What Is the Capital of South Carolina?

The South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina.
The South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina.

The state of South Carolina is is bordered by Georgia, North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. South Carolina's state capital is Columbia. The University of South Carolina is in Columbia, as well as some historical sites, museums, and parks. Like many places and things bearing the name, Columbia is named for Christopher Columbus.


Columbia is known to have been a home for Congaree people before the Europeans settled in the area. The earliest records of Europeans to cross the area were the Spanish in 1540. In 1754 the colonial government established a ferry in the area. In 1786, State Senator, John Lewis, proposed a bill to create a state capital, and Columbia became the capital of South Carolina. Columbia experienced growth in the years that followed, particularly because of the Congaree River. Population growth in the city increased because of the railroad that facilitated transport. Santee Canal provided a direct route to Charleston. The Canal is 22 miles long and connected Cooper and Santee Rivers, and it was first built in 1786 coming to completion in 1800, becoming one of the earliest canals in the US. In 1805 Columbia was incorporated as a town and in 1854 as a city. The University of Southern Carolina (formally the South Carolina College), located in Columbia, was founded in 1801. The population began to increase in the early 1850s as more slaves were brought to work in Columbia.

Geography and Climate

Columbia is located in a flat terrain where Congaree River flows. Columbia is 134.9 square miles in area, and it has an elevation reaching 293 feet above sea level. The climate of Columbia is hot and characterized by cold winters and hot summers. The rains start from May to July with receiving approximately 44.6 inches annually. June is the hottest month of the year in Columbia as it records a temperature of 109 °F and February the coldest with a temperature of up to -2 °F.


As of 2010, the population of Columbia was 129,272, an 18.8% increase from 2000. Columbia is estimated to have a population of 134,309 as of 2016. The majority of the population in Columbia is female and from the statistics from the Columbia metropolitan statistical, 29 years is the median age in the city.


The location of Columbia facilitated its growth making the city center for trading and the river, Congaree River, made transportation easy and convenient. South Carolina's state government is one of the employers for the labor force in City. Columbia is home to many large companies that provide employment opportunities to the people of Columbia. Some of the employers in Columbia include Fortune 1000 company, the University of South Carolina, Fort Jackson, Track Tech and United Parcel Service. The gross domestic product (GDP) of Columbia in 2010 was approximately $31.90 billion.


The government of Columbia is run by a council-manager type of government, and Stephen K. Benjamin is the current mayor. The council acts as the main body that governs the city by making rules and laws to run the city. The council is elected after every four years.


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