Archived

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

Hybrid0NE

Most Dense South Carolina City?

Recommended Posts

Okay, I need you urban info junkies to give me some data again. What are the average density rates/percentages (think I phrased it right) for our largest cities. I'm thinking Charleston may have the highest since it's the oldest but I want to see the actual numbers...

Charleston

Columbia

Greenville

Myrtle Beach

Spartanburg

Charlotte Jr. (Rock Hill)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I agree - Charleston & Columbia, no other city including Greenville barely manages any density beyond 5000 people per square mile. Charleston's dense core exceeds 10k p/sm & in spots Columbia's does as well - but not as contained as Charleston's. In this comparison, this explains the lack of respect Greenville receives in regard to urbanity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most dense census tract in the state is located in downtown Columbia at 16,800 pp/sq mile. Charleston is a distant second at 12,261.

Source US Census, 2000 data

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most dense census tract in the state is located in downtown Columbia at 16,800 pp/sq mile.  Charleston is a distant second at 12,261.

Source US Census, 2000 data

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That much is probably true, but there is a much greater pattern in downtown Charleston than in Columbia - which is dispersed over two areas: Five Points & the mill villages south of downtown (based on block group).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious does anyone have density stats for Myrtle Beach? I know at the rate its growing I figure much of Horry county's 200K are between the intercoastal waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious does anyone have density stats for Myrtle Beach? I know at the rate its growing I figure much of Horry county's 200K are between the intercoastal waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The most dense census tract I could find was about 2.5K. Of course, Myrtle Beach is handicapped as these numbers only count "residents". If tourists staying at the beach were included, Myrtle Beach would easily be the most dense place in the entire Carolinas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't care if we(Greenville) aren't as dense as the others. People still want to live here. 401,174 Greenville County.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Also keep in mind that Greenville County has 790 square miles, Charleston 919 and Richland 756. About 20% of Richland County is taken up by uninhabited parts of Fort Jackson and Congaree National Park. I'm not sure about uninhabitable parts of the other counties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also keep in mind that Greenville County has 790 square miles, Charleston 919 and Richland 756. About 20% of Richland County is taken up by uninhabited parts of Fort Jackson and Congaree National Park. I'm not sure about uninhabitable parts of the other counties.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Besides that though, there is relatively low density at the block group level. Perhaps later I could look at block level, but I doubt it would indicate any thing different. Typically the basic rule is this - it depends on how large the city was in 1940. Though several cities have increased their density since that era, Charlotte being a good example with infill & downtown resurgance, the post WWII era marks the decline of classic urbanism - marked by smaller scale developments (smaller city blocks) that were pedestrian oriented.

Greenville wasn't significantly large in the early 1900's... But I could be wrong ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The northeastern portion of Charleston County is mainly covered by Francis Marion National Forest a few miles past SC 41 to the Georgetown County Line. Ive always had this thought that Charleston should be broken up into 3 counties but thats another story. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horry county is geographically the largest county in the state. In fact it is the largest county east of the Mississippi. There is plenty of room in the county to hold the 250K at really low density levels. Myrtle Beach is by far the youngest city of the ones being discussed here only having been incorporated about 80 years ago. (I don't remember the exact date). Conway has traditionally been the large city there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides that though, there is relatively low density at the block group level.  Perhaps later I could look at block level, but I doubt it would indicate any thing different.  Typically the basic rule is this - it depends on how large the city was in 1940.  Though several cities have increased their density since that era, Charlotte being a good example with infill & downtown resurgance, the post WWII era marks the decline of classic urbanism - marked by smaller scale developments (smaller city blocks) that were pedestrian oriented.

Greenville wasn't significantly large in the early 1900's...  But I could be wrong ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Believe it or not, Spartanburg County used to be larger than Greenville County in the early 20th century. In the early 1900's, Charleston was number 1, Spartanburg number 2, Greenville number 3, Anderson number 4 and Richland number 5! In fact, Richland didn't pass Spartanburg County in population until 1960! Except for 1950 and 1960, Greenville County has been first since 1930. In 1930, Spartanburg was only behind Greenville County by 700 residents. In the middle part of the century, Charleston regained its place as number one, followed by Richland. Greenville again became number 1 in 1970 and has remained there. Richland steadily gained on Charleston in the last half of the 20th century and finally passed Charleston County in 2000, so Richland move the furthest up the list in the last century. Interestingly, the Upstate had a bigger share of the population a hundred years ago than it does today. The Midlands, followed by the coast have made the biggest gains, percentage wise, in the last 50 years.

