Upstate South Carolina

Map of South Carolina highlighting "The Upstate" region.

The Upstate is the region in the westernmost part of South Carolina, United States, also known as the Upcountry,[1] which is the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the ten counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina. This definition coincides with the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget in 2013.[2] The region's population was 1,409,582 as of 2014. Situated between Atlanta and Charlotte, the Upstate is the fastest-growing region of South Carolina. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies, including others from Germany, have a substantial presence in the Upstate; several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the area. Greenville is the largest city in the region with an urban population of 400,492, and it is the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg, followed by Anderson, are next in population.


Ten counties are included in the Upstate of South Carolina: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Cherokee, Oconee, Union, Laurens, Greenwood, and Abbeville.

County Year founded County seat 2010 Census
July 1, 2014
(sq. mi.)
Land area
(sq. mi.)
Abbeville County1785Abbeville25,41724,965511508
Anderson County1826Anderson187,126192,810757718
Cherokee County1897Gaffney55,34256,024397393
Greenville County1786Greenville451,225482,752795790
Greenwood County1897Greenwood69,83569,520463456
Laurens County1785Laurens66,53766,533724715
Oconee County1868Walhalla74,27575,192674625
Pickens County1868Pickens119,224120,368512497
Spartanburg County1785Spartanburg284,307293,542819811
Union County1798Union28,96127,876516514
Total 1,362,0731,409,5826,1686,027

Metropolitan, Micropolitan, and Combined Statistical Areas

Greenville CSA
Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area

Greenville skyline

Location of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA, which coincides with Upstate South Carolina, and its components:

  Greenville–Anderson–Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area
  Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area
  Greenwood Micropolitan Statistical Area
  Seneca Micropolitan Statistical Area
  Gaffney Micropolitan Statistical Area
Country United States
State South Carolina
Principal cities Greenville
  Total 6,168 sq mi (15,980 km2)
  Land 6,027 sq mi (15,610 km2)
  Water 141 sq mi (370 km2)  2.2%
Population (2014)
  CSA 1,409,582[5] (40th)
Time zone EST
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC)
Area code(s) 864

Within the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA are a total of two Metropolitan Statistical Areas and three Micropolitan Statistical Areas.[2]

As of the 2010 Census, the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA had a population of 1,362,073.

MSACountyPopulation (2010)
Greenville–Anderson–MauldinGreenville, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens824,112
SpartanburgSpartanburg, Union313,268
μSACountyPopulation (2010)
GreenwoodGreenwood, Abbeville95,078


The following population rankings are based on the 2010 Census[3]

Primary cities

Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson.

The Office of Management and Budget labels all these cities as principal cities in their respective MSA's.[2]

Other communities with at least 20,000 residents

Cities: Greenwood, Greer, Mauldin

The OMB has labelled Mauldin as a principal city.

CDPs: Taylors, Wade Hampton

Communities with more than 10,000 residents

Cities: Clemson, Easley, Gaffney, and Simpsonville.

If students from Clemson University are included, Clemson has close to 30,000 residents. The OMB has labelled Easley as a principal city.

CDP's: Berea, Five Forks, Gantt, Parker

Communities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants

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



According to the 2010 Census, no town in the Upstate has a population greater than 6000.


Institutions of higher education

Clemson University Memorial Stadium
Furman University Belltower

The following table shows the major institutions of higher education in the Upstate.

Name Type Enrollment
Anderson UniversityPrivate Senior2,000
Bob Jones UniversityPrivate Senior5,000
Clemson UniversityPublic Senior17,585
Converse CollegePrivate Senior1,938
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – CarolinasPrivate Professional600
Erskine CollegePrivate Senior600
Furman UniversityPrivate Senior2,660
Greenville Technical CollegePublic Technical14,338
Lander UniversityPublic Senior3,000
Limestone CollegePrivate Senior3,000
North Greenville UniversityPrivate Senior2,071
Piedmont Technical CollegePublic Technical4,600
Presbyterian CollegePrivate Senior1,200
Sherman College of ChiropracticPrivate Professional200
Southern Wesleyan UniversityPrivate Senior2,414
Spartanburg Methodist CollegePrivate Two-Year797
Spartanburg Community CollegePublic Technical4,300
Tri-County Technical CollegePublic Technical6,000
University Center – Greenville Public Two-YearN/A
University of South Carolina School of Medicine – GreenvillePublic Professional400
University of South Carolina-UpstatePublic Senior4,851
University of South Carolina-UnionPublic Two-Year363
Wofford CollegePrivate Senior1,600

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. According to the Bob Jones University, its Museum and Gallery constitutes the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere.[6]


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 manufacturing 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 University, BMW, IBM, Microsoft, and Michelin have combined their resources to create International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR), 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: Adidas, Bank of America, Bi-Lo, BMW of North America, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System , Bosch North America, Bowater, SunTrust, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Charter Communications, Denny's Restaurants, Dunlop Slazenger Group, Ernst & Young, Fluor Corporation, Freightliner LLC, GE Power Systems, Greenville Hospital System , IBM, Liberty Corporation, Mary Black Health System, Michelin of North America, Microsoft, Milliken & Co., Perrigo Company of South Carolina, Spartanburg Regional Health System, and Ovation Brands.

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

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

• Michelin North America's headquarters is located in Greenville, along with seven manufacturing plants, R&D facility and test track located in the Upstate. Michelin employees more than 7,800 in South Carolina.

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


View of the Upcountry from I-26 in Spartanburg County

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 Airport, 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-Asheville designated market area, which extends into western North Carolina and northeastern Georgia. The following television stations serve the region:

See also


Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Upstate South Carolina.

Coordinates: 34°43′N 82°11′W / 34.717°N 82.183°W / 34.717; -82.183

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.