The Pee Dee is a region in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of South Carolina.[1] It lies along the lower watershed of the Pee Dee River, which was named after the Pee Dee, an Indigenous tribe historically inhabiting the region.


The region was the homeland of the Pee Dee Native Americans, a people who originally occupied the area as part of the South Appalachian Mississippian culture from about 1000 to 1400, leaving some centers for unknown reasons. Today, several nonprofit organizations have been recognized by South Carolina as descendants of the historic Pee Dee, including two state-recognized tribes[2] and one state-recognized group.[2] However, none of these organizations are federally recognized.[3][4]


See also: Tobacco in the Pee Dee region

The region's largest county is Horry. It encompasses the Grand Strand, which includes the beaches running from the North Carolina state border to the Winyah Bay in Georgetown County in South Carolina. On the coast, the economy is dominated by tourism, and features beaches, amusement parks, shopping, fishing, and golf. The area has become a major retirement center in the United States, in part because of its low cost of living, mild weather, and its many golf courses. Inland is a belt featuring rivers, marshes, carolina bays, and sandy rises where forestry is predominant. There are pine plantations and baldcypress timbering. Further inland, on higher ground, but still of only slight relief, is an agricultural belt of cultivation of tobacco, cotton, soybeans and produce.[5]

The region, especially the inland portion, remained mostly rural well into the 20th century. As late as the 1970s, it was still so rural that Florence's second television station, WPDE-TV, obtained a Farmers Home Administration loan to build a studio and tower.[6]

Regional definition

There is no agreed definition on which of South Carolina's counties are included in the region. The region takes its name from the Pee Dee River. The counties in the Pee Dee region are located, either entirely or partially, within the river's watershed.

Historical population
2022 (est.)953,9883.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

Always included

Usually included

Rarely included


The Pee Dee region has remained relatively constant during the first decade of the 21st century in terms of its voting history. The region's voters have been close during the previous four presidential elections, but lean toward the Republican Party. The tilt of the region is primarily due to the numerous Republicans resident in Horry County along the Atlantic coast.[7]

At the congressional level, the region, including the rarely included counties, is located within three congressional districts. The Pee Dee region is mostly contained in South Carolina's 7th congressional district.

Williamsburg, Clarendon, parts of Sumter, and parts of Florence counties are located in the majority-minority 6th district. Lee and the remaining parts of Sumter counties are located in 5th district.[8] The 5th and 6th districts are represented by Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Jim Clyburn, respectively.

The 7th district was established following the 2010 census. In the 2012 elections, incumbents Mulvaney and Clyburn won re-election. Republican Tom Rice defeated Democrat Gloria Tinubu, both of Horry County, 54.9% to 45.1%, to represent South Carolina's new House seat.[9]

Presidential Election Results 2000-2012[7]
Year Democrat Republican
2012 47% 139,723 53% 159,629
2008 47% 138,565 53% 153,380
2004 46% 106,776 54% 124,487
2000 47% 96,150 53% 107,954


Primary cities

(population figures is from 2020 census estimates)

Cities with a population of at least 5,000

Higher education

4-year colleges

2-year or specialized colleges


The area is served by four commercial broadcast television stations, WBTW CBS 13, WPDE ABC 15, WMBF NBC 32 and WFXB Fox 43, the first two with twin studios at Florence and Myrtle Beach, as well as two educational television stations substations, WHMC-TV, in Conway, South Carolina, and WJPM-TV in Florence, South Carolina

Daily newspapers include The Sun News of Myrtle Beach and The Morning News of Florence. The Georgetown Times is published five times per week.

Major highways

See also


  1. ^ "Charleston and Lowcountry, The SC Lowcountry, Pee Dee, Midlands, and Piedmont". Pee Dee Tourism. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Federal and State Recognized Native American Entities". The South Caroline Commission for Minority Affairs. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  3. ^ "Native American Heritage Federal and State Recognized Tribes". SC Department of Archives & History. State of South Carolina. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  4. ^ "South Carolina's Recognized Native American Indian Entities". South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  5. ^ "Visitor Info". Pee Dee Tourism. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  6. ^ "TV Station Gets Loan Guarantee". The State. Columbia, South Carolina. Associated Press. July 12, 1980. p. 3-A. Archived from the original on April 12, 2022. Retrieved April 12, 2022 – via
  7. ^ a b Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  8. ^ "SC lawmakers approve new 7th congressional district anchored in Horry County". Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  9. ^ "South Carolina House Election Results 2012 - Map, District Results, Live Updates -". Politico. Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-07-05.

34°12′21″N 79°32′21″W / 34.205833°N 79.539167°W / 34.205833; -79.539167