Pennsylvania Population 2018


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 12.82 million in 2018, 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 2018, 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 2018 population shows Pennsylvania has 12.82 million 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).

Pennsylvania Population History

Pennsylvania was one of the 13 original States. In 1792 the acquisition of the Erie Triangle at its northwest corner brought it to essentially its present boundaries. In 1790 census coverage included all parts of the present State except for the Erie Triangle.

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 Population Rank

Year Pop % Change

Pennsylvania Facts

Pennsylvania Population in 2018Source: 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

Philadelphia County

  • Population1,574,765
  • Density11736.39 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20103.04%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State12.32%

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.

Pennsylvania Population Pyramid 2018

0k20k40k60k80k100kPennsylvania Male Population0k20k40k60k80k100kPennsylvania Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

To compare Pennsylvania to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population
Black or African American1,407,047
Two or More Races323,754
Some Other Race262,396
American Indian and Alaska Native23,556
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander3,417

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.

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 1-Year Survey)

Languages Spoken in Pennsylvania

Language Population Percentage
Pennsylvania Dutch51,7600.43%

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

Pennsylvania Economy

High school graduate or higher 89%
Bachelor's degree or higher 28.1%
With a Disability 9.3%
Persons Without Health Insurance 10%
In Civilian Labor Force 62.8%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 58.3%
Food Services Sales $23,504,192
Health Care Revenue $96,329,248,000
Manufacturers Shipments $231,396,178,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $191,170,147,000
Total Retail Sales $178,794,945,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $14,008
Mean Travel Time to Work 26.1 minutes
Median Household Income $53,115
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $28,912
Persons in Poverty 13.6%

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

Total Nonemployer Establishments 799,663
All firms 975,453
Men-owned Firms 579,400
Women-owned Firms 304,803
Minority-owned Firms 131,512
Nonminority-owned Firms 818,858
Veternan-owned Firms 97,969
Nonveteran-owned Firms 837,792

Pennsylvania Housing

Housing Units 5,567,315
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 69.5%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $164,900
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,443
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $495
Median Gross Rent $832
Building Permits 22,854
Households 4,957,736
Persons per Household 2.49 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 88%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 10.5%
Data Sources
  1. Pennsylvania State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)