Top, left to right: Downtown Anderson, First Baptist Church of Anderson, Old Anderson County Courthouse, Anderson University, Anderson County Courthouse and Confederate Monument, Lake Hartwell view from City of Anderson Recreation Park
Top, left to right: Downtown Anderson, First Baptist Church of Anderson, Old Anderson County Courthouse, Anderson University, Anderson County Courthouse and Confederate Monument, Lake Hartwell view from City of Anderson Recreation Park
Official seal of Anderson
The Electric City
"Teamwork | Integrity | Professionalism"
Location of Anderson, South Carolina
Location of Anderson, South Carolina
Anderson is located in South Carolina
Anderson is located in the United States
Anderson is located in North America
Coordinates: 34°30′52″N 82°38′56″W / 34.51444°N 82.64889°W / 34.51444; -82.64889
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
FoundedDecember 1826
IncorporatedDecember 19, 1833[1]
Named forRobert Anderson
 • TypeCouncil-manager government
 • MayorTerence Roberts
 • City ManagerDavid McCuen
 • City15.87 sq mi (41.09 km2)
 • Land15.83 sq mi (41.00 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)
Elevation807 ft (246 m)
 • City28,106
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,775.60/sq mi (685.56/km2)
 • Urban
118,369 (US: 286th)[3]
 • Urban density1,233.8/sq mi (476.4/km2)
ZIP Codes
FIPS code45-01360
GNIS feature ID2403098[4]

Anderson is a city in and the county seat of Anderson County, South Carolina, United States.[6] The population was 28,106 at the 2020 census,[7] and the city was the center of an urbanized area of 75,702.[8] It is one of the principal cities in the Greenville-Anderson-Greer Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 824,112 at the 2010 census. It is included in the larger Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,266,995, at the 2010 census. It is just off Interstate 85 and is 120 miles (190 km) from Atlanta and 140 miles (230 km) from Charlotte. Anderson is the smallest of the three primary cities that make up the Upstate region, and is nicknamed the "Electric City" and the "Friendliest City in South Carolina."


Anderson Court House

Downtown Anderson in 1876

Cherokee first settled the area of what is today the city of Anderson. During the American Revolution, the Cherokee sided with the British. After the American Revolutionary War, the Cherokee's land was acquired as war reparations and colonized. In 1791, the South Carolina Legislature created the Washington District, which comprised Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties. The Washington District was then divided into Greenville and Pendleton districts. Anderson, Pickens, and Oconee comprised the newly created Pendleton district. Anderson was settled in 1826 and incorporated in 1828 as Anderson Court House, separate from the Pendleton district. The name Anderson is in honor of Robert Anderson, who fought in the American Revolutionary War and also explored the Anderson region in the mid-18th century. Anderson District (later Anderson County after 1867) was also established in 1826 out of the Pendleton district.

In 1851, the Johnson Female Seminary was established in Anderson as the first college of the town, and was named after William Bullein Johnson. One year later, the seminary was renamed Johnson University.[9] During the American Civil War, Johnson University was closed and converted into a Confederate treasury. On May 1, 1865, Union forces invaded Anderson looking for the Confederate treasury. The treasury office of Anderson was ransacked by Union forces, and the main building of Johnson University was used as a Union headquarters. A minor skirmish erupted at the Battle of Anderson, leading to two Union casualties.[10] After the war, a Union garrison was stationed in Anderson.

The Electric City

Portman Shoals Power Plant around 1920.

