A century of population growth in Pa. explained by one map | The Numbers Racket

By: - August 24, 2020 6:30 am

Map: The Pennsylvania State Data Center (PASDC) Source: USCB, Population Estimates Division | NHGIS (Capital-Star Screen Capture).

A lot can change in 118 years, as a new map from the Pennsylvania State Data Center shows. 

The choropleth map shows how the population of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties has changed over the last century, from 1900-2018. 

Let’s take a closer look: 

Booming counties

Large jumps in population growth are mostly relegated to the state’s eastern border counties. 

These are the counties with the largest growth in population over the last century: 

Bucks County … 782.4% growth since 1900. 

Monroe County … 701% growth since 1900. 

Pike County … 538.1% growth since 1900. 

Montgomery County … 496.1% growth since 1900.

Delaware County … 496% growth since 1900. 

Chester County … 445.5% growth since 1900. 


On the decline

Ten Pennsylvania counties have seen a decrease in population growth since 1900. 

Counties with declining population growth are: 

Sullivan County … -50% change in population. 

Potter County … -45.7% change in population. 

Cameron County … -36.3% change in population. 

Forest County … -34.1% change in population. 

Jefferson County … -26.2% change in population. 

McKean County … 20.2% change in population. 

Schuylkill County … -17.8% change in population. 

Tioga County … -17% change in population. 

Elk County … -8.3% change in population. 

Clearfield County … -1.5% change since 1900. 


Population stagnation

While some counties have seen exponential growth in their populations since 1900, a handful have remained virtually unchanged. 

The counties with little change include: 

Northumberland County 0.2% change since 1900. 

Susquehanna County … 1.4% change since 1900. 

Warren County … 1.4% change since 1900.

Bradford County … 2.4% change since 1900. 

Venago County … 3.3% change since 1900. 

Lackawanna County … 8.8% change since 1900.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared. Follow her on Twitter: @Wordsby_CassieM.