|Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area|
|• Total||6,168 sq mi (15,980 km2)|
|• Land||6,008 sq mi (15,560 km2)|
|• Water||141 sq mi (370 km2) 2.2%|
|• CSA||1,487,610 (39th)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
The Upstate is the region in the westernmost part of South Carolina, United States, also known as the Upcountry, 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 2023, the OMB issued its most updated definition of the CSA that coincides again with the 10-county region.
The region's population was 1,487,610 as of 2020. 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 387,271, 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.
|County||2021 Estimate||2020 Census||Change|
As of 2023, the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA includes all ten counties in the Upstate. Within the CSA are a total of two metropolitan statistical areas and three micropolitan statistical areas.
As of the 2020 Census, the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA had a population of 1,511,105.
|Greenville–Anderson||Greenville, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens||928,195|
The following population rankings are based on the 2010 Census.
Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Greer, Mauldin, and Greenwood,
The OMB labels all these cities as principal cities in their respective MSAs and μSA.
Cities: Easley, Simpsonville
CDPs: Taylors, Wade Hampton
Cities: Clemson, Gaffney, and Fountain Inn, South Carolina.
Gaffney is a principal city in its μSA. If students from Clemson University are included, Clemson has close to 30,000 residents.
CDP's: Berea, Five Forks, Gantt, Parker, Boiling Springs
Communities in the Upstate with under 10,000 residents include:
Seneca is a principal city in its μSA. According to the 2010 Census, no town in the Upstate has a population greater than 6000.
The following table shows the major institutions of higher education in the Upstate.
|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. Also, they ranked Clemson University as the 67th-best national university. According to the Bob Jones University, its Museum and Gallery constitutes the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere.
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.
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 , 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.
• Fujifilm located their first manufacturing facility in the U.S. in Greenwood County.
• 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.
• Walgreens has their southeastern distribution center located in Anderson County, which employs mentally disabled workers as nearly 40% of their workforce.
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 Post and Courier recently opened expansion newsrooms in Greenville and Spartanburg for coverage of the Upstate, including Clemson.
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: