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November 29, 2021

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Perspectives

Pittsburgh Perspectives  

Archive List Link to PEQ
Wednesday, May 05, 2021  01:00 PM  (49)

Final Census Estimates for the Pittsburgh Region Prior to the Decennial Census

This week, the Census Bureau released 2020 estimates of the population for counties and metropolitan areas across the nation. These estimates are separate from the forthcoming results of the decennial census and are not based on a complete enumeration of the population but are compiled from administrative and other data sources that can be updated annually. Census population estimates also provide the demographic components of population change, including natural population change – derived from the number of births and deaths – and population migration levels impacting the Pittsburgh region.

Based on the latest census estimates, the population of the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is estimated to have declined by a total of 8,667 – or a decline of 0.3% - between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020. The Pittsburgh region’s population decline results from ongoing natural population decline due to the excess number of births over deaths through the year, the net-loss of population to other areas within the United States – also called domestic migration – and relatively low levels of population gains due to international migration.    

Demographic Components of Population Change for the Pittsburgh MSA, July 1 2019 to July 1, 2020

 

Since 2010, net domestic migration for the Pittsburgh region shifted from a net population gains early in the decade, to declines each year since 2013 while the level of international migration in the region has declined in recent years mirroring national trends.  The most recent estimate of population change between 2019 and 2020 shows a jump in the rate of natural population decline that primarily results from an increase in the number of deaths within the region compared to previous years. 

 

Annual Demographic Components of Population Change for the Pittsburgh MSA  - 2011 to 2020

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Population 2,357,121 2,360,741 2,360,917 2,360,416 2,356,945 2,348,714 2,341,313 2,329,971 2,323,785 2,317,913 2,309,246
                       
    Annual Change
    2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Natural Population Change   -3,424 -3,038 -3,730 -3,005 -4,325 -2,974 -5,483 -4,953 -4,502 -6,545
Net International Migration   3,220 2,981 3,781 4,347 3,789 4,319 3,245 2,830 1,781 1,477
Net Domestic Migration   3,901 640 -275 -4,409 -7,498 -8,654 -9,029 -3,973 -3,149 -3,656
Total Net Population Change 3,620 176 -501 -3,471 -8,231 -7,401 -11,342 -6,186 -5,872 -8,667

Compiled from Census Bureau Population Estimates Program data. Total annual population change also includes a small residual value not shown here. 

 

Within the region, six of the seven counties that make up the Pittsburgh MSA are estimated to have experienced population declines between 2019 and 2020. Only Butler County is estimated to have experienced a slight population gain over the period. Natural population decline impacts all counties in the region while Allegheny County attracts over 88% of the international immigrants coming into the region.  

Demographic Components of Population Change, Pittsburgh MSA Counties - July 1 2019 to July 1, 2020

County

Population 2019

Population 2020

Total Change

Natural Population Change

Net International Migration

Net Domestic

Migration

Allegheny

1,215,716

1,211,358

-4,358

-0.36%

-1872

-0.15%

1,303

0.11%

-3,839

-0.32%

Armstrong

64,699

64,162

-537

-0.83%

-385

-0.60%

1

0.00%

-154

-0.24%

Beaver

163,956

162,575

-1,381

-0.84%

-676

-0.41%

16

0.01%

-723

-0.44%

Butler

188,313

189,135

822

0.44%

-350

-0.19%

59

0.03%

1,111

0.59%

Fayette

129,422

128,126

-1,296

-1.00%

-654

-0.51%

22

0.02%

-664

-0.51%

Washington

206,866

206,803

-63

-0.03%

-665

-0.32%

33

0.02%

568

0.27%

Westmoreland

348,941

347,087

-1,854

-0.53%

-1943

-0.56%

43

0.01%

45

0.01%

Note: Population counts reflect estimates for July 1 of each year. Percentages based on annual change as a proportion of 2019 population. Compiled from Census Bureau Population Estimates Program data.

 

Note that the first results of the 2020 decennial census were released to the public at the end of April 2021. Thus far, the only data released includes state population totals necessary to reapportion congressional seats per Article I of the U.S. Constitution.  Additional data from the 2020 decennial census, including detailed population counts for smaller levels of geography, is not expected to be released until the fall of 2021.

Decennial census results can differ from what is expected based on the most recent population estimates.  For example, the decennial census population count for Pennsylvania released last month reported that the state’s population in 2020 was 13,011,844, or 1.7% higher than the state's 2020 estimated population of 12,783,254. Differences between annual population estimates and decennial census results are expected at all levels of geography. Annual census population estimates also differ from the decennial census in that data reflects population as of July 1 of each year, which is different from the April 1 reference date for the decennial census.

 

 




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