How many people move here each day? It must be the most frequently cited, and frequently mistaken, statistic in the Charleston region. Thanks to the Charleston Regional Data Center, you can speak truth at this weekend’s ball game or cookout.
According to official U.S. Census data, the tri-county region grew by an average of 34 net new people per day in 2018.
On average, 26 people net moved to the region each day last year. Thanks to our relatively young (and productive!) population, the number of births outpaced the number of deaths, generating an additional eight new people per day. That’s right, roughly a quarter of our population growth last year (and every year) is our own children and grandchildren.
34 per day pencils out to approximately 12,500 net new residents added in 2018. That is a 1.6% annual growth rate. For the past decade, our annual growth rate has ranged between 1.5% and 2.5%. 2018 is actually the fourth straight year of growth rate decline.
For a metropolitan region in the sunbelt, on the coast, with a diverse economy, great entertainment and recreation amenities, you could be forgiven for viewing 1.6% annual population growth as fairly modest.
Considering that the region’s unemployment rate (2.5% in April) is at a 20 year low, and our job creation prospects are consistently strong, employers may feel the hiring pinch more acutely if the four year growth rate trend persists.
That’s more than enough stats for any normal person on a Friday, particularly on the first day of summer. Data geeks can dig to their hearts content 24/7/365 at the Charleston Regional Data Center.