The Charleston metro area, which spans three counties, has a population of 594,899. Charleston and its neighbor, North Charleston, are the area's largest cities, with populations of 101,024 and 86,313 people, respectively. Visitors shouldn't miss Charleston's charming historic district, the Cooper River Bridge, and should spend at least 5 minutes on a joggling board (ask about them when you get there).
In 2004, this area in South Carolina posted an average personal income of $29,120. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average Charleston resident earns 12% less than the average American. The average income has grown by 8.4% over the past 35 years, which is about 12% higher than the national average.
Charleston's employment stretches across several business sectors:
- The U.S. Military is the biggest employer in the region (the U.S. Naval Weapons Station and the Charleston Air Force Base employ 16,200 and 5,600 workers, respectively).
- The headquarters of the Piggly Wiggly grocery stores chain are in Charleston.
- Robert Bosch, a company that manufactures braking systems (among other things) is the largest manufacturer in the area.
Due to the military's presence and the large Port of Charleston, the manufacturing sector has seen a lot of recent investment and is forecasted to create a number of new jobs over the next decade.
For more information on colleges and universities in South Carolina, explore our South Carolina state page.