County's population booming

York County knows how to draw a crowd.

Between July 2006 and July 2007, York County was rated the 19th fastest-growing county in the nation, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The county grew 5.2 percent during the year --10,395 people -- to a grand total of 208,827.

York County also was the fastest-growing county in the state by percentage during that time. Since 2000, York County has grown by more than 44,000 people -- or nearly 27 percent. In overall population, York County now ranks seventh in the state.

Nationally, the New Orleans area saw the greatest population gains from 2006-2007 as residents returned to the city after Hurricane Katrina. Most of the significant population growth during that time happened across the Sun Belt, with big gains in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas. Nearby Union County, N.C., had the seventh-highest growth percentage, and Mecklenburg County ranked 10th on the overall growth list.

Experts credit York County's proximity to Charlotte and the overall health of the local economy for attracting growing families and ambitious professionals. Others have pointed to the region's moderate climate as a draw for retirees looking to move South, but not to hurricane prone areas.

Growth spurt

York County population

131,497 in 1990

164,614 in 2000

208,827 in 2007

Where did they come from in 2007?

2,889 new births (1,602 deaths)

9,010from inside U.S.

190 from outside U.S.

Where do we rank in South Carolina?

1st in growth rate since July 2006

2nd in total growth since July 2006

7th in overall population