For some reason, folks in the Charleston area have gotten the idea that hordes of people are moving here from Ohio, but the Buckeye State doesn't even make the top 10, according to the Census Bureau.

That hasn't kept Ohio from serving as a proxy for Lowcountry residents frustrated by relentless population growth and some of the things, like traffic, that come with it. From the Charleston Riverdogs' "Go Back To Ohio" night at the ballpark to the website, Ohio transplants get plenty of grief.

But if all this population growth isn't coming from Ohio, where's it coming from?

A new census report breaks that down, and for the tri-county Charleston metro area, most of the people moving here from out-of-state are coming from Southern states - Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, in that order. The first northern state to make the list is New York, at number five.

Funny thing is, those are also the top five states people from the Charleston area are moving to, and in roughly equal numbers.

About 25,000 people move between those five states and the Charleston metro area every year, with little effect on the total number of people in Charleston.

Similarly, about 16,000 people move each year between the three counties in the Charleston metro area, rearranging the population without adding to it.

To get population growth, more people have to move here than move there, creating the population equivalent of a trade imbalance.

Looking at it that way, Ohio still doesn't scratch the top 10 states contributing to Charleston-area growth, but the list does get heavier with cold-weather states, led by New Jersey.

Florida and Texas are next on the list - maybe it's too hot there - followed by Pennsylvania, Michigan and Alaska. You've still got to go through Connecticut, Kentucky, Illinois, Oregon and Massachusetts before Ohio pops up at number 12.

And who knew so many people were moving to the Lowcountry from Alaska?

Military families being redeployed from one base to another may explain why some locations are such big points of origin for Lowcountry moves. For example, no single county sends more people to Charleston County each year than Anchorage, Alaska, according to the Census Bureau.

For Berkeley County, Duval County in Florida (Jacksonville) tops the list of counties people are moving from.

For Dorchester County, it's Harrison County, Miss. (Biloxi).

The information comes from a new Census Bureau report released during the past week, which was based on surveys from 2007 through 2011. They also created an online mapping tool so people can play with the data, at

It's the most up-to-date data from the bureau's American Community Survey, but when it gets down to the level of which particular counties folks are moving from, a little skepticism is in order.

For example, all those people moving to Dorchester County each year from the Biloxi area? The Census Bureau estimates that 201 people make that move, give or take 263.

The state-to-state data is more reliable, and might be enough for former Ohio residents to argue that the folks in the Lowcountry should pick on New Jersey for a change.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552