Population projections are based on assumptions about the continuation of birth, death and migration trends measured from two census points into the future. The accuracy of projections depends on the extent to which future events unfold in a manner that mirrors these past observations. The population trends from 2000 to 2010 include the collapse of the housing market in 2008 and the lingering effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930's. Population growth will likely be at very low levels for the next few years, but there is a lack of data available to measure the impact current economic trends will have on population growth: From 2008 to 2010 the number of births declined by 7.5%, the number of persons moving into South Carolina declined by 20.1%, and the number of legal immigration to the state declined by 12%. On June 27, 2011 the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act was signed into law. It requires employers to verify the legal status of new employees to ensure that illegal immigrants are not working in South Carolina. The number of illegal immigrants in the state is unknown.
South Carolina's population is aging; the median age in 2010 was 38 years, and was 23 years in 1960. Between 2000 and 2010 the age group 65 and over increased by 30%, compared to an increase by 41% in the age group 85 and over. People born between 1946 and 1963 (The Baby Boom Population) make up 24% of the total population and they started to turn 65 in 2011. Health and medicine is allowing more people to live past 85 years.
From 2000 to 2010 the state gained 613,352 persons; 201,282 from natural increase (number of births minus the number of deaths) and 412,070 from net migration (number of people moving to South Carolina minus the number of people leaving South Carolina). Natural increase accounted for all of the population growth from 1860 to 1970; from 1970 to 1980 natural increase accounted for 49% of total growth and has declined to 33% of growth from 2000 to 2010. The average number of deaths per year has increased from 18,600 in 1950 to 38,300 in 2010. The average number of births has remained fairly constant as the number of children per woman has decreased. In 1950 there was an average of 62,000 births and in 2010, an average of 58,500 births.
Births and deaths usually change gradually over time, but migration trends can lead to drastic changes from one decade to the next due to economic opportunities. Between 1970 and 1980 net in migration accounted for 51% of total population growth. Between 1980 and 1990 it accounted for 30% and between 2000 and 2010 for 67%. People move to South Carolina for jobs, school and retirement. Migration into the state from 1970 to 2010 has increased the number of persons born outside the state from 10% in 1970 to 41% in 2010. The percentage of people who changed residences between 2010 and 2011 (12%) was the lowest recorded rate since the Current Population Survey (U.S. Bureau of the Census) began collecting statistics on the movement of people in the United States in 1948.
Annual county population estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the state will be used to make corrections to the population projections. Estimates are based on registered births and deaths from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, migration data from the IRS and group quarters population (people living in dorms, barracks, prisons and nursing homes) collected by the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs - Health and Demographics Section. As soon as data becomes available we will produce additional population projections. Please click here for more information about population projections.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 and Census 2010, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control - Vital Records Department. Population projections calculated by South Carolina Department of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs - Health and Demographics Section.