Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

randy1

2010 SC and NC Cities

52 posts in this topic

What do you think we would see as the largest cities in South Carolina and also North Carolina by the year...lets say 2012?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


In terms of municipal population, Charlotte should continue to dominate NC followed by Raleigh. Charlotte has too big of a lead to be overtaken that soon. Charleston will probably pass Columbia to become SC's largest municipality by 2012 or shortly thereafter given current trends.

In terms of UA or MSA, it really depends on how the Census Bureau decides the boundaries. Will Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson become a unified MSA again? Will Raleigh's UA and Durham's UA growth into other officially. Will Charlotte's UA grow into Rock Hill's UA and Concord's UA and Gastonia's UA officially. And on and on.

I tend to pay more attention to UA figures than MSA figures. I think MSA figures are great for defining economic regions, but UA figures are better for gauging the "real" size of the city (which means urban areas). For example, Calhoun County, Saluda County, and Fairfield County are commuter communities for Columbia and part of its MSA, but they still remain overwhelmingly rural and hardly urban.

So in terms of UA populations, I suspect that Charlotte will be the largest in NC even if Raleigh and Durham merge into one, although that would be the second largest. For SC, Columbia or Charleston will be the largest UA. They are so similar in size that it is hard to really guess which will be the largest. And I still do not really know which city is growing faster, but it seems that it may currently be Charleston over Columbia. So, maybe I would give the edge to Charleston's UA. Had the Charleston Navy Base not closed back in the 1990s, Charleston would be the largest UA. Greenville will remain third even if the Simpsonville-Mauldin UA gets sucked into Greenville's UA as it really should. The upstate is growing, but it seems more spread out and perhaps not building up the Greenville UA as much. I do think that Myrtle Beach will probably come out in the 2010 census with a larger UA population than Spartanburg, which would make Myrtle Beach the fourth largest UA in SC after Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville.

As far as MSA figures are concerned, again I think Charlotte dominates NC. This is especially likely if you take into account the number of counties that are not in the MSA but are in the CSA. These are on track to eventually get sucked up into the MSA. Of course, Charlotte's MSA extends into SC too. I do think the Triangle will pass the Triad soon if it has not already in terms of MSA population for NC's number two spot. It seems to be the faster growing region of the two. For SC, I think the upstate clearly would be the largest MSA if the Census Bureau combines them again. Short of that, I think Columbia will be the largest MSA in 2012 as it is currently. It has a good lead over Charleston thanks to the inclusion of Calhoun, Saluda, Fairfield, and Kershaw Counties.

So much really depends on how the census bureaucrats define or redefine all of this stuff. And few areas in SC or NC are growing at a "boomtown" rate that really has the potential to shake things up quickly. Basically, the Carolina boomtowns seem to be the Triangle, Charlotte, and perhaps Myrtle Beach on a smaller scale. Other places are growing and prospering, but not like those cities. The reason there is so much guessing about SC is that its primary urban areas are so similar in size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rock Hill will be #4 in terms of population...In 2000 it had 49,000...The estimated 2003 population was 56,000...Just think about it...But yeah...Charlotte will most likely be the biggest city in NC for a while...It will be between Columbia and Charleston but Columbia is starting to see growth back into town again so it'll be a close one...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing will change. Columbia and Charleston may switch places... Greenville and Spartanburg may merge again... but basicly the cities' populations won't be that much different in terms of rank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In terms of municipal population, Charlotte should continue to dominate NC followed by Raleigh. Charlotte has too big of a lead to be overtaken that soon. Charleston will probably pass Columbia to become SC's largest municipality by 2012 or shortly thereafter given current trends.

In terms of UA or MSA, it really depends on how the Census Bureau decides the boundaries. Will Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson become a unified MSA again? Will Raleigh's UA and Durham's UA growth into other officially. Will Charlotte's UA grow into Rock Hill's UA and Concord's UA and Gastonia's UA officially. And on and on.

I tend to pay more attention to UA figures than MSA figures. I think MSA figures are great for defining economic regions, but UA figures are better for gauging the "real" size of the city (which means urban areas). For example, Calhoun County, Saluda County, and Fairfield County are commuter communities for Columbia and part of its MSA, but they still remain overwhelmingly rural and hardly urban.

So in terms of UA populations, I suspect that Charlotte will be the largest in NC even if Raleigh and Durham merge into one, although that would be the second largest. For SC, Columbia or Charleston will be the largest UA. They are so similar in size that it is hard to really guess which will be the largest. And I still do not really know which city is growing faster, but it seems that it may currently be Charleston over Columbia. So, maybe I would give the edge to Charleston's UA. Had the Charleston Navy Base not closed back in the 1990s, Charleston would be the largest UA. Greenville will remain third even if the Simpsonville-Mauldin UA gets sucked into Greenville's UA as it really should. The upstate is growing, but it seems more spread out and perhaps not building up the Greenville UA as much. I do think that Myrtle Beach will probably come out in the 2010 census with a larger UA population than Spartanburg, which would make Myrtle Beach the fourth largest UA in SC after Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville.

