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. At the 2010 census, it was confirmed that there were 12,702,379 people living in Pennsylvania and that number represented a 3.4% rise in the numbers declared in 2000.
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). In terms of the most populated counties in Pennsylvania, two in particular top the list - Philadelphia County at 1,580,863 and Allegheny County at 1,223,048.
The median age of the population in Pennsylvania is approximately 40.6 years of age. In terms of the ratio of females to males, the state is currently at 51.1% females and 48.9% males.
In terms of preferred religions across the population of Pennsylvania, 73% are affiliated with Christian based faiths, 6% are affiliated with non-Christian faiths, and 21% are unaffiliated with any religion.
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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Pennsylvania was:
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, sizable 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 growth trends of the past continued during the 20th century and as of 2016, the numbers were close to 12.8 million, but they're not there yet.
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.
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 the diversity of state peers. The White population has decreased 0.7%, but this trend is expected to reverse.
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 was 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 recorded 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.
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 81.86%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 48.15%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
88.33% of Pennsylvania residents speak only English, while 11.67% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 5.19% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Pennsylvania is Other, with 29.56% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Pennsylvania is White, with 8.44% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.94%. Among those working part-time, it was 14.02%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 19.95%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
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.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Pennsylvania
95.84% of Pennsylvania residents were born in the United States, with 73.93% having been born in Pennsylvania. 3.33% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.