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Perspectives

Pittsburgh Perspectives  

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Friday, March 25, 2022  02:05 PM  (55)

2021 Population Estimates for the Pittsburgh Region

This week the Census Bureau released the latest population estimates for counties and metropolitan areas across the nation. These new estimates reflect the population as of July 1, 2021 and are based on previous results of the 2020 Decennial Census and estimates of the demographic components of population change over the following year. Components of population change include the annual number of births, deaths, and migration flows. 

The 2021 population of the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area* (MSA) is estimated to have declined between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021 by 13,755 (or -0.58%) to 2,353,538. The Pittsburgh region remains the 27th largest MSA in the nation. Half of the nation’s forty largest MSAs experienced population decline over this period, with the largest rates of decline in San Francisco, which is estimated to have declined by 2.5% over the year, along with San Jose (-2.2%) and the New York City (-1.6%) metropolitan areas. 

Demographic trends in the Pittsburgh region continue to be impacted by natural population decline – which is the result of a greater number of deaths than births each year – with additional population losses due to domestic migration, the movement of population within the United States. The Pittsburgh region is estimated to have experienced a natural population decline of 10,838 between 2020 and 2021, which is 0.46% of the regional population in 2020. With more people estimated to have left the region over the year than new arrivals, net domestic migration is estimated to have resulted in an additional population decline of 3,993. Lower than typical flows of new international immigrants only partially offset other sources of population decline, and is estimated to have only generated a population gain for the region of 865 over the year. 

 

Within the Pittsburgh region, only Butler and Washington counties were estimated to have experienced population gains over the year.  Allegheny County experienced the largest total decline (-10,627, or -0.9%), while Fayette County experienced the fastest rate of decline contracting by 1,462 or -1.1%. 

 

Estimated Popualation Change Within the Pittsburgh MSA, July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021

  Population   Demographic Components of Change   As % of 2020 Population
County 2020 2021 Change July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021   Natural Population Change Net Domestic Migration Net International Immigration   Natural Population Change Net Domestic Migration Net International Immigration
Allegheny 1,248,717 1,238,090 -10,627 -0.9%   -3,862 -7,635 762   -0.3% -0.6% 0.1%
Armstrong 65,445 65,093 -352 -0.5%   -448 88 0   -0.7% 0.1% 0.0%
Beaver 167,732 166,624 -1,108 -0.7%   -1,017 -130 13   -0.6% -0.1% 0.0%
Butler 193,851 194,273 422 0.2%   -908 1,271 41   -0.5% 0.7% 0.0%
Fayette 128,393 126,931 -1,462 -1.1%   -989 -504 17   -0.8% -0.4% 0.0%
Washington 209,157 209,470 313 0.1%   -1,078 1,357 23   -0.5% 0.6% 0.0%
Westmoreland 353,998 353,057 -941 -0.3%   -2,536 1,560 9   -0.7% 0.4% 0.0%

 

While Pittsburgh has been experiencing natural population decline since the mid-1990s, the recent increase in population decline is primarily the result of higher rates of mortality which have increased nationally since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the Pittsburgh region, the estimated natural population decline between 2020-2021 of 10,838 is 65% higher than was estimated for the 2019-2020 period and over 280% higher than the average annual natural population decline the region experienced between 2010 and 2019. 

 

* The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is currently defined as seven counties in southwestern Pennsylvania including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland. 

 




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