The 7th District’s vital signs

June 6, 2012 

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The new Seventh Congressional District encompasses eight counties in the Pee Dee and coastal regions of South Carolina. These counties are about as different from each other as can be, ranging from mainly agricultural and rural areas such as Chesterfield to tourism hotspots in Horry and Georgetown counties. Marlboro and Marion counties are in the top five when it comes to unemployment. Here is a quick look at vital statistics on each county. Population figures and demographics are from the 2010 Census, unemployment figures are as of April.

Chesterfield: Population: 46, 734. Demographics: 64 percent white, 33 percent black; Unemployment rate: 11.2 percent. Major industry: Agriculture. County seat: Chesterfield. Major landmarks: Hunting and fishing spots, historic city of Cheraw.

Darlington: Population: 68, 681. 56 percent white, 41 percent black. Unemployment: 9.1 percent. Major industry: Agriculture, NASCAR tourism. County seat: Darlington. Major landmarks: Darlington Motor Speedway (home of NASCAR Southern 500), Coker College in Hartsville.

Dillon: Population: 32,062. 50 percent white, 45 percent black. Unemployment: 13.1 percent. Major industry: Agriculture, hospitality. County seat: Dillon. Major landmarks: South of the Border along I-95, Little Pee Dee State Park.

Florence: Population: 136,885. 58 percent white, 39 percent black. Unemployment: 9.5 percent. Major industries: Health care, manufacturing. Florence is also home to Francis Marion University and McLeod Regional Medical Center. County seat: Florence. Major landmarks: Florence National Cemetery, Florence historic district.

Horry: Population: 269, 291. 81 percent white, 15 percent black. Unemployment: 9.5 percent. Major industry: Tourism. County seat: Conway. Major landmarks: The beaches, numerous amusements and attractions, state parks.

Georgetown: Population: 60, 158. 59 percent white, 38 percent black. Unemployment: 9.1 percent. County seat: Georgetown. Major industry: Tourism. Shipping and light industry also play a role. Georgetown is home to the Georgetown Port and Georgetown Steel, also International Paper.

Major landmarks: Beaches, Murrells Inlet, Brookgreen Gardens, Huntington Beach State Park, Georgetown historic district.

Marion: Population: 32,062. 41 percent white, 56 percent black. Unemployment: 16.8 percent. County seat: Marion. Major industry: Agriculture. Landmarks: Numerous historic homes and churches, especially in Marion Historic District.

Marlboro: Population: 28,833. 44 percent white, 50 percent black. Unemployment: 15.7 percent. County seat: Bennettsville. Major industry: Agriculture. Landmarks: Marlboro County Courthouse in Bennettsville, historic homes in Bennettsville.

- Christina Knauss, for Weekly Surge

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