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The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 761,155 residents in 2016, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
The city limits also have expanded across the Cooper River, encompassing Daniel Island and the Cainhoy area.(The original site is now commemorated as Charles Towne Landing.) Not only was this location more defensible, but it also offered access to a fine natural harbor which accommodated trade with the West Indies.The new town was the 5th-largest in North America by 1690.A smallpox outbreak hit in 1698, followed by an earthquake in February 1699 whose ensuing fire destroyed about a third of the town.During rebuilding, a yellow fever outbreak killed about 15% of the remaining inhabitants.The highest temperature recorded within city limits was 104 °F (40 °C) on June 2, 1985, and June 24, 1944, and the lowest was 7 °F (−14 °C) on February 14, 1899.
At the airport, where official records are kept, the historical range is 105 °F (41 °C) on August 1, 1999, down to 6 °F (−14 °C) on January 21, 1985.
The traditional parish system persisted until the Reconstruction Era, when counties were imposed. It took seven years before the group arranged for settlement expeditions.
Nevertheless, traditional parishes still exist in various capacities, mainly as public service districts. In 1670, Governor William Sayle brought over several shiploads of settlers from Bermuda, which lies due east of Charleston although closer to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.
Election districts were organized according to Anglican parishes, and some social services were managed by Anglican wardens and vestries.
Charleston adopted its present spelling with its incorporation as a city in 1783 at the close of the Revolutionary War.
Its initial location at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River (now Charles Towne Landing) was abandoned in 1680 for its present site, which became the fifth-largest city in North America within ten years.