Charleston County has been losing population to the neighboring inland counties of Dorchester and Berkeley in recent years, according to a new Census Bureau report.
The report, based on 2007-2011 data, provides estimates for inbound and outbound migration between counties across the United States. While Charleston County’s overall population has been on the rise since the mid-’90s, the report shows that outbound migration to the neighboring counties has outpaced inbound migration from them in recent years.
While 2,965 people moved from Berkeley County to Charleston County, 4,760 moved from Charleston County to Berkeley County over the same time period, for a net loss of 1,795 people from Charleston County. Charleston County experienced its biggest net loss to Berkeley, followed by Dorchester (-685), Richland (-585), and Oconee (-377) counties.
The new report, which was accompanied by an interactive map, yields some other interesting insights about migration patterns in and out of Charleston County. For instance, while Charlestonians have long blamed Ohio-born transplants for a litany of woes — traffic, sprawl, the moral decline of the Lowcountry — Post and Courier reporter David Slade pointed out over the weekend that it might not be fair to pin our problems on hapless Buckeyes.
Slade crunched the data for the tri-county area (Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester) and found that “most of the people moving here from out-of-state are coming from Southern states — Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia, in that order. The first Northern state to make the list is New York, at number five.”
By tooling around with the interactive map and exporting some spreadsheets, the City Paper was able to pull out a few other interesting facts about Charleston County. Here’s what we found:
1. Blame New Jerseyites, not Buckeyes. Here’s a list of the top 15 states for inbound migration to Charleston County. You’ll notice that the top cold-weather state is New Jersey, not Ohio. Or you could choose to notice that the vast majority of people moving to Charleston County came from — ahem — elsewhere in South Carolina (see Item No. 2 below).
Top States Sending People to Charleston County:
1. South Carolina (11,951)
2. North Carolina (1,893)
3. Florida (1,572)
4. Virginia (1,387)
5. Georgia (1,357)
6. Texas (860)
7. New Jersey (852)
8. New York (798)
9. Connecticut (691)
10. Alaska (493)
11. Massachusetts (492)
12. Tennessee (483)
13. California (470)
14. Pennsylvania (465)
15. Ohio (428)
2. Anchorage residents pulled up anchor for Charleston. Predictably, most of the top counties for inbound migration to Charleston County were within South Carolina. But looking out of state, the top county from which people moved to Charleston County was Anchorage Municipality, Alaska, home of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Either military families got transferred to Charleston, or a whole bunch of Alaskans got sick of the cold at once.
Top Counties Sending People to Charleston County:
1. Berkeley County, S.C. (2,965)
2. Dorchester County, S.C. (2,161)
3. Greenville County, S.C. (875)
4. Richland County, S.C. (684)
5. Spartanburg County, S.C. (591)
6. Florence County, S.C. (549)
7. Anchorage Municipality, Alaska (461)
8. Beaufort County, S.C. (427)
9. Pickens County, S.C. (415)
10. New Haven County, Conn. (405)
11. Mecklenburg County, N.C. (380)
12. Anderson County, S.C. (368)
13. Essex County, N.J. (364)
14. Coryell County, Texas (324)
15. Fairfax County, Va. (324)
3. New money comes from Charlotte and Miami. The top counties from which people with a household income of at least $150,000 moved to Charleston County were Mecklenburg County, N.C. (home of Charlotte) and Miami-Dade County, Fla.
Top Counties Sending People to Charleston County (household income of $150,000 or more):
1. Mecklenburg County, N.C. (165)
2. Miami-Dade County, Fla. (111)
3. Greenville County, S.C. (104)
4. Dorchester County, S.C. (99)
5. Orleans Parish, La. (90)
6. New York County, N.Y. (67)
7. Guilford County, N.C. (64)
8. Berkeley County, S.C. (63)
9. New Haven County, Conn. (55)
10. Fairfax County, Va. (54)
4. The brain drain goes to San Diego. Looking at net migration of people with bachelor’s degrees, the places that took the most college graduates from Charleston County were Berkeley County, S.C., and San Diego County, Calif.
Biggest Net Losses of People with Bachelor’s Degrees from Charleston County:
1. Berkeley County, S.C. (-278)
2. San Diego County, Calif. (-134)
3. Norfolk City, Va. (-107)
4. Dorchester County, S.C. (-70)
5. Anderson County, S.C. (-49)
6. Florence County, S.C. (-49)
7. Washington County, Tenn. (-46)
8. Hillsborough County, Fla. (-38)
9. Richland County, S.C. (-31)
10. Wake County, N.C. (-22) Love Best of Charleston? Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.
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