Pittsburgh: Metropolitan, Suburban and Core Losses

Just released census data indicates that the Pittsburgh metropolitan area declined in population from 2,431,000 in 2000 to 2,356,000 in 2010, a loss of 3.1 percent. The loss reflects a continuing trend of regional declines. The present geographical area of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area has a population below that of 1930 and has lost 400,000 residents (at percent) since 1960. No other major metropolitan area has experienced a loss since 1960 (including Katrina ravaged New Orleans).

Both the historical core municipality, the city of Pittsburgh and the suburbs declined. The suburbs experienced a loss of 2.2 percent, but accounted for 61 percent of the metropolitan area loss. All six suburban counties except Butler (5.6 percent) and more distant Washington (2.4 percent) experienced losses. The core county of Allegheny (which includes the city of Pittsburgh) lost 4.6 percent of its population and nearly 80 percent of the metropolitan area's numeric population loss.

The city of Pittsburgh continued its long decline, falling to 306,000 in 2010 from 335,000 in 2000, a loss of 8.6 percent. The city accounted for 39 percent of the metropolitan area population loss. Pittsburgh's population peaked in 1950 at 677,000 and has fallen 55 percent since that time. Its 2010 population is lower than in any previous census since 1880 (based upon the combined population of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, which subsequently consolidated).