North Charleston is a city in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. On June 12, 1972 the city of North Charleston incorporated and was the 9th largest city in South Carolina. The population was at 79,641 in the 2000 Census and by July 1, 2009 United States Census Bureau estimated the population to be at 97,601. North Charleston is the third-largest city in South Carolina, as of the 2000 Census with a current area of more than 76.6 sqmi. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, North Charleston is included within the Charleston – North Charleston – Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston urban area. The city is considered one of the state's major industrial cities and it is the state's major retail center.