South Carolina's center of population is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) north of the State House in the city of Columbia. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2006, South Carolina had an estimated population of 4,321,249, which is an increase of 74,316, or 1.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 309,237, or 7.7%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 97,715 people (that is 295,425 births minus 197,710 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 151,485 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 36,401 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 115,084 people. Based on the 2000 Census South Carolina was ranked 21st in population density with just over 133 persons per sq. mi. According to the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health, Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies, South Carolina's foreign-born population grew faster than any other state between 2000-2010. The Consortium reports that the number of Hispanics in South Carolina is greatly undercounted by census enumerators and may be more than 400,000.

The five largest ancestry groups in South Carolina are African American (29.5%), American (13.9%), English (8.4%), German (8.4%) and Irish (7.9%). For most of South Carolina's history, African slaves, and then their descendants, made up a majority of the state's population. Whites became a majority in the early 20th century, when tens of thousands of blacks moved north in the Great Migration. Most of the African-American population lives in the Lowcountry (especially the inland Lowcountry) and the Midlands; areas where cotton, rice, and indigo plantations once dominated the landscape. 6.6% of South Carolina's population were reported as under 5 years old, 25.2% under 18, and 12.1% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population in 2010.

Largest City Areas
South Carolina's cities are actually much larger than their city population counts suggest. South Carolina law makes it difficult for municipalities to annex unincorporated areas into the city limits, so city proper populations look smaller than the actually size of the area. For example, Spartanburg and Myrtle Beach each have municipal populations less than 50,000 persons, but their metro areas (MSA's) are over 200,000. Anderson's municipal population is smaller than Sumter's, but the Anderson area is actually much larger. The Sumter area population is under 100,000, but Anderson's is over 120,000, while Anderson County's population is nearing 200,000. Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville all area have urbanized area populations between 350,000-500,000, while their metro area (MSA) populations are all over 600,000. The Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson consolidated statistical area population consists of approximately 1.2 million people.

Luciano Mende

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