As State’s Population Shrinks, ‘Its Urban-Rural Divide One of the Most Brazen in America’

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Pennsylvania’s population has shrunk for the first time in more than three decades, with deaths and move-outs outnumbering births and move-ins by 8,000, writes Joseph DiStefano for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

This puts Pennsylvania in the bottom four states that have lost more people than they have gained over the last year. It also drops Philadelphia to the sixth-largest city nationwide.

The main cause is the decrease in jobs in both manufacturing and retail. However, Philadelphia is still a great option for college-educated professionals.


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Most available jobs in Philadelphia these days are focused around education and health and require a college degree. There has also been an increase in open positions at hotels and restaurants, construction, warehousing, and trucking. Most of these are either seasonal or part time, though.

Mark Vitner, chief economist at Wells Fargo, said that “the urban-rural divide in Pennsylvania is one of the most brazen in the nation.”

“Personal income per capita is now $13,000 higher in Pennsylvania’s metro areas than in its rural counties, which represents one of the biggest splits between urban and rural areas in the country,” said Vitner.

Read more about Pennsylvania’s shrinking population in the Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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