Regional and Local Trends
Projections | Population
population reflect how an area changes over time. Population
trends also help in making assumptions about future growth. The
following information describes trends, current estimates and
projections. The need to retain the City’s population base
will remain a central theme in all of Pottsville’s planning
for the future.
and Local Trends
Pottsville is the
county seat and has over twice as many residents as the next
largest municipality in Schuylkill County, which is Tamaqua
Borough. Looking back, the City’s population trends reflect
the decline of the region’s coal industry and needle trades.
From a high of 24,500 residents in 1940, the City’s estimated
population was 15,374 in 1988, according to the U.S. Census
1 - TOTAL POPULATION
U. S. Census Bureau estimates that Schuylkill County’s
population decreased by 2.8% between 1990 and 1998. Only seven
Schuylkill County municipalities show population increases
during this eight-year period. Butler Township gained the most
residents by far (1,242). Two municipalities adjacent to
Pottsville were next: Norwegian Township grew by 200 persons and
North Manheim Township added 132 residents. Since the 1950's,
suburban and semi-rural areas nationwide have captured more
new housing and jobs than older communities. The result is often
disinvestment in urban areas and sprawl. This trend remains a
major challenge for Pottsville.
2 - TOTAL POPULATION
Persons 65 years
and over have been Pottsville’s fastest growing age group.
They comprised 9% of all residents in 1950 but grew to 20% by
1990. During this sixty-year period, the 65+ age group increased
from 2,090 to 3,289 persons while the City lost 7,037 residents
overall. These shifts have occurred throughout Schuylkill
County, not just in Pottsville. But because Pottsville is the
largest community in Schuylkill County and the government center
of the area, the City’s schools, housing, health care
facilities and social services are particularly affected.
The most recent
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection projections
call for Pottsville’s population to fall to 15,549 in 2000 and
14,172 in 2010. These projections are based on the 1990 Census
and do not take the County’s improving economic picture into
account. While the near future may not bring population
increases, it is not unreasonable to expect population totals to
begin stabilizing as Schuylkill County continues to restructure
3 - AGE DISTRIBUTION
out-migration by retaining Pottsville’s youth and young
- Attract people
who have relocated to move back to Pottsville.
- Urge all
sectors of the community to actively participate in the
Schuylkill County VISIONS process to achieve the image and
quality of life improvements that are so key to this effort.
efforts by the Pottsville Area School District, local trade
schools and colleges to produce graduates whose skills will
attract new businesses to locate in the Pottsville region.
Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization |
Land Use Plan | Economic
Development | Central
Business District Revitalization |
Facilities and Services | Action
Program | Tables