The Palmetto State continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the country with nearly 63,000 people moving to South Carolina in the last year. More than 80 percent of new residents moving here are from out-of-state locations, according to the Census Bureau. Some areas of South Carolina have seen slower population growth while other counties – including Horry and Berkeley counties – are seeing new residents pour in. Counties adjacent to Charlotte and Spartanburg have also seen a big influx of new residents. The new population growth raised the state’s population to just over 5 million people.
Census Bureau data indicates there is great variability in the population growth by region.
Berkeley County is an example of soaring population growth due to job and housing opportunities as industries move into the area and multiple town-sized housing developments are planned in response, including Cane Bay, Nexton, and Carnes Crossroads. Berkeley County’s Cainhoy Plantation development near Daniel Island is expected to have 9,000 new homes. The Nexton development is planning to build 10,000 new homes and more than 6 million square feet of commercial space off of Interstate 26 near Summerville.
Meanwhile population growth in Charleston and Dorchester counties has slowed considerably, by more than 50 percent since 2015 – while Berkeley has become the second-fastest growing county in the state. In 2015, Charleston gained 50 residents a day and accounted for half of the growth in the state, but that number has slowed to 34 new residents a day by 2018.
Myrtle Beach area continues to have the second fastest growing population in the country.
In Horry County, the population has grown in the last year by nearly 12,000 new people, but since it is home to many retirees, it has more deaths than births each year. As a result, the latest population is slightly less than the number of people moving there. Charleston and Dorchester continue to see population growth due to a robust birth rate and new residents moving to the area. A third of the increase in the number of residents is due to the birth rate.
Spartanburg county is the big surprise as the 19th fastest-growing metropolitan region in the nation and the fifth-fastest growing county in the state. Spartanburg is near the I-85 corridor connecting to Charlotte and Greenville, and is located near the BMW manufacturing plant. York and Lancaster counties are now considered bedroom communities of Charlotte and are the 47th fastest growing metropolitan area in the country. They are South Carolina’s third and fourth fastest growing counties.
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