A rising population in Sun City Hilton Head helped Hardeeville post the highest rate of growth among municipalities in South Carolina since 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released this week.
Hardeeville's population jumped 45.4 percent from April 2010 to 4,291 residents in July 2013, according to the Census Bureau's most recent estimate.
That increase was the largest in the state by a wide margin. The second-highest, Moncks Corner, rose by 16 percent, to 9,150.
Hardeeville planning director Brana Snowden said growth in Sun City was the primary cause for Hardeeville's population increase. Not all of the community lies within town limits, but 500 homes have been built in its incorporated sections since 2009.
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Hardeeville also narrowly surpassed Ridgeland as Jasper County's most populated town, with its 4,291 residents just topping Ridgeland's 4,111.
Among Beaufort County municipalities, only Yemassee's population dropped compared to 2010, by 2.8 percent. A portion of the town lies in Beaufort County, with most of it in Hampton County.
Bluffton posted the highest rate of growth in the county, rising 8.6 percent from 12,530 to 13,606.
Hilton Head Island, the county's largest municipality, posted the highest increase in the number of people, with 2,313 new residents from 2010 to 2013.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.