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1960 Census data trivia


vicupstate

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While staying at my parents this weekend, I came across 1960 census data in an old encyclopedia set. Some interesting facts:

In 1960 Columbia and Richland County were both slightly larger than Raleigh/ Wake County. Columbia/Richland was 97,433/200,102 vs. Raleigh/Wake's 93,931/169,082.

Greenville was SC's 2nd largest city (behind Cola.) but not by much. Greenville had 66,188 versus Charleston's 65,925. Greenville ranks 6th now and Charleston is fast closing in on first.

Mount Pleasant had only 5,116 residents and Summerville 3,633. Today Mt. Pleasant is over 56,000 and Summerville is around 34,000.

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Its interesting that people forget that it wasnt that long ago that SC was very much on par with NC.

The City of Rock Hill is indeed larger than the City of Greenville, but the counties are quite the opposite. Rock Hill has a much more aggressive annexation policy. Greenville probably hasnt expanded as much in comparison since the 60s.

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Interesting. Considering the Richland vs. Wake demographics, I believe in the 1960's the groundwork was still being laid for RTP, which is probably the major factor that accounts for Wake's growth between 1960 and the present. Wake has had and is still experiencing its population boom, while Richland is still awaiting its boom (I expect to see the initial phase of this shortly).

I wonder what Charlotte and Spartanburg's populations were?

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I wonder what Rock Hill was? Hasn't it replaced Greenville now? Cause Rock Hill is growing at a fast rate due to Charlotte.

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If you come to Greenville you can definetly see that Rock Hill isn't even close in size. I think we should get rid of city limit population and go by urban and metro areas. City limit population is way off in Greenville.

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City limit population isn't going anywhere. While I don't think it's necessarily accurate as far as gauging the actual size of a place (especially true of SC cities and some places with city/county consolidations), it is important as far as a tax base is concerned.

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I think all the way through the 1930's Spartanburg Co actually had more people than Mecklenburg Co. But the early 1900's was a big era for industrial towns in the southeast - as Birmingham had grown to be one of the larger southeast cities.

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Its amazing that Greenville's city population has declined even though the metro area is growing like crazy. Greenville now has a county population of 401,174! I wonder what it was in 1960. Greenville needs a better way to be represented in size.

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Unfortunately, this is the classic sign of urban sprawl and city decay.

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Unfortunately, this is the classic sign of urban sprawl and city decay.

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Except Greenville is an anomaly....vibrant, growing downtown with NO decay and massive sprawl. I think the lack of annexation actually helped foster the upscale, vibrant downtown of Greenville today, as it allowed resources (tax dollars, city services) to be concentrated in a rather small area instead of being spread thin.

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Except Greenville is an anomaly....vibrant, growing downtown with NO decay and massive sprawl.  I think the lack of annexation actually helped foster the upscale, vibrant downtown of Greenville today, as it allowed resources (tax dollars, city services) to be concentrated in a rather small area instead of being spread thin.

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That is a fantastic point! :thumbsup: Never thought of it that way, but it's very true!

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Does anyone know what became of the legislation to change the law to allow annexation for 'donut holes' within cities?

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I was wondering about that myself. Unfortunately, I have not heard any recent news on this legislation. It seems like the SC lawmakers, as usual, put the common sense legislation in the back of their files while the "new town" laws have been passed immediately, allowing for people on James Island to start another attempt to incorporate. :sick:

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I wonder what Rock Hill was? Hasn't it replaced Greenville now? Cause Rock Hill is growing at a fast rate due to Charlotte.

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I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but I remember that Charlotte was 201,000 and Rock Hill was 29,000 in 1960. Spartanburg was 44,000 or 45,000.

As for the change to allow cities to annex donut holes easily, the bill has not been voted out of its Senate Committee. At least that was what I saw recently on the Municipl Association website. Their newsletter from April or May had that info. The legislature will not be in session again until next January, so nothing can happen with it until then. My guess is that it will be held hostage in that committee, these type of revisions seldom see the light of day on the floor of the full legislature.

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Yep. I did some checking, and the donut hole bill and the bill to allow incorporation based on density were sent to committee on February 24th, 2005. The latest versions were released on March 4th, 2005. So, its been a while since anything has been done with it.

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Now it's MY turn to spend the weekend at my parent's and come across some old data--except mine is from 1975 (correction: the figures are actually from 1970). :)

MSA Populations

Charleston MSA: 336,125

Columbia MSA: 322,880

Greenville-Spartanburg MSA: 473,454

County Populations (top 10)

Charleston County: 247,650

Greenville County: 240,774

Richland County: 233,868

Spartanburg County: 173,724

Anderson County: 105,474

Aiken County: 91,023

Florence County: 89,636

Lexington County: 89,012

York County: 85,216

Sumter County: 79,425

Municipal Populations

Columbia: 113,542

Charleston: 66,945

--Charleston Base: 6,238

--Charleston Yard: 13,565

Greenville: 61,436

Spartanburg: 44, 546

Rock Hill: 33, 846

For comparison purposes--

Mecklenburg County: 354,656

Guilford County (Greensboro): 288,645

Wake County: 229,006

Forsyth County (Winston-Salem): 215,118

Durham County: 132,681

Interesting, isn't it?

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At one point Spartanburg's goal was to reach 50,000 citizens :)

There is an amazing disparity between the old 44k and the 39k today. Also, the city has not expanded that much since 1975. Places east of Fernwood-Glendale Rd like Fernwood and Hillcrest, and places west of around Camelot Dr were not witin the city limites. That means that more than 7 thousand people have left with a smaller percentage being annexed to make up the difference. Yet we only have 1,707 vacant housing units in Spartanburg. This is somewhat perplexing to me.

This same situation applies to Greenville.

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