Big growth in the Lowcountry

New population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau show some hefty figures for the Charleston area. Charleston only saw a 14 percent rise in residents since the 2000 census, but Mount Pleasant had a 36 percent increase, and Summerville a whopping 59 percent.

Bluffton, just down the road, had the highest growth rate on the list, 218 percent. Wow. But that can be a little deceiving, because in actual numbers, the change was only 1,275 to 4,054, according to the Census Bureau. (If you have Excel, you can check out the S.C. numbers for yourself.)

When you look at the actual numbers, Charleston now has about 14,000 more people than it did in 2000. Mount Pleasant saw the largest raw number increase in the state, drawing around 17,000 new residents in that time period. (Summerville was right behind Mt. P., at 16,284.)

Not that it comes as any surprise to anyone, though, right?

From The Post and Courier:

The new Census Bureau numbers are "just a reminder that when you have good quality of life, people keep coming," said Ron Mitchum, executive director of Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, the area's regional planning agency.

Mitchum attributed some of Summerville's growth to its school district and the town's overall positive reputation.

"When people call us about relocating, those are the factors they talk about," he said.

It's interesting, though, that in the PC article, Mitchum focuses so much on the positive aspect of the population growth. Is it really a good thing to have such high growth, along with the infrastructure tension and/or sprawl that comes with it? I think that's the question that we need to be asking. It's great that people love the Lowcountry and all want to come here, but is overpopulation a valid economic and social philosophy?

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