Charleston region saw strong population growth
The Charleston area led the state in population gains last year, and grew faster than most U.S. cities, according to the Census Bureau.
Fast-growing towns, cities
Among the nation’s 715 towns and cities with at least 50,000 residents, the population of those in the Charleston area grew faster than most from April 2010 to July 2011.
City % increase Rank
North Charleston 2.3% 68
Mount Pleasant 2.2% 99
Charleston 2.2% 103
Greenville 2.1% 112
Rock Hill 1.9% 140
Columbia 1% 403
Nationwide average 1%
The population growth is seen as an economic positive for the region, and particularly for the recovering real estate market.
Smalls getting bigger
Smaller towns and cities in the Charleston region showed some of the largest population gains in the state, according to the Census Bureau.
From April 2010 to July 2011, these area municipalities each saw population gains of more than 3 percent: Goose Creek, Hanahan, Moncks Corner and Summerville.
Among the nation’s 715 towns and cities with at least 50,000 residents, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Charleston were all growth leaders.
In North Charleston, the 68th-fastest-growing city in the U.S., Boeing is credited for much of the growth.
“I think that probably will continue,” said Ray Anderson, assistant to the mayor. He said Boeing suppliers will be bringing more jobs and more people to the region.
The census estimates are for population growth between April 2010 and July 2011. Nationwide, the population in cities grew by 1 percent, less than half the growth seen in Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
Michael Scarafile, president of Carolina One Real Estate, said population growth is usually a positive sign for the housing market. “As we see growth in population, both from people moving here for jobs like Boeing and because we have a great place to live, that creates more demand.”
Tim Keane, director of Charleston’s Department of Planning Preservation and Sustainability, said a growing port, influx of technology-related businesses, good colleges and Boeing all point to growth.
“We’re seeing a significant amount of commercial, office and residential development right now,” he said. “There are plenty places that would be very, very happy with the kind of investments we have going on, and the growth we are seeing.”