Charleston, South Carolina Population 2021

140,476
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Charleston is the second-largest and oldest city in South Carolina. Located in Charleston County on Charleston Harbor, Charleston has a population of 120,000, although an official 2017 estimate places the population at {pop}.

Charleston Crime Statistics

Charleston was once one of the most dangerous cities in America based on the number of crimes committed per 100,000 people. The crime rate has been declining, however. In 1999, there were 597 crimes per 100,000 people, although the rate dropped to 236/100,000 people by 2011. This compares with the national average of 320/100,000 people.

Charleston Population Growth

Charleston is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. The greater Charleston area has one of the highest growth rates in America as more people move from surrounding counties to enjoy the city's rapidly improving economy. According to new census estimates, the Charleston MSA (or the Tri-County Area) was the 12th fastest-growing metro area in the U.S.

When Charles II of England retook the throne in 1660, he granted a charter to the Province of Carolina and sent the eight Lord Proprietors in 1663. It took several years for them to arrange for expeditions, although the first -- Charles Town -- was founded in 1670. Charles Town (which was later changed to Charleston) was settled by people from Bermuda under governor William Sayle. The settlement quickly became a major port town.

In 1718, the town was attacked by infamous pirate Edward Teach, better known as 'Blackbeard'. As the capital of the colony, Charles Town was the southernmost English settlement in America until the Georgia colony was established decades later. It was subjected to many attacks from France, Spain, and pirates for the 40 years.

Most early settlers were from England, the Barbados colony, and Bermuda. Among the first settlers were free people of color who were born in the West Indies to Englanders and Africans. Even in the beginning, Charleston attracted people from many religious and ethnic groups. It was once home to the richest and largest Jewish community in all of North America until 1830.

Charles Town was the most extensive and wealthiest city south of Philadelphia by the mid-1700s, becoming the 4th largest port in the colonies behind Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Charleston was a significant point in the Revolutionary War. While it lost its status as the state capital in 1786, it became very prosperous with an economy dominated by cotton plantations until the mid-19th century. By 1860, almost 18% of the city's black population were free people of color or nearly 8% of the total population.

Charleston's 300-year history is evident in most neighborhoods, especially the city center, which has a large and well-preserved residential historic area that's popular with tourists. The city's downtown is free of skyscrapers. Instead, Charleston boasts historic plantation homes alongside new retail development.

Charleston Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Charleston was:

  • White: 74.08%
  • Black or African American: 21.68%
  • Asian: 1.92%
  • Two or more races: 1.52%
  • Other race: 0.57%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.15%
  • Native American: 0.09%
The current population of Charleston, South Carolina is 140,476based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 136,111.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 120,083.

Charleston, South Carolina Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021830,12214,0001.69%
2020816,12214,0001.72%
2019802,12214,0001.75%
2018788,12212,5851.60%
2017775,53713,9591.80%
2016761,57816,3932.15%
2015745,18518,3492.46%
2014726,83615,5642.14%
2013711,27214,4332.03%
2012696,83915,5772.24%
2011681,26213,8122.03%
2010667,4500.00%

Charleston Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White100,19374.08%
Black or African American29,32921.68%
Asian2,6001.92%
Two or More Races2,0531.52%
Some Other Race7690.57%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1980.15%
American Indian and Alaska Native1150.09%
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Charleston Population By Race

Charleston Population Pyramid 2021

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Charleston Median Age

34.8


Total

34.1


Male

36


Female

Charleston Adults

There are 112,609 adults, (19,715 of whom are seniors) in Charleston.

Charleston Age Dependency

45.6

Age Dependency Ratio

21.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

24.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Charleston Sex Ratio

Mujer

71,394

52.78%

Masculino

63,863

47.22%

Charleston Population by Age

Charleston Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Charleston Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married78.2%21.8%
All55.6%44.4%
Masculino47.5%52.5%
Mujer42.3%57.7%
Non Family39.9%60.1%

55.6%

Rate of Home Ownership

Charleston Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All55,8892.3155.6
Non Family26,4651.5139.9
Married22,2082.9178.2
Mujer5,8303.5142.3
Masculino1,3863.1347.5

2.97

Average Family Size

2.31

Average Household Size

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Charleston Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade1,2101.26%
9th to 12th Grade3,6713.83%
High School Graduate16,92717.64%
Some College15,67516.34%
Associates Degree7,5597.88%
Bachelors Degree32,41733.78%
Graduate Degree18,49519.27%
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Charleston Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Charleston Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White70,39868,54443,270
Black19,74817,1564,401
Hispanic2,6882,4571,227
Asian2,1051,9691,417
2+ Races880871529
Other Race597390278
Native American858527
Islander395

The highest rate of high school graduation is among native american people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 67.32%.

