The Upstate is growing, fast. In a fall release this year with new data from the American Community Survey, the US Census Bureau found the population in 7 Upstate counties grew by nearly 45,000 people over the last year.
It’s especially true in counties along Interstate 85. Anderson County grew at 2.72% in one year. Spartanburg County grew at 3.4%. Greenville County, the fastest growing in the region now has nearly a half million residents and grew at nearly 5% in a single year, according to the government report.
The Census Bureau does the American Community Survey each year, in between the much larger and better known census each decade.
Think of it as a snapshot of one moment in time in different states, counties and cities around the country.
It’s visible on Greenville’s Eastside, where someone is always building and someone is always buying. It’s driving up prices, and crowding once empty fields with new homes and new neighborhoods.
Lou and Deborah Aiello are just moved to town.
“We lived here for three weeks,” Deborah said.
The Aiellos moved from Gwinnett County Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, that just had a boom of it’s own. Now like thousands of other out of state families they relocated to the Upstate. Greenville County grew by 24,000 new neighbors bringing the total population to nearly a half million (498,766).
It’s not just more people. The workforce is growing, household income is rising and the number of people in poverty is falling. It’s a cycle of new growth luring more people and more money.
“We’ve broken out of a terrible cycle that we were in that was a declining population,” said Greenville Mayor Knox White.