The coastal region thrives as tourists and residents enjoy the splendor of the sandy beaches and islands, and Charleston serves as the state's impressive cultural center. South Carolina covers 30,109 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 4,723,723 people – with 1,089,723 living in rural South Carolina (USDA-ERS). Columbia is the state capital. The state’s largest cities are Columbia, Charleston and North Charleston. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 68.4% of the state’s population is white, 28.1% is Black/African-American, and 5.3% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2011).
There are 67 hospitals in South Carolina (Kaiser, 2010), 5 of which are identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (March 2013). There are 114 Rural Health Clinics in South Carolina (Kaiser, 2012) and 20 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 153 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2010). 20.0% of South Carolina residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011).
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for South Carolina residents in 2011 was $33,388, although rural per-capita income lagged at $30,304. Estimates from 2011 indicate a poverty rate of 22.5% exists in rural South Carolina, compared to 17.7% in urban areas of the state. 2011 ACS data reports that 20.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 15.1% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural South Carolina is 12.7%, while in urban South Carolina, it is 9.6% (USDA-ERS, 2011).
For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
Supports economic and social development in all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Center for Information Technology Implementation Assistance: South Carolina (CITIA-SC)
South Carolina State Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that helps health care providers become meaningful users of electronic health records by providing information and technical assistance.
Coastal Plain Rural Health Network (CPRHN)
One of five rural health networks developed through the South Carolina Office of Rural Health that consists of community leaders representing the counties of Clarendon, Williamsburg, Marion and Lower Florence. Membership represents public health, community hospitals, federally funded community health centers and the educational system and works to identify health care issues affecting their counties.
HUD Community Development Block Grants: South Carolina
Contact information for the State CDBG program. Provides funding for community development projects.
Lakelands Rural Health Network (LRHN)
One of five rural health networks developed through the South Carolina Office of Rural Health that works to enhance efficiency, expand access, coordinate and improve the quality of essential health care services and strengthen the rural health care system in Abbeville, Laurens, Newberry, Saluda, Edgefield, McCormick, and Greenwood counties.
Low Country Healthy Start
Designed to reduce infant mortality and improve pregnancy outcomes in South Carolina's Allendale, Bamberg, Hampton, and Orangeburg Counties.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region (NN/LM SE/A)
Works to improve access to health information for health care providers, librarians, and the public in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.
Northeastern Rural Health Network (NRHN)
A collaboration of the health and human service providers in Chesterfield, Dillon and Marlboro Counties, South Carolina, dedicated to improving access to quality healthcare in their rural communities. One of five rural health networks developed through the South Carolina Office of Rural Health.
South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC)
Addresses healthcare workforce needs starting at the level of elementary school education and extending to practicing healthcare professionals throughout the state. Their website provides contact details for each of the 4 regional Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) in the state, which serve healthcare providers and students.
South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations (SCANPO)
Provides assistance, information and training on effective practices in nonprofit management and leadership.
South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS)
Partners with public, private and social sector organizations to provide quality prevention, intervention and treatment services. Ensures the provision of quality services to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of substance use and addictions.
South Carolina Department of Commerce
Provides information on trade, grants, rural development, and recycling. Includes databases of community profiles, labor market information, buildings and more.
South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
Plans, develops, oversees and funds services for South Carolinians with severe, lifelong disabilities of intellectual disability, autism, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and conditions related to each of these four disabilities.
South Carolina Department of Education Office of Exceptional Children
Ensures that all children with disabilities in the State have access to free and appropriate public education, protects the rights of these children and their parents, and provides leadership to school districts and state-operated programs in the provision of appropriate special educational services.
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW)
Responsible for paying unemployment insurance benefits, collecting unemployment taxes, finding jobs for people, finding employees for companies, and collecting and disseminating state/federal employment statistics.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: Office of Minority Health (OMH)
Provides leadership and serve as a focal point for addressing health disparities and other minority health issues in South Carolina.
South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS)
Manages the Medicaid program to provide the best healthcare value, and provides medical care to low-income citizens in need.
South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH)
Focuses on adults, children, and their families affected by serious mental illnesses and significant emotional disorders. Works to eliminate stigma and promote the philosophy of recovery, and to assure the highest quality of culturally competent services possible.
South Carolina Department of Social Services Child Support Enforcement
Assists custodial parents with obtaining child support payments and helps locate parents and identify paternity.
South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA)
Works to support its members in addressing the healthcare needs of South Carolinians through advocacy, education, networking and regulatory assistance.
South Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO)
Provides programs which sustain the entire range of life necessities, including health care, education, employment, and housing assistance.
South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH)
Seeks to improve the health status of rural and underserved people throughout the state through advocacy, education, and assistance to providers, communities and policy-makers.
South Carolina Primary Health Care Association (SCPHCA)
Works to provide a coordinating structure to assure access to community-based primary, behavioral and other health care to every community in South Carolina.
South Carolina Rural Health Research Center (SCRHRC)
One of seven Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on investigating persistent inequities in health status within the population of the rural U.S., with an emphasis on inequities stemming from socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and access to healthcare services.
South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority
Administers a number of Federal and State programs directed at low and low-to-moderate income South Carolinians. Assists families and neighborhoods and helps stimulate the economy by supporting jobs in the construction, real estate, and financial industries.
South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department
Enables people with disabilities to prepare for, achieve, and maintain competitive employment.
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP)
Helps rural communities in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida to improve community infrastructure, including water and wastewater treatment.
Southeast Telehealth Resource Center (SETRC)
One of the telehealth resource centers funded by the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. Assists health care organizations, health care networks, and health care providers in the implementation of cost-effective telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. Includes Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC)
One of four regional rural development centers in the nation. Works to strengthen the region's 29 land-grant institutions in addressing rural development issues. Serves a 13 state area in the Southern region which includes TX, LA, AR, OK, AL, MS, GA, FL, KY, SC, NC, VA, and TN.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: South Carolina (HUD)
Works to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing. The HUD state office provides information about HUD housing programs and local contacts for the state.
USDA Rural Development South Carolina State Office
Committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. The Rural Development State Office provides information about Rural Development programs and applications for financial assistance.
BJ’s Charitable Foundation
Funding for hunger prevention, self-sufficiency, healthcare, and education to those who are underserved.
Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants
Supports local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment.
Georgia-Pacific Foundation Grants
Grants for organizations projects that focus on education, the environment, community enhancement, affordable housing, arts and culture, and entrepreneurship.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeaster/Atlantic Region Funding
Provides funding for National Network of Libraries members located in the Southeaster/Atlantic region to assist them in conducting outreach and technology projects.
Nonprofit Training Resource Fund
Grants to organizations for employees to attend approved classes and courses that will enhance their job performance.
South Carolina Locum Tenens
Provides physicians the opportunity to take a break from their practices while locum tenens physicians step in.
South Carolina Rural Physician Incentive Grant Program
Offers cash awards to physicians and advanced practice professionals who agree to practice in a Health Professional Shortage area of South Carolina.
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Loan Fund Program
Provides low-interest loans to low-income rural communities for predevelopment costs, system upgrades and new construction of water and wastewater services and facilities.
Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Programs
Funding for nonprofit organizations in the areas of community development, education, human services, arts and culture, civic responsibility, and environmental consciousness.
Inactive Funding Opportunities -
Lists additional funding programs for this state that are not currently accepting applications. Programs that are inactive may be offered again in the future.
Documents, Reports and Other Publications
Compendium of Best Practices/Models That Work in Rural Workforce Development
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
Developed by NRHA's National Rural Task Force. Highlights rural workforce programs in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
Date: 09 / 2008
Demographic and Economic Profile: South Carolina
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
Presents demographic, economic information and statistics on South Carolina. Includes charts, maps, and graphs.
Date: 02 / 2009
Including Children’s Views Can Enhance Our Understanding of Food Insecurity
Author(s): Maryah Stella Fram, Edward Frongillo, Sonya Jones
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Development Center
Describes how children and teens are affected by thin budgets and bare cupboards. Includes interviews with children and teens in rural and non-rural South Carolina to find out how they handle food insecurity.
Date: 05 / 2011
Rural Dropout Problem: An Invisible Achievement Gap
Author(s): Jerry Johnson, Marty Strange, Karen Madden
Sponsoring organization: Rural School and Community Trust
Reviews high school dropout rates and related factors in rural high schools throughout 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
Small Business Profile: South Carolina
Sponsoring organization: Small Business Administration
Profile of the state's economy, covering the number of firms, industry composition, small business income, banking, women and minority business ownership, and employment.
Date: 2 / 2013
Southern Rural Development Center: 2012 Annual Report
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Development Center
Describes the programs and progress of the Southern Rural Development Center, one of four regional centers coordinating rural development research and extension education programs.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Documents