Allendale’s history consists of a booming tourist industry in the 1960s. Prior to the construction of Interstate 95, Allendale was the midpoint for vacationers making the journey from the Northern United States toward Florida along US 301- the only route available for the travelers. Due to this traffic flow, the tourist industry was the main economic support for the small town. However, after construction of Interstate 95, the traffic was routed away from Allendale, leaving the town with only agricultural means of financial support, such as producing cotton, soybeans, watermelon and cantaloupe.
Today, Allendale County is one of the poorest counties in South Carolina. It is characterized by:
- 41% of the population living below the poverty level (compared to 17% in SC)
- Median household income is $23,942 (compared to $42,580 in SC).
- Current unemployment rate is 14%
- 90% of schoolchildren are eligible for free school lunch.