Irmo, South Carolina

Irmo is a town in Lexington and Richland counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina and a suburb of Columbia. It is 12 miles outside of the city center of Columbia and is part of the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 11,039 at the 2000 census.


Irmo is located at (34.092629, -81.186073).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.7 km²), all land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 11,039 people, 3,911 households, and 3,163 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,670.2 people per square mile (1,032.0/km²). There were 4,066 housing units at an average density of 983.5/sq mi (380.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 76.76% White, 20.16% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.42% of the population.

There were 3,911 households out of which 47.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.9% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.1% were non-families. 15.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the town the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 4.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $55,847, and the median income for a family was $62,005. Males had a median income of $41,054 versus $30,171 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,312. About 3.3% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.4% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.


Irmo is home to the annual Okra Strut The Okra Strut is a festival and parade held every year in the town of Irmo. The festival was spawned in 1973 when the Lake Murray-Irmo Women's Club were trying to find a way to raise money for a new Irmo Public Library. Gene McKay, a news anchor and radio personality for WIS, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, came up with the idea to have a festival based on Okra. The Okra Strut was born. It started out as modest arts and crafts sale held in Seven Oaks Park, during which the women also sold Okra. By 1978, it had grown into a full-fledged festival. By 1980, proceeds from the Okra Strut had gained enough money to pay for the Irmo Town Library. The Okra Strut remains a popular festival throughout the State of South Carolina. Attendance for the 2005 festival was said to be approximately 45,000.


Irmo was chartered on Christmas Eve in 1890 in response to the opening of the Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad. The strange name of Irmo was the result of combining the names of Captain C.J. Iredell and Henry Moseley, two important figures in the founding of the town. Despite the town's growth, it should be noted that the town of Irmo does not have an actual downtown area, rather, it includes only several clusters of suburban neighborhoods.


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