and climate
Area: 31,117 mi2 (80,593 km2), including 1,006 mi2 (2,605 km2) of inland water but excluding 72 mi2 (186 km2) of coastal water.
Elevation: Highest--Sassafras Mountain, 3,560 ft (1,085 m) above sea level. Lowest--sea level along the coast.
Coastline: 187 mi. (301 km).
Record high temperature: 111 degrees F (44 degrees C) in Blackville on Sept. 4, 1925, in Calhoun Falls on Sept. 8, 1925, and in Camden on June 28, 1954.
Record low temperature: –19 degrees F (–28 degrees C) was recorded at Caesars Head on Jan. 21, 1985.
Average July temperature: 80 degrees F (27 degrees C).
Average January temperature: 45 degrees F (7 degrees C).
Average yearly precipitation: 48 in (122 cm).
Population: 4,012,012.
Rank among the states: 26th.
Density: 129 per mi2 (50 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 60 percent urban, 40 percent rural.
Largest cities in South Carolina: Columbia (116,278); Charleston (96,650); North Charleston (79,641); Greenville (56,002); Rock Hill (49,765); Mount Pleasant (47,609).
Chief products
Agriculture: beef cattle, broilers, cotton, eggs, greenhouse and nursery products, soybeans, tobacco, turkeys.
Manufacturing: chemicals, machinery, plastics and rubber products, textiles, transportation equipment.
Mining: crushed stone, portland cement.
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 46; 4-year terms.
State representatives: 124; 2-year terms.
Counties: 46.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 6.
Electoral votes: 8.
Sources of information
For information about tourism, write to: South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201. The Web site at also provides information.
For information on the economy, write to: South Carolina Department of Commerce, P.O. Box 927, Columbia, SC 29202. The state's official Web site at also provides a gateway to much information on South Carolina's economy, government, and history.