Upstate South Carolina

Upstate South Carolina

The Upstate is the region in northwestern South Carolina, United States also known as The Upcountry [Hollis, Daniel Walker, "University of South Carolina, Volume I, South Carolina College", 1951, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, p 342] , 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 region contains the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA and has an overall population of 1,268,736. The Upstate is the fastest growing region in the state, and given its strategic position between Atlanta and Charlotte, future development and growth prospects are bright. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies especially from Germany have made a substantial presence in the Upstate, and several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the region. Greenville is the largest city in the region and the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg is the second largest city in the region. The third largest city in the region is Anderson.


There are ten counties included in the upstate of South Carolina: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Cherokee, Oconee, Union, Laurens, Greenwood, and Abbeville.


Primary cities

The primary cities in the upstate area are Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson.

Other Cities with at least 20,000 residents

Taylors, Wade Hampton, Simpsonville, and Greer all have over 20,000 residents.

Other cities with more than 10,000 residents

Other cities in the upstate with over 10,000 residents are Clemson, Easley, Gaffney, and Mauldin. If students from Clemson University are included, Clemson has close to 30,000 residents.

Cities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants

Cities in the upstate with under 10,000 residents include Belton, Blacksburg, Boiling Springs, Buffalo, Central, Chesnee, Clinton, Cowpens, Duncan, East Gaffney, Gray Court, Inman, Landrum, Laurens, Liberty, Lyman, Mayo, Pacolet, Pelzer, Pendleton, Pickens, Piedmont, Seneca, Travelers Rest, Union, Walhalla, Williamston, and Woodruff.

Institutions of higher education

Colleges and universities in this area include: Anderson University, Bob Jones University, Clemson University, Converse College, Erskine College, Furman University, Greenville Tech, Limestone College, Presbyterian College, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Methodist College, Spartanburg Community College, Tri-County Technical College, University Center - Greenville, USC-Upstate, USC-Union, Wofford College, and North Greenville College.

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. Additionally, the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery constitutes the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere. []

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


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 Wachovia and Bank of America. 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 manufactuing 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 have set up regional operations alongside smaller recently developed local companies like IRIX Manufacturing, Incorporated and Pharmaceutical Associates. The Upstate is also home to a large amount 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 International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR), a research park that specializes in the development of automotive technology.

Corporations based in or with a major presence in the Upstate

The following corporations have a major presence in the Upstate: Bank of America, Bi-Lo, BMW of North America, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System [] , Bosch North America, Bowater, Central Carolina Bank, Charter Communications, Denny's Restaurants, Dunlop Slazenger Group, Ernst & Young, Fluor Corporation, Freightliner LLC, GE Power Systems, Greenville Hospital System [] , IBM, Liberty Corporation, Michelin of North America, Microsoft, Milliken & Co., and Perrigo Company of South Carolina.

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

• Fuji Film located their first manufacturing facility in the U.S. in Greenwood County. []

• Michelin of North America has five manufacturing plants and their R&D facility located in the Upstate. []

• Walgreens has their southeastern distribution center located in Anderson County, which employs mentally handicapped 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 3 regional newspapers: "The Greenville News", the (Spartanburg) "Herald-Journal" and the "Anderson Independent-Mail", each of which serves their individual city and surrounding area respectively.

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

*WYFF Channel 4 - Greenville (NBC)
*WSPA-TV Channel 7 - Spartanburg (CBS)
*WLOS-TV Channel 13 - Asheville, North Carolina (ABC)
*WGGS-TV Channel 16 - Greenville (TBN)
*WHNS Channel 21 - Greenville (FOX)
*WNTV Channel 29 - Greenville (SCETV)
*WUNF-TV Channel 33 - Asheville (UNC-TV)
*WMYA-TV Channel 40 - Anderson (MNTV)
*WYCW Channel 62 - Asheville (CW)

See also

*I-85 Corridor
*SC-NC-VA Tornado Outbreak


External links

* [ The Upstate Alliance]
* [ I Was Blown Away website]
* [ South Carolina Upstate Info]
* [ South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments]
* [ The Upcountry website]
* [ The Greenville News]
* [ (Spartanburg) Herald Journal]
* [ Anderson Independent-Mail]
* [ Greenville Journal]
* [ Journal Homes]

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