Greenville has Growth Spurt


Flood of newcomers makes county among the fastest-growing in state, nation

March 20, 2008

By Ben Szobody

More newcomers flowed into Greenville County last year than any other year since the 2000 census, fueling an estimated population growth rate that’s in the top seventh nationwide and that continues to reshape evolving debates over immigration, development and crime.

The county’s population jumped by 12.8 percent from 2000 to 2007, from 381,123 to 428,243, according to estimates released early today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The next-closest Upstate counties were Anderson and Spartanburg, each with an 8.6 percent growth rate over that period.

Only coastal counties — Dorchester, Horry, Beaufort and Berkeley — and suburban Charlotte counties York and Lancaster had bigger seven-year spikes, the estimates showed. In that group, Greenville accelerated the most in 2007.

The 11,734-person increase last year is due largely to newcomers — just 2,415 is attributable to the birth rate.

County Council Chairman Butch Kirven, who helped kick off a yearlong countywide growth plan last week, said the new 2007 estimate exceeds by about 7,000 the figures the county was using.

“I think it reinforces the need to do a good job on the planning process,” he said.

County Council last year added 48 law enforcement positions, though Sheriff Steve Loftis had asked for 66. Kirven said Wednesday that staffing could be one of a host of issues to reopen in light of Greenville’s accelerated growth.

The new census estimates rank Greenville as the 388th fastest-growing county out of more than 3,000 counties nationwide for the period between 2000 and 2007.

Just behind in the state are Lexington County, with a 12.6 percent growth rate over the seven-year period; Richland County at 11.5 percent; and Charleston County at 10.6 percent.

The Upstate’s only non-growth counties are Laurens and Abbeville. The Laurens population has remained flat since 2000, while Abbeville has lost 2.7 percent of its population over the same period, according to census estimates.


It is this growth that makes me so committed to providing commercial and residential appraisal services in the upstate through Integra Realty Resources – SC and IRR – Residential Greenville. We are very excited about being in Greenville and look forward to many years of success.


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