Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Population 2020

49,229

Harrisburg is a city located in the state of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat of Dauphin County and also the capital of the state. The city has an estimated population of 49,229, making it the ninth most populous state in Pennsylvania. The city was once named as one of the best in the United States for raising a family, although it has faced some economic troubles in recent years.

Harrisburg History

The region that is now the city of Harrisburg is believed to have been inhabited as far back as 3000 BC. Before being settled as a city, it was a crossroads for traders in its earliest days. Europeans did not reach the area until the early 1600s but did not settle at that time. The first European to settle in the area was John Harris, Sr. in 1719, later acquiring 800 acres of land. Toward the end of the 18th century, Harris’ son made plans for a town, and Harrisburg (named after the elder Harris) was incorporated in 1791. The city was designated as the capital in 1812.

In its earliest days, Harrisburg was a rural town. After being named as the capital, the capitol building was built in 1822, and the city began to expand, and its population grew. The Pennsylvania Canal, residential homes and businesses were constructed during the early 1800s. At the time of the Civil War, Harrisburg served as a training center and rail center for the Union. It was targeted twice by the Army of Northern Virginia. Harrisburg was also a stopping point of the Underground Railroad.

During the late 19th century, the city’s economy was centered on the steel and iron industries. The Steelton Borough in particular was known for its production of steel. The neighborhood had its downtown, houses and housed over 16,000 people. The rail yard also grew as industrialization took hold of Harrisburg.

However, in the 20th century, the industrial sector went into decline, and more people moved from the city limits to the surrounding suburbs. It was at this time that the city’s economy shifted to service industries including health care. Despite this, the population continued to decline after 1950. The city population continued to drop into the 1990s.

In the 21st century, mishandling funds put Harrisburg in a financial crisis. Most notably, trash to electricity plant that was supposed to boost the economy brought a debt of hundreds of millions of dollars. The total debt today has been estimated to be over $1.5 million, though missing audits and other issues have prevented an official total from being determined. In 2011, the city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy which was dismissed. A receiver was appointed to help handle the finances as city assets were seized. A plan was announced in 2013 to bring the city out of debt, a plan that is currently being put in place.

Harrisburg Population and Economy Statistics

The city of Harrisburg has an estimated population of just over 49,000 people. This is down from the last census of 2010, which had a population of 49,528. The city has a total area of 11.86 square miles and a population density of over 6,015 people per square mile.

Thirty-one percent of the population is 25 to 44 years old, over 28% are under the age of 18, and almost 11% are at least 65 years old. There are more males than females, with 88.7 men for every 100 women. Nearly one-quarter of the population lives below the federal poverty line.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the city’s largest employer, providing jobs to nearly 22,000 people. The United States government, Giant Food Stores, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts are also top employers in the city, together providing tens of thousands of jobs to residents.

Harrisburg Population Growth

Since the 1960s, the of Harrisburg has been on the decline. At its peak, the population was almost 90,000 at the time of the 1950 census. However, by the time of the next census, it had dropped to below 80,000. This trend continued until the 2000 poll, which showed that the population was below 50,000. While the city’s population did increase between 2000 and 2010, it was just by over 1%. Recent estimates show that the population is down since the last census, indicating that the city’s financial issues and other problems continue to plague Harrisburg.

Harrisburg Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Harrisburg was:

  • Black or African American: 51.83%
  • White: 34.31%
  • Asian: 5.36%
  • Other race: 4.18%
  • Two or more races: 3.95%
  • Native American: 0.36%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.01%

How Many People Live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

49,229
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
201849,229210.04%
201749,208360.07%
201649,172-76-0.15%
201549,248-85-0.17%
201449,333-32-0.06%
201349,365-45-0.09%
201249,41060.01%
201149,404-100-0.20%
201049,5045540.11%
200048,950-3,426-0.67%
199052,376-888-0.17%
198053,264-14,797-2.42%
197068,061-11,636-1.57%
196079,697-9,847-1.16%
195089,5445,6510.65%
194083,8933,5540.43%
193080,3394,4220.57%
192075,91711,7311.69%
191064,18614,0192.49%
190050,16710,7822.45%
189039,3858,6232.50%
188030,7627,6582.90%
187023,1049,6995.59%
186013,4055,5715.52%
18507,8341,8542.74%
18405,9801,6683.32%
18304,3121,3223.73%
18202,9900.00%
Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2018574,6593,5580.62%
2017571,1013,4610.61%
2016567,6402,8880.51%
2015564,7523,5460.63%
2014561,2063,0430.54%
2013558,1633,1030.56%
2012555,0602,8170.51%
2011552,2432,1410.39%
2010550,1020.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
Black or African American25,51751.83%
White16,89034.31%
Asian2,6385.36%
Some Other Race2,0584.18%
Two or More Races1,9433.95%
American Indian and Alaska Native1770.36%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander70.01%

