With approximately 33,000 residents, Chester County affords a population density of just 56 people per square mile. Steadily, our county has grown more racially and ethnically diverse, with a labor force that has increased over the past five years. Our population spreads evenly across various age brackets, with half of our citizens aged 20-54. The median household income is $64,000 for a 30-mile radius and $56,000 for a 60-mile radius, and we have access to nearly half a million people within a 45-minute drive of our county.
Our largest municipality and county seat Chester (population 6,955), dubbed “Pretty Little City on the Hill”, abounds with historic buildings and lore. Our Historic District covers 250 acres and boasts 475 different properties, including Chester’s downtown “Hill District”. In 1996, this downtown area received a $1.8 million streetscape renovation, updating city amenities while still retaining our Southern allure. The project garnered such success and attention that it has drawn visitors from other towns eager to gather ideas and input on downtown revitalization.
Great Falls, our second largest city with a population of 2,161, stands apart with large rock outcroppings and its Catawba River setting. Two of our county’s busy highways, SC-9 and US-21, converge in our third largest municipality, Fort Lawn, named for one of the town’s original settlers, the Forts. Richburg and Lowrys follow in size, each offering large sects of land suitable for industrial growth.
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No doubt the composition and size of a community’s labor force correlates with economic conditions and trends in a region. During the past three decades, South Carolina’s population growth has exceeded the U.S. and Southeastern averages, providing an ample labor supply for business and industry. In Chester County, our total civilian labor force (excluding military) is 95,694 within a 30-mile radius. Within a 15-mile radius, our labor force is 16,556. The median age of our workforce is 35.4, roughly the same as the national average.
With its close proximity to the International Center for Automotive Research and the Engineering Departments of Clemson University, University of South Carolina, and the University of North Carolina,Chester County is known for its high concentration of skilled workers and its engineering strength. The U.S. Department of Labor recently ranked South Carolina among the top five states for an engineering workforce and number two for its concentration of U.S. engineers. South Carolina also ranked nationally in other key areas:
#1 for its concentration of nuclear power operators and nuclear technicians
#2 for its concentration of team assemblers
#3 for inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers and weighers
#4 for its wealth of industrial engineering technicians