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Old 03-23-2017, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
5,154 posts, read 8,249,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craziaskowboi View Post
Going forward, Pennsylvania will be more susceptible to booms and busts in the global energy market than before, which will reflect itself in the annual estimates, especially once the ongoing elderly die-off and a relative lack of procreation are factored in.
I get that Pennsylvania's economy now has very slightly more of a "boom/bust" nature with the natural gas industry, but mining and logging employment makes up 0.4% of total state employment. For all the talk of how that industry has "boomed" (and more recently "busted") it's still very much a drop in the bucket of the overall economy, particularly now that PA's employment is picking up in spite of the NG industry.

I think it's much more likely that the largely dismal population estimates for PA is 99% due to demographic approximations. It's a significantly whiter and older state than the US average, which by themselves are huge headwinds for growth (keep in mind the white population is overall declining across the US, not just on a per capita basis but literal raw numbers). Add in the fact that a larger proportion of Pennsylvanians are outside of child-rearing years, and you have a key recipe for population decline.

But again, given that Pennsylvanians are overall just terrible at having children, it's more important than ever for the state to use its economic assets to attract talented transplants from across the world.

Ironically, the fact that Pennsylvania is clearly producing many more jobs than people at this point is a good problem to have. It's now just getting the message out there that opportunities can be had in a state too many still overlook.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:22 PM
 
805 posts, read 518,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
A quick map I did of the 2015-2016 population change by county. Each color represents increments of 0.25%.

Basically, South-Central PA and State College are doing pretty well, the Philly area is stagnant, and the rest of the state is falling off a cliff.
Its really a shame what is happening in rural Pennsylvania and Upstate NY. I am very familiar with it, and it is painfully disheartening. Places like Warren County PA and Cattaraugus County NY i fear will reach a point where no young educated people are left. I really feel for the elderly of these areas, watching their hometowns falling into poverty and destitution while they themselves have no means of moving.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
13,239 posts, read 13,504,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoseph View Post
Its really a shame what is happening in rural Pennsylvania and Upstate NY. I am very familiar with it, and it is painfully disheartening. Places like Warren County PA and Cattaraugus County NY i fear will reach a point where no young educated people are left. I really feel for the elderly of these areas, watching their hometowns falling into poverty and destitution while they themselves have no means of moving.
Keep in mind this dynamic is nothing new in the U.S. When the western frontier opened in the 19th century a lot of New England farmers effectively abandoned their land, which is why you can walk through forests and find old stone fences. In the late 19th century a lot of boom towns grew up around mining, and the town died when the mines were tapped out.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
6,304 posts, read 7,949,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Keep in mind this dynamic is nothing new in the U.S. When the western frontier opened in the 19th century a lot of New England farmers effectively abandoned their land, which is why you can walk through forests and find old stone fences. In the late 19th century a lot of boom towns grew up around mining, and the town died when the mines were tapped out.
It might be an unpopular opinion to some, but in some areas there are just way too many small towns which serve no real purpose in this era. In many small towns, virtually all of the jobs left are minimum wage, government, or school related. That isn't sustainable and it makes no sense to have some of these towns which are consistently losing population continue to exist.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Washington County, PA
4,075 posts, read 4,018,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
A quick map I did of the 2015-2016 population change by county. Each color represents increments of 0.25%.

Basically, South-Central PA and State College are doing pretty well, the Philly area is stagnant, and the rest of the state is falling off a cliff.
Am I the only one who views population loss in the rural counties of PA (I'm talking very rural like Potter, Forest, Clinton etc) as a good thing? I'm thinking with less population (it's already spread extremely thin in some areas) it will be easier to maintain these areas (particularly human services and even road networks etc) And many areas could even be "turned back to nature". Concentrate the population in and around cities would be much more productive (this is why I'm not completely against sprawl - as long as it's adjacent to cities and not around smaller towns).

