MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Experts are weighing in on the U.S. Census ranking that lists the Grand Strand as the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country.
People love to visit our area for the sun, the beaches, and experts say it's as simple as that: those are the same reasons they're choosing to live here permanently, especially those looking to retire.
Conway, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach are outlined as one region in the US Census Bureau's recent ranking. Between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, that area's population grew by 3.2 percent.
Associate Professor of Economics at Coastal Carolina University, Dr. Rob Salvino, says sunny beach destinations are exploding around the country. And on retirees' checklist is a warm, sunny location with a beach - check, check, and check for the Grand Strand.
Plus, there is a good metropolitan economy close to other big economies, like Charleston, Wilmington, and Columbia.
The population boom affects everyone. The increasing population is creating jobs, especially in healthcare and higher education, plus it adds more professional service jobs and office work.
Dr. Salvino says there's one more huge benefit many of us who live here enjoy that helps sell the area. "I think one of the biggest factors: it is a low-tax state as far as residential taxes on homeowners, so those factors are good for someone relocating from the northeast in particular."
His research shows since 1990, the area has actually seen close to 100 percent growth.