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City of Charleston

  •   State: 
    South Carolina
    Charleston County
      County FIPS: 
    32°47′00″N 79°55′55″W
      Area total: 
    135.10 sq mi
      Area land: 
    115.03 sq mi (297.93 km²)
      Area water: 
    20.48 sq mi (53.04 km²)
    20 ft (6 m)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Charleston-North Charleston, SC
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,305.97 residents per square mile of area (504.24/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II, at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River. It became the fifth-largest city in North America within ten years. Charleston's significance in American history is tied to its role as a major slave trading port. In 2018, the city formally apologized for its role in the American slave trade after CNN noted that slavery "riddles the history" of Charleston. The city proper consists of six distinct districts. The present city has a total area of 127.5 sq mi (330.2 km²), of which 109.0 sq ft (282 km²) is land and 18.5sq ft (47.9 km) is covered by water. Charleston Harbor runs about 7 mi (11 km) southeast to the Atlantic with an average width of about 2 mi (3.2km) The city limits also have expanded across the Cooper River, encompassing Daniel Island and the Cainhoy area. The 2020 population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 799,636 residents, the third-largest in the state and the 74th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States. Charleston has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with hot humid summers and significant rainfall all year long. Summer is the wettest season, but freezing rain is only once per decade at the airport. Winter is short and mild, characterized by occasional snowstorms.


Charleston is the primary city name, but also Cainhoy, Daniel Island, Wando are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Charleston. Charleston has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with mild winters, hot humid summers, and significant rainfall all year long. Winter is short and mild, and is characterized by occasional rain. Measurable snow (0.1 in or 0.25 cm) has a median occurrence of only once per decade at the airport, but freezing rain is more common. The present city has a total area of 127.5 sq mi (330.2 km²), of which 109.0 sq mi is land and 18.9 km² is covered by water. The city proper consists of six distinct districts. The highest temperature recorded within city limits was 104 °F (40 °C) on June 2, 1985, and June 24, 1944. Hurricanes are a major threat to the area during the summer and early fall, with several severe hurricanes hitting the areamost notably Hurricane Hugo on September 21, 1989. The Charleston metropolitan area consists of three counties: Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the total population of the metropolitan area had a total of 799,991 (or 7.99 million people) The city is included within the Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area and the smaller North-North-North urban area of Charleston, South Carolina, and Berkeley, SC, for statistical purposes. It is located in the Southeastern United States and is located on the Atlantic seaboard of South Carolina.


Charles Town was the first comprehensively planned town in the Thirteen Colonies. It suffered between five and eight major yellow fever outbreaks over the first half of the 18th century. The combination of a weak government and corruption made the city popular with pirates, who frequently visited and raided the city. Charles Town was fortified according to a plan developed in 1704 under Governor Nathaniel Johnson. It remained the southernmost point of the Southern Colonies until the Province of Georgia was established in 1732. As late as 1830, Charleston's Jewish community was the largest and wealthiest in North America. In the early 1700s, the largest slave trader, Joseph Wragg, pioneered the settlement's involvement in the slave trade. By 1719, the town's name began to be generally written as Charlestown and, excepting those fronting the Cooper River, the old walls were largely removed over the next decade. It is thought to have landed 40% of its slaves at Sullivan's Island off the coast of South Carolina in 1708. The majority of the city's population were Black Africans brought to the Atlantic by indentured servants and sold as slaves. The first white people of color migrated from the West Indies in the early 1800s, being sold into slavery to be sold into North America by their descendants. The city's name is now commemorated as Charles Towne Landing, but it was originally called Albemarle Point, a few miles northwest of the present-day city center. In 1670, Governor William Sayle arranged for several shiploads of settlers from Bermuda and Barbados to establish what was then called Charles Town.


