Upstate South Carolina facts for kids

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Upstate South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting "The Upstate" region.

The Upstate is the region in the westernmost part of South Carolina, United States, also known as the Upcountry, which is the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the ten counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina. This definition coincides with the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget in 2015. The region's population was 1,409,582 as of 2014. Situated between Atlanta and Charlotte, the Upstate is the fastest-growing region of South Carolina. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies, including others from Germany, have a substantial presence in the Upstate; several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the area. Greenville is the largest city in the region with an urban population of 400,492, and it is the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg, followed by Anderson, are next in population.

Counties

Ten counties are included in the Upstate of South Carolina: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Cherokee, Oconee, Union, Laurens, Greenwood, and Abbeville.

County Year founded County seat 2010 Census
Population
July 1, 2014
Population
Estimate.
Area
(sq. mi.)
Land area
(sq. mi.)
Abbeville County 1785 Abbeville 25,417 24,965 511 508
Anderson County 1826 Anderson 187,126 192,810 757 718
Cherokee County 1897 Gaffney 55,342 56,024 397 393
Greenville County 1786 Greenville 451,225 482,752 795 790
Greenwood County 1897 Greenwood 69,835 69,520 463 456
Laurens County 1785 Laurens 66,537 66,533 724 715
Oconee County 1868 Walhalla 74,275 75,192 674 625
Pickens County 1868 Pickens 119,224 120,368 512 497
Spartanburg County 1785 Spartanburg 284,307 293,542 819 811
Union County 1798 Union 28,961 27,876 516 514
Total 1,362,073 1,409,582 6,168 6,027

Metropolitan, Micropolitan, and Combined Statistical Areas

Greenville CSA
CSA
Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area
Greenville skyline
Greenville skyline

Location of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA, which coincides with Upstate South Carolina, and its components:      Greenville–Anderson–Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area      Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area      Greenwood Micropolitan Statistical Area      Seneca Micropolitan Statistical Area      Gaffney Micropolitan Statistical Area
Location of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA, which coincides with Upstate South Carolina, and its components:      Greenville–Anderson–Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area      Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area      Greenwood Micropolitan Statistical Area      Seneca Micropolitan Statistical Area

     Gaffney Micropolitan Statistical Area
Country Flag of United States.svg United States
State Flag of South Carolina.svg South Carolina
Principal cities Greenville
Spartanburg
Anderson
Mauldin
Easley
Area
 • Total 6,168 sq mi (15,980 km2)
 • Land 6,027 sq mi (15,610 km2)
 • Water 141 sq mi (370 km2)  2.2%
Population (2014)
 • CSA 1,409,582 (40th)
Time zone EST
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC)
Area code(s) 864

Within the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA are a total of two Metropolitan Statistical Areas and three Micropolitan Statistical Areas.

As of the 2010 Census, the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA had a population of 1,362,073.

MSA County Population (2010)
Greenville–Anderson–Mauldin Greenville, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens 824,112
Spartanburg Spartanburg, Union 313,268
Total: 1,137,380
μSA County Population (2010)
Greenwood Greenwood, Abbeville 95,078
Seneca Oconee 74,273
Gaffney Cherokee 55,342
Total: 224,693

Communities

The following population rankings are based on the 2010 Census

Primary cities

Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson.

The Office of Management and Budget labels all these cities as principal cities in their respective MSA's.

Other communities with at least 20,000 residents

Cities: Greenwood, Greer, Mauldin

The OMB has labelled Mauldin as a principal city.

CDPs: Taylors, Wade Hampton

Communities with more than 10,000 residents

Cities: Clemson, Easley, Gaffney, and Simpsonville.

If students from Clemson University are included, Clemson has close to 30,000 residents. The OMB has labelled Easley as a principal city.

CDP's: Berea, Five Forks, Gantt, Parker

Communities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants

Communities in the upstate with under 10,000 residents include:

Cities:

Towns:

According to the 2010 Census, no town in the Upstate has a population greater than 6000.

CDP's:

Transportation

View-from-interstate-26-scnc-border
View of the Upcountry from I-26 in Spartanburg County

The Upstate is served by two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-26. Other major interstate spurs include I-185, I-385, and I-585. The major airport in the region is Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, located nearly halfway between Greenville and Spartanburg in suburban Greer. Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Clemson, Pickens, Union, and Gaffney each have smaller airfields. AMTRAK service along the Crescent Line stops in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Clemson.

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