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ROBTEX

Population Change in SC Cities 1960-2004

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Well, I thought this would be fun, and it was, only now I'm too tired to write any commentary!! :blink:

Plus, this is gonna be all jumbled up, but I'm gonna go ahead and post it as is, for now. I've put in too much work not to! Maybe I can fix it tomorrow by uploading the original spreadsheet to my web site, etc. We'll see!

I was doing some cleaning and came across an old Compton Yearbook from 1961. I flipped through it, of course, and what do you think I found?! Why the NEW 1960 Census Bureau stats, of course!!

I scanned the list of SC places in the book and chose a few I thought would be interesting to work with. I then listed the 1960, 2000, and 2004 census population stats for each place. I then calculated the % change for that 44-year period. I then chose Rock Hill and Aiken as "models" of good, healthy growth over the 44-year period. Rock Hill grew 96.9% from 1960 to 2004, and Aiken grew 142.8% from 1960 to 2004. I then thought it would be fun (yes, I know I'm a "numbers nerd!!" :whistling: ) to calculate what the populations of cities would have been in 2004 had they grown at the same rate as Rock Hill or Aiken. For this statistical extension, I chose the places that grew at a slower pace (<96.9%) than Rock Hill.

Check out the cities marked (***)!! Look at Charleston and Greenville with @130,000-140,000 people in the city limits and Columbia with @200,000 people in the city!! How cool would it be for Spartanburg to be a city of @90,000?! :yahoo:

Any who...I'm tired. I hope you guys will find this pretty fun and interesting!! Sorry it's jumbled up. I'll try to fix it later.

Rob

Pop Change for SC Places, 1960-2004...

South Carolina

__________________Census Bureau Statistics ______% change ______"Rock Hill" Model ______"Aiken" Model

________________1960 ______2000 _____2004 ____1960-2004 _____96.9% increase _____142.8% increase

Aiken ____________11,243 ____25,337 ____27,299 __142.8%

Anderson _________41,316 ____25,514 ____25,715 __-37.8% __________81,351 __________88,532

Beaufort ___________6,298 ____12,950 ____12,289 ___95.1% _________12,401 ___________13,495

Bluffton ____________356 ______1,275 _____2,259 ___534.6%

Blythewood _________300 _______170 _____612 _____104.0%

Camden ___________6,842 _____6,682 _____6,975 _____1.9% _________13,472 ___________14,661

Cayce _____________8,517 _____12,150 ___12,418 ____45.8% _________16,770 ___________18,250

Charleston*** _____65,925 _____96,650 ___104,883 ___59.1% _________129,806 _________141,264

Clemson __________1,587 _____11,939 ____12,074 ___660.8%

Clinton ____________7,937 _____8,091 _____8,985 _____13.2% _________15,628 __________17,007

Columbia*** _______97,433 ____116,278 ___116,331 ___19.4% ________191,846 _________208,779

Easley ____________8,283 _____17,754 _____18,643 ___125.1%

Florence __________24,722 ____30,248 _____30,883 ____24.9% _________48,678 __________52,974

Fort Mill ____________3,315 _____7,587 _____8,041 ____142.6%

Gaffney___________ 10,435 _____12,968 ___12,969 _____24.3% ________20,547 ___________22,360

Georgetown _______12,261 ______8,950 _____8,926 ____-27.2% ________24,142 __________26,273

Goose Creek ________300 ______29,208 ____32,250 __10650.0%

Greenville*** ______66,188 _____56,002 ____56,291 ____-15.0% _______130,324 _________141,828

Greenwood ________16,644 _____22,071 ____22,242 ____33.6% ________32,772 __________35,665

Greer _____________8,967 _____16,843 _____20,416 ____127.7%

Hilton Head _________1,600 _____33,862 ____34,371 ___2048.2%

Irmo _______________359 ______11,039 ____11,181 __ 3014.5%

Lexington __________1,127 ______9,793 ____12,610 __1018.9%

Mauldin ____________1,462 _____15,224 ____18,604 ___1172.5%

Mount Pleasant ______5,116 _____47,609 ____56,350 ___1001.4%

Myrtle Beach _______7,834 ______22,759 ____25,410 ___224.4%

Newberry __________8,208 ______10,580 ____10,700 ____30.4% ________16,162 __________17,588

North Charleston ____60,000 _____79,641 ____84,271 ____40.5% ________118,140 _________128,568

