> > Home >>  United States >> Race & Ethnicity  >> South Carolina

South Carolina Population by Race and Ethnicity

South Carolina the 23rd largest U.S. state by population has a racially and ethnically diverse population. As of 2020, White (Non-Hispanic)  are the largest group in South Carolina followed by African Americans population.

also read about the Population of South Carolina

Ethnic and Racial Percentage

In 2020, the White alone (non-Hispanic) population was the largest racial or ethnic group in South Carolina, comprising 62.10% of the total population. It was followed by the African American population whose share was 24.79%.

The Hispanic or Latino population was the third largest group at 6.89%. Two or more races are at 3.79% and the Asian population was at 1.75%

The ethnic composition of South Carolina is as follows

Race and OriginActual PopulationPercentage 2020
White alone3,178,55262.10%
Black or African American alone1,269,03124.79%
Hispanic or Latino352,8386.89%
Two or more races189,5803.70%
Asian alone89,3941.75%
Some Other Race alone19,3540.38%
American Indians and Alaska Natives alone16,5910.32%
Native Hawaiian and  Pacific Islander 3,0850.06%

Source: US Census  2020

also read about Religion in South Carolina

*US Census recognized five racial categories (White, Black or African American, Asian American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. It also classified respondents as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino", identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation.

Ancestry in South Carolina

As per Census Studies and estimate American, German, English, Irish, and Italian have made the five largest ancestry groups in South Carolina. In 2020, 10.5% of the population considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity). Many of these were of English or Scotch-Irish descent; however, their families have lived in the state for so long that they choose to identify as having “American” ancestry or do not know their ancestry. Some of their ancestry dates to the original thirteen colonies.

The Largest Ancestry in South Carolina is as follows

8French (except Basque)81,9351.6%
10Subsaharan African47,6840.9%
16West Indian 19,6460.4%
17French Canadian19,1970.4%

Source: US Census Bureau population estimate 2020

European ancestry in South Carolina

Non-Hispanic Whites account for nearly 62% of South Carolina’s population. German, English, and Irish Americans have made up three of the largest European ancestry groups in South Carolina. As per the Census report, German Americans made up 8.3% of the population and numbered 427,444 members.

English Americans made up 7.9% of the population and numbered 408,864. Irish Americans made up 7.8% of the population and numbered 403,588 followed by Italian ancestry at 2.9% of the population and number 149,761.

For other European ancestry percentages please refer table above.

African Americans in South Carolina

The largest minority group in South Carolina are Blacks and African Americans, who include about one-fourth of the population. As of 2020, those of African ancestry accounted for 25% of South Carolina’s population. In 1900, South Carolina’s African American population was approximately 58%, a majority. By 1970, the population decreased to 30%. African Americans emigrated from the state to escape Jim Crow laws, and racial violence, and to find higher-paying jobs

A substantial proportion of South Carolina’s African American population resides in the metropolitan areas of Columbia, Charleston, and Rock Hill. Counties with a high percentage of the Black population are  Allendale, Williamsburg County, Bamberg County, Lee County, and Orangeburg County. Additionally, there are numerous Black residents living in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas across the state.

Hispanics and Latinos in South Carolina

Hispanics and Latinos are the third-largest groups in South Carolina. Around 6.89% of South Carolina’s Population claims Hispanic or Latin American ethnicity. The largest Latino communities in South Carolina (in order of size) are found in Greenville, Beaufort, Spartanburg, Richland, Charleston, and Horry Counties.

The majority (over 6o%) of South Carolina’s Latino immigrants were of Mexican origin, followed by  Puerto Rican, Central American, South American, and other Caribbean origins. Of Central Americans, most are of Honduran and Guatemalan origin. Of South Americans, the majority are of Colombian origin, followed by those of Peruvian and Venezuelan origin.

Asian Americans in South Carolina

Asian Americans are a minority group in South Carolina. Americans of Asian descent formed 1.75% of the population. Its ethnic Asian population has grown rapidly since the late 1990s; the majority are Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Korean.

About 73.9% of Indians resided in Greenville, Richland, Lexington, York, Spartanburg, and Charleston Counties.  only 54% of the Chinese population resided in the same counties! The Chinese population was much more dispersed. Around 63.5% of Filipinos resided in six counties, with a majority (35.5%) living in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties. Of Koreans, around 37.2% reside in Richland or Lexington Counties. Around 70.6% of Vietnamese, resided in six counties, with Greenville, Richland, and Horry Counties accounting for 49% of the tota

Multi-Race in South Carolina

Multiracial individuals are also a visible minority in South Carolina. People identifying as multiracial form 3.7% of the population, and number around 189,580 people. 

also read about Multi-racial in the United States

Race and Ethnicity in South Carolina 2024 | Ancestry in South Carolina