Sumter, South Carolina

By | March 26, 2023

According to TRAVELATIONARY, Sumter, South Carolina is a city rich in geography, climate, history, politics, economy, schools, and landmarks. Located in the Midlands region of the state, Sumter is situated on the south-central border of South Carolina. It is the county seat of Sumter County and has a population of over 40,000 citizens. The city lies at an elevation of approximately 200 feet above sea level and is bordered by Clarendon County to the east and Lee County to the west.

The climate in Sumter is humid subtropical with mild winters and hot summers. The average temperature ranges from lows in the mid-30s during winter months to highs near 90 degrees Fahrenheit during summer months. Precipitation levels are also moderate throughout most of the year with an average total rainfall of about 4 inches per month.

The history of Sumter dates back to 1735 when it was first settled by Europeans as a trading post for Native Americans. In 1785 it was established as a county seat and gradually grew into one of South Carolina’s main trading cities throughout much of its early history. During the American Civil War it served as an important supply hub for Confederate forces and was occupied several times by Union troops during their march through South Carolina towards Richmond.

Today Sumter is governed by a mayor-council form of government with an elected mayor serving as chief executive officer for all municipal operations. The city’s economy primarily consists of manufacturing and retail services with Shaw Air Force Base being one its largest employers along with several other large companies such as Sonoco Products Company and Continental Tire North America Incorporated operating within its borders.

Sumter has many educational institutions including several public schools operated by Sumter School District 2 along with Claflin University, Morris College, Central Carolina Technical College, Florence Darlington Technical College, USC Sumter Campus, Lander University Palmetto Campus all located nearby or within city limits providing educational opportunities for students from all backgrounds.

Sumter also features many historic sites such as Swan Lake Iris Gardens which were built in 1927 by industrialist Fulmer Sullivant or Fort Watson which dates back to Revolutionary War times when it served as an important defensive fortification against British forces advancing through South Carolina towards Charleston. These sites offer visitors a glimpse into Sumters past while providing some great recreational opportunities too!

Population: 39,643. Estimated population in July 2020: 39,679 (+0.1% change)
Males: 18,693 (47.2%), Females: 20,950 (52.8%)

Sumter County

Zip codes: 29150, 29153, 29154.

Median resident age: 31.9 years
Median household income: $31,590
Median house value: $79,900

Races in Sumter:

  • White Non-Hispanic (48.7%)
  • Black (46.3%)
  • Hispanic (2.4%)
  • Two or more races (1.4%)
  • Other race (1.1%)
  • American Indian (0.6%)

Ancestries: United States (10.0%), English (8.2%), German (7.1%), Irish (6.4%), Scotch-Irish (2.4%), Scottish (2.0%).

Elevation: 169 feet

Land area: 26.6 square miles


Sumter, South Carolina is a city located in the Midlands region of the state. As of 2019, it had an estimated population of 41,717 people. The racial makeup of Sumter is 53.2% African American, 41.2% White, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, and 4.5% other races. The median age in Sumter is 32 years old and there are slightly more women than men living in the city with a gender ratio of 50.8% female to 49.2 male.

Sumter has an impressive educational system with several public and private schools including the University of South Carolina Sumter and Central Carolina Technical College both located within the city limits. In terms of crime rates, Sumter is considered one of the safer cities in South Carolina with a violent crime rate lower than both the national average as well as that for other cities in the state such as Charleston or Columbia.

The economy of Sumter consists mostly of service-related industries such as healthcare and retail trade which account for over 40 percent of all employment opportunities within the city limits. Other major employers include Shaw Air Force Base, Continental Tire North America Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., all providing jobs for local residents who are looking for employment options within Sumter itself rather than having to commute long distances to find work elsewhere in South Carolina or beyond its borders.

For population 25 years and over in Sumter

  • High school or higher: 78.0%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 22.5%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 8.1%
  • Unemployed: 9.5%
  • Mean travel time to work: 16.3 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Sumter city

  • Never married: 27.8%
  • Now married: 49.1%
  • Separated: 4.0%
  • Widowed: 9.6%
  • Divorced: 9.5%

2.4% Foreign born (1.0% Asia, 0.7% Latin America, 0.6% Europe).

Population change in the 1990s: -3,507 (-8.1%).


