Census 2020: How did it impact the Midstate?


A county map of the United States and Puerto Rico shows percentage change in population 2010 to 2020.

(WHTM) — During the 2020 Census, Pennsylvania passed Illinois in becoming the fifth-largest state in the United States, with a population over 13 million and a 2.4% change in population over the last ten years.

Even with that growth, Pa. still lost a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and an electoral vote for the Presidential races. This is due to population growth lagging behind the U.S.’s, which is the tenth consecutive decade this has occurred.


But in the Midstate, the last ten years saw quite a bit of growth, the most in the Commonwealth. Cumberland County saw the greatest percent change in county population in the entire state at over 10%. The more northern and western counties of the state saw declines.

Experts say accessibility to major cities Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. and lower housing prices led to the population booms in this area.

Here’s how the Midstate shaped out with population growth or decline:

Data Courtesy: U.S. Census

The growth in many of the Midstate counties means they qualify for more federal funding. The Census says that will help schools, hospitals, roads and public works in the area.


While the white population has decreased to its lowest levels in the U.S., Pa. is still mostly white, making up 73% of the population. But diversity is growing with the Commonwealth having a 44% diversity index, improving from 35.3% ten years ago.

The Midstate county with the largest diversity index is Dauphin at 58%, which has seen an increase in the Hispanic/Latino category. Ten years ago, their diversity was under 50%. Cumberland saw the largest increase in diversity as a whole, with Lebanon not far behind.

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Here’s how the diversity indexes shaped:

CountyDiversity Index (compared to 2010)
Dauphin58% (+10.5%)
Lancaster35% (+8%)
York34.7% (+9.6%)
Lebanon34.5% (+10.8%)
Cumberland32.4% (+12.7%)
Franklin27% (+8.7)
Adams24.3% (+6.7%)
Juniata13.6% (+5.3%)
Perry12.5% (+5.9%)
Mifflin11.6% (+5.4%)
Data Courtesy: U.S. Census

The most diverse county in Pa. is Philadelphia County at 70.5%.


Housing unit percent change went up over 3%, with the most being in this area to help with the growing population.

Map Courtesy: U.S. Census

The most percent changes came in Cumberland, Adams, Dauphin, Lebanon and Lancaster Counties, where vacancy rates are lowest.

In terms of Pa.’s 9.3% housing vacancy rate, counties in the northern part of the state saw the most motion.

abc27 will have continuing team coverage on the U.S. Census. Stay tuned to abc27 on-air and online for the latest information.

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