Upstate South Carolina

Map of South Carolina highlighting "The Upstate" region.

The Upstate is the region in the westernmost part of South Carolina, United States, also known as the Upcountry,[1] which is the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the ten counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina. This definition coincides with the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area, as first defined by the Office of Management and Budget in 2015, and maintained as of 2017.[2] The region's population was 1,347,112 as of 2016. Situated between Atlanta and Charlotte, the Upstate is the fastest-growing region of South Carolina, and is the geographical center of the Charlanta mega-region. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies, including others from Germany, have a substantial presence in the Upstate; several large corporations have established regional, national, or continental headquarters in the area. Greenville is the largest city in the region with a population of 67,453 and an urban-area population of 400,492, and it is the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg, followed by Anderson, are next in population.


Ten counties are included in the Upstate of South Carolina: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Cherokee, Oconee, Union, Laurens.

County Year founded County seat 2010 Census
July 1, 2016
(sq. mi.)
Land area
(sq. mi.)
Anderson County 1826 Anderson 187,126 196,569 757 718
Cherokee County 1897 Gaffney 55,342 56,646 397 393
Greenville County 1786 Greenville 451,225 498,766 795 790
Laurens County 1785 Laurens 66,537 66,777 724 715
Oconee County 1868 Walhalla 74,275 76,355 674 625
Pickens County 1868 Pickens 119,224 122,863 512 497
Spartanburg County 1785 Spartanburg 284,307 301,463 819 811
Union County 1798 Union 28,961 27,673 516 514
Total 1,266,977 1,347,112 5,194 5,063
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