Pennsylvania’s population quickly becoming older, slowly more diverse

Michelle Frisco, professor of sociology and demography, explains the reason PA’s population is quickly becoming older and slowly more diverse
Published: Jul 17, 2018

Following national trends, Pennsylvania’s population is getting older and slowly becoming more diverse according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nearly one-third of all Pennsylvania residents were 55 years or older in 2017, ranking it seventh among states for the highest median age in the country at about 41 years old. The national median age is 38 years old.

“This is a peak for Pennsylvania in terms of the population 55 years and older,” said Molly Cromwell, a demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. ”You can see from the growth of those under 18 versus those 65 years and up in Pennsylvania that the older population is increasing while the younger population is decreasing quite rapidly.”    

Michelle Frisco, professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University says the numbers are due in part to people having fewer children and others moving away for education or job opportunities.


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