Greenville CSA
Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area
  • Greenville
  • Spartanburg
Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA.png
Location of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA, which coincides with Upstate South Carolina except for Abbeville County, and its components:
  Greenville–Anderson Metropolitan Statistical Area
  Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area
  Seneca Micropolitan Statistical Area
  Greenwood Micropolitan Statistical Area
  Gaffney Micropolitan Statistical Area
  Union Micropolitan Statistical Area
Flag of the United States.svg
United States
Flag of South Carolina.svg
South Carolina
Principal citiesGreenville
 • Total6,168 sq mi (15,980 km2)
 • Land6,008 sq mi (15,560 km2)
 • Water141 sq mi (370 km2)  2.2%
 • CSA
1,409,582[1] (40th)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code864
A map of South Carolina highlighting "The Upstate" region.
A map of South Carolina highlighting "The Upstate" region.

The Upstate is the region in the westernmost part of South Carolina, United States, also known as the Upcountry,[2] which is the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the 10 counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina. This definition coincided with the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC combined statistical area, as first defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2015. In 2018, the OMB redefined the CSA such that it no longer included Abbeville County. That definition remains as of 2020.[3]

The region's population was 1,347,112 as of 2016. Situated between Atlanta and Charlotte, the Upstate is the geographical center of the Charlanta megaregion. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies, including others from Germany, have a substantial presence in the Upstate; several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the area. Greenville is the largest city in the region with a population of 72,227 and an urban-area population of 400,492, and it is the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg and Anderson are next in population.


Ten counties are included in the Upstate of South Carolina: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Oconee, Greenwood, Laurens, Cherokee, Union, Abbeville.

Upstate South Carolina

County 2021 Estimate 2020 Census Change
Greenville County 533,834 525,534 +1.58%
Spartanburg County 335,864 327,997 +2.40%
Anderson County 206,908 203,718 +1.57%
Pickens County 132,229 131,404 +0.63%
Oconee County 79,203 78,607 +0.76%
Greenwood County 69,241 69,351 −0.16%
Laurens County 67,803 67,539 +0.39%
Cherokee County 56,052 56,216 −0.29%
Union County 27,016 27,244 −0.84%
Abbeville County 24,299 24,295 +0.02%
Total 1,532,449 1,511,905 +1.36%

Metropolitan, micropolitan, and combined statistical areas

As of 2018, the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA includes all counties in the Upstate except for Abbeville County. Within the CSA are a total of two metropolitan statistical areas and four micropolitan statistical areas.[3]

As of the 2010 Census, the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA had a population of 1,362,073.

MSA County Population (2010)
Greenville–Anderson Greenville, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens 824,112
Spartanburg Spartanburg 340,000
Total: 1,108,419
μSA County Population (2010)
Seneca Oconee 74,273
Greenwood Greenwood 69,661
Gaffney Cherokee 55,342
Union Union 28,961
Total: 228,237


The following population rankings are based on the 2010 Census.[4]

Primary cities

Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson

The OMB labels all these cities as principal cities in their respective MSAs.[3]

Other communities with at least 20,000 residents

Cities: Greenwood, Greer, Easley, Simpsonville and Mauldin

CDPs: Taylors, Wade Hampton

Communities with more than 10,000 residents

Cities: Clemson, Gaffney, and Fountain Inn, South Carolina.

If students from Clemson University are included, Clemson has close to 30,000 residents.

CDP's: Berea, Five Forks, Gantt, Parker, Boiling Springs

Communities with fewer than 10,000 residents

Communities in the Upstate with under 10,000 residents include:



According to the 2010 Census, no town in the Upstate has a population greater than 6000.


Institutions of higher education

Clemson University Memorial Stadium
Clemson University Memorial Stadium
Furman University Belltower
Furman University Belltower

The following table shows the major institutions of higher education in the Upstate.

