Myrtle Beach is a coastal city on the East Coast of the United States in Horry County, South Carolina. It is situated on the center of a large and continuous 60-mile stretch of beach known as "The Grand Strand" in northeastern South Carolina. Ranked as the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country (per 2018 census estimates), Myrtle Beach is one of the major centers of tourism in South Carolina and the United States because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches, attracting an estimated 14 million visitors each year. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 27,109, and in 2016 the estimated population was 32,240. The Myrtle Beach metropolitan area had an estimated population in 2016 of 449,495.
Myrtle Beach has been separated from the continental United States since 1936 by the Intracoastal Waterway, forcing the city and area in general to develop within a small distance from the coast. In part due to this separation, the area directly northwest of Myrtle Beach across the waterway remained primarily rural, whereas its northeastern and southwestern ends were bordered by other developed tourist towns, North Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach. Since then, the inland portion of the Myrtle Beach area has developed dramatically. Myrtle Beach is 67 miles (108 km) by highway southeast of Florence, South Carolina, 94 miles (151 km) northeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and 74 miles (119 km) southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Myrtle Beach is the largest principal city of the Myrtle Beach-Conway-Georgetown CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach metropolitan area (Horry County) and the Georgetown micropolitan area (Georgetown County), which had a combined population of 329,449 at the 2010 census.
As of the 2010 census, the population of Myrtle Beach was 27,109. Per the 2000 census there were 22,759 permanent residents in Myrtle Beach, 10,413 households, 5,414 families, 1,356.5 people per square mile (523.7/km²), with 14,658 housing units at an average density of 873.5 per square mile (337.3/km²).
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