As of the 2020 United States census, there were 150,227 people, 58,902 households, and 31,780 families residing in the city. The traditional educated Charleston accent has long been noted in the state and throughout the South. The Anglican church was dominant in the colonial era, and the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul is today the seat of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. Many French Huguenot refugees settled in Charleston in the early 18th century. The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest black congregation south of Baltimore, Maryland. Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, founded in 1749 by Sephardic Jews from London, is the fourth-oldest Jewish congregation in the continental United States. The Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, established in 1801, is considered the mother council of the world by Scottish Rite Freemasons. Despite beliefs that the term dates to the city's earliest days and refers to its religiously tolerant culture, the term was coined in the 20th century, likely as a mockery of Charlestonians' self-satisfied attitude about their city. Many Charleston natives ignore the 'r' and elongate the first vowel, pronouncing the name as "Chalston". The city's oldest Catholic parish, St Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church, is the mother church of Catholicism in South Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. In 1820, Charleston was established as the see city of the diocese of Charleston, which at the time comprised the Carolinas and. Georgia.


Charleston's culture blends traditional Southern U.S., English, French, and West African elements. The downtown peninsula has a number of art, music, local cuisine, and fashion venues. Spoleto Festival USA, held annually in late spring, was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti. Charleston is known for its local seafood, which plays a key role in the city's renowned cuisine, comprising staple dishes such as gumbo, she-crab soup, fried oysters, Lowcountry boil, deviled crab cakes, red rice, and shrimp and grits. The Gullah community has had a tremendous influence on music in Charleston, especially when it comes to the early development of jazz music. The geechee dances that accompanied the music of the dock workers in Charleston followed a rhythm that inspired Eubie Blake's "Charleston Rag" and later James P. Johnson's 'Charleston', as well as the dance craze that defined a nation in the 1920s. "Ballin' the Jack", which was a popular dance in the years before "Charl Charleston", was written by native Charlestonian Chris Smith. The Dock Street Theatre, opened in the 1930s on the site of Charleston's first purpose-built theater building, is the largest theater building in South Carolina. Most of the theaters are part of the League of Theatres, better known as The Stage Company, which is the first professional theater company in the South. The Charleston Conference is a major library industry event, held in the City center since 1980.


The city has two shipping terminals, of a total of five terminals owned and operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority. The port is also used to transfer cars and car parts for Charleston's auto manufacturing business, such as Mercedes and Volvo. The city is becoming a popular location for high tech and innovation, and this sector has had the highest rate of growth between 2011 and 2012. In 2013, the Milken Institute ranked the Charleston region as the ninth-best performing economy in the US because of its growing IT sector. In June 2017, the mean sales price for a home in Charleston was $351,186 and the median price was $260,000. The average home price in the city is $250,000, and the average house price in Charleston is $1.2 million. It is the fourth-largest city on the East Coast and the seventh-largest container seaport in the United States. It has a population of 2.1 million, and a population growth rate of 0.7% in the last five years. The median home price is $251,000 and the mean house price is $1.3 million. In 2012, the city was ranked the ninth best in the U.S. for its IT sector, due in large part to the Charleston Digital Corridor, which is home to several high-tech companies including Blackbaud, Greystar Real Estate Partners, Evening Post Industries, BoomTown, CSS, and Benefitfocus.


Charleston has a strong mayor-council government, with the mayor acting as the chief administrator and the executive officer of the municipality. The City of Charleston Police Department, with a total of 458 sworn officers, 117 civilians, and 27 reserve police officers, is South Carolina's largest police department. The city has several major hospitals located in the downtown area: Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center (MUSC), Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, and Roper Hospital. In 2020, the Coast Guard announced plans to construct a 2,800-acre (11 km²) "superbase" on the former Charleston Naval Shipyard complex to consolidate all its Charleston-area facilities and become the homeport for five Security cutters and additional offshore cutters. The U.S. Coast Guard Station Charleston responds to search and rescue emergencies, conducts maritime law enforcement activities, and Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security (PWCS) missions, composed of federal law enforcement officers, boat crewmen, and coxswains who are capable of completing a wide range of missions. Charleston is the primary medical center for the eastern portion of the state. The downtown medical district is experiencing rapid growth of biotechnology and medical research industries coupled with substantial expansions of all the major hospitals. The current mayor, since 2016, is John Tecklenburg. The council has 12 members who are each elected from single-member districts. The Trident Regional Medical Center and East Cooper Regional Medical center also serve the needs of residents of the city of Charleston.


