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Identity & Community

Census: Pittsburgh Region Is Getting Younger

The population of the youngest Allegheny County residents is growing, while nationally the number is dropping.

Between 2010 and 2012, the number of people five years of age and younger increased county-wide by 0.9 percent, while it decreased nationally by the same percentage.

“I think the Pittsburgh region’s been attracting people for the last few years, and most people moving into the region are going to be younger folks mostly coming for work, so I think that’s made us younger as we go ahead,” said Christopher Briem, regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh.

According to U.S. Census data released this week, the nation's median age climbed to 37.4 years in 2012, up from 37.3 one year earlier. Six states experienced a decline in median age, led by North Dakota, where it fell by 0.5 years, from 36.6 to 36.1.

The other states or equivalents with a drop in median age were Hawaii, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Kansas and Oklahoma.

In Pennsylvania as a whole, the number of the youngest residents decreased from 729,538 in 2010 to 719,703 in 2012. In Allegheny County, Briem said dramatic changes in population age will be slow.

“Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh region still remains a relatively older region,” he said. “We have a lot of older folks here, a lot of younger folks left in the past. It’s going to take some time before that really changes.”

That will likely change as more young professionals move to the area, settle and start families. When taking age out of the equation the population of Pennsylvania increased modestly from 2010 to 2012, including the population of Pittsburgh.