The Census Bureau 2009 population estimate shows South Carolina with about 4,561,000 people. That's up from about 4,503,000 in last year's estimate.
The estimate is the last before the official census which takes place in April. In the 2000 Census, South Carolina had a population of just over 4,000,000.
If the state grows enough in next year's official count, it could pick up a seventh seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 435 House seats are reassigned every 10 years, based on the census count.
South Carolina last had seven House seats in 1930.
State demographer Mike MacFarlane told The State of Columbia the rate of growth is better than he expected, particularly given the economic downturn.