North Charleston is a city in Charleston and Dorchester counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 79,641 at the 2000 Census. A July 1, 2008 United States Census Bureau estimate places the population at 94,407. The city of North Charleston is the third-largest city in South Carolina, after Columbia and Charleston. It is a principal city of the Charleston – North Charleston – Summerville metropolitan area. Incorporated in June 1972, North Charleston had a population of 21,000 and an area of seven square miles. Since that time, the city has more than tripled its population and now encompasses more than 76.6 square miles. It is considered one of the state's major industrial cities.