Aiken is the largest city in and the county seat of Aiken County, in western South Carolina, United States. With Augusta, Georgia, it is one of the two largest cities of the Central Savannah River Area. It is part of the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Founded in 1835, Aiken was named after William Aiken, the president of the South Carolina Railroad. It became part of Aiken County when the county was formed in 1871 from parts of Orangeburg, Lexington, Edgefield, and Barnwell counties.
Aiken is home to the University of South Carolina Aiken. According to 2019 U.S. Census estimates, its population was 30,869. The National Civic League gave Aiken the All-America City Award in 1997. Aiken was also named "best small town of the South" by Southern Living.
Aiken is located at 33°32′58″N 81°43′14″W (33.549397, -81.720689), near the center of Aiken County. It is 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Augusta, Georgia, along U.S. Route 1 and 78.