New Castle News

March 22, 2013

Estimates show county losing population

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County continues to lose people.

The county lost 1,237 people since the 2010 census, according to the latest estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The drop put the county’s population at 89,871 as of July 1, 2012.

Only Cambria and Westmoreland counties had bigger losses than Lawrence County in the entire state. Cambria County showed a drop of 2,095 people and Westmoreland County 1,773 people.

The estimates were derived by calculating the number of births versus deaths plus people entering or leaving each county.

Lawrence County recorded 2,026 births and 2,481 deaths, for what is referred to as a natural decrease of 455 people during the two-year period.

The county’s population dropped by 1.4 percent. Five other counties in the state had larger percent losses.

In the region, Beaver County showed a drop of 294 people, or 0.2 percent, and Mercer County had a decrease of 983, or 0.8 percent.

Butler County had a population increase of 1,108, or 0.6 percent, and Allegheny County a jump of 5,990, or 0.5 percent.

Beaver, Butler and Mercer counties also had natural decreases, but only Butler had a positive migration from other areas.

Commenting on the numbers, Lawrence County Commissioner chairman Dan Vogler, said, “I believe this is a good community in which to live. I think it’s incumbent on both the public and private sector leadership to better promote our county as a good place in which to live.”

The county, he said, has good school districts, good access to the Pittsburgh region by way of interstate highways and is only 40 minutes from the Pittsburgh International Airport. Plus, housing costs are lower here than in Allegheny County, he said.

As noted by the Pennsylvania State Data Center, seven of the top 10 counties in percent population growth from 2010 to 2012 were located in the south central part of the state or the metropolitan Philadelphia area..

In contrast, eight of the top 10 counties in percent population loss were concentrated in the western part of Pennsylvania.

The western counties besides Lawrence were Cambria, Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Greene, Venango and Warren.

All told, 33 of the state’s 67 counties experienced population loss during the period.

Overall, Pennsylvania had an increase of 61,157, raising its population to 12,763,536, according to the census bureau.