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Map of South Carolina highlighting "The Upstate" region.
The Upstate is the region in northwestern South Carolinamarker, United Statesmarker, also known as The Upcountry, which is the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the 10 counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina. The region's population was 1,220,542 at the 2000 Census. A July 1, 2008 United States Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 1,335,571.. The Upstate is the fastest growing region in the state, and given its strategic position between Atlantamarker and Charlottemarker, future development and growth prospects are bright. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies especially from Germany have made a substantial presence in the Upstate, and several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the region. Greenvillemarker is the largest city in the region and the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburgmarker is the second largest city in the region. The third largest city in the region is Anderson.


There are ten counties included in the upstate of South Carolina: Greenvillemarker, Spartanburg, Andersonmarker, Pickensmarker, Cherokeemarker, Oconeemarker, Unionmarker, Laurensmarker, Greenwoodmarker, and Abbevillemarker.

County Year Founded County Seat 2000 Census
July 1, 2008


Abbeville 1785 Abbeville 26,167 25,404 511
Anderson 1826 Anderson 165,740 182,825 757
Cherokee 1897 Gaffney 52,537 54,394 397
Greenville 1786 Greenville 379,616 438,119 795
Greenwood 1897 Greenwood 66,271 68,549 463
Laurens 1785 Laurens 69,567 69,681 724
Oconee 1868 Walhalla 66,215 71,274 674
Pickens 1868 Pickens 110,757 116,915 512
Spartanburg 1785 Spartanburg 253,791 280,738 819
Union 1798 Union 29,881 27,672 516
Total 1,220,542 1,335,571 6,168

Metropolitan, Micropolitan, and Combined Statistical Areas

[[Image:UpstateSC_CBSAs.png|thumb|300px|Core Based Statistical Areas of Upstate South Carolina.

  • – part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA]]

There is a total of three Metropolitan Statistical Areas and four Micropolitan Statistical Areas. The larger Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson Combined Statistical Area includes all three metropolitan areas and three out of the four micropolitan areas (excluding Greenwood). One county, Abbeville, is not part of any metropolitan or micropolitan area.

As of the 2000 Census, the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA had a population of 1,128,104 (though a July 1, 2007 estimate placed the population at 1,221,881).


The following population rankings are based on a July 1, 2008 United States Census Bureau estimate..

Primary cities

The primary cities in the upstate area are Greenvillemarker, Spartanburgmarker, and Andersonmarker.

Other Communities with at least 20,000 residents

The cities of Easleymarker, Greenwoodmarker, Greermarker and Mauldinmarker, and the CDP'sTaylorsmarker and Wade Hamptonmarker have over 20,000 residents.

Other cities with more than 10,000 residents

Other cities in the upstate with over 10,000 residents are Clemsonmarker, Gaffneymarker, and Simpsonvillemarker . If students from Clemson Universitymarker are included, Clemson has close to 30,000 residents.

Communities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants

Communities in the upstate with under 10,000 residents include:

Cities: Abbevillemarker, Beltonmarker, Chesneemarker, Clintonmarker, Fountain Innmarker, Inmanmarker, Landrummarker, Laurensmarker, Libertymarker, Pickensmarker, Senecamarker, Travelers Restmarker, Unionmarker, Walhallamarker, Wellfordmarker, Westminstermarker, Woodruffmarker.

Towns: Blacksburgmarker, Campobellomarker, Calhoun Fallsmarker, Carlislemarker, Centralmarker, Central Pacoletmarker, Cowpensmarker, Cross Hillmarker, Donaldsmarker, Due Westmarker, Duncanmarker, Gray Courtmarker, Hodgesmarker, Honea Pathmarker, Ivamarker, Jonesvillemarker, Lockhartmarker, Lowndesvillemarker, Lymanmarker, Ninety Sixmarker, Norrismarker, Pacoletmarker, Pelzermarker, Pendletonmarker, Reidvillemarker, Salemmarker, Six Milemarker, Starrmarker, Troymarker, Ware Shoalsmarker, Waterloomarker, West Unionmarker, West Pelzermarker, Williamstonmarker.

CDP's: Boiling Springsmarker, Buffalomarker, East Gaffneymarker, Mayomarker, Piedmontmarker.

