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People to people

City of Abbeville looking to reverse trend of population loss

The City of Abbeville is coping with population loss.

In 2010, the Census indicated that the City had just over 5,200 residents, and the 2020 Census has the population at just below 4,900, said City of Abbeville Deputy Administrative Officer Mike Clary.

To understand the picture, one needs to go back to the 1990 Census, which showed a City population of about 6,000 people.

Abbeville Deputy Administrative Officer Mike Clary
Abbeville Deputy Administrative Officer Mike Clary

“This population decline has been a trend for quite some time, and it is not a problem that is unique to Abbeville,” Clary said.

“If you look at the state map, most of the rural areas of the state did experience some level of population decline over the past 10 years, while areas such as Greenville, Rock Hill, Columbia, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach experienced population increases,” he said.

“So the question then becomes, ‘How do we as a rural community reverse that trend that has emerged over the past 30 years?’

“There are many different factors in the answer to that question. For example, you have the County economic development board working to not only recruit new industry, but retain the industry that we already have.

“As far as the City goes, we are working to solve the problem in a myriad of different ways, which includes investment in infrastructure, removing abandoned and dilapidated housing, encouraging new small business investment, and making the City more attractive for those wishing to build homes inside the City, as well as other efforts to improve the quality of life such as Opera House shows, festivals and events, and those efforts also help to bring in tourism as well.”

Overall those are efforts to make Abbeville a better place to live and visit,” Clary continued.

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