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Old 05-25-2009, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
3,946 posts, read 3,580,705 times
Reputation: 1902

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
The population dynamics in Pittsburgh are quite complicated. The disproportionate loss of young adults during the steel bust is still reverberating because in many cases their parents are still here, which is what has continued to cause a larger-than-average older population and unusually large population losses due to migration to retirement communities and death. Of course this is not a stable situation by nature (eventually that entire older generation will migrate or pass away), and most estimates have Pittsburgh returning to a normal population distribution in a couple more decades.

Meanwhile, the population loss has not been distributed evenly throughout the metropolitan area. Specifically, between 1990 and 2000, while the Pittsburgh metropolitan area lost population, the Pittsburgh urban area (defined by the Census to include the City plus the major close-in suburbs) actually grew in population. So, the overall loss in population in Pittsburgh's metropolitan area was driven entirely by population loss in rural areas and small towns outside Pittsburgh's urban area (note this includes many former steel towns, particularly out along the river valleys). That, by the way, is a pattern seen across the country: we have continued to become a more and more urban, as opposed to rural, country with each Census.

Accordingly, I am personally not very worried about population in Pittsburgh, since I live in the urban area and the urban area is actually on a normal slow growth path. I'd be more worried, however, if I was living in the farther reaches of the metropolitan area.
Other than federal funding population loss hasn't bothered me personally. I don't know of any unoccupied houses other than one that have been unoccupied for the last 10 years. In all, I have never noticed population loss.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:16 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,901,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
Other than federal funding population loss hasn't bothered me personally. I don't know of any unoccupied houses other than one that have been unoccupied for the last 10 years. In all, I have never noticed population loss.
And rapid population growth can sometimes be bad for the existing residents. That said, there are long-term problems that population loss can create (e.g., it is part of the cause of the City's pension overhang), so I think it is a good thing that the population in the urban area has stabilized and is back to a low growth model.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
3,946 posts, read 3,580,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
And rapid population growth can sometimes be bad for the existing residents. That said, there are long-term problems that population loss can create (e.g., it is part of the cause of the City's pension overhang), so I think it is a good thing that the population in the urban area has stabilized and is back to a low growth model.
I agree, I would never want to huge influx of transplants and immigrants cities such as ATL, Phoenix, and CLT have had over the past couple decades. Steeady and slow growth is the best; especially if your population is increasing by just births.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:20 AM
Status: "Snow is coming for Christmas!" (set 14 hours ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,088 posts, read 60,674,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
Other than federal funding population loss hasn't bothered me personally. I don't know of any unoccupied houses other than one that have been unoccupied for the last 10 years. In all, I have never noticed population loss.
As Brian said earlier, it depends on where you are. The last time I checked the stats on CD, my hometown of Beaver Falls had an unoccupied rate of 11%. The last time I was there, it looked like a ghost town with people living in it. The same is true of many river mill towns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
And rapid population growth can sometimes be bad for the existing residents. That said, there are long-term problems that population loss can create (e.g., it is part of the cause of the City's pension overhang), so I think it is a good thing that the population in the urban area has stabilized and is back to a low growth model.
Having lived in a place that is perpetually growing (when there's not a recession going on), the biggest problems with rapid growth seem to be school overcrowding, and traffic. However, finding solutions to these problems is generally more stimulating than finding solutions to problems of population loss, e.g. having to close schools, etc.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:52 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,553,628 times
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Check out these metropolitian area unemployment rates:

Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas

Pittsburgh is holding it's own by comparison to many metropolitian areas in the United States.

California is having a terrible time with unemployment skyrocking in most areas --- some even around 20%.

As a matter of fact, there isn't one California metropolitan area with lower unemployment than Pittsburgh.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,137 posts, read 1,776,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Pittsburgh might have a slightly older population, but the statistics I provided prove that it's only a few percent.

I'm sorry you're unhappy here. I hope you are able to afford to leave soon. Nobody should live somewhere they hate.
Pittsburgh has some of the oldest population in the country. I know because my husband works for the Dept of Aging and it's his job to know those kinds of stats. We are only slightly behind Florida and it's argued that in summer, we surpass Florida in elderly population. If you want to confirm this and not just take my word for it, contact the Allegheny County Dept of Aging.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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The Allegheny County Department of Aging has it's own agenda. Raw data from the US census proves otherwise.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,137 posts, read 1,776,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
The Allegheny County Department of Aging has it's own agenda. Raw data from the US census proves otherwise.
This is the husband of Highway29south. I work for the Dept. of Aging. We do not have our own agenda (It is determined by the State of PA and the people you elect, not individual agencies) and the U.S. census data does not distinguish between young elders and very old elders. Pittsburgh has one of the highest U.S. populations of 85+ in the country. As a matter of fact, this is our highest population growth far outstripping births and new residents. We are a very old city.

"Pittsburgh lost an estimated 2,450 people between 2006 and 2007, bringing its population down to 311,218 people, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released today.
The estimated decline is the 15th largest numerically among places with at least 100,000 people."

From:Pittsburgh's one-year population loss 15th largest - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The people who left are the young population. Google the reasons that people left Pittsburgh and you will see that our employment, taxes and other issues contribute greatly to this problem.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:02 PM
Status: "Snow is coming for Christmas!" (set 14 hours ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,088 posts, read 60,674,394 times
Reputation: 20207
Pennsylvania QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

Persons age 65+, Pennsylvania: 15.2%, US: 12.6%

Allegheny County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

Persons age 65+, Allegheny County: 16.9%

Before anyone starts thinking that's not much higher than average, look at it this way, Allegheny County has about 33% more seniors than the general US population does.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:06 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,901,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Having lived in a place that is perpetually growing (when there's not a recession going on), the biggest problems with rapid growth seem to be school overcrowding, and traffic. However, finding solutions to these problems is generally more stimulating than finding solutions to problems of population loss, e.g. having to close schools, etc.
School overcrowding is indeed usually just a temporary issue. Traffic congestion is harder to beat due to induced demand, and in a lot of growing cities congestion has continued to grow worse over time despite lots of highway building.

Some of the other problems with rapid population growth can include various amenities (cultural, sports, and so on) not keeping pace with the population, housing price inflation (not necessarily so bad if you already own your dream home, but potentially bad if you are looking for your first place or to move up), natural resource shortages (e.g., water in some places), concentrated economic risks (e.g., recently a lot of rapidly growing places had economies unusually dependent on housing construction, and that increased their exposure to the current recession), and so forth.

Generally, I see this as a Goldilocks situation: at least for existing residents, it is often best for things to neither be too hot nor too cold, meaning the best population situation is growth, but slow growth as opposed to rapid growth.
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