South Carolina Population 2016

Situated on the south eastern tip of the United States, South Carolina is one of the smallest states in the country but has a high population density by comparison. But what is the population of South Carolina today? It's estimated that South Carolina's population has now reached 4,773,684 in 2013, up from 4.62 million at the 2010 Census. South Carolina currently enjoys a growth rate of 1.06%, which ranks 18th in the country.

South Carolina Population 2014

The last set of confirmed population figures in the United States came with the nationwide Census carried out in 2010. At the time, it was confirmed that there were 4,625,384 people living here – a rise of just over 15% on the figures declared in 2000.The Census Bureau currently estimates there are 4,773,684 residents of South Carolina, making it the 24th most populous state in the entire country.

Like many states on the eastern edge of the country, South Carolina is densely populated in comparison to its relatively small size. The state has an overall surface area of 32,020 square miles (82,931 square kilometers) which makes it just the 40th largest in the US.

For every square mile of South Carolina territory however, there is an average of 155 people here. That equates to 60 for every square kilometer and it makes the state the 19th most densely populated in the country.

The two largest cities in South Carolina are Columbia (pop 129,000) and Charleston (pop 120,000), followed by North Charleston (pop 101,000). These are the only cities in the state with a population over 100,000.

Interestingly, South Carolina's metropolitan statistical areas are much larger than they appear based on the central city populations. Because of South Carolina law regarding unincorporated areas around city limits, most city proper populations seem smaller than the actual size of the area.

For example, Columbia, Greenville and Charleston each have urbanized area populations between 400,000 and 550,000, with the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) populations exceeding 60,000. The Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson area is by far the largest, accounting for 1.4 million of South Carolina's population.

South Carolina Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the racial makeup of South Carolina was:

  • 66.2% White (64.1% non-Hispanic)
  • 27.9% Black or African American
  • 0.4% American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 1.3% Asian
  • 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander
  • 1.7% two or more races
  • 5.1% Hispanic or Latino origin of any race

The largest ancestry groups in the state are: African American (29.5%), American (13.9%), English (8.4%), German (8.4%) and Irish (7.9%). For much of the state's history, African slaves and their descendants made up a majority of the state's total population, with whites becoming a majority in the beginning of the early 20th century, when thousands of blacks moved to the north. Today, most of the African-American population lives in the Midlands and Lowcountry areas.

South Carolina Population History

Back in 1790, the population of South Carolina stood at an already healthy level of 249,073 and ten years later, at the start of the 19th century, those numbers had risen by just under 40% to 345,591. That was a significant rise, although it may not have been quite as substantial as other parts of the country were recording at the time.

The pattern of increases in the population of South Carolina continued to display healthy, if unspectacular, percentage growth and the numbers went beyond the one million mark for the first time in 1890.

In the 1900’s percentage growth slowed down to an extent but the overall picture was one of sustained increases right through to the end of the century. That has also continued to the present day where the South Carolina population is edging ever closer to the 5 million landmark.

South Carolina Population Projections

Natural growth and net migration in South Carolina is extremely healthy and there is nothing to suggest that this pattern will change in the years leading up to the next census.

Projections currently estimate South Carolina's population will just barely exceed 5 million by the 2020 Census, with a population over 65 that exceeds that national average.

Population Data via US Census