Anderson became one of the first cities in the Southeastern United States to have electricity. Electricity to Anderson was established by William C. Whitner in 1895 at a hydroelectric plant on the Rocky River, giving the city the name the Electric City. Anderson also became the first city in the world to supply a cotton gin by electricity. In 1895, Anderson Court House was renamed to Anderson.[11][12] In 1897, Whitner's plant was upgraded with a 10,000-volt generating station at Portman Shoals. Whitner's power plant at Portman Shoals became the first hydroelectric plant in the United States to generate high voltage without step-up transformers .[13] The Portman Dam was swept away in 1901, forcing Anderson into darkness until it was rebuilt in 1902.[14]

Anderson University

In 1911, Anderson College was established by the Anderson Chamber of Commerce. Anderson College was successor to Johnson University and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Anderson College became Anderson University.[15] It is accredited as a Level VI institution (offers bachelors, masters, Ph.D. degrees) by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.[16] As of October 2022, it is the largest private university in South Carolina.[17]


Interactive map of Anderson

Anderson is located in the northwest corner of South Carolina on the Piedmont plateau. Anderson is a 1-hour drive from the Blue Ridge Mountains and a 4-hour drive from the South Carolina coast. Anderson lies roughly at the midpoint of the busy I-85 corridor between Atlanta and Charlotte.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.6 square miles (37.9 km2), of which 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.30%, is covered by water.[18]


The Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage was built around 1851

Historic districts

Other historical locations

See also: National Register of Historic Places listings in Anderson County, South Carolina



Anderson is home to the largest Glen Raven, Inc. manufacturing center facility, which focuses on manufacturing Sunbrella fabrics.[19] Anderson's economy revolves around manufacturing. It has over 230 manufacturers, including 22 international companies. In the county, Anderson has a thriving business climate. Its top major industries include manufacturers of automotive products, metal products, industrial machinery, plastics, publishing, and textiles. Two industries that many times interconnect are the plastic and automotive sectors. More than 27 BMW suppliers are the Upstate region, which is recognized internationally as an automotive supplier hub. The plastics industry has a strong presence in the Upstate, with 244 plastic companies located within the 10 counties of the state's northwest corner. Anderson County, in particular, has 11 automotive suppliers, and is a major player in the plastic industry, with 27 plastics companies located within its borders.[20][21]


AnMed Health is one of the top employers in the county, and the primary healthcare network for Anderson. AnMed Health Medical Center is the main medical facility, offering all the amenities of a standard hospital, as well as a heart and vascular center, and stroke/neurological center. Located 2.5 miles north of the facility is the AnMed Health Campus, which includes a women's and children's hospital, minor care, cancer center, speech and occupational therapy, and more. The AnMed Rehabilitation Hospital is located between the two facilities. AnMed has recently received national attention being awarded the "National Presidents Circle Award," and the "American College of Cardiology Foundation’s 2012 NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award."

In addition to these three network hospitals, AnMed also operates a number of smaller facilities throughout the city and county that range from a free clinic and minor care to doctor's offices.


The city of Anderson is served by the Anderson County School System (specifically, Anderson School District Five). The school district has 11 elementary schools, five middle schools, and two high schools. Anderson is home to Anderson University, a private university with roughly 3,900 undergraduate and graduate students.

Elementary schools

Middle schools

Anderson University

High schools

Private schools

Higher education


Anderson has a public library, a branch of the Anderson County Library System.[22]



Main article: Anderson Regional Airport

Anderson is served by Anderson County Regional Airport (IATA: AND, ICAO: KAND). The airport is 3 miles (4.8 km) away from Anderson and has 2 runways; runway 5/23 is 6,000 feet (1,800 m) and runway 17/35 is 5,000 feet (1,500 m). The airport also has helipads. The airport has no control tower, but is able to accommodate regional jet aircraft. In addition, the airport has a small terminal.

Roads and highways

Anderson has five signed exits on I-85, currently the city's only freeway. Several notable highways pass through the city, including U.S. Route 76 and U.S. Route 178 co-signed along Clemson Boulevard, also known as SC-Bus 28, and U.S. Route 29 and Route 187 leading to Hartwell, Georgia, to the south and Greenville to the north.

In 2011, construction began on a new east–west connector that is about 3 mi long between Clemson Boulevard and South Carolina Highway 81.[23] On August 16, 2010, the connector was voted to have four lanes with turn and bike lanes, and a completion date set in October 2012.[24]

On November, 8th, 2013, the East-West Parkway formally opened to traffic.