Orangeburg ________13,852 _____12,765 ____12,895 ____-6.9% _________27,275 __________29,682

Rock Hill ___________29,404 _____49,765 ____57,902 ____96.9%

Simpsonville ________2,282 ______14,352 ____14,924 ___554.0%

Spartanburg*** _____44,352 _____39,673 ____38,599 ___-13.0% _________87,329 _________95,037

Summerville ________3,633 ______27,752 ____34,241 ___842.5%

Sumter ____________23,062 _____39,643 ____39,671 ____72.0% _________45,409 _________49,417

Union _____________10,191 _______8,793 _____8,377 ___-17.8% _________20,066 _________21,837

Walterboro __________5,417 ______5,153 _____5,516 _____1.8% _________10,666 _________11,608

West Columbia _______6,410 _____13,064 ____13,029 ____103.3%

Okay...not perfect, but certainly better! I think I'll go back to posting comments and occasional photos now!!

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Intresting. Particularly because Spartanburg at 95,000 is much closer to the true urban area (145k) and is a better representative of the city's size.

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Well, I'm certainly not the smartest with some things, :blush: , but I am EXTREMELY determined!! I will keep working on this today until it looks pretty decent!! :D

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Does anyone have any idea why Anderson's population dropped so much? As I remember most of this drop was between 1960 and 1970. From 1970 onward it pretty much flat-lined. Was there a de-annexation during the '60's? It's hard to think of any other way that it dropped so much.

I noticed this drop decades ago, but never knew why. Anyone?

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Does anyone have any idea why Anderson's population dropped so much? As I remember most of this drop was between 1960 and 1970. From 1970 onward it pretty much flat-lined. Was there a de-annexation during the '60's? It's hard to think of any other way that it dropped so much.

I noticed this drop decades ago, but never knew why. Anyone?

That was the time that suburbs started being popular, and most cities lost population because their population moved outside of the city limits- which was odly enough to escape congestion and other aspects of the city. Cities that gained in population are usually suburban cities (Simpsonville, Irmo), or old cities than annexed into the suburbs (Columbia, Charleston). Cities in the Upstate did not annex very much (Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson).

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For comparison - how has Anderson County changed population wise since 1960? I would also wonder if it has much to do with industrial plant closings & that Anderson doesn't have much else of an economy.

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That was the time that suburbs started being popular, and most cities lost population because their population moved outside of the city limits- which was odly enough to escape congestion and other aspects of the city. Cities that gained in population are usually suburban cities (Simpsonville, Irmo), or old cities than annexed into the suburbs (Columbia, Charleston). Cities in the Upstate did not annex very much (Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson).

I don't see how that can explain all of a drop from 41,000 to 25,000 in ten years. Spartanburg and Greenville didn't annex in that time frame and basically flat-lined. There must be some additional reason. Either a big plant closing or a de-annexation. Anderson County had healthy increases during that time, so that is where the GROWTH went.

Even if a city is not expanding it's borders, it is not too likely to lose population, because the people leaving the city have to SELL their houses to SOMEONE. While often families will nove out and singles will move in, this alone would not explain it.

No other SC city has lost that level of population (in a decade) in the last 50 years to my knowledge.

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^ Houses can be torn down. I've never been to downtown Anderson, just on the north sprawl side, but it's likely they tore down a lot of housing in the 60's. Also - this may come as a surprise to some - population densities were much higher in the early 1900's than they are now. We're living large - even in the same locations that were developed 100 years ago. Every town used to have a population core of at least 10k per square mile.

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Just to fill in a few gaps...

Anderson City

1960 41,316

1970 27,556

1980 27,546

1990 26,184

2000 25,514

2004 25,715

2010 26,050 ??

Anderson County

1960 98,478

1970 105,474

1980 133,235

1990 145,196

2000 165,740

2004 173,550

2010 185,000 ??

Fun Fact: Anderson County was the 4th most populous in SC in 1900 with 55,728 people...Greenville was 5th with 53,490.

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^^ Thanks for the info. ROBTEX. It's helps to have exact numbers. The fun fact is interesting too. I was off a couple thousand in the 1970 figure, but the point is the same. Anderson flat-lined after 1970, which I would expect, but the sharp drop (1/3 of the population) between '60 and '70 is puzzling.

Such a drop is unprecedented to my knowledge. There are counties like McCormick, Williamsburg, Calhoun that lost significant population over SEVERAL decades, but still nothing that compares to this.

