South Carolina’s population has topped 5 million residents for the first time, according to new estimates released by the Census Bureau on Wednesday.
The bureau estimated just over 5.02 million residents now live in South Carolina, up from 4.96 million a year earlier. The state experienced the 10th-fastest growth as a percentage of population during that time.
Contrary to other states, however, almost all of South Carolina’s growth was due to people moving from other parts of the country. A net 54,000 people moved to the Palmetto State (49,000 from other states and 5,000 from other countries), while about 10,000 more births occurred than deaths. That means 84 percent of South Carolina’s overall growth last year was due to migration. By comparison, it only made up 58 percent of Georgia’s population growth and 38 percent of Virginia’s growth.
South Carolina had the sixth-highest overall increase (not based on percentage) in residents who moved from other states. Previous research found most of that population has resettled in coastal cities such as the Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head regions. The suburban communities immediately south of Charlotte, such as Rock Hill, have also seen an explosion in growth the past decade. The Greenville and Columbia areas are also experiencing growth at a slower pace.
The Census Bureau also found that more than two out of every five residents were not born in South Carolina. That number is skewed by coastal areas, however. For instance, nearly three-quarters of Beaufort County residents are not native to the state.