Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Population 2023

50,270

Harrisburg is a city located in Dauphin County Pennsylvania. It is also the county seat of Dauphin County. With a 2023 population of 50,270, it is the 10th largest city in Pennsylvania and the 892nd largest city in the United States.Harrisburg is currently growing at a rate of 0.11% annually and its population has increased by 0.34% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 50,099 in 2020. Spanning over 12 miles, Harrisburg has a population density of 6,192 people per square mile.

The average household income in Harrisburg is $52,794 with a poverty rate of 34.55%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Harrisburg is 31.5 years, 31 years for males, and 32.4 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: 51.7%
  • White: 34.3%
  • Other race: 5.37%
  • Two or more races: 4.78%
  • Asian: 3.29%
  • Native American: 0.55%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0%
The current population of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is 50,270 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates.The last official US Census in 2020 recorded the population at 50,099.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Population 2023

Harrisburg Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Black or African American

White

Other race

Two or more races

Asian

Native American

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Harrisburg Population by Race

Harrisburg Population Pyramid 2023

Harrisburg Median Age

31.5

Total

31

Male

32.4

Female

Harrisburg Adults

There are 35,650 adults, (5,482 of whom are seniors) in Harrisburg.

Harrisburg Age Dependency

63.2

Age Dependency Ratio

18.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

45.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Harrisburg Sex Ratio

Female25,52951.84%
Male23,71848.16%

Harrisburg Population by Age

Harrisburg Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

3.24

Average Family Size

2.29

Average Household Size

35.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Married

Male

Female

NonFamily

owner

renter

Harrisburg Households and Families

Male

Female

Less Than 9th Grade

9th to 12th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Associates Degree

Bachelors Degree

Graduate Degree

Harrisburg Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Harrisburg Educational Attainment by Race

High School Graduation Rate

Bachelors Rate

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 78.3%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 35.92%.

Harrisburg Educational Attainment by Race

All

Male

Female

$32,162

Average Earnings

$36,672

Average Male

$28,325

Average Female

Harrisburg Earnings by Educational Attainment

Harrisburg Language by Age

Only English

Spanish

Other Indo-European Languages

Asian and Pacific Island Languages

Other Languages

Harrisburg Language

79.38% of Harrisburg residents speak only English, while 20.62% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 14.58% of the population.

Harrisburg Language

Harrisburg Poverty by Race

rate

34.55%

Overall Poverty Rate

24.8%

Male Poverty Rate

27.99%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Harrisburg

The race most likely to be in poverty in Harrisburg is Other, with 71.28% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Harrisburg is Asian, with 6.87% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 7.61%. Among those working part-time, it was 26.75%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 36%.

Harrisburg Poverty

Harrisburg Poverty Rate by Education

Harrisburg Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Harrisburg Income by Household Type

Households

Families

MarriedFamilies

NonFamilies

mean

median

Income by Household Type

Harrisburg Marital Status

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Marriage Rates

27.2%

Overall Marriage Rate

28.0%

Male Marriage Rate

26.5%

Female Marriage Rate

Harrisburg Married by Age and Sex

male

female

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 55-64.

Harrisburg Marital Status by Race

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Harrisburg Marital Status

Second Gulf War

First Gulf War

Vietnam

Korea

World War II

2,044

Number of Veterans

1,703

Male Veterans

341

Female Veterans

Harrisburg Veterans by War

Harrisburg Veterans by Age

count

Harrisburg Veterans by Race

Harrisburg Veterans by Education

Less Than 9th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Bachelors or Greater

14.97%

Veteran Poverty Rate

22.85%

Veteran Disability Rate

Harrisburg Veterans by Education

LaborForceParticipation

67.3%

Labor Force Participation

61.5%

Employment Rate

8.5%

Unemployment Rate

Harrisburg Employment by Age

LaborForceParticipation

Harrisburg Employment by Race

LaborForceParticipation

Harrisburg Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

60.24%

Born in Harrisburg

89.44%

Native Born

8.85%

Foreign Born

5.4%

Non Citizen

3.46%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

89.44% of Harrisburg residents were born in the United States, with 60.24% having been born in Pennsylvania. 5.4% 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

Note: data after 2020 is projected based on recent growth

Harrisburg Population by Year