Image by Ken Hawkins/Staff Annual percent growth in Charleston metro, Columbia metro, South Carolina and the U.S. At latest count Charleston had 644,506 people, Columbia: 728,063, South Carolina: 4,503,280. (Note: Data not available yet for 2009 metro size estimates.)
Though behind Georgia and North Carolina, the latest Census numbers show South Carolina as one of the nation's fastest growing states.
If the math holds steady it's a reality that would likely secure South Carolina another seat in the U.S. House after the 2010 Census.
The data also showed that Columbia is still the largest metro area in the state -- though the paper used 2008 numbers in that instance (the latest available.)
The paper references an article by USA Today. Here's that piece. It is worth checking out not only for its second perspective, but they've done some nice interactive graphing of state population change.