Every year the Charleston Regional Development Alliance releases new data about the state of the local economy, real estate and more. Not only are the insights fascinating, but they can help you make good decisions about homeownership, changing jobs (or fields), or even choosing a neighborhood or school for your kids.
Here are some interesting statistics from their latest report:
How many people move here every day? (Really)
We’ve heard rumors that range from 40 to 65. The actual number is 34. That means Charleston is growing three times faster than average compared to other U.S. cities.
Who Are They?
For newcomers, the average age is 36, and they have an average household income of $72,504 per year or a median household income of $53,447 per year.
Where Do They Live?
Charleston County has 396,484 residents, Berkeley has 210,898 residents, and Dorchester County has 153,773. In all three counties, most residents are between the ages of 34-54. Retirees, or over the age of 65+, mostly live in Charleston County.
Our civilian workforce grew four times faster than the U.S. average from 2010 – 2016. So where are they all working?
For both civilians and non-civilians, the government is the area’s largest employer. Surprised? In fact, 18.88% of Charleston area workers are employed by the government. Joint Base Charleston has 22,000 employees – far and away the largest employer by industry. MUSC is the second largest employer by industry, with 13,000 employees. In the private sector, Boeing employees 7,000 Charlestonians, Roper and Bon Secours St. Francis employ 5,500.
Fun fact: Kiawah Island Golf Resort and The Sanctuary employ more people (1,500) than Blackbaud (1,300) or the Intercontinental Hotels Group that owns Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge, and Candlewood Suites (1,300 employees).
Also surprising: Manufacturing only makes up 7.89% of the jobs, a much smaller percentage than the 12.89% who work in leisure and hospitality.
Who Earns the Most Money?
If you’re trying to pick a major that pays well, stats say study architecture, engineering, technology or medicine. Holy City engineers and architects early an average hourly wage of $35.29, while those who work with computers make an average of $36.50 per hour – that’s slightly more than healthcare practitioners make ($36.20 per hour on average). More the creative type? Those in the arts, design, entertainment, media, or sports are also doing pretty well at an average hourly wage of $21.54.
How does that measure up with the rest of the country? Charlestonians make 84% of the average annual pay in the U.S.
What’s Our Cost of Living?
The U.S. Average Cost of Living is set at 100%. It’s cheaper to live in Charleston (104%) than it is to live in cities such as Boston (148%), Denver (110.4%), Miami (111%), San Diego (144.4%), or Manhattan (228.2%)
How Much Are Houses?
If you want to live on the Lower Peninsula, you’ll pay around $642,500 for a home. If the Upper Peninsula is more your style, you’ll save a ton of cash. Your home will only cost around $375,000. Like Mount Pleasant? Median home price is about $488,300. West Ashley’s median home price was even lower, coming in at $255,000.
Charleston is a great place to live and work, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagrees. For even more information on area statistics, check out the Charleston Regional Development Alliance website.
Ready to move? Check out or advice for finding the right Charleston neighborhood for you.