Name Type Enrollment
Anderson University Private Senior 2,000
Bob Jones University Private Senior 5,000
Clemson University Public Senior 25,822
Converse College Private Senior 1,938
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Carolinas Private Professional 600
Erskine College Private Senior 750
Furman University Private Senior 2,660
Greenville Technical College Public Technical 14,338
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Private Professional
Lander University Public Senior 3,000
Limestone College Private Senior 3,000
North Greenville University Private Senior 2,071
Piedmont Technical College Public Technical 4,600
Presbyterian College Private Senior 1,200
Sherman College of Chiropractic Private Professional 200
Southern Wesleyan University Private Senior 2,414
Spartanburg Methodist College Private Two-Year 797
Spartanburg Community College Public Technical 4,300
Tri-County Technical College Public Technical 6,000
University Center – Greenville Public Two-Year N/A
University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Greenville Public Professional 400
University of South Carolina-Upstate Public Senior 4,851
University of South Carolina-Union Public Two-Year 363
Wofford College Private Senior 1,600

In 2008, U.S. News ranked Furman as the 37th-best liberal arts college, Wofford College as the 59th-best, and Presbyterian College as the 101st-best.[citation needed] Also, they ranked Clemson University as the 67th-best national university.[citation needed] According to the Bob Jones University, its Museum and Gallery constitutes the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere.[5]


The majority of business and commerce in the Upstate takes place in Greenville County. Greenville has the largest concentration of businesses and financial institutions in its downtown area. In fact, the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson MSA was ranked seventh in the nation by site consultants considering the top markets for economic development. Many financial institutions have regional offices located in downtown Greenville. These include Bank of America and the now-defunct Wachovia. Other major industries of commerce in the Upstate include the auto industry, which is concentrated mainly along the corridor between Greenville and Spartanburg around the BMW manufacturing facility in Greer.

The other major industry in the Upstate is the healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Greenville Hospital System and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System are the area's largest in the healthcare sector, while the pharmaceutical corporation of Bausch & Lomb has set up regional operations alongside smaller recently developed local companies such as IRIX Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Associates. The Upstate is also home to a large number of private-sector and university-based research including R&D facilities for Michelin, Fuji, and General Electric and research centers to support the automotive, life sciences, plastics, and photonics industries. Clemson University, BMW, IBM, Microsoft, and Michelin have combined their resources to create Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, a research park that specializes in the development of automotive technology.

Corporations based in or with a major presence in the Upstate

These corporations have a major presence in the Upstate: Adidas, Advance America, Bank of America, BMW of North America, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System Bon Secours | Bringing Health Care and Good Help to Those in Need, Bosch North America, Denny's Restaurants, Dunlop Sport, Ernst & Young, Fluor Corporation, Freightliner, GE Power Systems, Prisma Health [1], IBM, Kemet Corporation, Liberty Corporation, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Michelin of North America, Microsoft, Milliken & Company, Spartanburg Regional Health System, Spectrum Communications, SunTrust, Ovation Brands, Perrigo Company of South Carolina, Techtronic Industries, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Verizon.

• BMW's only North American manufacturing plant is located in Spartanburg County, with an investment of $3.7 billion.[6]

Fujifilm located their first manufacturing facility in the U.S. in Greenwood County.[7]

• Michelin North America's headquarters is located in Greenville, along with seven manufacturing plants, R&D facility, and test track located in the Upstate. Michelin employs more than 7,800 in South Carolina.[8]

• Walgreens has their southeastern distribution center located in Anderson County, which employs mentally disabled workers as nearly 40% of their workforce.[9]


View of the Upcountry from I-26 in Spartanburg County
View of the Upcountry from I-26 in Spartanburg County

The Upstate is served by two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-26. Other major interstate spurs include I-185, I-385, and I-585. The major airport in the region is Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, located nearly halfway between Greenville and Spartanburg in suburban Greer. Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Clemson, Pickens, Union, and Gaffney each have smaller airfields. Amtrak service along the Crescent Line stops in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Clemson.


The Upstate region is served by three regional newspapers: The Greenville News, the (Spartanburg) Herald-Journal, and the Anderson Independent-Mail, each of which serves its individual city and surrounding area.

The Upstate is part of the vastly larger Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson-Asheville designated market area, which extends into western North Carolina and northeastern Georgia. These television stations serve the region:

See also


  1. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014 – United States -- Combined Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 14, 2020. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  2. ^ Hollis, Daniel Walker, University of South Carolina, Volume I, South Carolina College, 1951, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, p 342
  3. ^ a b c "OMB Bulletin No. 20-01, Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). United States Office of Management and Budget. March 6, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  4. ^ See for population numbers and for municipality and CDP lists.
  5. ^ "Home". Museum & Gallery. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  6. ^ "Plant Spartanburg".
  7. ^ FUJIFILM Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. "Fujifilm [United States]". Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  8. ^ "North America". Michelin. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  9. ^ Tom Andel. (August 8, 2007). How disabled workers enable Walgreens distribution Modern Materials Handling Archived July 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine