The Census numbers are in: Meet your neighbors ‘Mr. and Mrs. York County’

Who is the typical Fort Mill resident? How about Rock Hill, Tega Cay or Lake Wylie?

There’s a way to find out how much she makes. Where he lives. How many children they have, and how long it takes them to get to work. There’s also a reason behind all that information.

In December, the U.S. Census Bureau released American Community Survey data down to the county, municipal and even small area levels. Five-year estimates from the survey offer an array of information on housing, education, income and other demographics.

“It’s our country’s largest source of small area estimates for socio-economic and demographic characteristics,” Victoria Velkoff, associate director for demographic patterns for the bureau, said upon the data release. “Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.”

The latest round of data runs through 2017. Thousands of topics bring into focus similarities and differences among communities. Rather than drown anyone with numbers, we combed through to highlight the most common responses. We didn’t go with means and medians. We took the most common answers to create virtual residents who best represent the place they call home.

To make it easier to understand, we’ll figure each of our residents lives in a neighborhood with 100 homes.

For more detailed information, visit the census bureau link to search thousands of topics for any of these or other communities.

Fort Mill

Mr. and Mrs. Fort Mill are still new to a community filling up with people just like them, the second largest municipality in the county at 14,451 residents. They have a daughter, 10. Mr. Fort Mill is 45. Mrs. Fort Mill is 43.

He is a financial manager. After work, he gathers with friends in management, computers, sales and maintenance. She is an office manager. Her friends tend to be business managers, teachers, healthcare workers and office administrators.

The Fort Mills live in a $298,000 home they bought in 2013. Only one out of every seven homes in their community prices outside the $100,000 to $500,000 range, mostly on the higher end. In their neighborhood, they are one of 82 families who moved in since 2000. Almost two dozen families moved in within the past two years.

A quarter of neighborhood residents are minority. The neighborhood has eight veterans, with service from World War II. Nine neighbors live in poverty. There are 45 homes with at least one child, 26 homes with a senior citizen. Most neighbors are in their early 40s.

One of every five homes in the neighborhood saw a new family move in during the past year. There were 11 new families from other parts of York County, two from elsewhere in South Carolina and seven from out of state.

Whether the new tags in neighborhood driveways have palmetto trees, buckeye frames or first in flight fliers, it’s likely their drivers weren’t born in South Carolina. Two of every three neighbors were born in another state.

The Fort Mills each drive alone to work. He, like a little more than half his neighbors, works in York County. Nearly three in five neighbors work somewhere in South Carolina. Men split about half and half working in York County or heading to Charlotte. Three of every five women, including Mrs. Fort Mill, work in York County.

Mr. Fort Mill leaves at 7:14 a.m. each morning, driving 30 minutes to work. Mrs. Fort Mill leaves at 9 a.m. Her commute takes just 10 minutes.

Together, the Fort Mills averaged making $75,000 the past year. He has an engineering degree. Almost four in five men in the neighborhood with degrees earned them in science, engineering or business. Mrs. Fort Mill has an education degree. Women in the neighborhood hold education, arts, business and science degrees.

They have 29 neighbors with bachelor’s degrees, and about twice as many neighbors finished high school. Women are more likely to have graduate or professional degrees, and even more likely than men to finish high school.

The Fort Mills notice the younger crowd tends to be more educated in their community than in other parts of the county. Of neighbors age 18 to 24, more than half of men and women have earned associate, bachelor’s and higher degrees.

Not all degrees are created equal, though. Men in the neighborhood with bachelor’s degrees make about $91,000. Women with bachelor’s degrees earn $42,000.

Rock Hill

Mr. Rock Hill is 25. He hasn’t married. Neither has Ms. Rock Hill, 24. They live in the largest municipality in York County, with 70,764 residents in 2017.

Both are finishing associate degrees and make less than $10,000 each in an area with a median income of $25,000. Half of their friends and families own homes. Mr. and Ms. Rock Hill rent at $900 a month. They’re thinking about owning. There are 64 homes in their neighborhood at $100,000 to $300,000. There are 26 homes at $100,000 or less.

Mr. Rock Hill finished high school and works production for a moving company. His friends are a mix of movers, installers, sales workers, managers and restaurant workers. Ms. Rock Hill is in school to become an office support worker. Her friends are in sales, education, healthcare and food prep.

Both, like the families pouring out of 73 homes in their neighborhood each morning, work in state. There are 66 neighborhood families who work in York County. Mr. Rock Hill leaves at 9 a.m. each morning. It takes him 30 minutes getting to work. Ms. Rock Hill leaves at the same time, but gets to work in half the commute.

Mr. and Ms. Rock Hill like their community. A little more than half their neighbors are South Carolina natives. Less than one in five lives in poverty. It’s a pretty even split among homes with children, homes with a senior citizen and homeowners living alone. Three out of four married couples own homes, which is higher than the overall rate.

