Fastest-growing counties in South Carolina

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July 1, 2022
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Fastest-growing counties in South Carolina

Why do people move from one county or region to another? The usual suspects are jobs, family, significant others, and overall cost of living, but there are other elements at play. For those with children, moving within close proximity of a highly rated school district is a key contributing factor. For younger adults just starting out, living someplace with a vibrant social scene might be a top priority. And for those whose careers have wound down after a lifetime of work, finding retirement-friendly communities is the goal—communities deemed to be safe, offer accessibility to medical resources and leisure activities in equal measure, and be affordable for those on a limited income.

This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. People’s reasons for choosing to live where they do are as diverse as people themselves.

As far as why certain counties across the U.S. have experienced growth, relocation is not the sole, or even primary, reason why. While more than 1,800 counties saw population gains in 2021, approximately 73% of all U.S. counties saw what the U.S. Census Bureau characterizes as a natural decrease. This was a significant jump from 2020, when 55.5% of countries experienced such a decrease. According to the Bureau, natural decrease is the simple result of “when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given time period.” In 2021, the conflation of fewer births with an aging population that was also absorbing a higher-than-usual mortality rate due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to this “increased decrease.”

Nonetheless, as stated 1,800 counties nationwide have grown larger over the last year, and a sizable percentage of them are in South Carolina. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in South Carolina using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020, based on the U.S. Decennial Census.

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#46. Orangeburg County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -8,278
--- #3,118 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -8.9%
--- #36 among counties in South Carolina, #2,783 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 84,223
--- #17 largest county in South Carolina, #683 largest county nationwide
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Jud McCranie // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Darlington County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -5,776
--- #3,097 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -8.4%
--- #35 among counties in South Carolina, #2,745 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 62,905
--- #23 largest county in South Carolina, #846 largest county nationwide
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ProfReader // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Marion County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,879
--- #3,038 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -11.7%
--- #40 among counties in South Carolina, #2,954 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 29,183
--- #31 largest county in South Carolina, #1,449 largest county nationwide
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Clarendon County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,827
--- #3,037 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -10.9%
--- #39 among counties in South Carolina, #2,918 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 31,144
--- #29 largest county in South Carolina, #1,395 largest county nationwide
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Dillon County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,770
--- #3,034 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -11.8%
--- #41 among counties in South Carolina, #2,955 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 28,292
--- #33 largest county in South Carolina, #1,482 largest county nationwide

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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Chesterfield County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,461
--- #3,019 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.4%
--- #33 among counties in South Carolina, #2,662 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 43,273
--- #25 largest county in South Carolina, #1,109 largest county nationwide
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#40. Williamsburg County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,397
--- #3,012 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -9.9%
--- #38 among counties in South Carolina, #2,851 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 31,026
--- #30 largest county in South Carolina, #1,402 largest county nationwide
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Fairfield County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -3,008
--- #2,976 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -12.6%
--- #43 among counties in South Carolina, #2,981 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 20,948
--- #38 largest county in South Carolina, #1,765 largest county nationwide
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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Lee County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,689
--- #2,949 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -14.0%
--- #44 among counties in South Carolina, #3,021 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 16,531
--- #42 largest county in South Carolina, #2,002 largest county nationwide
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Bamberg County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,676
--- #2,947 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -16.7%
--- #45 among counties in South Carolina, #3,084 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 13,311
--- #44 largest county in South Carolina, #2,194 largest county nationwide

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#36. Hampton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,529
--- #2,921 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -12.0%
--- #42 among counties in South Carolina, #2,958 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 18,561
--- #41 largest county in South Carolina, #1,893 largest county nationwide
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Allendale County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,380
--- #2,901 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -22.8%
--- #46 among counties in South Carolina, #3,128 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 8,039
--- #46 largest county in South Carolina, #2,575 largest county nationwide
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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Marlboro County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,266
--- #2,883 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.8%
--- #34 among counties in South Carolina, #2,702 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 26,667
--- #35 largest county in South Carolina, #1,541 largest county nationwide
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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Barnwell County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,032
--- #2,841 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -9.0%
--- #37 among counties in South Carolina, #2,790 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 20,589
--- #39 largest county in South Carolina, #1,783 largest county nationwide
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#32. Sumter County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,900
--- #2,812 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.8%
--- #25 among counties in South Carolina, #1,803 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 105,556
--- #15 largest county in South Carolina, #582 largest county nationwide

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#31. Union County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,717
--- #2,777 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -5.9%
--- #30 among counties in South Carolina, #2,459 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 27,244
--- #34 largest county in South Carolina, #1,518 largest county nationwide
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Edgefield County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,328
--- #2,654 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.9%
--- #28 among counties in South Carolina, #2,316 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 25,657
--- #36 largest county in South Carolina, #1,573 largest county nationwide
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#29. Abbeville County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,122
--- #2,568 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -4.4%
--- #27 among counties in South Carolina, #2,228 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 24,295
--- #37 largest county in South Carolina, #1,634 largest county nationwide
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Calhoun County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,056
--- #2,530 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -7.0%
--- #32 among counties in South Carolina, #2,608 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 14,119
--- #43 largest county in South Carolina, #2,145 largest county nationwide
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Saluda County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,013
--- #2,510 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -5.1%
--- #29 among counties in South Carolina, #2,342 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 18,862
--- #40 largest county in South Carolina, #1,878 largest county nationwide

