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The Pee Dee region of South Carolina is the northeastern corner of the state. It is the area of the lower watershed of the Pee Dee River, named after the Pee Dee Native American tribe. Its center is Florence. It also encompasses the Grand Strand, which includes the beaches running from the North Carolina state line to the Winyah Bay in Georgetown County in South Carolina.
On the coast, the area is predominantly involved in tourism and resorts with 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 and its many golf courses. Inland is a belt featuring rivers, marshes, carolina bays and sandy rises where forestry is predominant, with pine plantations and baldcypress timbering.
Florence, originally founded as a railroad center is a small, but growing center of production of pharmaceuticals, and other light industry. It is also known as a center of medical and dental care. The Pee Dee Region also produces paper, steel, and recreational vehicles.
The Pee Dee region has no set definition as to which of South Carolina's counties are included in the region. The region takes its name from the Pee Dee River and the counties in the Pee Dee region are located, either entirely or partially, within the river's watershed.
The Pee Dee region has remained relatively constant during the first decade of the 21st century in terms of its voting history. The region has been close during the previous four presidential elections, but leans towards the Republican Party. The tilt of the region is primarily due to the presence of the populous Republican bastion of Horry County along the Atlantic. 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 with Williamsburg, Clarendon, parts of Sumter, and parts of Florence counties located in the majority-minority 6th district and Lee and the remaining parts of Sumter counties located in the 5th district. The 5th and 6th districts are represented by Republican Mick Mulvaney 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 while Republican Tom Rice defeated Gloria Tinubu, both of Horry County, 54.9% to 45.1% to represent South Carolina's new House seat.
|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|
(population figures is from 2010 census estimates)
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 an educational television station substation, WHMC-TV, in Conway, 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.