Public transit

Anderson has four bus routes that travel to most major areas of the city, running every hour.[25] The city also receives service from Clemson Area Transit (CATS) via the 4U route.[26] The city uses both newer hybrid buses and older style trolleys resembling Anderson's old streetcars. Inter-city bus travel is available through Greyhound Lines.

One of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor alternatives for a Charlotte - Greenville - Atlanta route includes a stop at Anderson.[27][28] This would mark the first time that passenger rail reached Anderson, since the passing of Piedmont and Northern Railway in ca. 1947[29][30] and the Blue Ridge Railway in ca. 1951 from Anderson.[31][32]


Historical population
2022 (est.)29,771[33]5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[34][5]

2020 census

Anderson racial composition[35]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 16,392 58.32%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 8,276 29.45%
Native American 46 0.16%
Asian 416 1.48%
Pacific Islander 5 0.02%
Other/Mixed 1,222 4.35%
Hispanic or Latino 1,749 6.22%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 28,106 people, 11,412 households, and 6,112 families residing in the city.

2000 census

At the census[36] of 2000, 25,514 people, 10,641 households, and 6,299 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,843.7 people/sq mi (711.8/km2). The 12,068 housing units averaged 872.1/sq mi (336.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 63.12% White, 34.01% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.78% Asian American, 0.72% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1.48% of the population.


Anderson is governed using the mayor-council system. The mayor is elected at-large. The city council consists of eight members; six are elected from districts and the other two are elected at-large.

Notable people

Sister cities

Anderson has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:[45]

See also


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  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Anderson, South Carolina
  5. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
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  8. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Anderson, SC Urbanized Area (2010)". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
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  11. ^ "History of Anderson, South Carolina".
  12. ^ "Anderson: "The Electric City"". Retrieved February 9, 2016.
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  14. ^ "Portman Dam and Power Plant Historical Marker". Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  15. ^ "Anderson University - Anderson, South Carolina". Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  16. ^ "institutions-sacscoc". Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  17. ^ "Anderson University Celebrates Highest Enrollment in its 111-Year History". Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  18. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Anderson city, South Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  19. ^ "Glen Raven expanding Anderson County Sunbrella® manufacturing center". South Carolina Department of Commerce. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  20. ^ "Manufacturing in Anderson County - Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce - Anderson, SC, SC". Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  21. ^ "Plastic Omnium expanding operations in Anderson County | South Carolina Department of Commerce". Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  22. ^ "South Carolina libraries and archives". SCIWAY. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  23. ^ "News – City of Anderson, SC". Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  24. ^ Foster, Kisha (August 17, 2010). "4-Lanes Approved For East-West Connector | WYFF Home - WYFF Home". Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  25. ^ [1][dead link]
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  28. ^ Henderson, Bruce (October 18, 2019). "High-speed rail could link Charlotte to Atlanta in 2 hours. Have your say next week". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  29. ^ "Piedmont and Northern Railway". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 78 (12). May 1946.
  30. ^ "Piedmont and Northern Railway, freight only branch; reporting from June 1, 1947 timetable". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 80 (11). April 1948.
  31. ^ "Blue Ridge Railway". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 82 (3). August 1949.
  32. ^ "Carolina and Northwestern Railway, 'Belton and Walhalla (Anderson Division)', freight only". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 84 (7). December 1951.
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  34. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
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  38. ^ "Yung Carter's Profile On Beat Making Videos". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  39. ^ "Former Hanna QB Preston Jones returns to alma mater as receivers coach". July 19, 2012. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  40. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  41. ^ Ferber, Lawrence (December 25, 2008). "The Other White Meat". The Advocate. Retrieved June 11, 2023.
  42. ^ "Anderson mayor released from hospital after aneurysm". WRDW-TV. July 12, 2017.
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  44. ^ "Negro Leagues Baseball eMuseum: Personal Profiles: "Steel Arm Johnny" Taylor". Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  45. ^ "Interactive City Directory". Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.