Harrisburg Population Pyramid 2020

Harrisburg Median Age

31.2


Total

30.3


Male

32.3


Female

Harrisburg Adults

There are 36,335 adults, (4,966 of whom are seniors) in Harrisburg.

Harrisburg Age Dependency

56.9

Age Dependency Ratio

15.8

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Harrisburg Sex Ratio

Female

26,101

53.02%

Male

23,129

46.98%

Harrisburg Households and Families

Harrisburg Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Harrisburg Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married57.1%42.9%
All34.6%65.4%
Non Family31.7%68.3%
Male30.4%69.6%
Female21.8%78.2%

34.6%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All20,5202.3534.6
Non Family9,6331.2431.7
Female5,1923.3121.8
Married4,4373.2657.1
Male1,2583.6530.4

3.2

Average Family Size

2.35

Average Household Size

7.2%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.6%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Harrisburg Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,2267.23%
9th to 12th Grade4,37614.21%
High School Graduate10,11232.85%
Some College5,94419.31%
Associates Degree1,9226.24%
Bachelors Degree3,95512.85%
Graduate Degree2,2507.31%

Harrisburg Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
Black14,89912,0821,800
White8,9217,7483,221
Hispanic5,4733,337540
Asian1,8341,169592
Other Race1,07552976
Multiple Races808695177
Native American985817
Islander77

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 36.11%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$30,477$32,094$29,365
Less Than High School$20,912$21,837$19,897
High School Grad$27,071$29,641$25,136
Some College$30,577$30,485$30,637
Bachelors Degree$38,159$40,694$36,984
Graduate Degree$59,891$63,130$57,177

$30,477

Average Earnings

$32,094

Average Male

$29,365

Average Female

Harrisburg Language

Harrisburg Language by Age

Harrisburg Language

77.77% of Harrisburg residents speak only English, while 22.23% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 14.43% of the population.

Harrisburg Poverty

Harrisburg Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black25,3237,51129.66%
Hispanic10,6144,10138.64%
White10,8252,01418.61%
Other2,01591945.61%
Multiple1,92852026.97%
Asian2,59742216.25%
Native1772111.86%

27.74%

Overall Poverty Rate

26.43%

Male Poverty Rate

28.89%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Harrisburg

The race most likely to be in poverty in Harrisburg is Other, with 45.61% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Harrisburg is Native, with 11.86% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.64%. Among those working part-time, it was 29.38%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 40.63%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School35.81%
High School24.65%
Some College16.93%
Bachelors or Greater6.12%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed45.97%
Male Unemployed33.55%
Female Employed15.34%
Male Employed9.75%

Harrisburg Income

Harrisburg Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$37,356$51,552
Families$41,333$53,603
Married Families$63,613$76,035
Non Families$31,170$44,875

Harrisburg Marital Status

Harrisburg Marital Status

Marriage Rates

26.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

29.7%

Male Marriage Rate

24.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Harrisburg Married by Age and Sex

Harrisburg Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Harrisburg Marital Status by Race

Harrisburg Veterans

2,136

Number of Veterans

1,744

Male Veterans

392

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam742
First Gulf War386
Second Gulf War312
Korea175
World War II71

Harrisburg Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
Black1,2236.95%
White8235.99%
Hispanic981.47%
2 or More715.92%
Asian190.84%

Harrisburg Veterans by Education

14.50%

Veteran Poverty Rate

22.56%

Veteran Disability Rate

Harrisburg Employment Status

66%

Labor Force Participation

59.4%

Employment Rate

9.8%

Unemployment Rate

Harrisburg Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

62.36%

Born in Pennsylvania

88.55%

Native Born

11.45%

Foreign Born

7.33%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

88.55% of Harrisburg residents were born in the United States, with 62.36% having been born in Pennsylvania. 7.33% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.