While plenty of folks in their area are long-time residents, 82 of their neighbors moved into their current home since 2000. Many of them, 38 to be exact, arrived between 2010 and 2014. Carolina or Clemson is a common question among friends. In the past year, only three people moved into the neighborhood from a different state. Another 11 moved from somewhere else in York County, five from another county in South Carolina.

At their age, Mr. and Ms. Rock Hill do a lot of looking forward. The good news for Ms. Rock Hill is education rates are fairly similar among men and women. In the age 18-24 crowd, more than half have some college or an associate degree with another 10 neighbors having a bachelor’s degree or higher. Almost half of residents 25 and older finished their education at high school or some college without a degree. Four of 10 have an associate’s or higher degrees.

The bad news for Ms. Rock Hill is, similar to women in other parts of York County, earnings aren’t as high as for men. The wage gap increases with each education level. Science and business degrees account for more than half of all bachelor’s and higher degrees. Women have an even split among education, science and business degrees.

If Mr. Rock Hill gets his bachelor’s degree, he might expect to make $54,000 based on what his community earns. Ms. Rock Hill with a bachelor’s degree would expect about $18,000 less.

Lake Wylie

Mr. and Mrs. Lake Wylie live in a home not far from several major highways. They have a son, 8. It’s a growing area, their community topping 12,000 people for the first time in 2017. The Lake Wylies are each 46 years old.

They bought their home in 2013 and now it’s worth almost $300,000. But they have eyes toward the next move, with more than 1,000 homes nearby between theirs and the $750,000 mark. Who knows? Maybe someday they could work their way into one of the 40 homes valued at $1 million or more.

The Lake Wylies have two cars. Both drive alone to jobs in Charlotte. She leaves at 7 a.m. He follows right behind her at 7:10 a.m. It takes each of them a little more than 30 minutes to get there.

The 6.4 percent unemployment rate in their community comes largely from the early 20s crowd looking for work, although the approaching-60 crowd also has several people looking for employment. The Lake Wylies both work full time. He works 45 hours a week. She works 39. They each make an average of about $75,000 a year.

Both have bachelor’s degrees. He studied engineering. She combined science and art degrees. He runs a business. His buddies work in business management, sales and computers. She works in a sales office. Her girlfriends work in finance, sales and education.

Football season gets interesting for the Lake Wylies. College and pro team flags and car decals abound, with more than eight of every 10 neighbors born outside South Carolina. For every seven South Carolina natives left over, there’s a family from outside the U.S. In the past year, a dozen new families moved into the neighborhood from another state. Ten more moved from somewhere else in South Carolina, nine of them from within York County.

The Lake Wylies notice plenty about their neighbors. They don’t see much poverty, at 4 percent. They have noticed there seem to be more women than men — about 800 more — in the community. There’s also more elementary school children than just about any other age group.

A dozen homes in their neighborhood have veterans living in them. Just 10 homes have minority residents. And just about everyone the Lake Wylies know — 90 percent — moved to the community since 2000.

Mr. Lake Wylie takes a little grief from his neighborhood buddies. Many of them are in their early 30s. Mrs. Lake Wylie fits in a little better, with more late 40s women in the neighborhood than any other age.

Among their married friends, 27 couples in the neighborhood brought in more money the past year than the Lake Wylies did. Among their working friends, four of every 10 men make $100,000 or more. Women typically make between $35,000 and $50,000.


The Clovers just turned 60. They fit right into their neighborhood, though most women are almost 50 in the town of 5,731 residents. The Clovers weren’t born in South Carolina, which is true of residents in 58 other homes in their neighborhood.

Both the Clovers are high school graduates, like a third of their neighbors. They have two grandchildren, 14 and 5, living with them. The Clovers earned $33,000 each the past year.

The Clovers have 21 neighbors living in poverty. They have seven veterans, from the Vietnam through Gulf War eras. Almost one in five neighbors is a minority. The Clovers have 19 neighbors who went to college, and 16 more who earned a bachelor’s degree.

Men tend to hold science and engineering degrees, with a few humanities degrees. Women with degrees tend to major in education, science and the arts.

The Clovers moved into their $120,000 home in 2010. Almost three-quarters of the homes in their area cost between $100,000 and $300,000. There is affordability in their area, with a quarter of homes at less than $100,000. The Clovers made fast friends in their new neighborhood, where more than half the homeowners moved in since 2010.

New residents are common. There were 15 families moving in the past year, six from another state and six from elsewhere in York County, two from elsewhere in South Carolina and one from another country.

The Clovers leave the house for work at about 9 a.m. She works at a school in town, less than 10 minutes away. He works in business management 45 minutes away in Gaston County, North Carolina.

Men in the neighborhood tend to work in business management, sales, production and the moving industry. Women are in education, office administration and food service.

Among neighbors who finished their education at the high school level, men make about $10,000 more a year than women. Among degree holders, more than two in five men have science or engineering degrees. About three in 10 studied arts and humanities. The women are pretty even among education, science and engineering and arts and humanities.

