Census: Cumberland County grew fastest in the state; Harrisburg now ‘largest suburb’ of Lower Paxton Twp.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — In all of Pennsylvania, no county grew its population by a greater percentage from 2010 through 2020 than Cumberland — the commonwealth’s only county to grow by more than 10% — according to newly-released U.S. Census data.

Overall, Pennsylvania’s population grew by 2.4% during the decade, about a third of the national average. The state’s growth was concentrated, though, in a minority of counties; two-thirds of counties actually lost population. But in the Midstate, the trend was reversed: Seven of 10 counties — led by Cumberland, followed by Lebanon, Dauphin, Lancaster and York — grew their populations from 2010 through 2020:

CountyPopulation growth since 2010
Source: U.S. Census

As abc27 News has previously reported, Lebanon’s large and fast-growing Hispanic/Latino population explains much of its overall growth.

In 2010, no Midstate county’s population had a double-digit percentage of Hispanics/Latinos. By 2020, according to the new data, three did: Lebanon (14.2%), Lancaster (11.1%) and Dauphin (10.9%).

Hispanic/Latino is an ethnicity, and people who identify as such can identify with any race.

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In 2020, 75% of Pennsylvanians identified as “White alone” (down from 82% in 2020), followed by “African-American alone” at 10.9%; two or more races 6.0%; “Asian alone” 3.9%; and some other race alone 3.9%.

In Dauphin County, Lower Paxton Township surpassed centuries-long leader Harrisburg to become the county’s biggest municipality, with 53,501 people to Harrisburg’s 50,099. The township wasted no time distributing a press release announcing “the City of Harrisburg has officially become the largest suburb of Lower Paxton Township.”

The township was just as quick to add a disclaimer at the bottom removing any doubt that the release was tongue-in-cheek: “This is a lighthearted, fun-loving, neighborly approach to sharing the great news of the 2020 U.S. Census data. Lower Paxton Township is a proud neighbor of the City of Harrisburg and grateful to partner and work together on many endeavors with the City to promote Central PA and all our region has to offer.”

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