Diversity in Central SC

An Inclusive Community

No matter where you come from, you’ll be welcomed into a friendly community in Central SC. From our cultural attractions and festivities to international cuisine, we celebrate our Region’s diversity. As Central SC continues to grow, our communities become more diverse. Thanks to our growing roster of impressive startups and corporations, low cost of living, and countless other benefits, our Region has seen a huge uptick in inbound migration. Our capital city of Columbia ranks fifth for millennial migration nationwide, and Lexington’s millennial population has increased by over 50% in the last five years, making this region a hotspot for young, diverse talent.

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Most Diverse College in South Carolina, Newberry College


Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) in the Region


major festivals

Home to the International Corridor

Home to SC's Largest LGBTQ+ Celebration

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Opportunities for All Students

Carolina is home to eight historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including four within the Central SC Region. Allen University, located in the heart of Columbia, is a private institution with an enrollment of approximately 600 students. The university offers over a dozen different majors across four divisions, from biology to elementary education. Also located in Columbia is Benedict College, a private liberal arts HBCU with an undergraduate enrollment of over 2,100 students. Benedict College offers several high-demand fields of study and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest. South Carolina State University in Orangeburg has an enrollment of just over 2,000 students, offering degree programs in everything from business to computer science. Claflin University in Orangeburg, named a Top 10 HBCU for the tenth consecutive year in 2021, is home to over 40 degree programs across a variety of liberal arts and STEM fields.

festive dragon and diversity event

International Cuisine, Festivals, and Attractions

The Central SC Region is home to a variety of international cultural attractions. One of these must-visit destinations is Decker Boulevard in downtown Columbia, aptly named the official “International Corridor” for its cluster of thriving international restaurants. This district features countless Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Vietnamese and Mexican restaurants, as well as several international bakeries and shops. The annual Columbia International Festival showcases the music, culture, food and performing arts of the various cultures, nationalities, races and language groups represented in South Carolina, and brings thousands of visitors every year.


Two diverse women having a meeting

Learn. Connect. Grow.

S.C. Commission for Minority Affairs is a catalyst that identifies and examines emerging issues and trends by providing constructive solutions and approaches to support the policy and socio-economic development of ethnic minority communities.

S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is the state agency that plans, develops, oversees and funds services for South Carolinians with severe, lifelong disabilities of intellectual disability, autism, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and conditions related to each of these four disabilities.

S.C. Commission for the Blind helps blind and visually impaired residents of our state gain independence and take advantage of opportunities for financial advancement.

S.C. Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification connects minority- and women-owned small businesses to State contracting and procurement opportunities through the Material Management Office (MMO), while working with State agencies to implement and monitor minority-contracting programs in accordance with applicable policies, laws, and regulations.

Columbia Urban League is a multi-service, non-profit agency that promotes financial stability and racial inclusion in our community.

South Carolina Diversity Council encourages, supports and educates employers, who are building inclusive workplace environments, as they seek to value and strengthen diversity.

Featured News & Stories

Browse our latest news and read about our ambassadors to see what life is really like in Central SC.