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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