Of course this would only work if Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Erie, Scranton, etc were gaining these residents instead of stagnating themselves.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
13,239 posts, read 13,504,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
It might be an unpopular opinion to some, but in some areas there are just way too many small towns which serve no real purpose in this era. In many small towns, virtually all of the jobs left are minimum wage, government, or school related. That isn't sustainable and it makes no sense to have some of these towns which are consistently losing population continue to exist.
Yeah. Rural small towns basically stopped dying entirely in the 20th century because there was usually enough government jobs left in things like post offices and schools (along with various public assistance programs) to allow a bare minimum of economic activity. But if there was an active attempt by state government to consolidate municipal government (even maybe merging some of the smallest counties) then a lot of these communities would more completely draw down.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Washington County, PA
4,075 posts, read 4,018,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
It might be an unpopular opinion to some, but in some areas there are just way too many small towns which serve no real purpose in this era. In many small towns, virtually all of the jobs left are minimum wage, government, or school related. That isn't sustainable and it makes no sense to have some of these towns which are consistently losing population continue to exist.
Didn't see your post haha, I pretty much said the same thing.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
6,304 posts, read 7,949,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Yeah. Rural small towns basically stopped dying entirely in the 20th century because there was usually enough government jobs left in things like post offices and schools (along with various public assistance programs) to allow a bare minimum of economic activity. But if there was an active attempt by state government to consolidate municipal government (even maybe merging some of the smallest counties) then a lot of these communities would more completely draw down.
Along with that, the residents of these towns tend to be older and not have the skills employers that would pay well are looking for. Many of these towns will never come back due to these reasons. Also, it isn't the 1950's anymore, the US isn't the only game in town with manufacturing today and never will be again, which many of these towns relied on for their economy back then.
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
6,611 posts, read 7,450,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
It might be an unpopular opinion to some, but in some areas there are just way too many small towns which serve no real purpose in this era. In many small towns, virtually all of the jobs left are minimum wage, government, or school related. That isn't sustainable and it makes no sense to have some of these towns which are consistently losing population continue to exist.
The small towns are there because the houses that people live in are still there. There are probably a couple hundred coal patch towns in Western PA that only exist because there were once a local coal mine. Here is an example of a coal patch or company town. HEILWOOD, PA Heilwood has no stores or places to work within 10 miles yet the majority of the houses are inhabited. What do you suggest doing with these towns? And what problem would it solve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by speagles84 View Post
Am I the only one who views population loss in the rural counties of PA (I'm talking very rural like Potter, Forest, Clinton etc) as a good thing? I'm thinking with less population (it's already spread extremely thin in some areas) it will be easier to maintain these areas (particularly human services and even road networks etc) And many areas could even be "turned back to nature". Concentrate the population in and around cities would be much more productive (this is why I'm not completely against sprawl - as long as it's adjacent to cities and not around smaller towns).

Of course this would only work if Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Erie, Scranton, etc were gaining these residents instead of stagnating themselves.
Virtually all human services in these rural counties is located in the county seat. What would you do with the roads? Once they are built, how do you stop maintaining them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Yeah. Rural small towns basically stopped dying entirely in the 20th century because there was usually enough government jobs left in things like post offices and schools (along with various public assistance programs) to allow a bare minimum of economic activity. But if there was an active attempt by state government to consolidate municipal government (even maybe merging some of the smallest counties) then a lot of these communities would more completely draw down.
I think rural post offices were discussed on here recently. It is difficult to eliminate rural post offices but one has recently been eliminated in my county.

I think the government jobs in these areas are exaggerated. There is some potential for school consolidation but the building exist and it involves increased transportation costs and lengthy bus rides in many cases. Other government jobs are with the State Police and PennDOT, but these are regionalized. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of human services jobs are located in each county seat. Most county seats are not located close enough together to consolidate services. You might as well just merge counties so as not to duplicate services.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
6,304 posts, read 7,949,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
The small towns are there because the houses that people live in are still there. There are probably a couple hundred coal patch towns in Western PA that only exist because there were once a local coal mine. Here is an example of a coal patch or company town. HEILWOOD, PA Heilwood has no stores or places to work within 10 miles yet the majority of the houses are inhabited. What do you suggest doing with these towns? And what problem would it solve?
Abandon some of them, they have no purpose to exist anymore, especially if they were only established as a town for a mill or a mine which hasn't existed in decades. The residents skew elderly and few young people stay in these places. I've heard PA has one of the most extensive rural road networks in the US and a population continuing to drop year after year.
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