New population estimates for metropolitan areas has the Charleston-North Charleston area growing by just shy of 13,000 people. While the rate of growth in areas like Myrtle Beach and Charlotte far out pace us (MB is growing at 4.2 percent, compared to Charleston’s 2.1 percent), we’re running at about the same growth rate seen in 2004 and 2005.

The real question is why people are picking other southern cities over Charleston? Is it traffic, as the Forbes rankings yesterday suggested? The horrible accident near the airport this morning was a prime example of how cutting off one route dooms the morning drive to work. Is it the “Hurricane Alley” perception? Is it a marketing failure? The spotty WiFi cloud? The rotting cantalope I didn’t realize was still in my floorboard until this morning?

Maybe more important: Do we want to grow faster? Slow and steady means that planning for growth is easier.

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