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#26. Chester County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -846
--- #2,407 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -2.6%
--- #26 among counties in South Carolina, #1,933 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 32,294
--- #28 largest county in South Carolina, #1,375 largest county nationwide
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#25. McCormick County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -707
--- #2,335 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -6.9%
--- #31 among counties in South Carolina, #2,602 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 9,526
--- #45 largest county in South Carolina, #2,453 largest county nationwide
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Greenwood County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -310
--- #1,931 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.4%
--- #23 among counties in South Carolina, #1,563 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 69,351
--- #19 largest county in South Carolina, #777 largest county nationwide
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Colleton County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -288
--- #1,897 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -0.7%
--- #24 among counties in South Carolina, #1,602 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 38,604
--- #26 largest county in South Carolina, #1,209 largest county nationwide
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#22. Florence County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +174
--- #1,343 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.1%
--- #22 among counties in South Carolina, #1,467 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 137,059
--- #13 largest county in South Carolina, #473 largest county nationwide

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NatalieMaynor // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Newberry County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +211
--- #1,319 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.6%
--- #21 among counties in South Carolina, #1,399 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 37,719
--- #27 largest county in South Carolina, #1,230 largest county nationwide
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#20. Cherokee County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +874
--- #1,033 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +1.6%
--- #19 among counties in South Carolina, #1,242 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 56,216
--- #24 largest county in South Carolina, #917 largest county nationwide
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Laurens County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +1,002
--- #1,000 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +1.5%
--- #20 among counties in South Carolina, #1,251 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 67,539
--- #20 largest county in South Carolina, #793 largest county nationwide
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#18. Georgetown County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,246
--- #683 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.4%
--- #18 among counties in South Carolina, #783 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 63,404
--- #22 largest county in South Carolina, #843 largest county nationwide
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Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Kershaw County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,706
--- #648 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.0%
--- #15 among counties in South Carolina, #715 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 65,403
--- #21 largest county in South Carolina, #821 largest county nationwide

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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Jasper County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,014
--- #627 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +16.2%
--- #8 among counties in South Carolina, #185 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 28,791
--- #32 largest county in South Carolina, #1,464 largest county nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Oconee County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,334
--- #601 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.8%
--- #16 among counties in South Carolina, #737 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 78,607
--- #18 largest county in South Carolina, #722 largest county nationwide
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Festiva76 // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Aiken County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +8,709
--- #457 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.4%
--- #17 among counties in South Carolina, #779 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 168,808
--- #11 largest county in South Carolina, #396 largest county nationwide
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#13. Pickens County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +12,180
--- #385 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.2%
--- #12 among counties in South Carolina, #407 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 131,404
--- #14 largest county in South Carolina, #490 largest county nationwide
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Anderson County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +16,592
--- #330 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.9%
--- #13 among counties in South Carolina, #497 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 203,718
--- #9 largest county in South Carolina, #336 largest county nationwide

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Calatayudboy // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Lancaster County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +19,364
--- #299 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +25.3%
--- #3 among counties in South Carolina, #64 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 96,016
--- #16 largest county in South Carolina, #629 largest county nationwide
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#10. Beaufort County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +24,884
--- #250 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +15.3%
--- #10 among counties in South Carolina, #215 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 187,117
--- #10 largest county in South Carolina, #356 largest county nationwide
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Lazyksaw // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Dorchester County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +24,985
--- #249 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +18.3%
--- #5 among counties in South Carolina, #142 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 161,540
--- #12 largest county in South Carolina, #414 largest county nationwide
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#8. Lexington County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +31,600
--- #202 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +12.0%
--- #11 among counties in South Carolina, #323 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 293,991
--- #6 largest county in South Carolina, #241 largest county nationwide
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#7. Richland County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +31,643
--- #201 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +8.2%
--- #14 among counties in South Carolina, #545 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 416,147
--- #2 largest county in South Carolina, #172 largest county nationwide

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#6. Spartanburg County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +43,690
--- #147 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +15.4%
--- #9 among counties in South Carolina, #213 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 327,997
--- #5 largest county in South Carolina, #219 largest county nationwide
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Itsbrandoyo // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Berkeley County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +52,018
--- #127 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +29.2%
--- #2 among counties in South Carolina, #42 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 229,861
--- #8 largest county in South Carolina, #299 largest county nationwide
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Connor401 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. York County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +56,017
--- #116 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +24.8%
--- #4 among counties in South Carolina, #69 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 282,090
--- #7 largest county in South Carolina, #249 largest county nationwide
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#3. Charleston County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +58,026
--- #110 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +16.6%
--- #6 among counties in South Carolina, #180 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 408,235
--- #3 largest county in South Carolina, #174 largest county nationwide
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#2. Greenville County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +74,309
--- #79 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +16.5%
--- #7 among counties in South Carolina, #182 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 525,534
--- #1 largest county in South Carolina, #135 largest county nationwide

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Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Horry County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +81,738
--- #63 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +30.4%
--- #1 among counties in South Carolina, #36 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 351,029
--- #4 largest county in South Carolina, #206 largest county nationwide

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