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| Regional and Local Trends | Population Projections | Population Goals |
Population Recommendations |

Changes in 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.

Regional 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 Bureau.


The 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.


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. Top of Page

Population Projections

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 its economy.


Population Goals

  • Slow out-migration by retaining Pottsville’s youth and young families.
  • Attract people who have relocated to move back to Pottsville. Top of Page

Population Recommendations

  • 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.
  • Intensify 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. Top of Page

| Introduction | Population | Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization |
| Citywide Land Use Plan | Economic Development | Central Business District Revitalization |
| Transportation | Community Facilities and Services | Action Program | Tables |