The white population of South Carolina is mainly of Northern European stock; the great migratory wave from Southern and Eastern Europe during the late 19th century left South Carolina virtually untouched. As of 2000, 115,978, or 2.9%, of South Carolinians were foreign born (up from 1.4% in 1990).
In 2000, the black population was 1,185,216, or 29.5% of the state's population (the 3rd-highest percentage in the nation). In the coastal regions and offshore islands there still can be found some vestiges of African heritage, notably the Gullah dialect. South Carolina has always had an urban black elite, much of it of mixed racial heritage. After 1954, racial integration proceeded relatively peacefully, with careful planning by both black and white leaders.
The 2000 census counted 13,718 American Indians, up from 8,000 in 1990. In 1983, a federal appeals court upheld the Indians' claim that 144,000 acres (58,275 hectares) of disputed land still belonged to the Catawba tribe, who numbered an estimated 1,597 in 1995. In 2000, there were 95,076 Hispanics and Latinos (2.4% of the total population), nearly double the 1990 figure of 50,000 (1.3%). In 2000, the census reported 52,871 Mexicans and 12.211 Puerto Ricans (up from 4,282 in 1990) in South Carolina. In the same year, South Carolina had 36,014 Asians, including 6,423 Filipinos, 2,448 Japanese, and 3,665 Koreans. Pacific Islanders numbered 1,628.