BEAUFORT COUNTY
Date Formed:  1769 Beaufort,Beaufort,Beaufort,Beaufort,Beaufort,Beaufort,Beaufort,Beaufort
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. 2010-2011 1,677 10
Population Estimate 2010 163,007 10 Percent Change Pop. Est. 2010-2011 1.0% 9
Population Estimate 2011 164,684 10 Persons Per Square Mile 276.4 7
Economic Data Value Rank Value Rank
Jobs 2010 70,955 8 Personal Income 2010, in thousands $6,916,393 8
Jobs 2009 73,109 8 Per Capita Personal Income 2010 $42,430 1
Jobs 2000 71,160 7 % of U.S. Per Capita PI 2010 106% 1
Jobs 1990 49,653 11 Average Wage Per Job 2010 $36,882 14
Avg. Ann. Growth Rate Jobs 1990-2010 2.1% 6 % of U.S. Avg. Wage Per Job 2010 78% 14
Percent Change Jobs 2009-2010 -2.9% 35 Unemployment Rate 2011 8.7% 42
Numeric Change Jobs 2009-2010 -2,154 46
Value
Tax Data Value Per Capita Assessed Property 2010 $11,301
Assessed Property 2010 $1,833,355,095 Additional Sales Tax, if applicable:
County Base Millage Rate 2011 0.0475 Local Option Sales Tax  
Value of One Mil 2011 $1,954,919 Capital Projects Sales Tax  
Net Taxable Sales FY10 $2,040,740,316 School District Sales Tax  
Admissions Tax Collected FY10 $3,244,215 Transportation Sales Tax  
Accommodations Tax Collected FY10 $4,846,595
Value
County Finance & Employment Data Value Per Capita Revenues FY10 $1,049
Total Revenues FY10 $170,148,348 Per Capita Expenditures FY10 $1,278
Total Expenditures FY10 $207,326,697 Per Capita Gen. Fund Budget FY12 $592
General Fund Budget FY12 $96,100,000 Per Capita Debt Outstanding FY11 $1,640
Total Debt Outstanding FY11 $260,664,328 Credit Rating(s) FY11, if applicable:
Payroll FY12 $50,000,000 Moody's Aa1
Full-Time Employees FY12 1,144 Standard & Poor's AA+
Part-Time Employees FY12 140 Fitch AA
Full-Time Emp/1,000 Cnty Residents 7.05