Sumter ( /sʌmtər/) is the county seat of Sumter County, South Carolina, United States. Known as the Sumter Metropolitan Statistical Area, the namesake county adjoins Clarendon and Lee to form the core of Sumter-Lee-Clarendon tri-county area of South Carolina, an area that includes the three counties in east central South Carolina. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population was 39,643 at the 2000 census. The 2010 census puts the city at 40,524. During the 1740s, settlers arrived to establish roots along the banks of the Wateree River. The "Carolina Backcountry," as it was then known, became a predominantly agricultural area called Craven County, later Claremont County. Today, the city retains its status as a major hub, both for industry and infrastructure. In modern times, the city has taken on additional dimension as a center for business culture and finance, as its rich historic homes, military support, and progressive educational institutions come together to form a destination for the east central portion of South Carolina.
In the 1740s, the first English-speaking settlers arrived to establish roots along the banks of the Wateree River. The "Carolina Backcountry," as it was then known, became a predominantly agricultural area called Craven County, later Claremont County. Sumter District was established on January 1, 1800.
Incorporated as Sumterville in 1845, the city's name was shortened to Sumter in 1855. It has grown and prospered from its early beginnings as a plantation settlement. The city and county of Sumter bear the name of General Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock" of the American Revolutionary War. His place in U.S. history is secure as a patriot and military genius.