Parris Island, South Carolina

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Parris Island is a former census-designated place (CDP), currently a portion of Port Royal in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 4,841 at the 2000 census. As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, Parris Island is included within the Beaufort Urban Cluster and the larger Hilton Head IslandBeaufort Micropolitan Statistical Area. The area was annexed by the town of Port Royal on October 11, 2002.[2]

It is perhaps best known for its U.S. Marine Corps training facility Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, where about 16,000 Marines pass through boot camp every year.

A town named Santa Elena was founded here by Spanish Conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. It was the capital of La Florida from 1566 to 1587, during which time Spanish explorers sailed from Santa Elena to explore the Tennessee valley and Chesapeake Bay.



Parris Island is located at 32°19′44″N 80°41′41″W / 32.32889°N 80.69472°W / 32.32889; -80.69472 (32.328944, -80.694619)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 19.6 square miles (50.8 km²), of which, 12.2 square miles (31.5 km²) of it is land and 7.4 square miles (19.3 km²) of it (37.96%) is water.

The land was previously owned by Zachariah McGill, a wealthy South Carolinian landowner of mixed White/Indian ancestry through the early-to-mid-19th century. Many questions and an unresolved legal battle still linger regarding the sale of Parris Island to the U.S. military in 1883 under questionable circumstances.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 4,841 people, 318 households, and 297 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 398.0 people per square mile (153.7/km²). There were 358 housing units at an average density of 29.4/sq mi (11.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 69.14% White, 17.35% African American, 0.83% Native American, 1.76% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 7.13% from other races, and 3.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.16% of the population.

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