Institutions of higher education

Colleges and universities in this area include: Anderson Universitymarker, Bob Jones Universitymarker, Clemson Universitymarker, Converse College, Erskine Collegemarker, Furman Universitymarker, Greenville Tech, Limestone College, Presbyterian Collegemarker, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College, Spartanburg Community Collegemarker, Tri-County Technical College, University Center - Greenville, USC-Upstatemarker, USC-Union, Wofford Collegemarker, and North Greenville College.

In 2008, U.S. News ranked Furman as the 37th best liberal arts college, Wofford College as the 59th best, and Presbyterian College as the 101st best. Also, they ranked Clemson University as the 67th best national university. Additionally, the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery constitutes the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere. [96937]

Clemson University Memorial Stadium
Furman University Belltower

The following table shows the major institutions of higher education in the Upstate.
Name Type Enrollment
Anderson University Private Senior 2,000
Bob Jones University Private Senior 5,000
Clemson University Public Senior 17,585
Converse College Private Senior 1,938
Erskine College Private Senior 600
Furman University Private Senior 2,660
Greenville Tech Public Technical 14,338
Lander University Public Senior 3,000
Limestone College Private Senior 3,000
Piedmont Technical Public Technical 4,600
Presbyterian College Private Senior 1,200
Southern Wesleyan University Private Senior 2,414
Spartanburg Methodist College Private Two-Year 797
Spartanburg Community College Public Technical 4,300
Tri-County Technical College Public Technical 6,000
University Center - Greenville Public Two-Year N/A
USC Upstate Public Senior 4,851
USC Union Public Two-Year 363
Wofford College Private Senior 1,350


The majority of business and commerce in the Upstate takes place in Greenville County. Greenville has the largest concentration of businesses and financial institutions in its downtown area. In fact, the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson MSA was ranked seventh in the nation by site consultants considering the top markets for economic development. Many financial institutions have regional offices located in downtown Greenville. These include Wachovia and Bank of America. Other major industries of commerce in the Upstate include the auto industry which is concentrated mainly along the corridor between Greenville and Spartanburg around the BMW manufactuing facility in Greer. The other major industry in the Upstate is the healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Greenville Hospital System and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System are the area's largest in the healthcare sector, while the pharmaceutical corporation of Bausch & Lomb have set up regional operations alongside smaller recently developed local companies like IRIX Manufacturing, Incorporated and Pharmaceutical Associates. The Upstate is also home to a large amount of private sector and university-based research including R&D facilities for Michelin, Fuji and General Electric and research centers to support the automotive, life sciences, plastics and photonics industries. Clemson Universitymarker, BMW, IBM, Microsoft, and Michelin have combined their resources to create International Center for Automotive Research , a research park that specializes in the development of automotive technology.

Corporations based in or with a major presence in the Upstate

The following corporations have a major presence in the Upstate: Bank of America, Bi-Lo, BMW of North America, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System [96938], Bosch North America, Bowater, Central Carolina Bank, Charter Communications, Denny's Restaurants, Dunlop Slazenger Group, Ernst & Young, Fluor Corporation, Freightliner LLC, GE Power Systems, Greenville Hospital System [96939], IBM, Liberty Corporation, Michelin of North America, Microsoft, Milliken & Co., and Perrigo Company of South Carolina.

• BMW's only North American manufacturing plant is located in Spartanburg County, with an investment of $3.7 billion.[96940]

• Fuji Film located their first manufacturing facility in the U.S. in Greenwood County.[96941]

• Michelin of North America has five manufacturing plants and their R&D facility located in the Upstate.[96942]

• Walgreens has their southeastern distribution center located in Anderson County, which employs mentally handicapped workers as nearly 40% of their workforce.[96943]


The Upstate is served by two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-26. Other major interstate spurs include I-185, I-385, and I-585. The major airport in the region is Greenville-Spartanburg International Airportmarker, located nearly halfway between Greenville and Spartanburg in suburban Greer. Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Clemson, Pickens, Union, and Gaffney each have smaller airfields. AMTRAK service along the Crescent Line stops in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Clemson.


The Upstate region is served by 3 regional newspapers: The Greenville News, the (Spartanburg) Herald-Journal and the Anderson Independent-Mail, each of which serves their individual city and surrounding area respectively.

The Upstate is part of the vastly larger Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson-Ashevillemarker designated market area, which extends into western North Carolinamarker and northeastern Georgiamarker. The following television stations serve the region:

See also


External links

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