Tega Cay

Mr. Tega Cay, 49, and Mrs. Tega Cay, 47, live in the newer section of their city with 9,464 residents. They have a son, 11. Like their neighbors, The Tega Cays aren’t originally from the area.

They moved here in 2009. Almost everyone they know moved to the neighborhood since 1990, with almost half coming since 2010. In the past year, 17 new neighbors arrived including seven from within York County, three from elsewhere in South Carolina and seven from a different state.

Nearly eight of every 10 neighbors were born outside South Carolina.

The Tega Cays are happy with their home at just a tick under $300,000. There aren’t homes in their city for less than $100,000. All but two homes in their neighborhood fall in the $100,000 to $750,000 range. Of them, 85 are valued at $100,000 to $500,000.

Mr. and Mrs. Tega Cay each have bachelor’s degrees. They averaged $75,000 each last year. Theirs is a family neighborhood, with half of homes having at least one child, only 13 rented homes and one neighbor in poverty. Most homeowners are in the almost 50 crowd, like the Tega Cays. A quarter of homes have a senior citizen living there. Just 13 homes have someone living alone.

Education is important to the Tega Cays. Neighbors have bachelor’s degrees at twice the rate of people with some college but no degree. The 19 neighbors with graduate or professional degrees outnumber the 18 with some college but no degree.

Mr. Tega Cay has a business degree. Mrs. Tega Cay has an engineering degree. Both are business managers. Their male friends tend to be in management, sales and office staffing. Female friends are in healthcare, education and management.

A map of their city might give away that three in five neighbors drive into North Carolina for work. Men tend to commute to Charlotte at a little higher rate — 64 neighbors compared to 57 — than women. Mr. Tega Cay leaves at 7:20 a.m. each morning. Mrs. Tega Cay leaves at 7:35 a.m. It takes both of them a little more than half an hour getting there, her commute a tad faster.

Degrees can be deceiving among the Tega Cays’ neighbors. A neighbor who only finished high school still makes about $53,000. Well above what graduates make in other cities and towns in the county. The typical neighbor in Tega Cay with a bachelor’s degree makes $82,000.

Men tend toward business, science and engineering degrees. Women are similar, with more business and arts degrees than education. Education is among the more popular fields for women elsewhere in the county. Yet despite similar degree fields among men and women, the Tega Cays notice differences.

A man with a bachelor’s degree in the city makes $104,000. A woman makes $52,000. A man with a graduate or professional degree makes $121,000 compared to $80,000 for a woman with the same education level.


Mr. and Mrs. York are in their early 30s, born in South Carolina and working in offices. The live in a city of 8,001 people in western York County.

Mrs. York, 33, has an associates degree. Her husband, 31, finished his education with high school. They each make a little less than $25,000 a year. Each drives less than 15 minutes to work each day, leaving after 9 a.m. Like eight in 10 neighbors, the Yorks work in York County. The rate is even higher for working in state, including nearly nine of every 10 women in the city who work in South Carolina.

The Yorks spend time with fellow office administrators, production and construction workers, restaurant staff and managers. Neighbors with children tend to have a middle school or older child, or a preschooler, but seldom both. The neighborhood has 39 homes with at least one child, 38 with a senior citizen, 28 with someone living at home, 26 living in poverty and eight with a veteran.

Unlike other areas about the county, the Yorks have more South Carolina natives in their neighborhood than transplants. Almost three of every five neighbors are natives. Of the 11 new neighborhood families arriving in the past year, eight came from within York County. The other three came from different states.

The Yorks moved to their home in 2011. About half their neighbors moved to their current homes since 2010. A dozen arrived prior to 1980, which is more than most towns and cities around them have. Only eight more neighbors are homeowners than renters in an area where everything is less than $500,000. The Yorks have a home worth $150,000 which is, like nine of every 10 homes in the area, less than $300,000.

While Mr. York doesn’t have a degree, talk about the neighborhood suggests he may not need it. High school graduates in the city with no college averaged $35,000 last year, about $300 more than neighbors with bachelor’s degrees. It’s more than neighbors with some college or associate degrees, too.

Men who finished their education at high school made $40,000. Well more than men with bachelor’s or associate degrees. Pay for women tracks closer to education levels. Neighborhood women with bachelor’s degrees made $6,000 more in the past year than men with the same degrees. Yet it takes a graduate or professional degree for women to make more than men with just high school education.

The neighborhood has 32 high school only grads, 25 who went to college but didn’t get degrees and 23 who earned bachelor’s or higher degrees. Arts and humanities degrees are the most common in the city, with 38 neighbors having them. More than half the degrees women earned are in arts and humanities. Men are more likely to have science degrees.

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John Marks covers community growth, municipalities and general news mainly in the Fort Mill and York County areas. He began writing for the Herald and sister papers in 2005 and won dozens of South Carolina Press Association and other awards since.
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