Jump to content

South Carolina's population growth


CorgiMatt

Recommended Posts

I think the western part of Spartanburg County's growth, though not ENTIRELY, can easily be attributed to Greenville. For that reason, I think we'll for sure see Spartanburg and Greenville Counties combined again as a part of one MSA in 2010.

It will still largely depend on the relative size of the job base in each county and the commuting patterns. The trend lately has been breaking up larger metros in multi-nodal regions to give smaller primary cities their own MSAs (eg, Fort Worth, Durham, etc.). But who knows what might happen, especially since the bureau changes the metro area definitions every couple of years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I think they must have meant 7th in the state because if it were the nation, SC would have all 7 fast growing counties :)

The growth in Horry County is impressive. Its going to be interesting to see how the housing slump plays out there.

I don't know. My understanding was that they were saying Greenville's "#7" growth rate was for ONE year (2007), but that doesn't make sense. I'm sure The Greenville News either didn't read their final edition for errors, or have data they're not sharing.

Edited by GvilleSC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2007 population increase for the largest and fastest growing counties in SC:

Greenville : 11,734

York: 10,395

Horry : 10,171

Richland : 6,570

Dorchester: 5,753

Spartanburg: 5,632

Berkeley: 5,008

Lexington: 4,940

Beaufort: 3,702

Anderson: 2,895

Charleston: 2,167

Lancaster: 1,670

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Greenville News article says Greenville County's population growth was in the top seventh, meaning that you divide the 388 counties in the nation, or however many they said, by 7 (388 divided by 7 = 55). So the county was somewhere in the top 55 counties nationwide in growth. Regarding the combined MSA of GSA, a clarification is in order. The Census Bureau never took away GSA's status as an MSA. What they did was added CMSA's, meaning core-based MSA's, which they say gives a more accurate picture of how a metro functions as a unit. Columbia is the core of its CMSA, Greenville is the core of the Greenville CMSA, and Spartanburg is the core of its CMSA. MSA's are not core-based, but CMSA's are. In other words, Greenville is not considered the core of the GSA area because Anderson and Spartanburg are large enough to be considered their own economic engines, whereas Lexington (county and town) is what it is today only because of Columbia. If there never had been a Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson might each very well each be even larger than they are now because of their history of being economic hubs in their own right, and Greenville County would be a rural/suburban area between the two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Although the correct abbreviation is CSA, Corgi you're correct in your assessments. You could also look at it in terms of urbanized areas. Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson are separate and distinct urbanized areas, whereas Lexington and North Charleston are included in the urbanized areas of the primary cities in their regions (Columbia and Charleston, respectively--for anyone not familiar with those areas :)).

I suppose we've now got enough information to calculate MSA estimates for 2007.

I think we're going to see a marked decrease for Horry in next year's estimates. The housing downtown is hitting Myrtle Beach pretty significantly. York is continuing to be a boomtown suburban county for Charlotte, which I don't see slowing down anytime soon. As far as the Big Three, it doesn't appear as though there have been any significant spikes in growth, but the steadily increasing population statistics is encouraging.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That makes more sense, because today's Observer says that Union County, NC is the nation's 7th fastest growing county. It doesn't really specify if that was over the past year or since 2000.

Technically, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson are all "core" cities, though "core" is not really the right terms for it. Its more accurately defined as "central cities," and they are defined as their own urban areas with populations over 50,000. Spartanburg's UA is at 145,000, and Anderson's is at about 75,000 as of the 2000 Census. If Greenville and Spartanburg were to merge UAs, for example, you could argue that Greenville is the "central city" in the Greenville-Spartanburg UA (something akin to Columbia and Lexington), although it would in reality be more of a bipolar scenario.

I feel I should clarify your comments, Corgi. The term is Consolidated Statistical Area (CSA), not CMSA. There are now three levels of metropolitan analysis. You have

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something I've noticed is that each year the difference in the number of people gained in the Columbia and Charleston CSA's is becoming smaller and smaller. Last year the difference was only 651 in Charleston's favor. Compare that to how many more Charleston gained from 2000 to 2001, from 2001 to 2002 and so on up till last year. If the trend continues next year, Columbia should pull even or ahead in new bodies and continue its sizeable lead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


By my calculations, the Greenville MSA lead the state in terms of raw population increase at 13,315. Next is Charleston with an increase of 12,928. Columbia's increase in 2007 comes to 12,247.

This is now how the MSAs of the Big Three look:

• Greenville: 615,301

• Charleston: 616,106

• Columbia: 716,018

I think it's interesting that Greenville's MSA is only about 800 people behind Charleston's. That's without Powdersville or all of Greater Greer, while Charleston doesn't really lack significant population lost to other counties that aren't included in the MSA configuration.

Also, thanks CorgiMatt for reading into the wording of the article. Top sevenTH makes a lot more sense! I was ready to write it off as another Greenville News mishap.

