Beaufort County remains one of the fastest growing areas of South Carolina, though growth has slowed in recent years, according to U.S. Census figures released Thursday.
The county’s population swelled about 4.6 percent from 2014 to 2016, making it the seventh fastest growing county in the state, the data show. The census estimates there were 183,149 county residents in 2016.
But the county’s growth may be slowing compared to dramatic increases in the early 2000s.
In the last decade, the county’s population grew about 24.3 percent compared to a growth of about 31 percent from 2001 to 2010 when the county’s population boomed from about 125,000 to 163,000.
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Still, in recent years areas of the county have been listed among the fasted growing places in the country.
The Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Beaufort metro area was the 12th fastest-growing community in the nation from 2014 to 2015, according to the Census.
According to Thursday’s census data release, the metro area dropped to the 46th fastest growing community from 2015 to 2016 compared to the 382 metro areas in the nation.