Bluffton is a Lowcountry town in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is primarily located around U.S. Route 278, between Hilton Head Island and Interstate 95. The town's original one square mile area, now known as Old Town, is situated on a bluff along the May River. The population was counted by the 2010 census at 12,893. Bluffton is the fastest growing municipality in South Carolina with a population over 2,500, growing 882.7% between the 2000 and 2010 census. Bluffton is the fifth largest municipality in South Carolina by land area. The town is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bluffton is known for its eclectic Old Town district and natural views of the May River. It has been called "the last true coastal village of the South.
Following the Tariff of 1842, Bluffton became a hotbed of separatist sentiment. In 1844 theBluffton Movement, a protest against federal taxes, gave birth to the secession movement and led South Carolina to be the first state to leave the Union. In the antebellum period Bluffton became a popular location for wealthy merchants and plantation owners. During the Civil War two-thirds of the town was destroyed by fire during the Union's Bluffton Expedition on June 4, 1863.
|Bluffton, South Carolina|
Clockwise from top: the May River, the Heyward House, a gravel path, CareCore Dr, a Post Office, Myrtle Island, and The Store
|Motto: A State of Mind|
Location in Beaufort County and South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the United States
Bluffton was once mostly wetlands, many of which were drained possibly during the antebellum era. Agriculture and pine timber harvesting contributed to the landscape still present today. The town proper consists of five primary areas. The historic district of Old Town, on the northern bluff of the May River; Palmetto Bluff, located on the southern side of the May River; Jones Estate, situated along the New River; Buckwalter, located on the northwest side of town; and Shultz Tract, north of Old Town. The May River winds through the center of town. The New River forms the southwest boundary of the town.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
According to the census of 2010, there were 12,530 people, 4,417 households, and 3,323 families residing in the town, on a land area of 51.3 square miles (133 km2). The population density was 244.2 people per square mile (94.3/km²). There were 5,393 housing units at an average density of 105.1 per square mile (40.6/km²).
The town of Bluffton grew 882.7% between the 2000 and 2010 census, making it the fastest growing municipality in South Carolina with a population over 2,500. Housing units grew 976.4%.
The racial makeup of the town was 71.4% White, 16.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.0%Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.3% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latinoof any race were 18.8% of the population.
There were 4,417 households out of which 54.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the town the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 35.5% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.7 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males. Estimated household income for 2009 was $53,386, the estimated median house value was $237,868, median gross rent was $1,179.
Bluffton is part of the Hilton Head, SC Urbanized Area, the Sun City Hilton Head, SC Urban Cluster and the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Beaufort and Jasper counties. As of 2012, the MSA had an estimated year-round population of 193,882.
Bluffton has a Council-Manager form of government. The town council is responsible for the legislative function of the municipality such as establishing policy, passing local ordinances, voting appropriations, and developing an overall vision. The town has a Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem position. The council has four at-large members who serve overlapping four-year terms. Town elections take place every two years in the fall.