The current economic condition of Orangeburg County – South Carolina
Orangeburg County is one of the largest counties in South Carolina. It has experienced a decline in population and home values over the last ten years. A large portion of the population lives below the poverty line, and most commute out of the county for work. As of today, the most exciting thing about Orangeburg County is exit 145 off I-26. This highway exit is the single largest economic contributor to the county after the local government.
Orangeburg County is a county located in South Carolina. It consists of 17 towns with Orangeburg being the county seat and the only city in the county.
- Eutawville (Sounds like “Utahville”)
- Holly Hill
- Orangeburg (Largest)
- Santee (my favorite)
Of the 17 towns listed above Orangeburg is the most populated. However, my favorite is Santee. The reason is its proximity to Lake Marion and the relatively low cost of real estate in the area.
The population of Orangeburg County is declining. In 2010 the population was 92,501. The estimated population as of 2021 was 82,962. This is a decline of 10.31%. A majority of people who leave Orangeburg County migrate to Richland County, Greenville County, or Charleston County. The decline in population is alarming and not great for real estate prices.
Age and Sex
47.6% of the people living in Orangeburg County are between the ages of 18-64. 27.2% are under the age of 18 and 20.4% are over the age of 65. Most of the working population in Orangeburg County commutes outside of the county for work.
Black or African American people represent 62.1% of the population of Orangeburg County, followed by White people at 34.8% and Hispanics at 2.4%. Of the total population, 4,335 people were veterans and about 1% were foreign-born people.
According to data from the US Census, there are about 42,938 housing units in Orangeburg County. 67.2% of them are owner-occupied with a median value of $91,700. This median value is significantly less than the median value of housing in Richland ($167,500), Charleston ($334,600), and Greenville ($218,206) counties. Population declines in Orangeburg County will continue to put downward pressure on the median home price value.
86% of the population in Orangeburg County is high school educated. And 19.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. For comparison, the U.S. averages are 88.5% and 32.9%, respectively. Despite the lower averages, Orangeburg County is the home of South Carolina State University, the only public four-year HBCU in the state of South Carolina.
54.9% of the total working-age population have a median household income of $36,802. The U.S. National average median household income during the same period was $64,994. About 20% of the population in Orangeburg County is considered to live in poverty.
Housing Market Conditions
The number of houses for sale in Orangeburg County declined from March 2022 to April 2022 from 103 to 91, about a 12% decline.
The number of houses that sold in Orangeburg County declined from March 2022 to April 2022 from 27 to 14, about a 48% decline.
Of the 14 houses that sold in April 2022, 50% sold for less than the asking price. Four sold for the asking price and three sold for more than the asking price. This indicates you can get a good deal buying a house in Orangeburg County, South Carolina.
Houses sell pretty fast in Orangeburg County with 12 selling in less than 30 days and only one taking more than 90 days.
Overall, the Orangeburg County housing market can be categorized as neutral.
The government in Orangeburg County is typical for the size of its population. You can do whatever you want on your property as long as your neighbors don’t complain. This is much more liberal as compared to larger counties where officials actively look for ways of pestering their constituents to comply with county ordinances.
Orangeburg County has technology for paying taxes, fines and for researching property records. The technology Orangeburg County uses is unique (no other county in the state uses the technology) and not very user friendly. Because the technology is so bad, you may need to visit the Clerk of Courts for deeds, plats, and other records.
My Opinion of the County
In my opinion, the best thing Orangeburg County has going for it is exit 145 off of I-26. You can find several restaurants off this exit, including Chick-fil-A (which is a big deal for Orangeburg, SC) and Starbucks. The exit is popular because it is the first major exit going west after getting off I-95. The mall in Orangeburg County is trash and I advise not going to it. The downtown area is run down and not very nice looking. The people are friendly and welcoming.