South Carolina’s coastal and Upstate regions saw rapid population growth in 2017, which new estimates from the U.S. Census suggest was enough to push the state above 5 million people for the first time.
According to the Post and Courier, the growth moved Charleston past Columbia into the slot as the state’s most populous city last year. The Census estimated the city’s population to be more than 134,000 residents last year, up from 120,000 just seven years earlier.
Meanwhile, the city of Mount Pleasant’s population grew by more than 27 percent during that same time and now has more than 86,000 residents. Columbia’s growth has been much slower, adding just 4,000 residents since 2010. Greenville added a net 10,000 residents from 2010-2017 to put it around 68,000 residents
The population growth is quickest in South Carolina communities near the ocean, the mountains and job centers.
Nationally residents have been moving to the South and West for years. In 2017, Texas is home to half of the top-10 large cities with the highest annual population gains. No city on the East Coast was on that list.
The fastest growing city was Frisco, Texas. Its population grew by 8 percent in single year, putting it at more than 177,000 overall. San Antonio added 66,000 residents in the year as it was the fastest-growing large city nationwide. Charlotte’s population grew by 15,000 residents in the year to more than 859,000 overall.