April 18, 2019
The population of Philadelphia increased by a net of just over 3,900 people from 2017 to 2018, continuing more than a decade of modest growth, according to the latest data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Since 2010, Philadelphia has seen a 3.65 percent increase in its population, a trend led by the city's growing immigrant population and "natural increase" — more births than deaths.
As a whole, the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area ranks as the eighth most populous in the country, down from seventh after being edged out by Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach.
Pennsylvania's counties, meanwhile, lost population over the last year, the Census estimates showed. Just over half of Pennsylvania's 67 counties (54 percent) lost population from 2017 to 2018.
Most of the nation's population growth in the last year came in counties to the south and west, led by large numeric increases in Texas and Arizona. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area had a high rate of natural increase, while the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale saw a surge in immigrant residents.
“One interesting trend we are seeing this year is that metro areas not among the most populous are ranked in the top 10 for population growth,” said Sandra Johnson, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division. “Though no new metro areas moved into the top 10 largest areas, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, and Orlando all experienced numeric increases in population since 2010, rivaling growth in areas with much larger populations. This trend is consistent with the overall growth we are seeing in the south and the west.”
Areas with the largest decreases included cities in Puerto Rico, which were devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and cities in the lower 48 such as Charleston, West Virginia; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; and Farmington, New Mexico.
A snapshot of numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau provides a breakdown of where the country saw the greatest gains and losses over the last year, with additional data to be released in the coming months.