Lake Waccamaw is a town in Columbus County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,480 at the 2010 census.
The Lake Waccamaw Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
The town of Lake Waccamaw is located in eastern Columbus County at 34°18′54″N 78°30′31″W (34.314998, -78.508708), on the north shore of Lake Waccamaw.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.16%, is water.
Lake Waccamaw is a 9,000-acre (3,600 ha) freshwater lake around and on which is held the annual free fitness event, Take the Lake. Participants may either walk the 15 miles (24 km) around the lake, paddle 14 miles (23 km) around, bike 12 miles (19 km) and walk 3 miles (5 km) around, or swim 4 miles (6 km) across the lake, all on Labor Day weekend. No winners are announced, as awards are presented for completion only. Organizers began Take the Lake in reaction to the county being ranked as the least healthy of all 100 North Carolina counties.
In 2012, residents reported, and researchers at N.C. State University confirmed, that the invasive aquatic weed hydrilla had infested 600 acres (240 ha) of Lake Waccamaw.
Lake Waccamaw's water quality contributes to an interesting mix of animal life in the park. Several species are found only in or around the lake and nowhere else on Earth. These species are known as endemics. At Lake Waccamaw, fish endemics include Waccamaw darter, Waccamaw silverside, and Waccamaw killifish. The water also contains a diversity of unusual mollusks. The endemic Waccamaw spike and Waccamaw fatmucket are among the 15 species of mussels and clams found in the lake. And, of the 11 snail species, the Waccamaw amnicola and the Waccamaw siltsnail are also endemics.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,411 people, 529 households, and 356 families residing in the town. The population density was 409.8 people per square mile (158.4/km²). There were 793 housing units at an average density of 230.3 per square mile (89.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 80.65% White, 15.88% African American, 2.27% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.57% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.64% of the population.
There were 529 households out of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.67.
In the town, the population was spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 20.8% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 26.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $47,692, and the median income for a family was $57,500. Males had a median income of $36,597 versus $22,054 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,502. About 6.8% of families and 22.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.1% of those under age 18 and 51.3% of those age 65 or over.
East Columbus High School was founded in Lake Waccamaw in 1992, receiving students from the Lake Waccamaw, Riegelwood, Delco, and Hallsboro residential areas. It incorporates students from the Acme-Delco and Hallsboro Middle Schools. The school's mascot is the Gator.