Edited by GvilleSC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't squarely on topic, but it is related. Housing sales in South Carolina for the first two months of 2008 are down, but for January and February it seems to me the number of homes sold isn't that bad to be in a nationwide slump:

Columbia - 1,292, down 7.9% from January and February of 2007, but median price up 1.4%

Charleston - 1,215, down 27.3%, median price down 1%

Greenville - 1,090, down 12.9%, but median price up 8.2%

Hilton Head - 271, down 19.3%, but median price up 8.3 %

Myrtle Beach - 796, down 30.8%, median price down 13.4%

Statewide - 6,974, down 19.7%, median price down 1.8%

This is in today's The State.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back to the new population growth estimates -

At current growth rates Greenville County will be around 450,000 at the next census and Richland will be in the vicinity of 370,000. Which milestone will be passed first - Greenville to 500,000 or Richland to 400,000? Greenville was averaging about 5,000 new residents a year until 2005 but has added 10,000 and 11,000+ the past two years. Is that a statistical blip or a real longer term increase of the growth rate? Richland was up and down a little but has continued to average around 5,000 per year. Charleston's rate was increasing the first few years of the decade but has decreased noticeably the past three years - 4000, 3000, 2000. Does that mean anything long term. Has something changed there?

Also, has Horry County added any new commercial or industrial base lately? If their growth is driven strictly by tourism and retirees it seems the growth rate may slow as the prime locations near the beach are taken. How about York County? Has the commercial and industrial growth from Charlotte spilled over or just the commuters? Growth in York might slow as commute times increase if they are just acting as Charlotte's bedroom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comparing Greenville and Richland counties' populations and growth is illogical. You have to take into consideration that all of the current population and population growth taking place on the western side of downtown Columbia is in Lexington County, because downtown Columbia ends at the county line where the Congaree River is. You also have to consider that much of what would be eastern Richland County is gouged out big time by southwestern Kershaw County, where the Columbia suburbs of Lugoff and Elgin lie. Neither Lexington nor Kershaw County is seeing any growth at all because of Lexington or Camden. If it weren't for Columbia, Lexington and Kershaw counties would be two rural counties that, like nearly all rural South Carolina counties, have lost population since 2000. There's no way to say, on the other hand, how much of Greenville County's current could be there anyway if Greenville were a small town and Spartanburg and Anderson were cities whose suburbs were sprawling toward each other. I guess that's why this is called UrbanPlanet and not CountyPlanet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I agree. Come to downtown Columbia. A bridge and water separate downtown and Lexington County by a couple of hundred feet. most of Eastern Lexington County is closer to downtown than a lot of places in Richland County. It's not like Columbia is in the middle of Richland County and the growth around the city is only confined to Richland. It's a big circle half is in Lexington and the other half is in Richland extending into Kershaw

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The same sort of argument can be made for Greenville. Greenville gets none of its population in Anderson or Spartanburg counties (for it's county population OR MSA). Greer extends half way into Spartanburg County. Woodruff road sprawls continuously into Spartanburg County, but all of that gets excluded from the numbers. Powdersville is in Northern Anderson County. It has absolutely no ties to the City of Anderson, yet it's included in the Anderson numbers. I live in the City limits of Greenville (which is very small), but it takes me longer to get to downtown Greenville (whether I take interstates or not) than it does for those who live in Northern Anderson County.

Nonetheless, I think it's fair to speculate whether Greenville or Richland will hit 500,000 or 400,000 (respectively) first.

Edited by GvilleSC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't squarely on topic, but it is related. Housing sales in South Carolina for the first two months of 2008 are down, but for January and February it seems to me the number of homes sold isn't that bad to be in a nationwide slump:

Columbia - 1,292, down 7.9% from January and February of 2007, but median price up 1.4%

Charleston - 1,215, down 27.3%, median price down 1%

Greenville - 1,090, down 12.9%, but median price up 8.2%

Hilton Head - 271, down 19.3%, but median price up 8.3 %

Myrtle Beach - 796, down 30.8%, median price down 13.4%

Statewide - 6,974, down 19.7%, median price down 1.8%

This is in today's The State.

So where's the love for Spartanburg? We're larger than Myrtle Beach in all respects right now, except for tourism income.

Also, has Horry County added any new commercial or industrial base lately? If their growth is driven strictly by tourism and retirees it seems the growth rate may slow as the prime locations near the beach are taken. How about York County? Has the commercial and industrial growth from Charlotte spilled over or just the commuters? Growth in York might slow as commute times increase if they are just acting as Charlotte's bedroom.

I would be interested to know this as well. From my observations last time I was down there, they were. "Downtown" Myrtle Beach doesn't get much attention here, but its seen some reinvestment in the past few years.

I think it will be interesting to see how growth in Horry County is impacted by the current poor housing market. Myrtle Beach seems to be more susceptible to these fluctuations that other counties in the state. We won't actually know for a year or two when the estimates that cover the current growth patterns are released.

