Charleston, SC, City and Higher Education Information

Charleston, South Carolina, a large city in Charleston County, is known for being the home of the Citadel. It also has a number of colleges, graduate schools, career schools and technical institutes. Read about the economy, population and educational options in Charleston below.

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Information About Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina, is the anchor city for the greater Charleston-North Charleston metropolitan region. According to 2014 U.S. census estimates, the city had an estimated population of 130,113. Demographically, Charleston had about 70% white residents, 25% African American and 3% Hispanic or Latino, as of the 2010 census. About 53% of residents owned their homes, and the median household income was $52,971, which was higher than the statewide median of $45,033, based on 2010 to 2014 census data.

Popular attractions in Charleston include the historic Dock Street Theater, while the Francis Marion National Forest offers hiking and natural beauty northeast of the city. The Spoleto Festival provides summertime entertainment in May and June. Slightly offbeat attractions include the Medical Leech Museum and the Macaulay Museum of Dental History. The climate in Charleston features four distinct seasons. The balmy summer afternoons may reach 90 degrees, while the winter temperatures sometimes dip to freezing.

Higher Education

Charleston is home to five public and private non-profit universities and colleges. The College of Charleston is a public institution that grants baccalaureate and graduate degrees. It has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students. The area is probably best-known for the Citadel Military College of South Carolina, a four-year military institution that offers bachelor's and master's degree programs as well as military officer commissions. It was ranked third on U.S. News & World Report's list of top universities in the South in 2016. Other schools and colleges in the city include Charleston Southern University, Trident Technical College and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Employment and Economy

Charleston is situated on a peninsula at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. In its early days, this location made it ideal for trading in rice, indigo and other goods that were exchanged with the Native American population that inhabited Ohio and Mississippi. Today, important industries in Charleston include education, health care, the arts, hospitality, retail trade and scientific, management and administrative services. Some major employers include Joint Base Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston County School District, and the College of Charleston.

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