South Carolina Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in South Carolina have the largest African American population.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cities in South Carolina with the largest African American population.

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The Black community is one of the fastest growing communities in America this decade.

There are now 42 million people who identify as Black or African American living in America, making up 12% of the total population. According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Black population in South Carolina is 1,328,352 – at 26.8% of the total population of South Carolina.

The percentage growth of Blacks in America is the third largest percentage change for any race according to the Census’s race and ethnicity definition. As most scholars and historians agree, an increase in the diversity in America is a good thing.

We agree.

But how has the increase in the black population impacted South Carolina? Which cities and towns in South Carolina have seen the greatest increase in its Black population?

We broke down the most recent census data to determine the cities in South Carolina with the largest African American population in 2020:

  1. Marion (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Lake City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Orangeburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Chester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Bennettsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Cheraw (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Darlington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Newberry (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Georgetown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Lancaster (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What’s the blackest city in South Carolina? Marion took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in South Carolina for 2020. See if it ranked as one of the most african american cities in America.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.

To see where South Carolina ranked as a state on diversity, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in America.

And if you already knew these places were Black, check out the best places to live in South Carolina or the most diverse places in South Carolina.

The 10 Blackest Cities In South Carolina For 2020

Marion, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,548
% African American: 81.72%
# Of African American Residents: 5,351
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.98%
More on Marion: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Marion is a city in Marion County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,711 at the 2016 census. It is the county seat of Marion County. It is named for Francis Marion, a Brigadier General from South Carolina in the American Revolutionary War.

Lake City, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,658
% African American: 79.92%
# Of African American Residents: 5,321
Percent Change Since 2010: 9.69%
More on Lake City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lake City is a city in Florence County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,675 at the 2010 census. Located in central South Carolina, it is south of Florence and included as part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Orangeburg, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 13,120
% African American: 73.55%
# Of African American Residents: 9,650
Percent Change Since 2010: -5.67%
More on Orangeburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Orangeburg, also known as The Garden City, is the principal city in and the county seat of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, United States. The population of the city was 13,964 according to the 2010 United States census. The city is located 37 miles southeast of Columbia, on the north fork of the Edisto River in the Piedmont area.

Chester, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,433
% African American: 67.57%
# Of African American Residents: 3,671
Percent Change Since 2010: 7.88%
More on Chester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chester is a small rural city in Chester County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,607 at the 2010 census, down from 6,476 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Chester County.

Bennettsville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 8,308
% African American: 64.29%
# Of African American Residents: 5,341
Percent Change Since 2010: -14.42%
More on Bennettsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bennettsville is a city located in the U.S. state of South Carolina on the Great Pee Dee River. As the county seat of Marlboro County, Bennettsville is noted for its historic homes and buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries – including the Bennettsville Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cheraw, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 5,701
% African American: 58.01%
# Of African American Residents: 3,307
Percent Change Since 2010: -1.11%
More on Cheraw: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cheraw is a town on the Pee Dee River in Chesterfield and Marlboro counties, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,851 at the 2010 census and has the lowest per capita income level of any municipality of 5,000 or more residents in the Pee Dee region. It has been nicknamed “The Prettiest Town in Dixie”. The harbor tug USS Cheraw was named in the town’s honor.

Darlington, SC

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 6,034
% African American: 57.31%
# Of African American Residents: 3,458
Percent Change Since 2010: -8.71%
More on Darlington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Darlington is a city located in Darlington County, South Carolina, United States. In 2016, its population was 6,117. It is the county seat of Darlington County. It is part of the Florence, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Newberry, SC

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,289
% African American: 57.04%
# Of African American Residents: 5,869
Percent Change Since 2010: 42.45%
More on Newberry: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newberry is a city in Newberry County, South Carolina, United States, in the Piedmont 43 miles northwest of Columbia. The charter was adopted in 1894. The population was 10,277 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Newberry County; at one time it was called Newberry Courthouse.

Georgetown, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,936
% African American: 54.57%
# Of African American Residents: 4,876
Percent Change Since 2010: -3.27%
More on Georgetown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Georgetown is the third oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and the county seat of Georgetown County, in the Lowcountry. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 9,163. Located on Winyah Bay at the confluence of the Black, Great Pee Dee, Waccamaw, and Sampit rivers, Georgetown is the second largest seaport in South Carolina, handling over 960,000 tons of materials a year. Georgetown is also the birthplace of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s grandfather, Fraser Robinson. Many of Michelle Obama’s relatives still reside in Georgetown.

