Least educated counties in South Carolina

Written by:
May 14, 2022
Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

Least educated counties in South Carolina

The value of traditional education can vary widely across the country. While a college degree has long been viewed as a critical step toward the American dream, growing costs have led many students to reconsider the return-on-investment of higher education. Meanwhile, local economies and individual circumstances can push others toward learning a trade or entering the workforce early.

These considerations aside, national statistics show a clear difference in earnings as they relate to educational attainment, as college graduates typically earn 65% more than those with only a high school degree.

To help understand areas with the lowest educational attainment, Stacker compiled a list of the least educated counties in South Carolina using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the lowest percent of the population 25 years and over that has a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Ties are broken by the highest percent with less than high school diploma.

Keep read on for a look at the least-educated counties in South Carolina.

1 / 46
Canva

#46. Charleston County

- 43.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.3% ($18,729 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.7% ($28,408)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.4% ($36,399)
- Bachelor's degree: 27.9% ($53,796)
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.7% ($71,146)

2 / 46
Canva

#45. Beaufort County

- 41.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.3% ($23,164 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.3% ($29,073)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.4% ($34,886)
- Bachelor's degree: 24.1% ($46,159)
- Graduate or professional degree: 17.1% ($56,595)

3 / 46
Canva

#44. Richland County

- 39.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.5% ($18,394 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.5% ($26,360)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.9% ($32,556)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.1% ($48,752)
- Graduate or professional degree: 16% ($57,059)

4 / 46
Canva

#43. Greenville County

- 35.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12% ($20,785 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 23.8% ($29,614)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.2% ($36,742)
- Bachelor's degree: 22.2% ($52,371)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.8% ($63,274)

5 / 46
Connor401 // Wikimedia Commons

#42. York County

- 33.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.2% ($23,131 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 25.1% ($31,308)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.3% ($39,001)
- Bachelor's degree: 22.4% ($58,980)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.9% ($67,895)

6 / 46
Ralph Hightower // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Lexington County

- 30.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.4% ($23,228 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.2% ($31,337)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.1% ($37,955)
- Bachelor's degree: 19.5% ($52,945)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.8% ($58,309)

7 / 46
Lazyksaw // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Dorchester County

- 28.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.3% ($21,520 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.3% ($32,267)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.2% ($39,572)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.6% ($51,416)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.6% ($60,816)

8 / 46
Canva

#39. Georgetown County

- 27.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.8% ($18,104 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.8% ($25,713)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.1% ($26,587)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.7% ($45,164)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.6% ($53,133)

9 / 46
Calatayudboy // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Lancaster County

- 26.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.1% ($27,301 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.9% ($31,485)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.1% ($34,222)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.9% ($54,935)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9% ($58,638)

10 / 46
Festiva76 // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Aiken County

- 26.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12% ($21,642 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.8% ($30,309)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.8% ($35,449)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.1% ($49,237)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.3% ($55,752)

11 / 46
KudzuVine // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Pickens County

- 26% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.7% ($23,249 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.1% ($30,727)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.3% ($34,274)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.9% ($49,157)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11% ($53,981)

12 / 46
Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Oconee County

- 25.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.1% ($18,085 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29% ($26,771)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30% ($32,827)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.1% ($46,572)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.7% ($64,763)

13 / 46
Itsbrandoyo // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Berkeley County

- 25% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.6% ($25,751 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.4% ($32,279)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35% ($38,305)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.6% ($50,694)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.4% ($64,132)

14 / 46
Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Greenwood County

- 24.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.8% ($22,118 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.5% ($28,395)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.1% ($30,625)
- Bachelor's degree: 16% ($39,083)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.6% ($55,739)

15 / 46
Canva

#32. Spartanburg County

- 24.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.3% ($22,751 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.3% ($30,057)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.8% ($33,868)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.6% ($46,785)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.9% ($57,232)

16 / 46
Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Horry County

- 23.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.4% ($19,889 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.5% ($25,797)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.5% ($30,096)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.3% ($41,477)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.3% ($53,571)

17 / 46
Robert Thomas Mckenzie Jr // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Florence County

- 23.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15% ($20,371 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.9% ($28,743)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.5% ($31,015)
- Bachelor's degree: 15% ($42,536)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.6% ($54,149)

18 / 46
Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Anderson County

- 22.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.8% ($22,060 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.2% ($30,031)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.9% ($36,365)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.1% ($47,539)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.1% ($62,849)

19 / 46
Farrargirl // Wikimedia Commons

#28. McCormick County

- 20.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.6%
- High school graduate: 33.9% ($29,245)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29% ($30,361)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.9% ($36,372)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.6% ($56,875)

20 / 46
Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Kershaw County

- 20.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.2% ($22,104 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.5% ($30,037)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.9% ($37,572)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.5% ($51,062)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.8% ($52,548)

