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Pennsylvania Population Decline

Pennsylvania’s population is expected to decline in the coming decades.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania along with the Pennsylvania State Data Center held a press conference on Wednesday in Harrisburg to discuss recent findings about the future of the commonwealth’s population projecting data from 2020 to 2050.

“In brief, populations in Pennsylvania will experience significant change in the coming decades”

The report presented by the center states,

“Pennsylvania’s rural counties population is projected to decline 5.8 percent over the next 30 years, with the state projected to grow 1.6 percent based on increases in urban population.”

“The state’s overall growth rate will diminish considerably in the coming years, Also, we can expect a sharp increase in the number of senior citizens that comprise Pennsylvania’s population and that’s also going to be coupled with a decline in the number of young people within the commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania is already ranked fifth in the United States in the sheer size of its older population at 3.4 million. The number growing exponentially from 15.4 percent in 2010 to 17.8 percent in 2020, according to data from Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Master Plan for Older Adults.

The data from the center shows us that some of the most significant decline will happen right here in our coverage area. With Cambria county seeing a 9.2% decline, Blair 6.4%, Somerset 11.2%, Elk county 15.4 among others. Though there are some exceptions. Those include counties that have group quarters. Or facilities that house multiple unrelated people such as universities or prisons.

“There are some notable exceptions to this particularly in our rural communities, Centre county, Union County and Indiana counties are all expected to show population growth but again these are also counties that are home to group quarters.”

For more information on Pennsylvania’s population trends visit Rural.PA.Gov.


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