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U.S. Census reduces Pittsburgh region’s latest population estimate

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The city of Pittsburgh skyline, from the West End Overlook, Sunday, June 5th, 2011. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review

The U.S. Census Bureau reduced its population estimate for the city of Pittsburgh last year, according to figures released Thursday.

During the last census in 2010, the city had 305,704 residents.

As of July 1, 2017, the city’s estimated population dropped to 302,407, the new data show. That’s 2,610 fewer than the estimate released in 2016.

“The Peduto administration doesn’t live and die by these estimates, which obviously are always changing,” said Tim McNulty, a spokesman for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “On the ground we know the city is thriving, and our challenge has become managing Pittsburgh’s growth so all current and future residents can share in it.”

Allegheny County’s 2017 population estimate was essentially the same as it was in 2010, but it dropped by 4,505 residents from 2016 to 1,223,048, the data show. The estimate of the county’s population has been dropping since 2013.

The populations of most Allegheny County municipalities declined, but there were some exceptions.

The 2017 population estimate for Bethel Park increased by 555 residents to 32,404. Franklin Park’s estimate grew by about 101 residents to 14,552.

“The demographic sea change happening nationally — weighing an aging population against falling childbirth rates — is one facing cities across the country, not just Pittsburgh,” McNulty said. “It will take a long time to turn these major trends around. Mayor Peduto has set the city on the right path to doing so and will not back off his goals for the city’s continued rebirth.”

Westmoreland County’s 2017 population estimate also dropped from 2016 by about 2,161 residents to bring it to 352,627. In 2010, the county had 365,169 residents.

Nationally, eight of the 15 municipalities with the largest population gains in 2017 are in the South, according to a Census news release. The top five include San Antonio, which gained more than 24,000 residents, followed by Phoenix, Dallas, Forth Worth and Los Angeles.

The previous year showed a similar trend of Americans moving to southern cities.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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