21 / 46
Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Calhoun County

- 19.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.8% ($27,950 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.2% ($31,372)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.1% ($35,581)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.6% ($39,186)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.3% ($61,528)

22 / 46
Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Orangeburg County

- 19.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.1% ($18,134 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.2% ($26,260)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.8% ($27,294)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.6% ($36,389)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.3% ($44,745)

23 / 46
Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Sumter County

- 19.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.5% ($23,502 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.8% ($26,740)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35.3% ($32,070)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.2% ($43,234)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.1% ($55,445)

24 / 46
Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Bamberg County

- 18.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.7% ($19,231 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.5% ($27,346)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29% ($29,125)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.7% ($41,156)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7% ($40,368)

25 / 46
Jud McCranie // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Darlington County

- 18.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.6% ($17,387 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.1% ($28,715)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.8% ($28,893)
- Bachelor's degree: 12% ($44,046)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($55,724)

26 / 46
NatalieMaynor // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Newberry County

- 17.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.9% ($19,194 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36% ($29,312)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.1% ($35,528)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.2% ($45,817)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.8% ($53,995)

27 / 46
Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Jasper County

- 17.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.2% ($23,278 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.5% ($31,535)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.5% ($28,609)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.2% ($32,772)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.6% ($54,340)

28 / 46
Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Fairfield County

- 16.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.8% ($16,266 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41.3% ($30,659)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28% ($34,589)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.3% ($37,413)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.6% ($57,981)

29 / 46
Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Saluda County

- 16.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21.8% ($21,764 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.2% ($26,704)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.3% ($30,740)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.1% ($45,281)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.7% ($41,094)

30 / 46
Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Edgefield County

- 16.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.1% ($23,385 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.7% ($31,239)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.6% ($34,127)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.2% ($39,506)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.5% ($51,125)

31 / 46
Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Laurens County

- 16.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19% ($18,553 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.8% ($27,452)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.9% ($33,221)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.8% ($42,481)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.4% ($48,766)

32 / 46
Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Lee County

- 15.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.5% ($18,845 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41.5% ($27,654)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.1% ($26,322)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.8% ($40,906)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.1% ($46,201)

33 / 46
Brian Scott // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Abbeville County

- 15.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.4% ($25,348 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34% ($26,180)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32% ($32,473)
- Bachelor's degree: 11% ($32,500)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.5% ($50,000)

34 / 46
Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Clarendon County

- 15.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21.5% ($18,486 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.5% ($25,107)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.8% ($27,038)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.4% ($38,402)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.7% ($46,130)

35 / 46
Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Colleton County

- 14.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.4% ($21,500 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.4% ($22,161)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.6% ($31,345)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.6% ($38,935)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.9% ($49,444)

36 / 46
Morder // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Cherokee County

- 14.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.8% ($22,344 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.7% ($27,452)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.4% ($31,284)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.4% ($39,069)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.8% ($54,063)

37 / 46
ProfReader // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Marion County

- 13.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21.1% ($22,229 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 42% ($27,071)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.4% ($26,634)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.7% ($34,583)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.8% ($45,327)

38 / 46
Canva

#9. Chester County

- 13.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.9% ($21,237 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39.3% ($31,209)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.4% ($34,605)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.3% ($45,129)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.1% ($58,021)

39 / 46
Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Barnwell County

- 12.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.2% ($25,707 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.4% ($28,455)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.9% ($31,421)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.9% ($40,434)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.7% ($53,241)

40 / 46
Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Williamsburg County

- 12.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.9% ($19,665 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41.6% ($25,904)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.2% ($29,801)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.9% ($37,842)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.4% ($38,333)

41 / 46
Ffuhr // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Hampton County

- 11.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19% ($21,979 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 42.5% ($25,063)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.6% ($26,519)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.8% ($39,619)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3% ($39,659)

42 / 46
Canva

#5. Union County

- 11.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.7% ($22,773 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 40% ($25,000)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30% ($31,645)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.2% ($41,186)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.1% ($56,071)

43 / 46
Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Dillon County

- 11.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 24.7% ($25,053 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39% ($23,624)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.1% ($27,132)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.5% ($42,331)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.7% ($50,556)

44 / 46
Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Chesterfield County

- 10.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 23.4% ($23,611 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41.3% ($30,191)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.9% ($28,475)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.1% ($41,106)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.2% ($56,165)

45 / 46
Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Allendale County

- 9.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.2% ($12,607 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.9% ($25,758)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.8% ($26,643)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.1% ($39,545)
- Graduate or professional degree: 2.1% ($43,580)

46 / 46
Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Marlboro County

- 8.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 22.8% ($14,784 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 42.2% ($26,781)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.1% ($30,517)
- Bachelor's degree: 5.5% ($35,602)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.4% ($45,390)

Trending Now