Charleston Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Masculino Mujer
Overall$45,958$51,557$40,801
Less Than 9th Grade$18,808$20,149$17,579
High School Graduate$28,344$31,870$25,269
Some College$38,562$42,838$31,868
Bachelors Degree$52,400$59,027$47,742
Graduate Degree$63,802$81,786$55,458

$45,958

Average Earnings

$51,557

Average Male

$40,801

Average Female

Charleston Earnings by Educational Attainment

Charleston Language by Age

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Charleston Language

94.26% of Charleston residents speak only English, while 5.74% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 2.31% of the population.

Charleston Language

Charleston Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White92,4768,7839.50%
Black28,5577,07324.77%
Hispanic4,10366116.11%
Multiple1,77040222.71%
Asian2,47231812.86%
Other76810713.93%
Native924043.48%

13.23%

Overall Poverty Rate

11.51%

Male Poverty Rate

14.72%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Charleston

The race most likely to be in poverty in Charleston is Native, with 43.48% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Charleston is White, with 9.50% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.31%. Among those working part-time, it was 21.77%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 26.14%.

Charleston Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade23.76%
High School15.93%
Some College9.33%
Bachelors or Greater4.99%

Charleston Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed42.41%
Male Unemployed32.52%
Female Employed8.97%
Male Employed4.24%

Charleston Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Charleston Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$68,438$98,288
Families$93,952$128,547
Married Families$110,527$149,990
Non Families$47,998$63,164
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Income by Household Type

Charleston Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

41.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

44.5%

Male Marriage Rate

39.1%

Female Marriage Rate

Charleston Married by Age and Sex

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Charleston Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Charleston Marital Status by Race

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Charleston Marital Status

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9,239

Number of Veterans

8,047

Male Veterans

1,192

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,314
First Gulf War2,405
Second Gulf War2,247
Korea639
World War II282

Charleston Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 742,382
35 to 542,155
75+1,811
55 to 641,745
18 to 341,146

Charleston Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White6,6087.81%
Black2,38310.45%
Asian1235.39%
2+ Races1148.80%
Hispanic1053.05%
Native American1110.19%

Charleston Veterans by Race

Charleston Veterans by Education

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10.22%

Veteran Poverty Rate

22.83%

Veteran Disability Rate

Charleston Veterans by Education

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67.6%

Labor Force Participation

64.6%

Employment Rate

3.4%

Unemployment Rate

Charleston Employment by Age

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Charleston Employment by Race

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Charleston Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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46.64%

Born in Charleston

95.18%

Native Born

4.82%

Foreign Born

2.48%

Non Citizen

2.34%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

95.18% of Charleston residents were born in the United States, with 46.64% having been born in South Carolina. 2.48% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Charleston Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021140,4761,4551.05%
2020139,0211,4551.06%
2019137,5661,4551.07%
2018136,1114850.36%
2017135,6261,1730.87%
2016134,4532,0401.54%
2015132,4132,9792.30%
2014129,4342,1881.72%
2013127,2462,0231.62%
2012125,2232,2111.80%
2011123,0122,3121.92%
2010120,70024,0502.25%
200096,65016,2361.86%
199080,41410,6351.43%
198069,7792,8340.42%
197066,9451,0200.15%
196065,925-4,249-0.62%
195070,174-1,101-0.16%
194071,2759,0101.36%
193062,265-5,692-0.87%
192067,9579,1241.45%
191058,8333,0260.53%
190055,8078520.15%
189054,9554,9710.95%
188049,9841,0280.21%
187048,9568,4341.91%
186040,522-2,463-0.59%
185042,98513,7243.92%
184029,261-1,028-0.34%
183030,2895,5092.03%
182024,780690.03%
181024,7115,8872.76%
180018,8242,4651.41%
179016,3590.00%

Charleston Population by Year