Population Decline Continues to Trouble Region

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – While Pennsylvania has seen some increase in population in recent years, locally the numbers continue to decline.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, every county in the western part of Pennsylvania, excepting Butler County, has seen continuous declines in population over the last eight years.

Jefferson County’s population has gone from 45,244 residents in 2010 to 44,258 residents in 2017, a loss of 2.2 percent.

The problem certainly isn’t confined to Jefferson County, either. Clarion County’s population has gone from 40,290 residents in 2010 down to 38,747 residents in 2017, a decline of about 3.8 percent.

Likewise, Indiana County went from 88,745 residents in 2010 down to 86,551 residents in 2017, a 2.5 percent loss, and Clearfield County, which fared somewhat better, still saw a 1.9 percent decline, going from 82,131 residents in 2010 to 80,539 in 2017.

While the problem can be contributed to a combination of an aging population and migration to more urban population centers, the same decline is not seen in the more eastern reaches of the state, where continued increases in population helped the state’s overall population grow from 12,709,630 in 2010 to 12,805,537 in 2017, a 12 percent growth in the overall population.

Nevertheless, with more of the eastern part of the state considered urban and suburban area, the difference in demographics is not surprising.

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