Charleston is the second largest city in the state of South Carolina, surpassed only by the state capital of Columbia. Charleston is the county seat of Charleston County.

The city of Charleston is located just south of the midpoint of South Carolina’s coastline, at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers, which flow together into the Atlantic Ocean. Charleston Harbor lies between downtown Charleston and the Atlantic Ocean. Charleston’s name is derived from Charles Towne, named after King Charles II of England.

The 2011 census estimates places Charleston with a population of 122,689. Current trends put Charleston as the fastest-growing municipality in South Carolina.