Here we grow again

January 15, 2013 

The U.S. Census Bureau reports the population boomed again in 2012 in South Carolina and North Carolina. York County, sitting on the border of the two states, obviously will feel the impact. Lake Wylie experienced dramatic growth in the latest Census.

It’s easy for even such dramatic growth to sneak up on the residents of the states. There are ways, however, to look at statistics in a manner that brings home the dramatic change. For example, it appears North Carolina will pass Michigan in population if last year’s trends continue. North Carolina is nearing the 10 million population mark and likely will hit it next year. The state grew to 9,752,073 last year while Michigan essentially stood still at 9,883,360. North Carolina grew by 2.3 percent.

South Carolina grew to 4,723,723 last year. For comparison, the state passed Louisiana with its 4,601,893 population and closed in on Alabama with its 4,822,023.

Both Carolinas will need to observe the demographic trends closely so they are not overwhelmed. The trend in the two states started well before the recession. Yet, the recession did not deter people seeking a warmer climate and positive business atmospheres in the two states. The challenge for North and South Carolina is to continue to generate good jobs for those seeking better prospects for themselves and their families. Both states need to control development in such a way that rapid growth does not damage the environment and the quality of life.

In Lake Wylie, we will need tools to manage traffic, zoning, balanced economic growth and address other urban sprawl issues.

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