S.C. Population

Year Population 1790 249,073 1840 594,398 1890 1,151,149 1940 1,899,804 1970 2,590,713 1980 3,122,814 1990 3,486,703 2000 4,012,012 2010 4,625,364 State Budget and Control Board

At the stroke of midnight, when the big ball drops at Times Square, the population of the United States will have climbed by about 1 percent over this time last year, says the U.S. Census Bureau.

By the numbers, that means you are one of an estimated 315,091,138 people who call America home.

In January, one birth is expected to occur every eight seconds in the U.S. and one death every 12 seconds.

In South Carolina, births have dropped a bit, and deaths have climbed a little, according to newly-released figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state had 60,412 live births in 2009 compared to 62,851 babies in 2007. It recorded 37,763 deaths in 2007 and 38,435 deaths in 2009.

Marriages dropped from 2007 to 2009 ó 34,908 to 29,164, says the CDC. But divorces did too ó 13,194 to 12,222.

And consider this: North Dakota, with its bone-chilling winters, is the newly crowned leader in population growth, says the Census Bureau. The booming natural gas exploration there is a likely reason for the population gain.

The Roughridger State topped the country with a 2.17 percent increase in residents in the year prior to July 1, 2012, according to state population estimates released last week. The District of Columbia was No. 2 on the list and Texas was No. 3.

South Carolina is still no slouch in the population department. The state added 50,375 residents in the year prior to July 1, 2012 , or about as many as live in all of Bismark, N.D. To further put things into perspective, North Dakota has about 700,000 residents compared to the Palmetto Stateís 4.7 million.

But North Dakota apparently has its charms. According to its tourism officials, Cambridge University has ranked it the friendliest state in the U.S., and AAA says it offers the most affordable vacation around. Itís the safest of the states and ranks No. 1 for its high schools. Wintertime there, though, can regularly mean below-freezing high temperatures and lows down around zero, if not below.

Which is probably why South Carolina has been adding residents at a rate greater than the U.S. as a whole. The state was among those that grew up to nearly 3 percent from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2012. During that time, the U.S. population increased at about 1.7 percent. From 2011 to 2012, the U.S. population increased by 2.3 million to 314 million, the Census Bureau says.

So Happy New Yearís Eve, America, because more people than ever are here to celebrate 2013.