I bet the historical society/commision in Anderson would be able to shed some light. Anyone have a contact name/number?

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^ Houses can be torn down. I've never been to downtown Anderson, just on the north sprawl side, but it's likely they tore down a lot of housing in the 60's. Also - this may come as a surprise to some - population densities were much higher in the early 1900's than they are now. We're living large - even in the same locations that were developed 100 years ago. Every town used to have a population core of at least 10k per square mile.

This is very true. In Spartanburg there are portions of the city that used to be residential in nature and are now commercial or just vacant land. Anderson and most other sizable cities are no doubt the same way. Cities change. In Anderson's case, it could very well be that Anderson was once a farming center, and many people worked on the farms, and lived in the cities. With the automation of argriculture there were a great number of people that had to leave because their employment was gone. When you see the loss of primary employment of the economy, and without a replacement, you will also see the loss of commercial jobs, as there is no longer enough money in the economy to support it.

Anderson County Population Predictions:

2010= 182,340

2015= 190,600

2020= 198,840

2025= 207,090

2030= 215,380

Source: SC Office of Research & Statisics (includes all counties)

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This is very true. In Spartanburg there are portions of the city that used to be residential in nature and are now commercial or just vacant land. Anderson and most other sizable cities are no doubt the same way. Cities change. In Anderson's case, it could very well be that Anderson was once a farming center, and many people worked on the farms, and lived in the cities. With the automation of argriculture there were a great number of people that had to leave because their employment was gone. When you see the loss of primary employment of the economy, and without a replacement, you will also see the loss of commercial jobs, as there is no longer enough money in the economy to support it.

Source: SC Office of Research & Statisics (includes all counties)

Nearly all cities of any significant size have seen residential areas become commercial or vacant, and that is partly responsible for some of the flat-lining and marginal population decreases experienced by nearly all major SC cities. Part of that was urban renweal programs and slum clearing during the '60's and '70's.

But let's compare Spartanburg to Anderson. Spartanburg has lost about 6,000 residents (about 13%) in 40 years. Anderson lost close to 14,000 residents (33%)in 10 years. Something else has to be involved for that to happen. At the same time, Anderson County gained population, if the economy turned sharply south, many would have left Anderson County and not just the city proper.

As for the farm issue, people leave the farm for the city, not the other way around. Farming is a low skill, very low paying occupation. The population left the farms for the textile and other industrial jobs in the cities.

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Right, but they leave them for a large city. Not Anderson. And as a market center, the retail jobs would rely on the farmers coming into town to buy things. If the farmers left, the so would many of the retail jobs. Thats just an idea though. I am certain that there is more to it than that.

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Then another theory could be this - was there a WWII base (similar to Donaldson) that supported the war effort & has since closed? Or was Anderson particularly devestated by plant closings? Both theories seem unlikely - plant closings didn't really start until the 70's & I had never heard of any military base - but you never know.

The theory that is most likely true - is a combination of significant urban renewal that involved tearing down run down shacks in addition to a significant economic collapse of the town.

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Blythewood 612 people??? that doesnt sound right for some reason....

I certainly agree with you. I thought the same thing, but these are the "official" Census Bureau stats. How does one keep up with the population of a town like Blythewood? It's really difficult since, unlike Lexington or Greer for example, Blythewood is not proud of its population boom and does not tout its dramatic population increases on its web site, etc. I remember reading a blurb somewhere...maybe in The State...perhaps about a year ago that stated the population of Blythewood had just passed the 2,000 mark at that time as a result of a particular annexation. I would imagine they have around 2-4k people in the town limits at this point. If someone can find some hard data and post it, that would be great! I'm sure they'll have 10k people before we know it!

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I certainly agree with you. I thought the same thing, but these are the "official" Census Bureau stats. How does one keep up with the population of a town like Blythewood? It's really difficult since, unlike Lexington or Greer for example, Blythewood is not proud of its population boom and does not tout its dramatic population increases on its web site, etc. I remember reading a blurb somewhere...maybe in The State...perhaps about a year ago that stated the population of Blythewood had just passed the 2,000 mark at that time as a result of a particular annexation. I would imagine they have around 2-4k people in the town limits at this point. If someone can find some hard data and post it, that would be great! I'm sure they'll have 10k people before we know it!

Blythewood High School alone has like over 1200 students and its only their first year of existance.....add all those kids' parents.....and you get the picture....has to be at least over 3000 :blink:

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