A look at South Carolina ahead of its GOP primary

AP News
Posted: Jan 21, 2012 3:31 AM
A look at South Carolina ahead of its GOP primary

A profile of South Carolina, site of the first-in-the-South presidential primary:


Population: 4,625,364


Median age: 37.9

Percentage of population 65 and over: 13.7 percent.


66.2 percent white, 27.9 percent black, 1.3 percent Asian, 5.1 percent Hispanic or Latino origin.


Language other than English spoken at home: 6.2 percent.


High school graduate: 82.2 percent.

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.5 percent.


Median household income: $42,580.

People living below poverty level: 17.1 percent.

Homeownership rate: 69.3 percent.


John McCain, 53.9 percent; Barack Obama, 44.9 percent


_ The winner of South Carolina's Republican presidential primary has gone on to win the nomination since the primary was established in 1980.

_ South Carolina's primaries are open. Voters do not register by party.

_ In 1980, 23 of the state's 170 legislators and one of its nine statewide officers were Republican. In 2012, 103 of the 170 legislators and all nine statewide officers are Republican.

_ South Carolina's population increased by more than 600,000 people, or 15 percent, from 2000 to 2010, allowing the state to gain an additional seat in the U.S. House for the first time since 1930 and a ninth Electoral College vote.

_ 8.6 percent of the state's residents are military veterans.