S.C. population continues to grow, latest census data reveals

January 13, 2019

Maybe it’s the food. Maybe it’s the beaches. Maybe it’s the job market. Or maybe it’s the weather.

Something is attracting people to the state of South Carolina. The state’s population continues – and continues – to grow.

Between 2017 and 2018, the Palmetto State’s population ticked up 1.3 percent, according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That’s a gain of nearly 63,000 people in one year.

And while the state didn’t make the bureau’s top 10 “most populous” rankings – nearby North Carolina and Georgia did – South Carolina is now ranked No. 9 in both sheer volume of population growth as well as growth by percentage.

The South Carolina swell is not necessarily new, though: Between 2016 and 2017, South Carolina welcomed about 64,500 new residents. Between 2014 and 2015, almost 67,000 people decided to move into the state.

For at least three years straight – 2015, 2016, 2017 – southern and western states dominated the population growth trend, according several press releases from the Census Bureau.

In 2017, 38 percent of the nation’s population lived in the South, per the bureau’s data.

Overall, South Carolina has grown for eight straight years.

The repeated statewide growth is somewhat similar to what may be seen in the Aiken and Savannah River areas, according to a housing study conducted last year for the City of Aiken and the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, among other customers.

The population in downtown Aiken is predicted to “increase slightly” through 2022, according to the study, which was handled by Novogradac & Company.

Aiken’s total population is expected to increase .7 percent annually through 2022, and the Augusta-Richmond County area will likely see 1 percent annual growth in the same time period, according to Novogradac & Company.

Growth like that would bring Aiken’s population to just over 41,300 and the greater area’s to just under 638,500, the study notes.

The Census Bureau will release more specific population statistics for counties, towns and cities, and metropolitan and micropolitan areas later in 2019.

Novogradac & Company is a professional services company that offers consulting, development and housing services.

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