Comparing Greenville and Richland counties' populations and growth is illogical. You have to take into consideration that all of the current population and population growth taking place on the western side of downtown Columbia is in Lexington County, because downtown Columbia ends at the county line where the Congaree River is. You also have to consider that much of what would be eastern Richland County is gouged out big time by southwestern Kershaw County, where the Columbia suburbs of Lugoff and Elgin lie. Neither Lexington nor Kershaw County is seeing any growth at all because of Lexington or Camden. If it weren't for Columbia, Lexington and Kershaw counties would be two rural counties that, like nearly all rural South Carolina counties, have lost population since 2000. There's no way to say, on the other hand, how much of Greenville County's current could be there anyway if Greenville were a small town and Spartanburg and Anderson were cities whose suburbs were sprawling toward each other. I guess that's why this is called UrbanPlanet and not CountyPlanet.

This is why we have the urban area statistic. Comparing county growth is all well and good, but you have to be able to look at city/county from the respect of both angles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The same sort of argument can be made for Greenville. Greenville gets none of its population in Anderson or Spartanburg counties (for it's county population OR MSA). Greer extends half way into Spartanburg County. Woodruff road sprawls continuously into Spartanburg County, but all of that gets excluded from the numbers. Powdersville is in Northern Anderson County. It has absolutely no ties to the City of Anderson, yet it's included in the Anderson numbers. I live in the City limits of Greenville (which is very small), but it takes me longer to get to downtown Greenville (whether I take interstates or not) than it does for those who live in Northern Anderson County.

Nonetheless, I think it's fair to speculate whether Greenville or Richland will hit 500,000 or 400,000 (respectively) first.

It's fair to wonder anything, but I maintain that this comparison is illogical, and it's moot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite how you break down all of this stuff the upstate is growing at a faster pace and will be one metro by the next census like it should be.

It's unfortunate that it is almost all bad cookie cutter big box strip mall automobile sprawl. A better scenario would be if the cities were growing but the metros were not merging. In fact most if not all of the growth in South Carolina is like this so these numbers just mean that more of the state is being bulldozed down by irresponsible development.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's unfortunate that it is almost all bad cookie cutter big box strip mall automobile sprawl. A better scenario would be if the cities were growing but the metros were not merging. In fact most if not all of the growth in South Carolina is like this so these numbers just mean that more of the state is being bulldozed down by irresponsible development.

I don't have a problem with Greenville or South Carolina in general. It beats the north and others moving here seem to agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

....

Also, has Horry County added any new commercial or industrial base lately? If their growth is driven strictly by tourism and retirees it seems the growth rate may slow as the prime locations near the beach are taken. How about York County? Has the commercial and industrial growth from Charlotte spilled over or just the commuters? Growth in York might slow as commute times increase if they are just acting as Charlotte's bedroom.

York county continues to announce new industry mostly at Charlotte's expense. For example General Tire just moved across the state line to take advantage of SC's lower taxes and laxer controls on what businesses can do. Others have done this also. No doubt however the county would not be growing unless it was not part of the CLT metro.

Horry county is a very large county land wise and really consists of two completely different economies. There is the one in Myrtle Beach that continues to attract huge amounts of tourist and retiree development, then the part west of Conway that is mostly farming, tobacco, and light industry. Myrtle Beach has a very transient population that doesn't get counted by the traditional methods. For example during the winter months the population swells there by "snow birds" that come there to avoid the cold in the North. They return when the prices for places go up in the spring and summer. I do think the area has suffered from too much over building due to irresponsible lending from the Feds singular focus on stimulating the housing market over the last 8 years, and a correction is now taking place. I have heard that Hard Rock park is going to hire over 3000 which is pretty significant for ANY new business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's unfortunate that it is almost all bad cookie cutter big box strip mall automobile sprawl. A better scenario would be if the cities were growing but the metros were not merging. In fact most if not all of the growth in South Carolina is like this so these numbers just mean that more of the state is being bulldozed down by irresponsible development.

Very true. Infact, Clemson University has a study about this phenomenon which you can see here. All signs point to the Upstate being the best example of uncontrolled sprawl in South Carolina, and we are well on the way to repeating the mistakes of Atlanta- this is supported by that study. We talk in the Charlotte forum about the crap that gets approved in Mecklenburg County and Charlotte, but you have to admit that even this is nowhere near as bad as what we're doing in the Upstate. We're plowing down the countryside that makes our quality of life great, and for such a small return.

What really frustrating is that its possible to have quality suburban development and expand our cities in a better way, but our moron politicians don't want to do anything to give cities and counties the ability to do anything about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the Upstate may be the best example of 'uncontrolled sprawl in South Carolina', it does have three growing metropolitan areas. No one entity can prevent this problem from happening because it's not focused around one area. The City of Greenville is getting things rolling in the right direction by taking over the transit system and encouraging infill, but that's not going to immediately be available to touch every populated area in the County, nor will address the problems of Spartanburg and Anderson. The Upstate is not sprawling any differently than Columbia, Charleston, York County, and Myrtle Beach, the Upstate just has more to tame.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.