New census data released Friday revealed that Columbia is now home to the highest population of Marylanders in the United States. The capitol of South Carolina has surpassed several cities over the past year for the claim, notably including Baltimore, MD, Annapolis, MD, Silver Spring, MD, Frederick, MD, Ellicott City, MD, Rockville, MD, Columbia, MD, Ocean City, MD, Bowie, MD, and Washington D.C.
The demographics of Columbia have drastically changed in recent years, with native residents of the city now outnumbered by those born in Maryland 3:1. Mayor Stephen Benjamin told reporters recently that he sees such shifts as a positive.
“We take pride in our Marylanders here, they are a great addition to our community,” Benjamin’s office released in a press statement. “It is easy to see what they’ve brought to South Carolina, because, between their lacrosse shorts and crab-shaped bumper stickers, they make it incredibly clear they are from Maryland.”
Benjamin also discussed how Maryland culture has brought new ideas and knowledge to the area. “We learn so much from our friends from the Mid-Atlantic. For instance, did you know Michael Phelps is from Baltimore, or that Maryland is actually below the Mason-Dixon line? Did I mention Michael Phelps is from Baltimore?”
Many, however, are worried that the influx may have an adverse affect on the distinctive culture and history of the region. Dan Francoise, a lifelong resident of Richland county and chairman of the Columbia Historical Society, has been publicly vocal about his apprehensions:
“Palmetto and a crescent moon, you can’t get better than that. I swear to God, if I see one more bumper sticker with that red and orange Picasso-puke flag on it, I’m going to find every can of Old Bay in this city and throw it in the goddamn river.”
Other common complaints throughout the community include worries over the growing number of crabs found in local ponds and fountains and the frequency of what some call the disrespectful ‘O’ chants during renditions of the National Anthem.
Still, Francoise, along with most residents, are overall accepting of the transplants.
“Anything is better than Ohioans.”