Population Growth in Horry County & Effects on Little River

by the Little River Chamber of Commerce, with information sourced from Horry County Planning & Zoning – Imagine 2040

According to 2015 population estimates, Horry County has approximately 309,199 permanent residents. The County has experienced rapid growth since the 1970s, adding over 250,000 permanent residents since that time. 

Horry County has one of the highest population growth rates in the state, and is now the fourth most populous county in South Carolina.

The 2015 total population estimate reflects a 14.8% increase since 2010. This reflects growth that occurred even during a major economic downturn. These numbers are only expected to escalate as the population is projected to grow to 584,500 by 2040.

Population growth is mainly being driven by individuals that are relocating to Horry County from neighboring states, other counties in South Carolina, and from the Northeast.

Population projections enable the county to take present action to accommodate future conditions. Projections can help determine the level of demand for future facilities and services. Making plans in a rapidly changing, high growth area such as Horry County is difficult.

As Little River and neighboring areas become more densely populated, it will become increasingly important to monitor and predict the needs of residents. Safety services, parks and recreational services and facilities, housing, and land use will all need to reflect the growing and changing needs.

Historically, Horry County’s population has primarily resided along the beach front and near area waterways. Since the 2000 Census, Horry County’s population has grown further away from the beach, along major highway corridors. 

Little River and the Hwy 90 corridor have seen considerable population growth. These same areas are expected to see an increase in development into the future, as many new subdivisions have been preliminarily approved in these growth areas, but remain to be constructed.

The current population in Little River is approximately 39,000 and is estimated to grow to 72,000 by year 2040. Longs has approximately 7,592 residents and is estimated to grow to 35,500 by 2040.

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