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South Carolina

South Carolina, The Palmetto State

Agriculture is still big business in South Carolina. With just shy of five million acres of farmland on over 25,000 farms agribusiness is the state’s No. 1 employer, accounting for some 247,000 jobs.  Chickens & turkeys are No. 1 and 2 on the top commodities list in the state with corn and cattle filling in the top 4. Long known for tobacco & cotton, they have fallen to No. 10 & 6 respectively on the overall revenue list.

Rural South Carolina is seeing population decline at about  the same rate as other states with large areas used for agriculture. Between 2010 & 2016, 15 of the 20 rural counties have seen a population loss. 

What stands apart for South Carolina is a higher than average poverty rate among its rural counties. While the U.S. has a 16.4% poverty rate across rural America, South Carolina has a 21.8% rural poverty rate. With both of those numbers being from 2018 one can only speculate as to how a recession and pandemic will affect that number. 

This however is similar elsewhere in the Southeast part of the US, where state poverty rates hover around 20% . Compared to plains states like Nebraska & Minnesota where the rural poverty rate is around 11%, this might be a hint as to how much more South Carolina rural communities are set to lose population, as economic pressures send rural poor into urban areas.  

Images from South Carolina

Posts about South Carolina

Population Decline; The Hardest Hit Counties In Each State Since 1990

Since 1990 These Counties Are The Hardest Hit By Population Decline In Their State The 1990s are a significant time for Lost Americana, which goes beyond the fact that during that decade
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Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.

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•Were you the last class to graduate from a rural school before it closed its doors forever?

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