Historical population counts for South Carolina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Believe it or not, Spartanburg County used to be larger than Greenville County in the early 20th century. In the early 1900's, Charleston was number 1, Spartanburg number 2, Greenville number 3, Anderson number 4 and Richland number 5! In fact, Richland didn't pass Spartanburg County in population until 1960! Except for 1950 and 1960, Greenville County has been first since 1930. In 1930, Spartanburg was only behind Greenville County by 700 residents. In the middle part of the century, Charleston regained its place as number one, followed by Richland. Greenville again became number 1 in 1970 and has remained there. Richland steadily gained on Charleston in the last half of the 20th century and finally passed Charleston County in 2000, so Richland move the furthest up the list in the last century. Interestingly, the Upstate had a bigger share of the population a hundred years ago than it does today. The Midlands, followed by the coast have made the biggest gains, percentage wise, in the last 50 years.

Historical population counts for South Carolina

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is interesting, but I do apologize, I was thinking about city population - not county. But that does make sense, there are so many mill communities that were built around 1900 in Spartanburg Co. But that is interesting that Richland County was that far behind...

On another note...

Historical population data for counties are widely available, but for whatever reason I'm having difficulty (or patience) in locating population data for cities in SC in 1900. Anyone have access to said data, especially to prove me wrong? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will continue to have difficulty in that regard. I have never been able to find any information on city populations for small cities. I think that is has to do with what was considered an "city" or urban place back then.

Here is a list from the Census on the largest cities dating back to the first Census in 1790. Charleston is the only city we have that ever made the lists.

Largest Urban Places 1790 - 1990

If you are really interested, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History might have this type of information. It would probably require an offline trip though. I refuse to believe that SC didn't seek tabs on its cities, since the census is the key to our system of government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That much is probably true, but there is a much greater pattern in downtown Charleston than in Columbia - which is dispersed over two areas:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbia_citycenter_density.jpg

Charleston_citycenter_density.jpg

Greenville_citycenter_density.jpg

Of course the lighter dense areas in the center of these cities is the downtown business district - except for Charleston, which is one of the rarer truly mixed use downtowns in the nation. But as the maps indicate, Columbia & Charleston have neighborhoods that by all rights can be considered 'urban neighborhoods', in Columbia's case it is assisted by USC, Greenville is relatively sparsely populated in the city center.

And I still haven't found historical municipal populations for SC. Once, and this was a long time - probably 15 years ago - I remember seeing / having some listing of historic populations for SC cities. Maybe I can try to find it & post some, or maybe it was from the York Co Library.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I remember one source though, is anyone familiar with the Rank McNally economic atlases that are produced yearly? They can be found in the reference department of a library. GSU's library had these books dating back to the 1930's - so not only did they provide municipal boundary they also provided a 'Ranally Metro Area' population similar to the census urban area. Additionally the maps for the state were cool & showed active railroads & even intracity streetcars / commuter rail along with ALL towns & villages in the state. Very cool resource if you want some interesting & revealing data.

Of course I have one from 1989 at my home that I got as a souvenierr from York Co Library (I didn't steal it, I got it when they received the new volume and as a farewell present to me when I quit my job there).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe Greenville's center has historically been used as a business center mostly, although this is rapidly changing with all of the residential units being built downtown. Most of Greenville's resident have historically chosen to live on the outskirts of town or in the bedroom communities. Ex. Greer, Simpsonville, Mauldin, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe Greenville's center has historically been used as a business center mostly, although this is rapidly changing with all of the residential units being built downtown. Most of Greenville's resident have historically chosen to live on the outskirts of town or in the bedroom communities. Ex. Greer, Simpsonville, Mauldin, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

History is subjective - Simpsonville & Mauldin were small crossroad towns 30 years ago. But of course you are correct that the center of any city will have a lower population, as I stated, except for rare cases such as Charleston that has a very healthy city center.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charleston definitely shows up very dense. The most dense in SC. Part of this is due to the cities early growth and also to it's low country position (read lack of available land). Charleston definitely has the most urban feel when you are in city center.

I'm surprised how small the dense blocks are in Columbia. Some of these look only a few blocks wide. Columbia's density seems to barely edge out Greenville's. You would think with the University that Columbia would be the most dense, not Charleston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That big red block in the center of Columbia IS the university (10,000+ is pretty dense). One thing you have to consider is that USC's dorms are spread out all across campus. The only location of any significant density is from the area is the area in red. It consists of the the majority of USC's housing. South, East, and West Quads are south all of Blossom and probably not accounted for in this data set since they are so new. Bates/Bates West are problably not enough on their own to account for any density. The new Greek Village will also add alot of density.

It is also decieving becuase the area shown on Columbia's and Greenville's maps are not at the same scale as Charleston's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is also decieving becuase the area shown on Columbia's and Greenville's maps are not at the same scale as Charleston's.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ah, good point - I did zoom in a bit for Charleston. Still - it's fairly easy to gauge any urban core for the cities - Charleston's is highly noticable & Columbia's is fragmented (as you noted the college has that influence) whereas Greenville's isn't too noticable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.