Lancaster, SC

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 9,150
% African American: 53.2%
# Of African American Residents: 4,868
Percent Change Since 2010: 15.25%
More on Lancaster: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The city of Lancaster is the county seat of Lancaster County, South Carolina, United States, located in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. As of the United States Census of 2010, the city population was 9,134 but due to South Carolina’s strict annexation laws its actual population is well over twenty thousand people. The city was named after the famous House of Lancaster. Locally, Lancaster is pronounced LAYN-ks-tr, rather than the usual American pronunciation LAN-kas-tr. The modern British pronunciation is LANG-kas-tr.

How We Determined The Cities In South Carolina With The Largest Black Population For 2020

We still believe in the accuracy of data — especially from the census. So that’s where we went to get the breakdown of race across South Carolina.

That lead us to the Census’s most recently available data, the 2014-2018 American Community Survey data from the US Census.

Specifically, we looked at table B03002: Hispanic OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE. Here are the category names as defined by the Census:

  • Hispanic or Latino
  • White alone*
  • Black or African American alone*
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone*
  • Asian alone*
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone*
  • Some other race alone*
  • Two or more races*
* Not Hispanic or latino

Our particular column of interest here was the number of people who identified as Black or African American.

We limited our analysis to non-CDPs with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 59 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 81.7% to 2.2%.

Finally, we ranked each city based on the percent of Black population with a higher score being more Black than a lower score. Marion took the distinction of being the most Black, while Tega Cay was the least African American city. You can download the data here.

Read on for more information on how the cities in South Carolina ranked by population of African American residents or, for a more general take on diversity in America, head over to our ranking of the most diverse cities in America.

There You Have It – Black Populations Across South Carolina

If you’re looking for a breakdown of African American populations across South Carolina according to the most recent data, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least African American places in South Carolina:

  1. Tega Cay
  2. North Myrtle Beach
  3. Mount Pleasant

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In South Carolina

Rank City % African American Population
1 Marion 81.72% 6,548
2 Lake City 79.92% 6,658
3 Orangeburg 73.55% 13,120
4 Chester 67.57% 5,433
5 Bennettsville 64.29% 8,308
6 Cheraw 58.01% 5,701
7 Darlington 57.31% 6,034
8 Newberry 57.04% 10,289
9 Georgetown 54.57% 8,936
10 Lancaster 53.2% 9,150
11 Abbeville 52.73% 5,079
12 Walterboro 52.43% 5,503
13 Dillon 51.27% 6,456
14 Sumter 48.36% 39,964
15 Hartsville 48.07% 7,658
16 Spartanburg 47.64% 37,370
17 Florence 46.72% 37,802
18 Union 46.59% 7,878
19 North Charleston 45.48% 109,886
20 Greenwood 44.43% 23,230
21 Batesburg-Leesville 41.28% 5,424
22 Gaffney 40.55% 12,526
23 Columbia 40.17% 133,352
24 Rock Hill 39.24% 71,903
25 Laurens 37.55% 8,914
26 Camden 36.67% 7,060
27 Clinton 35.91% 8,508
28 Conway 35.23% 22,661
29 York 35.03% 8,062
30 Fountain Inn 34.75% 8,684
31 Irmo 32.15% 12,087
32 Anderson 31.13% 27,129
33 Moncks Corner 27.94% 10,169
34 Beaufort 27.59% 13,336
35 Aiken 27.52% 30,464
36 Seneca 26.21% 8,290
37 Greenville 25.55% 65,727
38 Mauldin 24.41% 25,009
39 Charleston 22.3% 133,762
40 Cayce 21.36% 13,621
41 Forest Acres 21.06% 10,433
42 Summerville 20.34% 50,894
43 Simpsonville 20.17% 21,423
44 Goose Creek 19.42% 41,339
45 North Augusta 17.63% 22,603
46 West Columbia 17.11% 17,296
47 Fort Mill 16.7% 15,924
48 Greer 16.66% 29,717
49 Hanahan 16.44% 22,963
50 Myrtle Beach 13.87% 31,783
51 Port Royal 13.58% 12,446
52 Easley 12.21% 20,784
53 Lexington 10.29% 21,040
54 Bluffton 7.77% 18,835
55 Hilton Head Island 7.04% 39,820
56 Clemson 6.31% 15,966
57 Mount Pleasant 4.16% 83,700
58 North Myrtle Beach 2.57% 15,862
59 Tega Cay 2.23% 9,954

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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