Columbia population largest in state, slow growing

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- It may not be the fastest growing city in South Carolina, but Columbia's population is still the largest with 129,272 residents.

The U.S. Census released its findings on Wednesday.

Every day during the past decade, an average of 3.5 people relocated to Columbia.

The 2010 Census is intended for state lawmakers to draw new voting districts based on the data. The numbers also give local leaders a detailed look at where people are moving.

Out of the top five largest cities in the state, Columbia's growth rate ranks last with 1.2 percent.

Columbia City Councilman Brian DeQuincey Newman says while the growth is good, he believes it could be better.

If you talk to people and they are changing locations, it is related to their employment.

according to Newman, council is already focusing on how to bring more economic development to the city.

We are making sure we help streamline local business development by passing new ordinances.

Entrepreneurs and companies have received incentives and tax breaks to open their doors in Columbia.

There are a lot of great resources here in terms of leadership and employment, says Columbia Opportunity Resource Chair Chakisse Newton, but young people don't always know where they are.

COR is a non-profit group working to keep and bring young professionals to Columbia.

The more people get involved, the more ownership they will take, and the more they will want to stay here, Newton says.

Demographically, the most dramatic increase in Columbia's population was in the number of Hispanics.

Richland County has experienced a much faster growth rate in total population. From 2000 to 2010, the county increased its resident by 20 percent.

Lexington gained more than 82 percent.

County Population % Change Aiken 12.31%

Calhoun -0.07%

Clarendon 7.60%

Fairfield 2.14%

Kershaw 17.19%

Lee -4.47%

Lexington 21.47%

Newberry 3.88%

Orangeburg 1.00%

Richland 19.90%

Saluda 3.62%

Sumter 2.69%

Take a look to see how your area fared on our interactive census data map.