Hospital/medical center in Sumter:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Sumter:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Sumter:

  • SHAW AFB (about 8 miles; SUMTER, SC; Abbreviation: SSC)
  • MC ENTIRE ANGS (about 30 miles; EASTOVER, SC; Abbreviation: MMT)
  • FLORENCE REGIONAL (about 49 miles; FLORENCE, SC; Abbreviation: FLO)

Other public-use airports nearest to Sumter:

  • SUMTER (about 4 miles; SUMTER, SC; Abbreviation: SMS)
  • LEE COUNTY (about 23 miles; BISHOPVILLE, SC; Abbreviation: 52J)
  • SANTEE COOPER REGIONAL (about 27 miles; MANNING, SC; Abbreviation: MNI)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/Universities in Sumter:

  • CENTRAL CAROLINA TECHNICAL COLLEGE (Full-time enrollment: 1,429; Location: 506 N GUIGNARD DR; Public; Website:
  • MORRIS COLLEGE (Full-time enrollment: 927; Location: 100 WEST COLLEGE ST; Private, not-for-profit; Website:
  • UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA AT SUMTER (Full-time enrollment: 782; Location: 200 MILLER RD; Public; Website: WWW.USCSUMTER.EDU)
  • SUMTER BEAUTY COLLEGE (Full-time enrollment: 42; Location: 921 CAROLINA AVE; Private, for-profit)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Sumter:

  • FLORENCE DARLINGTON TECHNICAL COLLEGE (about 43 miles; FLORENCE, SC; Full-time enrollment: 2,619)
  • BENEDICT COLLEGE (about 45 miles; COLUMBIA, SC; Full-time enrollment: 2,880)
  • SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY (about 45 miles; ORANGEBURG, SC; Full-time enrollment: 3,971)
  • UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA AT COLUMBIA (about 46 miles; COLUMBIA, SC; Full-time enrollment: 19,682)
  • MIDLANDS TECHNICAL COLLEGE (about 47 miles; COLUMBIA, SC; Full-time enrollment: 5,958)
  • FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (about 49 miles; FLORENCE, SC; Full-time enrollment: 2,922)
  • TRIDENT TECHNICAL COLLEGE (about 68 miles; CHARLESTON, SC; Full-time enrollment: 5,925)


Public high schools in Sumter:

  • SUMTER HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 2,523; Location: 2580 MCCRAY’S MILL ROAD; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • CRESTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,358; Location: 2000 OSWEGO ROAD; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • LAKEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,196; Location: 350 OLD MANNING ROAD; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • SUMTER COUNTY CAREER CENTER (Location: 2612 MCCRAYS MILL ROAD; Grades: 09 – 12)

Private high school in Sumter:

  • WILSON HALL (Students: 698; Location: 2801 S WISE DR; Grades: PK – 12)

Biggest public primary/middle schools in Sumter:

  • FURMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 1,018; Location: 3400 BETHEL CHURCH RD; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • POCALLA SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 924; Location: 2060 BETHEL CHURCH ROAD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • BATES MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 833; Location: ESTATE DRIVE; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • ALICE DRIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 803; Location: 40 MILLER ROAD; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • OAKLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL (Students: 673; Location: 5415 OAKLAND DRIVE; Grades: PK – 01)
  • MILLWOOD ELEMENTARY (Students: 672; Location: PINEWOOD RD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • CROSSWELL DRIVE ELEMENTARY (Students: 668; Location: CROSSWELL DRIVE; Grades: PK – 05)
  • LEMIRA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 653; Location: FULTON ST; Grades: PK – 05)
  • ALICE DRIVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 651; Location: 251 ALICE DRIVE; Grades: PK – 05)
  • KINGSBURY ELEMENTARY (Students: 644; Location: KINGSBURY ROAD; Grades: PK – 05)

Private primary/middle schools in Sumter:

  • ST ANNE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 210; Location: 11 SOUTH MAGNOLIA ST; Grades: KG – 8)
  • GRACE BAPTIST KINDERGARTEN DAY (Students: 91; Location: 219 W CALHOUN ST; Grades: PK – KG)
  • DISCOVERY LEARNING CENTER (Students: 87; Location: PO BOX 1947; Grades: 1 – 11)
  • BETHEL CHILD CARE LEARNING CEN (Students: 70; Location: 2401 BETHEL CHURCH ROAD; Grades: PK – KG)
  • BEREA JR. ACADEMY (Students: 42; Location: 675 S. LAFAYETTE BLVD.; Grades: PK – 8)


Library in Sumter:

  • SUMTER COUNTY LIBRARY (Operating income: $983,196; Location: 111 N. HARVIN STREET; 159,235 books; 14,756 audio materials; 2,122 video materials; 365 serial subscriptions)

Sumter, South Carolina