South Carolina’s Top Micropolitan: Oconee County

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South Carolina’s Top Micropolitan: Oconee County

By: Daja Dial

The Seneca (Oconee County) micropolitan once again ranks No. 1 in South Carolina. While this is not the first time the county has earned the title, this time the parameters are a little different than the recent This ranking, determined by Site Selection Magazine, was based on the measurement of qualifying economic development projects. Site Selection marked Oconee County with three qualifying project wins within the 2017 year, landing it the title of the No. 1 micropolitan in the state of South Carolina.

“The Office of Management and Budget in the White House defines a micropolitan statistical area as one or more adjacent counties that have at least one urban core area of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.” With this definition, Oconee County ranked No. 41 out of over 500 micropolitan areas across the country, standing out as the only South Carolina community in Top 50, and No. 1 in SC.

The success of Oconee County economic development projects stretches back several years. Since 2012 the county has landed over 30 economic development projects, garnering over $430 million dollars in taxable capital investments. These projects also created nearly 1,500 new jobs and helped decrease the poverty level by nearly 5% since 2012.  In 2017 alone, the Oconee Economic Alliance (OEA) ushered in $153.2 million dollars in new capital investment and 368 new jobs from the following successful projects: Vermon NDT, Clemson EPOCH, Jantzen, Schneider Electric, PVS Sensors, Sharpe Manufacturing, Itron and BorgWarner.  As a result of this continued economic momentum, there are more Oconee citizens currently working than ever before in the history of the county.

The OEA is excited to see Oconee County continue to land among the nation’s top micropolitans and be No. 1 in the State. The Alliance will continue to fulfill its mission of focusing on having Oconee County be the location of choice for investment decisions by diversifying the economy, developing competitive assets, nurturing strategic partnerships, and telling Oconee County’s story to new and existing audiences. With this, we hope to continue to see Oconee County as the top location for business expansions, relocations, and start-ups or what we call “the geography of opportunity.”

To read the full Site Selection Magazine article, visit:

Daja B. Dial is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Oconee Economic Alliance which is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per cpita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location. To learn more visit

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