Pennsylvania Population 2017

12,819,975

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).

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
202012,846,1830.07%
201912,837,4470.07%
201812,828,7110.07%
201712,819,9750.07%
201612,811,2390.07%
201512,802,5030.07%
201412,793,7670.08%
201312,783,5360.08%
201212,772,7890.22%
201112,745,2020.34%
201012,702,3790.34%
200012,281,0540.33%
199011,881,6430.01%
198011,863,8950.06%
197011,793,9090.41%
196011,319,3660.76%
195010,498,0120.59%
19409,900,1800.28%
19309,631,3501.00%
19208,720,0171.30%
19107,665,1111.98%
19006,302,1151.83%
18905,258,0142.07%
18804,282,8911.98%
18703,521,9511.94%
18602,906,2152.31%
18502,311,7862.98%
18401,724,0332.49%
18301,348,2332.54%
18201,049,4582.62%
1810810,0913.00%
1800602,5453.33%
1790434,3730.00%

Pennsylvania Facts

undefined Population in 2017Source: 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

  • Population1,567,442
  • Density11681.81 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20102.56%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State12.24%

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

0k20k40k60k80k100kPennsylvania Male Population0k20k40k60k80k100kPennsylvania Female Population

To compare Pennsylvania to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White10,573,53682.59%
Black or African American1,497,47611.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native45,3430.35%
Asian435,1213.4%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander8,7990.07%
Two or More Races242,2281.89%

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.

Languages Spoken in Pennsylvania

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over12,008,403100
English11,105,02392.48
Spanish525,2204.37
Chinese55,7750.46
Pennsylvania Dutch51,7600.43
German51,3450.43
French38,8700.32
Portuguese12,5050.1
Ukrainian11,8450.1
Malayalam10,9450.09

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

Indicator Value
HighSchoolGraduate89
BachelorsDegree28.1
Disabled9.3
NoHealthInsurance10
LaborForceTotal62.8
LaborForceFemale58.3
FoodServiceSales23,504,192
HealthCareRevenue96,329,248
ManufacturerShipments231,396,178
MerchantWholesalesSales191,170,147
RetailSales178,794,945
RetailSalesPerCapita14,008
MeanWorkTravelTime26.1
MedianHouseholdIncome53,115
PerCapitaIncome28,912
PovertyPercentage13.6

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

Indicator Value
NonemployerEstablishments799,663
AllFirms975,453
MenOwnedFirms579,400
WomenOwnedFirms304,803
MinorityOwnedFirms131,512
NonminorityOwnedFirms818,858
VeteranOwnedFirms97,969
NonveteranOwn837,792

Pennsylvania Housing

Indicator Value
HousingUnits5,602,813
HousingUnits5,567,315
OwnerOccupiedRate69.5
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue164,900
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage1,443
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage495
MedianGrossRent832
BuildingPermits22,854
Households4,957,736
PersonsPerHousehold2.49
SameHouseOneYearAgo88
NonEnglishAtHome10.5
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