As an expert on municipal growth and development, I have been closely following the progress of Fort Mill, South Carolina. It is no surprise to me that this city has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the country. In just 12 years, the population has tripled to over 31,000 residents, a testament to the city's appeal and potential for growth. One of the key factors contributing to Fort Mill's growth is its low unemployment rate of 2.7%.
This statistic is based on residents aged 16 and older who are part of the labor force. With such a strong job market, it is no wonder that people are flocking to this city near the border between South Carolina and North Carolina. But it's not just job opportunities that are attracting new residents to Fort Mill. The city's public school district is also a major draw.
On average, it is much better than the state average in terms of quality. In fact, 94.8% of Fort Mill residents aged 25 and over have at least a high school degree or equivalent, with 48.4% holding a bachelor's degree and 15.1% holding a graduate or professional degree. In terms of racial demographics, Fort Mill is predominantly white at 78.5%, with 15.2% identifying as black and smaller percentages from other races such as Asian and Native American. This diversity adds to the city's charm and appeal.
Of course, with such rapid growth comes challenges for city leaders in maintaining services for schools, highways, and public safety. The Fort Mill City Council, Police Department, and School District are constantly working towards this ever-changing goal. In recent years, before the pandemic, the school district even had to freeze enrollment on some campuses to comply with state classroom size standards. And with 9.7% of Fort Mill residents aged 65 or older, there is also a need to ensure that the city is equipped to support its aging population.
Despite these challenges, Fort Mill has continued to thrive and even topped the Safewise study of the safest cities in South Carolina. This recognition is a testament to the city's commitment to providing a safe and welcoming community for its residents.