Lancaster, Pennsylvania Population 2020
Lancaster is a city located in the state of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat of Lancaster County and is one of the oldest cities in the country. Lancaster once served as the capital of Pennsylvania. It was also once the capital of the United States. However, it only held this role for one day. Lancaster has an estimated population of 59,420, making it the eighth most populous city in Pennsylvania.
The city that is now Lancaster was once named Hickory Town. However, it was renamed to Lancaster after the English city. James Hamilton laid out the plans for the city in the 1730s, and in the next decade, it was incorporated as a borough. In 1777, Lancaster was designated as the capital of the United States. However, it was moved to York, Pennsylvania. The city also was the state capital from 1799 through 1812 before Harrisburg was designated as the new capital city.
Lancaster was officially incorporated as a city in 1818. The city through the 19th century continued to grow. Part of the first paved road in the country was located in Lancaster. The county prison, which is still in use today was also built during the 1800s. As the city grew, so did its population, and Lancaster was home to many prominent people, including James Buchanan. Buchanan’s estate, Wheatland, is a top tourist destination in Lancaster to this day.
In the 21st century, Gallery Row was established and today, the city has a thriving art community. In 2010, Lancaster began revitalizing its downtown and surrounding areas with shops, clubs, bars, and restaurants. Lancaster is also home to Central Market, the oldest farmers market in the country, as well as Park City Center, the largest indoor shopping mall in the South Central region of the state.
City Size and Population Density
Lancaster has a population of over 59,000 residents. The city’s total area measures just 7.4 miles, and there is a population density of about 8,000 people per square mile.
Lancaster Diversity and Population Statistics
The largest ethnic group residing within Lancaster is Puerto Ricans, making up 29.2% of the population. Germans, Black Americans, Irish and English are also significant ethnic groups living in this Pennsylvania City.
Its concentration of Puerto Rican residents is the second largest in the state, falling only behind Reading. There is also a large Amish community in Lancaster.
The 25 to 44 age group is the largest in the city, making up 30.5% of the population. Over 27% of the population is under the age of 18, while 10.5% are at least 65 years old. There are more female residents than males, with 91.4 males for every 100 females.
Over 29% of the population lives below the federal poverty line. Over 900 children in Lancaster are listed as homeless according to public school records, and the poverty rate is twice that of Pennsylvania’s state average. Lancaster General Hospital is the city’s top employer, giving jobs to over 7,000 people. RR Donnelley, County of Lancaster, Armstrong World Industries, and the School District of Lancaster are other top employers in the region.
Lancaster Population Growth
Lancaster, for the most part, has seen significant growth throughout its history. However, during the 1950s through 1980s, the city’s population dropped. Recent revitalization efforts have once again put the community on an upward trend. The city’s population peaked at the time of the 1950 census at 63,774. Today, the population is estimated to be over 59,000. Though it has remained about the same as it was during the 2010 census, continued efforts to revitalize the city could lead to significant growth in the future.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Lancaster was:
- White: 59.74%
- Black or African American: 18.34%
- Other race: 12.85%
- Two or more races: 5.19%
- Asian: 3.62%
- Native American: 0.21%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%