Pennsylvania Population 2017


Pennsylvania has a relatively small surface area, but like many states on the eastern edge of the USA, it has a relatively dense population by comparison. It's estimated that Pennsylvania's population has reached over 12.8 million in 2016, a small increase from the 2010 Census figure of 12.7 million. Pennsylvania has a current growth rate of just 0.24%, which ranks 42nd in the nation.

In order to gauge US state populations in 2016, it's important to first look at the last official census figures taken in 2010 and then project forward. At that census, it was confirmed that there were 12,702,379 people living in Pennsylvania and that number represented a 3.4% rise on the numbers declared in 2000. An estimate of the 2016 population shows Pennsylvania has 12,802,503 residents, making it the sixth most populous state in the USA.

Pennsylvania is currently the 9th most densely populated state in the country with a density of 283.9 people per square mile. A great deal of the state's population is in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, as the city has a population of 1.56 million. Far behind in terms of population are Pittsburgh (304.391), Allentown (120,207), Erie (99,475) and Reading (87,879).

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Public Record

Pennsylvania Population Chart

Pennsylvania Population History

To use a generalization, the route which early settlers in the New World took meant that states on the eastern side of the country began to fill up more quickly than those in the west. Pennsylvania certainly backs up that assumption when you look at its population figures throughout history.

In 1790, the population had already reached 434,373, and compared to figures in parts of the west that had barely exceeded one thousand, this is an impressive total.

From this point, sizeable if unspectacular rises were recorded on a decade by decade basis, and just ten years later, those numbers had risen by 38.7% to 602,365. Similar percentage increases followed through the 1800s, and by the start of the next century, the Pennsylvania population had grown to a substantial 6,302,115.

The 20th century continued to produce sustained growth and in 2016, the numbers are close to 12.8 million, but they're not there yet.

Pennsylvania Population Projections

Pennsylvania continues to grow at a steady but fairly stable rate and there is nothing to indicate that this won’t continue up to the next Census of 2020. There is estimated to be little or even no growth leading up to 2030, in part because Pennsylvania has a low birth rate with an increasingly older population, although migration to the area should remain stable. The 2020 population is estimated to surpass the 13 million milestone.

Population Data via US Census

Pennsylvania Growth Rate

Pennsylvania State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 12,846,183 0.07%
2019 12,837,447 0.07%
2018 12,828,711 0.07%
2017 12,819,975 0.07%
2016 12,811,239 0.07%
2015 12,802,503 0.07%
2014 12,793,767 0.08%
2013 12,783,536 0.08%
2012 12,772,789 0.22%
2011 12,745,202 0.34%
2010 12,702,379 0.34%
2000 12,281,054 0.33%
1990 11,881,643 0.01%
1980 11,863,895 0.06%
1970 11,793,909 0.41%
1960 11,319,366 0.76%
1950 10,498,012 0.59%
1940 9,900,180 0.28%
1930 9,631,350 1.00%
1920 8,720,017 1.30%
1910 7,665,111 1.98%
1900 6,302,115 1.83%
1890 5,258,014 2.07%
1880 4,282,891 1.98%
1870 3,521,951 1.94%
1860 2,906,215 2.31%
1850 2,311,786 2.98%
1840 1,724,033 2.49%
1830 1,348,233 2.54%
1820 1,049,458 2.62%
1810 810,091 3.00%
1800 602,545 3.33%
1790 434,373 0.00%

Pennsylvania Facts

Pennsylvania Population in 2017 Source: Bmoredlj at English Wikipedia

  • In the early 1600s, the territory that is now Pennsylvania was disputed by the Dutch, English and Swedes. England acquired the land in 1664.
  • Pennsylvania has the highest rural population in the country.
  • The state also has the highest number of licensed hunters in the United States.
  • The Philadelphia Zoo -- which was founded by Benjamin Franklin -- was the first public zoo in the country.
  • Benjamin Franklin also founded Philadelphia Hospital in 1751. It was the first hospital in the US.
  • Philadelphia was the seat of the US federal government from 1176 to 1800. It was also the location for the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
  • The first daily newspaper was published in the state back in 1784.

Pennsylvania Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Pennsylvania Population Growth Rate by County

Data from the 2010 Census and estimates taken in 2015 by the Census Bureau were compared to see population growth patterns throughout the counties of Pennsylvania. The number of counties that saw increasing populations during the 5-year period were pretty much balanced with losses recorded across the state. The highest gain in population happened in Cumberland County, with a 4.39% increase. Falling right behind was Centre County, with an increase of 4.1%. Primarily, growth from 2010 to 2015 was reorded in the southeastern corner of the state, including the counties of Chester, Lehigh, Lancaster, Lebanon, Philadelphia, and Montgomery.

Losses in population were also recorded in the state, with all counties on the northern border posting losses, as well as many in the central and southwestern regions. Cameron County saw the biggest drop in population at 6.74%. Other high decreases include Cambria at 4.92%, Susquehanna at 4%, Wayne at 3.22%, and Venango at 3.36%, just to name a few.

Population Pyramid

To compare Pennsylvania to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

Pennsylvania's Hispanic population grew an astounding 82.6% from 2000 to 2010, which is one of the largest increases in any state's Hispanic population. This was mainly due to immigration from Puerto Rico, a US territory, but also from immigration from South and Central America, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, along with large numbers of Hispanics leaving New York and New Jersey for more affordable living.

The Asian population of Pennsylvania has also soared by about 60%, fueled by immigration from China, Vietnam and India, along with Asians moving from New York. This gives Pennsylvania one of the largest Asian populations in the country in terms of numbers.

Meanwhile, the Black and African American community has grown by 13%, the largest increase among state peers. The White population has decreased 0.7%, but this trend is expected to reverse.

Languages Spoken in Pennsylvania

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 12,008,403 100
English 11,105,023 92.48
Spanish 525,220 4.37
Chinese 55,775 0.46
Pennsylvania Dutch 51,760 0.43
German 51,345 0.43
French 38,870 0.32
Portuguese 12,505 0.1
Ukrainian 11,845 0.1
Malayalam 10,945 0.09

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Pennsylvania. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Pennsylvania Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 89
BachelorsDegree 28
Disabled 9
NoHealthInsurance 10
LaborForceTotal 63
LaborForceFemale 58
FoodServiceSales 23,504,192
HealthCareRevenue 96,329,248
ManufacturerShipments 231,396,178
MerchantWholesalesSales 191,170,147
RetailSales 178,794,945
RetailSalesPerCapita 14,008
MeanWorkTravelTime 26
MedianHouseholdIncome 53,115
PerCapitaIncome 28,912
PovertyPercentage 14

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Pennsylvania for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5% and the labor force participation rate is 62.8%.

Pennsylvania Business

NonemployerEstablishments 799,663
AllFirms 975,453
MenOwnedFirms 579,400
WomenOwnedFirms 304,803
MinorityOwnedFirms 131,512
NonminorityOwnedFirms 818,858
VeteranOwnedFirms 97,969
NonveteranOwn 837,792

Pennsylvania Housing

HousingUnits 5,602,813
HousingUnits 5,567,315
OwnerOccupiedRate 70
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 164,900
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,443
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 495
MedianGrossRent 832
BuildingPermits 22,854
Households 4,957,736
PersonsPerHousehold 2
SameHouseOneYearAgo 88
NonEnglishAtHome 11
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts