Bluffton is the fastest growing town in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is a Lowcountry town located across U.S. Route 278 between Hilton Head Island and Interstate 95. The town's original one square mile area, now known as Old Town, is situated on a bluff along the May River. The population was counted by the 2010 census at 12,530. Bluffton is the fastest growing municipality in South Carolina with a population over 2,500, growing 882.7% between the 2000 and 2010 census. Bluffton is the fifth largest municipality in South Carolina by land area. The town's Metropolitan Statistical Area population was counted by the 2010 census at 187,010. Bluffton is known for its eclectic Old Town district and natural views of the May River. It has been called "The last true coastal village of the south."
After its founding in 1852, Bluffton became a popular location for wealthy Savannah merchants and plantation owners. Following the Tariff of 1842, Bluffton became a hotbed of separatist sentiment. In 1844 the Bluffton Movement, a protest against federal taxes, birthed the secession movement and led South Carolina to be the first state to leave the Union.