As far as MSA figures are concerned, again I think Charlotte dominates NC. This is especially likely if you take into account the number of counties that are not in the MSA but are in the CSA. These are on track to eventually get sucked up into the MSA. Of course, Charlotte's MSA extends into SC too. I do think the Triangle will pass the Triad soon if it has not already in terms of MSA population for NC's number two spot. It seems to be the faster growing region of the two. For SC, I think the upstate clearly would be the largest MSA if the Census Bureau combines them again. Short of that, I think Columbia will be the largest MSA in 2012 as it is currently. It has a good lead over Charleston thanks to the inclusion of Calhoun, Saluda, Fairfield, and Kershaw Counties.

So much really depends on how the census bureaucrats define or redefine all of this stuff. And few areas in SC or NC are growing at a "boomtown" rate that really has the potential to shake things up quickly. Basically, the Carolina boomtowns seem to be the Triangle, Charlotte, and perhaps Myrtle Beach on a smaller scale. Other places are growing and prospering, but not like those cities. The reason there is so much guessing about SC is that its primary urban areas are so similar in size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charleston is still about 16,000 behind Columbia so I don't think those positions will change in the foreseeable future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charleston is still about 16,000 behind Columbia so I don't think those positions will change in the foreseeable future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


At Rock Hill's rate of growth, it is only a matter of time before it overtakes both Concord and Gastonia to be the 2nd largest city in the Charlotte region.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Starting about 10 years, it will IMO be more interesting to what other areas of growth and economic vitality start to emerge - as the largest in both states solidify their successes and build upon them, it will be interesting to see how this spreads around the two states - because it will, but not to everywhere. In SC, Myrtle Beach and Rock Hill are the safe bets - in NC you have the suburban cities (Concord & Cary) and the precisely 2 swiftly-growing smaller cities down east (Greenville and Wilmington); in all of those cases it will be interesting to see if present trends sustain themselves...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Charleston is still about 16,000 behind Columbia so I don't think those positions will change in the foreseeable future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Greenville & Spartanburg are unfortunately boxed in - any growth in those cities will be impressive, as it will be strictly infill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look at the Greenville GIS website you can see that the mauldin city limits are already butting up against Greenville's? Is that as far as that can go or can Greenville annex mauldins city? Ive always wondered about that. Can smaller cities be annexed into other bigger cities even if they are already a city themselves? Anderson has a lot of room for growth around it. If South Carolina would loosen annexation laws Greenville could annex taylors and Berea and gain 30,000 - 40,000 probably in just those areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Bluffton is an incorporated place

No City can annex another one involuntarily. Cities can merge with each other. For example, several cities merged to create North Myrtle Beach. Another example is the town of Eau Claire, which merged itself into Columbia for whatever reason (its the circular part of Columbia north of downtown).

The problem is that this can lead to turf wards like the Charleston area is seeing with Summerville-North Charleston and Charleston-James Island, and in the Upstate with Greer and Reidville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Good points metro. I think its important to recognize that in Myrtle Beach, much of the permanent residential growth is happening within the municipality because everyone wants to be near the beach. Its an interesting phenomenon, compared to most other cities in SC where people tend to avoid the municipalities. I don't think any of the municipalities control any land (or any lignificant amounts of it) west of the ICW, so that is where my interest lies. MB and NMB may be able to capture a great deal of redevelopment, which will be awsome, but how can that area as a metro, manage the growth to the west when Horry County doesn't seem to want to do anything about it (maybe I'm wong here?).

As for Rock Hill its hard to say. Their city limits are so stringy that its hard for me to get a feel for which areas are in the city and which are not... metro is right though, an increasingly large portion of growth will occur in the areas closer to Charlotte, but Rock Hill can still draw alot of growth in its vicinity because it is an existing urban center with its own infrastructure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the growth is definitely nearer Fort Mill, but Fort Mill has not been pro-active in annexing. The town might not have the funds to fully provide services further out anyways - therefore Ft Mill likely won't grow any larger than 20k after the next decade or so. Tega Cay is similar but even more stringent about their growth plans. Rock Hill's plan, on the other hand, has been nothing less than high growth. The stringy patterns of the city is in order to annex as much as possible, learning the lessons of the then larger city of Spartanburg in the 1970's.

But 20k is really just a guess, but I would imagine Ft Mill to expand, but I don't know if the town's infrastructure will be in place to aggressively expand like Rock Hill has chosen to. I'm pretty sure Tega Cay isn't.

erm1981 - what spartan said, but another example of a city merging with another one is the town of Ebenezer which ceded to Rock Hill in the 60's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The towns of Batesburg and Leesville merged in the 1990's into the town of Batesburg-Leesville.

Rock Hill's numbers speak for itself. They have grown steadily for many years, and I see no reason to expect a change.

