How Wide Is South Carolina? Total Distance from East to West

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: November 17, 2023
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South Carolina is a coastal state in the Southeastern United States. The Palmetto State ranks 40th in terms of total land area in the country, comprising only 32,020 square miles. No matter how one measures this state, it is not large. However, we can still look at the individual dimensions of the state. So, how wide is South Carolina from east to west?

Take a look at where the state is widest and narrowest and learn how the state compares to some of the largest in the country in that respect.  

How Wide Is South Carolina?

south carolina on the map

The Palmetto State is not very large or wide compared to many others.

©Alexander Lukatskiy/

South Carolina is about 220 miles wide at its greatest east-to-west measurement throughout the state. However, the state is only about 200 miles wide on average.

The state’s greatest east-to-west measurement with a straight line starts at the state border with North Carolina. This area is located just off the coast of North Myrtle Beach. From there, the measurement goes to the western side of the state, into the Savannah River at McCormick, South Carolina, near the shared border with Georgia.

The narrowest point in South Carolina measured by a straight line is about 22 miles. This distance is found far in the southern part of the state. Measuring from the Hilton Head Island’s beach to the Little Back River that divides South Carolina and Georgia, we find the 22-mile-wide portion of the state, the narrowest measure possible with a straight line.

Yet, we can also increase or decrease the maximum measurement by using a diagonal line at the two farthest points in the state from east to west. Once again, the measuring point starts off the coast of North Myrtle Beach and travels west. This time, the endpoint is in Tugaloo Lake at the border with Georgia, a total distance of 282 miles.

All told, South Carolina’s width is not that great. Let’s move on and see how it compares to other states.  

How Wide Is the Palmetto State Compared to Others?

The South Carolina state flag waving along with the national flag of the United States of America. South Carolina is a state in the coastal Southeastern region of the United States

The South Carolina flag features the Palmetto tree.


Alaska2,400 miles
Texas773 miles
Montana630 miles
Oklahoma465 miles
South Carolina220 miles

South Carolina has a fairly large measure of width when considering the state’s small overall size. Yet, the Palmetto State does not measure up to some of the widest states in the country. It should come as no surprise that Alaska leads the list since the state is the largest in the country.

However, Alaska has the benefit of its total width being bolstered by the Aleutian Islands. This trailing strand of islands stretches for over a thousand miles off the state’s west coast. Texas is also a very wide state, stretching 773 miles from east to west.

Meanwhile, South Carolina is only 220 miles wide, less than a third of Texas’ measure and only half of Oklahoma’s. Overall, the Palmetto State is much narrower than all but the smallest states in the United States.

How Big Is the State of South Carolina?

Charleston, South Carolina, USA skyline over the Ashley River.

South Carolina is about one-fifth the size of California.

©Sean Pavone/

Measures of South Carolina
Acres20,492,800 acres
Square Miles (sq. mi)32,020 sq. mi
Square Kilometers (km2)82,933 km2

South Carolina is ranked 40th in terms of total area in the country. The state has 32,020 square miles or 82,933 square kilometers of area. To provide some context to this number, the state is close in size to Maine, the 39th largest state in the country with 35,380 square miles of area.

Yet, the Palmetto State is far smaller than the largest states in the country by area. Take a look at the following chart and see how these states compare.

StateSquare MilesSquare Kilometers
Alaska665,384 sq. mi1,723,337 km2
Texas268,596 sq. mi695,662 km2
California163,695 sq. mi423,967 km2
Montana147,040 sq. mi380,831 km2
South Carolina32,020 sq. mi82,933 km2

The state is about 5 times smaller than California in overall area. It’s 20 times smaller than Alaska! South Carolina is not the smallest state in the country, but it is small compared to some of the largest.

About South Carolina

Myrtle Beach South Carolina Drone Skyline Aerial.

The beaches, weather, and economy make people fall in love with this state.

©Kevin Ruck/

The Palmetto State is situated in the southeastern part of the country. South Carolina shares borders with the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, Georgia to the west, and North Carolina to the north.

The state is known as a place to pursue leisure and enjoyment. People travel from all over the country to visit the state’s beaches and enjoy the region’s cuisine. The state is well-known for being a haven for people who love sports, especially fishing and golf.

Of course, the state is not all fun and no work. The state has advanced manufacturing and aerospace facilities, a thriving agricultural sector, and more. The state’s low cost of living has attracted many people to the area starting in the early 2020s.

The Population in the Palmetto State

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, South Carolina had an estimated population of 5,282,634 in July 2022. That is a growth of 3.2% since the 2020 Census that found the area was home to 5,118,429 people. More and more people are coming to South Carolina, and they are doing so in great numbers.

The area’s economy, cost of living compared to other states, and great weather are all making people move to this state.

Fortunately, the state has plenty of space for people to spread out into. So, how wide is South Carolina? Well, it’s at least wide enough to support the rapid growth of people and cities that are flocking to the area. While it is hardly the largest or widest state in the country or this region, the Palmetto State has a lot to offer the people who choose to live there.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Kevin Ruck/

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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