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DCMetroRaleigh

Wilmington Population and Demographics

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According the US Census, the Wilmington MSA increased from 363,776 to 369,685 from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011, an increase of 5,909 people or 1.6 percent. It had the 32nd highest growth rate, or 71st largest numerical increase. Wilmington is the 139th largest MSA in the nation.

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Seems things have cooled a bit. I still find it interesting the size of the metro and the small size of New Hanover county.

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According to the newly released MSA/CSA configurations based on the last Census, Wilmington's MSA has taken as hit as Brunswick County has been snatched and added to Myrtle Beach's MSA. This leaves Wilmington with just New Hanover and Pender counties. According to the 2011 estimates, that puts the MSA population at 259,588--and Myrtle Beach's jumps from 276,340 to 386,437. 

 

This is interesting to me since Wilmington is more of a center of industry than Myrtle Beach, which is largely reliant on tourism. But this switch also points to an emerging coastal Carolina metro region, stretching from Wilmington to Georgetown.

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It seems like odd that Brunswick County is now in the Myrtle Beach MSA...most folks in Wilmington think of Brunswick County as suburban Wilmington.....but apparantely more residents in the county commute to Myrtle Beach? To work in the tourism industry?

Edited by NCMike1981

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It seems like odd that Brunswick County is now in the Myrtle Beach MSA...most folks in Wilmington think of Brunswick County as suburban Wilmington.....but apparantely more residents in the county commute to Myrtle Beach? To work in the tourism industry?

 

That's what it looks like. 

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Seems things have cooled a bit. I still find it interesting the size of the metro and the small size of New Hanover county.

NHC is super dense. It's small, but the 2011 estimate puts the population at about 206,000. Plus Brunswick and Pender counties are large in size compared to NHC, and most people that live in them commute to Wilmington daily.

And I am still trying to figure out why they put Brunswick County in Myrtle Beach MSA. I've never heard anyone call Brunswick County suburban Myrtle Beach. Everyone knows it as Suburban Wilmington, and it is Suburban Wilmington. People don't commute to Myrtle Beach from Brunswick County for work, they commute to Wilmington. Wilmington is much bigger than Myrtle Beach. I think it was the other day though that I heard on the radio they are putting it back in Wilmington MSA, where it belongs, thank The Lord.

They need to make one CSA that combines both MSAs, that goes from Georgetown to Pender County. Whoever mentioned that, thank you. I would put thank you in all caps, but I'm pretty sure all caps is against the rules on here. I've been wanting that forever though.

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And I am still trying to figure out why they put Brunswick County in Myrtle Beach MSA. I've never heard anyone call Brunswick County suburban Myrtle Beach. Everyone knows it as Suburban Wilmington, and it is Suburban Wilmington. People don't commute to Myrtle Beach from Brunswick County for work, they commute to Wilmington. Wilmington is much bigger than Myrtle Beach. I think it was the other day though that I heard on the radio they are putting it back in Wilmington MSA, where it belongs, thank The Lord.

 

The municipality of Wilmington is bigger than the municipality of Myrtle Beach (due to SC's restrictive annexation laws), but in reality, both are about the same size, having similarly-sized urbanized areas between 215K-220K.

 

Counties are added to MSAs based on commuting patterns. Being that Brunswick County was taken from Wilmington and given to Myrtle Beach, you'd think more commuters from Brunswick head into Horry County for work, but that doesn't appear to be the case. This interactive map from the Washington Post shows that almost five times as many Brunswick County residents commute to New Hanover than Horry for work, so you have to wonder how that switch is justified. I'm guessing that Brunswick County will be re-added to Wilmington's MSA.

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