Schuylkill County Population Declining Rapidly
Where’s everyone going? Anywhere but here, apparently.
Almost no Pennsylvania county suffered a population drop as big as Schuylkill County in the last 8 years.
Over the last 8 years, Schuylkill County’s population dropped by 6,224 people. That’s according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau and sorted by The Pennsylvania State Data Center.
That rate of population decline in Schuylkill County is the 4th most among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. The only other Pennsylvania counties with population dips bigger than ours since 2010 are Westmoreland (14,583 people), Cambria (11,951), and Erie (8,523).
The Census Bureau estimates Schuylkill County’s population in 2018 at 142,067. Schuylkill County is the 24th most populous in Pennsylvania.
2018 Schuylkill County Population
Coal Region Canary requested extra population information from The Pennsylvania State Data Center. Here’s what it provided on data exclusive to Schuylkill County.
The sheer volume of people not in the area is alarming. And it’s a steady drop since 2010. Remember, only 3 other counties saw bigger drops in the amount of people living in it since 2010.
Here’s a look at Schuylkill County’s population from 2010 through 2018:
The population loss represents a 4.2% drop over the last 8 years. That percentage decline is 20th highest in Pennsylvania over that time.
A silver lining here may be that the population isn’t declining as fast as others. And between 2017 and 2018, Schuylkill County’s population drop was below its average annual decline since 2010.
Since 2010, Schuylkill County dropped by 778 people per year, on average. However, between 2017 and 2018, only 599 left.
Now, that’s still a pretty steep drop. It’s the 12th biggest population drop in Pennsylvania over the year, ending July 1, 2018. But we’re searching for silver linings here, remember?
Schuylkill County Natural Losses
Plain and simple, we’re dying faster than we’re being born.
Natural losses count as the amount of births against the number of deaths. If a county has more births than deaths, it’s considered a natural increase. That’s not us.
Schuylkill County, between 2010 and 2018, suffered an overall natural loss. Nearly 5,000 more people died in Schuylkill County than were born since 2010.
In fact, our 4,936 natural loss is the third most in the state. Only Westmoreland County (-11,212) and Luzerne County (-6,868) had that many more deaths than births.
Schuylkill County Migration
The Census calculates an area’s migration by adding the number of people moving to the area (467 in our case) to the people who’ve left in the last 8 years. That’s 2,215 people leaving Schuylkill County in that time.
So, overall, the county’s “Net Migration” is a negative: -1,748.
Essentially, people leave and don’t come back. At least not too often and not recently.
Pennsylvania Population Modestly Rises
The bad (worse?) news is that Schuylkill County’s declines actually come at times when Pennsylvania’s population increased, ever so slightly.
Between 2010 and 2018, the state’s population rose 0.8%. And it went up one-tenth of a percent from 2017-2018.
According to figures from The Pennsylvania State Data Center, the fastest growing counties since 2010 are Cumberland, Lebanon, Centre, Lehigh, and Lancaster.