Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Population 2021

49,395
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Harrisburg is a city located in Dauphin County Pennsylvania. It is also the county seat of Dauphin County. With a 2020 population of 49,395, it is the 9th largest city in Pennsylvania and the 796th largest city in the United States . Harrisburg is currently growing at a rate of 0.13% annually but its population has decreased by -0.27% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 49,528 in 2010. Harrisburg reached it's highest population of 89,544 in 1950. Spanning over 12 miles, Harrisburg has a population density of 6,084 people per square mile.

The average household income in Harrisburg is $52,794 with a poverty rate of 26.25%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $856 per month, and the median house value is $80,800. The median age in Harrisburg is 31 years, 29.8 years for males, and 32.6 years for females.

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 Population and Economy Statistics

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.

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 Demographics

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

  • Black or African American: 51.49%
  • White: 34.91%
  • Asian: 4.58%
  • Other race: 4.38%
  • Two or more races: 4.14%
  • Native American: 0.48%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.02%
The current population of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is 49,395 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 49,209.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 49,528.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2021585,5253,7920.65%
2020581,7333,7920.65%
2019577,9413,7920.66%
2018574,1493,3650.59%
2017570,7843,2740.57%
2016567,5102,8320.50%
2015564,6783,5140.62%
2014561,1643,0250.54%
2013558,1393,0820.55%
2012555,0572,7770.50%
2011552,2802,1920.40%
2010550,0880.00%

Harrisburg Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
Black or African American25,33951.49%
White17,17834.91%
Asian2,2524.58%
Some Other Race2,1564.38%
Two or More Races2,0374.14%
American Indian and Alaska Native2380.48%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander90.02%
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Harrisburg Population by Race

Harrisburg Population Pyramid $2021

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Harrisburg Median Age

31


Total

29.8


Male

32.6


Female

Harrisburg Adults

There are 36,065 adults, (5,094 of whom are seniors) in Harrisburg.

Harrisburg Age Dependency

58.9

Age Dependency Ratio

16.4

Old Age Dependency Ratio

42.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Harrisburg Sex Ratio

Female

25,801

52.43%

Male

23,408

47.57%

Harrisburg Population by Age

Harrisburg Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Harrisburg Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married57.4%42.6%
Male40.3%59.7%
All35.6%64.4%
Non Family32.6%67.4%
Female21.3%78.7%

35.6%

Rate of Home Ownership

Harrisburg Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All20,5432.3435.6
Non Family9,9221.2232.6
Female4,9383.4321.3
Married4,3573.2857.4
Male1,3263.6440.3

3.24

Average Family Size

2.34

Average Household Size

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Harrisburg Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,1847.09%
9th to 12th Grade4,08313.26%
High School Graduate9,86032.02%
Some College5,90919.19%
Associates Degree1,9416.30%
Bachelors Degree4,30313.98%
Graduate Degree2,5108.15%
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Harrisburg Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Harrisburg Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
Black15,01912,1681,938
White9,1968,1483,561
Hispanic5,3953,469579
Asian1,6261,055648
Other Race1,18658881
2+ Races838744201
Native American1356521
Islander99

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 asian people with a rate of 39.85%.

Harrisburg Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,844$35,928$30,138
Less Than 9th Grade$20,978$24,185$19,071
High School Graduate$27,318$32,896$24,286
Some College$32,313$35,547$30,579
Bachelors Degree$38,693$37,285$39,291
Graduate Degree$59,329$62,717$57,917

$31,844

Average Earnings

$35,928

Average Male

$30,138

Average Female

Harrisburg Earnings by Educational Attainment

Harrisburg Language by Age

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Harrisburg Language

78.96% of Harrisburg residents speak only English, while 21.04% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.82% of the population.

Harrisburg Language

Harrisburg Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black25,1237,37329.35%
Hispanic10,6143,79235.73%
White11,5971,90316.41%
Other2,1011,01248.17%
Multiple2,02347023.23%
Asian2,2141868.40%
Native2384117.23%

26.25%

Overall Poverty Rate

24.98%

Male Poverty Rate

27.39%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Harrisburg

The race most likely to be in poverty in Harrisburg is Other, with 48.17% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Harrisburg is Asian, with 8.40% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.81%. Among those working part-time, it was 28.41%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 37.26%.

Harrisburg Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade31.11%
High School22.88%
Some College15.68%
Bachelors or Greater5.95%

Harrisburg Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed37.71%
Male Unemployed28.39%
Female Employed15.45%
Male Employed9.26%

Harrisburg Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Harrisburg Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$39,685$52,794
Families$42,607$57,035
Married Families$64,928$82,315
Non Families$34,255$44,765
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Income by Household Type

Harrisburg Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

26.3%

Overall Marriage Rate

28.2%

Male Marriage Rate

24.8%

Female Marriage Rate

Harrisburg Married by Age and Sex

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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

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Harrisburg Marital Status

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2,235

Number of Veterans

1,801

Male Veterans

434

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam786
First Gulf War425
Second Gulf War348
Korea164
World War II52

Harrisburg Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
55 to 64737
35 to 54542
65 to 74431
75+392
18 to 34133

Harrisburg Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
Black1,4018.00%
White7885.70%
Hispanic1542.36%
2+ Races242.07%
Asian190.96%
Other Race30.21%

Harrisburg Veterans by Race

Harrisburg Veterans by Education

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16.62%

Veteran Poverty Rate

22.13%

Veteran Disability Rate

Harrisburg Veterans by Education

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67.1%

Labor Force Participation

61.3%

Employment Rate

8.6%

Unemployment Rate

Harrisburg Employment by Age

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Harrisburg Employment by Race

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Harrisburg Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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63.13%

Born in Harrisburg

89.88%

Native Born

10.12%

Foreign Born

6.38%

Non Citizen

3.75%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

89.88% of Harrisburg residents were born in the United States, with 63.13% having been born in Pennsylvania. 6.38% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Harrisburg Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202149,395620.13%
202049,333620.13%
201949,271620.13%
201849,20920.00%
201749,207300.06%
201649,177-76-0.15%
201549,253-91-0.18%
201449,344-34-0.07%
201349,378-49-0.10%
201249,427100.02%
201149,417-95-0.19%
201049,5125620.11%
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%

Harrisburg Population by Year