Personal finance, population growth, dollars and percents


This past week I spent some time crunching the latest census data on population growth in South Carolina, and realized those numbers have a strong personal finance connection.

Here’s what I mean: If you’re a city that wants to grow its population, or an individual who wants to grow your money, would you rather see your numbers rise by 2 percent next year — or by 2,000 people or $2,000?

The answer — and this is a key to understanding tax policy as well — is that it depends on the size of the number you’re starting with.

For example, in 2016 Greenville was the fastest-growing large city outside Texas, with a population growth rate of 5.8 percent, which amounted to 3,680 additional residents. That’s a big deal, but what about the South Carolina town of Aynor, which saw its population rise 14.4 percent in a single year, the Census Bureau estimated.

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