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Pa. lost population during first year of COVID pandemic

Population loss can impact state's finances

  • Scott LaMar
Crowd of people at the street, city center

Crowd of people at the street, city center

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Airdate: Wednesday, May 2022

Pennsylvania’s population shrank by .20% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to analysis of U.S. Census data by the Pew Charitable Trusts for Pew’s Fiscal 50 Project.

Pennsylvania was one of 17 states that lost population from July 2020 to July 2021 according to the research.

Factors that may have had an impact on the population loss were COVID deaths, an aging population, a slow birth rate, fewer immigrants and people moving out of the state.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Census showed that more people were living in Pennsylvania during the decade of 2010 to 2020 than the previous ten-year period, but that .23% increase was one of the slowest growth rates in the country.

Population trends matter because they are tied to states’ economic fortunes and government finances.

With that in mind, Pennsylvania collected $6.5 billion in General Fund revenue last month — the most tax revenue ever collected in a one-month period.

Wednesday’s Smart Talk features a conversation about population trends with one of the researchers Joanna Biernacka-Lievestro.

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