Charleston, SC Profile: Facts & Data


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Charleston, South Carolina - Basic Facts

The City of Charleston is the largest city in South Carolina with a population of 150,388 as of July 1, 2020. Charleston ranks in the upper quartile for Population Density when compared to the other cities, towns and Census Designated Places (CDPs) in South Carolina. See peer rankings below.

The primary coordinate point for Charleston is located at latitude 32.7766 and longitude -79.9309 in Charleston County. The formal boundaries for the City of Charleston encompass a land area of 109.04 sq. miles and a water area of 18.51 sq. miles. Charleston County is in the Eastern time zone (GMT -5). The elevation is 10 feet.

While the primary coordinates for City of Charleston are located in Charleston County, it should be noted that the formal boundaries for this community also extend into and Berkeley County.

The City of Charleston (GNIS ID: 2404030) has a C1 Census Class Code which indicates an active incorporated place that does not serve as a county subdivision equivalent. It also has a Functional Status Code of "A" which identifies an active government providing primary general-purpose functions.

South Carolina is one of 20 states where Census County Divisions (CCDs) are used for statistical tracking of subdivisions within each county. The City of Charleston is located within Charleston Central Division of Charleston County.

Alternate Unofficial Names for Charleston: Charles Town, Charles Towne, Charlestowne, Charlstoun, Charlstown.


Charleston, SC Data & Demographics (As of July 1, 2020)


Total Population 150,388 (100%)
Population in Households 144,387 (96.0%)
Population in Families 98,315 (65.4%)
Population in Group Quarters1 6,001 ( 4.0%)
Population Density 1,360
Diversity Index2 50


Median Household Income $69,347
Average Household Income $100,093
% of Income for Mortgage4 19%
Per Capita Income $43,114
Wealth Index5 108


Total HU (Housing Units) 73,738 (100%)
Owner Occupied HU 34,512 (46.8%)
Renter Occupied HU 30,950 (42.0%)
Vacant Housing Units 8,276 (11.2%)
Median Home Value $321,074
Average Home Value $445,746
Housing Affordability Index3 133


Total Households 65,462
Average Household Size 2.21
Family Households 34,046
Average Family Size 3
  1. Group Quarters - a place where people live or stay in a group living arrangement. Includes college residents halls, nursing facilities, military barracks, and correctional facilities.
  2. The Diversity Index is a scale of 0 to 100 that represents the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different races or ethnic groups. If an area's entire population belongs to one race AND one ethnic group, then the area has zero diversity. An area's diversity index increases to 100 when the population is evenly divided into two or more race/ethnic groups.
  3. The Housing Affordability Index base is 100 and represents a balance point where a resident with a median household income can normally qualify to purchase a median price home. Values above 100 indicate increased affordability, while values below 100 indicate decreased affordability.
  4. The % of Income for Mortgage quantifies the percentage of median household income dedicated to mortgage payments on a home priced at the median value (assuming a 30-year mortgage and a 20% down payment).
  5. The Wealth Index is based on a number of indicators of affluence including average household income and average net worth, but it also includes the value of material possessions and resources. It represents the wealth of the area relative to the national level. Values above or below 100 represent above-average wealth or below-average wealth compared to the national level.


2010-2020 2020-2025
Population 2.21% 1.91%
Households 2.21% 1.92%
Families 2.3% 1.75%
Median Household Income   1.58%
Per Capita Income   1.91%
Owner Occupied HU   1.13%


Charleston, SC - Peer Comparisons by Rank and Percentile

The table below compares Charleston to the other 397 incorporated cities, towns and CDPs in South Carolina by rank and percentile using July 1, 2020 data. The location Ranked # 1 has the highest value. A location that ranks higher than 75% of its peers would be in the 75th percentile of the peer group.

Variable Description Rank Percentile
Total Population # 1 100th
Population Density # 83 79th
Median Household Income # 28 93rd
Housing Affordability Index # 56 14th
Per Capita Income # 20 95th
Diversity Index # 214 46th

Additional comparisons and rankings can be made with a VERY EASY TO USE South Carolina Census Data Comparison Tool.

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