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Charleston: Vital Stats

City of Charleston population... Charleston metro area population... South Carolina population...

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City of Charleston population: 104,000

Charleston metro area population: 549,000

South Carolina population: 4.2 million

Median age, metro area: 35

Median household income, Charleston: $35,295

Annual median salary, South Carolina: $31,839

Retail sales, downtown: $12.8 billion

Tourist industry annual impact on South Carolina: $4.48 billion

Unemployment rate (2006): 5.2 percent

Annual visitors to South Carolina's Lowcountry: Over 4 million.

Average visitor spending: $225 per person per day.

Miles of beaches in the Charleston area: 91

Biggest employers: Blackbaud, Modulant, Benefitfocus, Google, Verizon Wireless, Medical University of South Carolina.

Famous people from the area: James Brown; Chubby Checker; Eartha Kitt; Rev. Jesse Jackson; comedian Stephen Colbert; Dubose Heyward, writer and lyricist of "Porgy and Bess"; model Lauren Hutton; actor Will Patton; Joel Robert Poinsett, botanist who founded the precursor of the Smithsonian Institution and namesake of the poinsettia.

- In greater Charleston, the service industry comprises 30.6 percent of employment, with 24 percent working in trade, the second-largest category.

- Etiquette expert Marjabelle Young Stewart recognized Charleston as the "best-mannered" U.S. city from 1995 until her death in 2007. 

- The historic district, which is downtown on the Peninsula, includes 4,800 historic structures.

- The Port of Charleston is the fourth largest container port in the U.S.

Sources: Charleston.com; CityofCharleston.com