South Carolina (// ( listen)) is a U.S. state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia, across the Savannah River, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on May 23, 1788. South Carolina became the first state to vote in favor of secession from the Union on December 20, 1860. After the American Civil War, it was readmitted into the United States on June 25, 1868.
South Carolina is the 40th most extensive and 23rd most populous U.S. state. Its GDP as of 2013 was $183.6 billion, with an annual growth rate of 3.13%. South Carolina is composed of 46 counties. The capital is Columbia with a 2016 population of 134,309; while its largest city is Charleston with a 2016 population of 134,385. The Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin metropolitan area is the largest in the state, with a 2016 population estimate of 884,975.
South Carolina is known for its 187 miles of coastline, beautiful lush gardens, historic sites and Southern plantations, colonial, African and European cultures, and its growing economic development.
The state can be divided into three geographic areas. From east to west: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Locally, the coastal plain is referred to as the Low Country and the other two regions as Up Country. The Atlantic Coastal Plain makes up two-thirds of the state. Its eastern border is the Sea Islands, a chain of tidal and barrier islands. The border between the low country and the up country is defined by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, which marks the limit of navigable rivers.
The state's coastline contains many salt marshes and estuaries, as well as natural ports such as Georgetown and Charleston. An unusual feature of the coastal plain is a large number of Carolina bays, the origins of which are uncertain. The bays tend to be oval, lining up in a northwest to southeast orientation. The terrain is flat and the soil is composed entirely of recent sediments such as sand, silt, and clay. Areas with better drainage make excellent farmland, though some land is swampy. The natural areas of the coastal plain are part of the Middle Atlantic coastal forests ecoregion.