Retirees lead SC census gain

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COLUMBIA  — Retirees accounted for the largest population gain over the last decade in South Carolina.

Data released this week from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the number of South Carolina residents between 55 and 74 years old jumped by about 300,000 people from 2000 to 2010.

That's about half of the state's total population increase. Since 2000, South Carolina's overall population has gone up by more than 610,000 people — a 15.3 percent increase — to more than 4,625,000.

Patrick Cobb with AARP says the older population can strain already over-burdened state resources. But he says older residents also contribute to their communities by volunteering and mentoring.

South Carolina's median age also went up over the decade, from 34.5 years to 37.9 years.

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