The tri-county region has experienced steady population growth in the past several years.  That growth has brought positive economic change. However, significant gaps and challenges remain.

Tri-County Region at a Glance
  • Counties: 3 (Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties of South Carolina)
  • Municipalities: 28, including 3 of the 4 largest cities in South Carolina
  • Public school districts: 4 (Berkeley County School District, Charleston County School District, Dorchester County School District 2 and Dorchester County School District 4)
  • Public school students: 112,141 (2016-2017 school year)
    • Gender breakdown: 51.1% male and 48.9% female
    • Race breakdown: 49.9% White, 34.2% Black/African-American, 9.3% Hispanic/Latino, 4.5% Two or More Races, 1.6% Asian, 0.2% American Indian and 0.2% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
  • Title 1 schools: 80
  • Percentage of students in poverty: 53.7%
  • ​Institutions of higher education with a presence in the region: 20 (Some of the largest include: Charleston School of Law, Charleston Southern University, The Citadel, Claflin University, College of Charleston, Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, Trident Technical College and University of South Carolina​​)


Where We’ve Been

  • 24% population increase since 2005
  • 11% increase in public school enrollments since 2008
  • ​​36% increase in degrees granted by these IHEs since 2005
  • 3 percentage point increase in child poverty rate since 2005
  • ​​7 percentage point increase (10,410) in public school students eligible for free / reduced lunch since 2008
Where We Have Gaps

Community Competition

Metros with similar economic assets with which the tri-county region competes with for jobs per the Regional Economic Scorecard*

CityProficient in 3rd Grade ReadingKindergarten ReadyProficient in 8th Grade MathOn-time High School Graduation RageAdults 25+ with a 2-year degree or higher
Tri-County Region38%40%36%84%43%
Austin, TX61%53%72%89%48%
Greenville, SC40%N/A38%84%38%
Raleigh, NC75%70%86%81%53%
Richmond, VA86%85%82%76%41%