BEAUFORT COUNTY
Date Formed:  1769
Land Area (square miles): 587
County Seat: Beaufort
Other Cities and Towns: Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, Port Royal, Yemassee
Form of Government: Council-Administrator
Council Members: 11
Method of Election: Single Member
Term Length: 4 years
Council of Government:  Lowcountry
County History
Both Beaufort County and its county seat were named for Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort (1684-1714), one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. The district was formed in 1769 from the parishes of Prince William, St. Luke, St. Helena, and St. Peter. It remained relatively unchanged in size until 1878, when a large portion was removed to form Hampton County. French explorers visited this area long before the English arrived. They established a fort in 1562, as did the Spanish in 1566; neither of these settlements survived, however. Beaufort, the second oldest town in South Carolina, was founded in 1710. In the years before the Civil War, rice and sea island cotton plantations brought great wealth to the region. Federal troops occupied Beaufort in December 1861, and the first school in the South for freed slaves was established during the Civil War at what is now Penn Center on St. Helena Island. Some famous residents of Beaufort County are naturalists Alexander Garden (ca. 1730-1791) and Stephen Elliott (1771-1830); Robert Smalls (1839-1915), a former slave who became a United States Congressman; boxer Joe Frazier; and writer Pat Conroy.
Population Trends Value Rank Value Rank
Census Population 1990 86,425 14 Numeric Change Census 1990-2010 75,808 6
Census Population 2000 120,937 12 Percent Change Census 1990-2010 87.7% 1
Census Population 2010 162,233 10 Numeric Change Pop. Est. 2010-2015 17,356 8
Population Estimate 2014 175,118 10 Percent Change Pop. Est. 2014-2015 9.9% 8
Population Estimate 2015 179,589 10 Avg. Annual Growth Rate 2010 - 2015 2.1% 8
Persons Per Square Mile 276.4 7
Economic Data Value Rank Value Rank
Jobs 2014 94,723 8 Personal Income 2014, in thousands $8,113,329 8
Jobs 2013 93,182 8 Avg. Annual Growth Rate, 1969 - 2014 8.4% 5
Jobs 2012 70,693 8 Per Capita Personal Income 2014 $46,137 2
Jobs 2000 71,160 7 % of U.S. Per Cap Personal Income 2014 100.2% 2
Jobs 1990 49,653 11 Average Wage Per Job 2015 $36,472 26
Avg. Ann. Growth Rate Jobs 1990-2010 2.1% 6 % of U.S. Avg. Wage Per Job 2015 68.9% 26
Percent Change Jobs 2012-2014 1.7% 20 Unemployment Rate 2015 5.4% 38
Numeric Change Jobs 2013-2014 1,541 8
Tax Data Value Value
Assessed Property 2013 $1,872,246,649 Per Capita Assessed Property 2013 $11,540
County Base Millage Rate 2015 0.0592 Additional Sales Tax, if applicable:
Value of One Mil 2015 $1,692,538 Local Option  
Net Taxable Sales FY14 $2,425,558,470 Capital Projects  
State Admissions Tax FY14 $3,614,414 School District  
State Accommodations Tax Collected FY14 $6,839,881 Transportation  
Edu. Capital Improvement  
County Finance & Employment Data Value Value
Total Revenues FY14 $139,683,210 Per Capita Revenues FY14 $861
Total Expenditures FY14 $160,377,392 Per Capita Expenditures FY14 $989
General Fund Budget FY16 $107,815,000 Per Capita Gen. Fund Budget FY16 $665
Total Debt Outstanding FY15 $217,800,101 Per Capita Debt Outstanding FY15 $1,343
Payroll FY16 $53,000,000 Credit Rating(s) FY13, if applicable:
Full-Time Employees FY16 1138 Moody's Aa1
Part-Time Employees FY16 150 Standard & Poor's AA
Full-Time Emp/1,000 Cnty Residents 7.01 Fitch AA