The 2005 Census estimates put the Charleston/Columbia difference at just over 10,000 in Columbia's favor. It also shows Charleston gained 10,000 since 2000. It's going to be a real horse race for 2010. If the housing slowdown on the coast becomes extended, then Columbia might still keep the lead but most likely by a small margin. Columbia will have to be proactive if it wants to maintain it's status as largest SC city, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't foresee Rock Hill's growth slowing down anytime in the near future. Furthermore, the areas between Rock Hill and Fort Mill, particularly along I-77, are starting to fill in with development. As Spartan said, Rock Hill has the benefit of an established infrastructure, whereas the growth in Fort Mill appears to be a bit haphazard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But there are some intangibles - Conway, Aiken, Greer, Lexington, Irmo & Blufton could surprise people if they take a more aggressive approach (as Greer already has) - also Blufton isn't a municipality yet I believe.

Greenville & Spartanburg are unfortunately boxed in - any growth in those cities will be impressive, as it will be strictly infill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The part of York County that is growing faster than the rest of the county including Rock Hill is the area Northeast of the Catawba River as shown in this link It is the reason that York county is now the 2nd largest county in the Charlotte metro. The only reason it won't be annexed by CLT is because it is in SC. Is it good development? No. But that wasn't the question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^I think that's pretty obvious, but the pertinent issue, as has been brought up, is one of annexation. All of those people aren't in Fort Mill's or Tega Cay's city limits. Rock Hill, on the other hand, already has an aggressive annexation policy in place and development is slowly but surely filling in between the two towns--which makes it easier for Rock Hill to at least attempt to capture some of the southward-creeping sprawl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im 25 and i doubt ill ever see Greenville go over 100,000 in my lifetime. Well maybe if i live to be 90

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking back through this thread, and looking at both SC and NC estimates and projections, I'd like to throw a few random things out:

City limits population increases 2000-2005, estimated:

Charleston - 8,889 (from 97,823 to 106,712)

Columbia - 1,050 (from 116,038 to 117,088)

Rock Hill - 8,952 (from 50,602 to 59,554)

Of course in SC it's all about UA populations, as city limit populations offer an essentailly useless way of looking at true growth (actually true in a few NC cities as well), and the SC numbers I found at the state demographics office also didn't include unincorporated CDPs, some of which - like Taylors - are quite sizable. I don't have those numbers, so county projections will have to suffice: the 2030 projections estimate the largest SC counties as Greenville (500,000+), Richland (400,000+), Charleston, Horry, Spartanburg, Lexington (300,000+), York, Anderson, Beaufort, Berkeley, Aiken (200,000+).

Several NE SC counties populations are projected to remain flat or to actually fall (Marlboro, Dillon, Marion, Williamsburg), alongside the big jump in Horry and smaller but still significant increases in Florence and Georgetown. This would lead me to suspect that - while the bulk of the growth in Horry and Georgetown may be tourist/retiree-driven, those counties (along with Florence) will also pick up an accelerating brain drain (or labor drain) out of nearby rural counties.

The SC metros will fill in - rather than one explosively big county emerging (a la Wake, Mecklenburg), the Upstate, Greater Columbia and Greater Charleston will fill in more evenly as metros, perhaps with greater integration between several currently seperate cores (like Greenville, Anderson, Spartanburg and surrounding towns). The need may or may not already exist, but based on projections, now would be a good time to be thinking about light rail in the Upstate, given the likely slow-but-steady increases in population, density and development out into Spartanburg and Anderson Counties.

The same force is at work, I think, in some of the (few) eastern NC cities projected to add population. New Bern is one of the few cities in the region with a projected increase; there is a small but steady retiree increase in the area. More notable is Greenville, with a population increase from 48,000 to 69,000 between 1985 and 2000; Pitt County crossed the 100,000 threshhold in the 1990s. Greenville is surrounded by counties, and a few siginificant cities (Kinston and Goldsboro) with population losses projected - a combination of brain drain from other areas, some retirees, ECU, are all at play.

It should also be noted the difference between NC cities where most of the growth was through annexation, vs those where the growth was from in-migration - all major cities in NC have some of both going on, but in several cities - Charlotte, Raleigh & Greensboro most notably - the numbers are close to even (2000-2005). In Asheville, Greenville, Gastonia, Winston-Salem, and Wilmington a substantial majority of population growth was through annexation; in Fayetteville it accounted for all of it. Durham, High Point, Concord, Cary were the 4 major cities where the bulk of growth was via in-migration.

Beyond trivia, this has serious bearing on transportation planning - rail in particular. While some areas are attempting to smarten up planning and development, the projections from both states plainly show a lot of future blurring of the bounaries between the Triangle, Triad, Greater Charlotte, the Upstate and Greater Asheville: the link counties between the metros (Alamance, Davidson, Rowan, Cabarrus, Cherokee and Henderson) are all forecast to gain population; in Cabarrus, Henderson and probably Alamance it will be dramatic. The larger cities in the core metros should be mindful of this, and those smaller link cities should really try to get in front of some of these issues as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taylors, Berea, Powdersville are all very populated and right next to greenville city limits. There are probably 50,000-60,000 people in those areas combined. These are all Unincorporated also which would make it easy for them to take into the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.