Since 1999, the overall crime rate of Charleston has declined markedly. The total crime index rate for Charleston in 1999 was 597.1 crimes committed per 100,000 people. In 2011, the total crimeIndex rate was 236.4 per 100, 000. The statistics shown are for the number of crimes committed each year. Charleston is ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. by Morgan Quitno.


Charleston is served by two daily Amtrak trains: The Palmetto and Silver Meteor at the Amtrak station located at 4565 Gaynor Avenue. The city is also served by a bus system, operated by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) The Port of Charleston is one of the largest ports in the United States, with the sixth largest volume of containerized cargo volume in the U.S. British Airways does seasonal non-stop flights from Charleston to London-Heathrow as of April 2019. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge across the Cooper River opened on July 16, 2005, and was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Americas at the time of its construction. It replaced the Grace Memorial Bridge (built in 1929) and the Silas N. Pearman Bridge (built in 1966). They were considered two of the more dangerous bridges in America and were demolished after the Ravenel Bridge opened. With an average tide of 6 feet, the depth of the harbor at low tide will become 60 feet and 58 feet, respectively, in 2018 and 2021. Charleston has the deepest water in the southeast region and handles ships too big to transit through the Panama Canal. It is regularly hosted by cruise ships, and the city is a passenger terminal to the Union Pier, which hosted a cruise ship cruise in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The Charleston International Airport is located in the City of North Charleston and is about 12 mi (19 km) northwest of downtown Charleston.

Schools, colleges, and universities

Most of the city is served by the Charleston County School District. Independent schools include Porter-Gaud School (K-12) and Ashley Hall. The city is home to the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and The Military College of South Carolina. Charleston has the only college in the country that offers bachelor's degrees in the building arts, The American College of the Building Arts. It is also home to Roper Hospital School of Practical Nursing, and the city has a downtown satellite campus for the region's technical school, Trident Technical College. There are also private schools including the Charleston Southern University and Charleston School of Law. There is also a large number of parochial schools, including Blessed Sacrament School, Christ Our King School, Nativity School, and Divine Redeemer School, all of which are "feeder" schools into Bishop England High School, a diocesan high school within the city. The City of Charleston has one of the highest murder rates in South Carolina, with more than 20 murders per 100,000 residents in 2010. The highest murder rate in the state was in 2008, with 12.7 per cent, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. The state has the highest homicide rate in North Carolina, at 18.2 per cent. The rate is the highest in the nation. The number of murders in the city in 2010 was 11.7. The murder rate was the highest for the state in 2010, with 10.8 per cent; the highest rate was in 2007.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Charleston, Berkeley County, South Carolina = 38. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 50. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 51. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Charleston = 5.1 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 2,784 individuals with a median age of 36.3 age the population grows by 10.76% in Charleston, Berkeley County, South Carolina population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,305.97 residents per square mile of area (504.24/km²). There are average 2.17 people per household in the 46,649 households with an average household income of $44,499 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is of the available work force and has dropped -4.00% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 21.50%. The number of physicians in Charleston per 100,000 population = 485.5.


The annual rainfall in Charleston = 46 inches and the annual snowfall = 0.3 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 106. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 209. 88 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 42.1 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 31, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Charleston, Berkeley County, South Carolina which are owned by the occupant = 47.07%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 31 years with median home cost = $286,410 and home appreciation of -11.96%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $5.51 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,554 per student. There are 10 students for each teacher in the school, 516 students for each Librarian and 362 students for each Counselor. 6.47% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 23.79% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 14.28% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Charleston's population in Charleston County, South Carolina of 3,442 residents in 1930 has dropped 0,81-fold to 2,784 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 52.29% female residents and 47.71% male residents live in Charleston, Berkeley County, South Carolina.

    As of 2020 in Charleston, Berkeley County, South Carolina are married and the remaining 55.09% are single population.

  • 22.3 minutes is the average time that residents in Charleston require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    73.76% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 11.77% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 3.39% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.66% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Charleston, Berkeley County, South Carolina, 47.07% are owner-occupied homes, another 42.12% are rented apartments, and the remaining 10.81% are vacant.

  • The 41.16% of the population in Charleston, Berkeley County, South Carolina who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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