2020 Census in Pennsylvania

Lessons from Past Censuses


Below are a few basic maps that (1) demonstrate the lessons learned from past Censuses and the Census Bureau's efforts to increase efficiency by understanding and predicting non-responsive areas, and (2) illustrate basic trends in population growth and settlement.

Low Response Tracts in Pennsylvania

The map below shows the low response tracts in Pennsylvania in 2010. The data is a subset of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Response Outreach Mapper (ROAM) application for PA. The application was developed to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas. This data includes both the response rate for 2010 and the predicted non-response rate for 2020. Several factors contribute to hard-to-count areas including the number of renter-occupied units, the presence of young people (ages 18 to 24), single-mother households, large household or family sizes, and the presence of Hispanic or Latino persons, among others [1].



In 2010 the average response rate in Pennsylvania was 81.8 percent and the predicted average non-response rate for 2020 is 18.5 percent. Tracts located in and within proximity to Pennsylvania’s cities tend to have lower response rates than suburban or rural tracts. In 2010 there were a total of 9 tracts that had a 100 percent response rate. Three tracts were located in Allegheny County, two were located in Cumberland County and Butler, Centre, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties also contained a single tract that had a response rate of 100 percent.


Population Change in Pennsylvania, 2000 to 2010

The map below shows the change in decennial populations by municipality from 2000 to 2010. The population for each municipality is available for 2000 and 2010 using the decennial counts from the U.S. Census Bureau. This map also contains the numeric and percent change for each municipality. From 2000 to 2010 the population in Pennsylvania increased from 12,276,117 to 12,702,379 people (+426,262 persons or +3.5%).



The map shows an east-to-west trend where the eastern part of the state experienced the most population growth, while the western part of the state experienced the greatest population decline. Less than half of Pennsylvania’s municipalities (1,272) increased in population from 2000 to 2010. Lower Macungie Township in Lehigh County had the largest increase in population from 19,220 to 30,633 (+11,413 persons or +59.4%).

Skippack Township in Montgomery County had the greatest percent change for a municipality with a population greater than 5,000 in 2000. Its population increased from 6,516 to 13,715 (+7,199 persons or +110.5%). Pittsburgh experienced the largest decline in population (-28,859 persons or -8.6%) and West Mahoney Township in Schuylkill County had greatest percent decrease in population for municipality greater than 5,000 in 2000 (-3,294 persons or -54.2%).


Pennsylvania Population Density, 2010

The map below shows the population per square mile by tract in Pennsylvania. The persons per square mile is calculated with 2010 decennial census population totals and land area. In 2010, Pennsylvania’s statewide population density was 283.9 people per square mile.



The map shows where the population is concentrated within the state, with high population density in and around cites and boroughs, as expected. Population was most dense in the southeastern counties in 2010 with other dense pockets near Pittsburgh, South Central Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York), Lehigh Valley (Reading and Allentown), and the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre area. In 2010 Philadelphia County had 24 of the 25 most densely populated tracts, with the most densely populated tract having 64,263.2 population per square mile. A tract in Lycoming County had the lowest population density with 4.3 persons per square mile.



Pennsylvania State Data Center
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Middletown, PA, 17057
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