WASHINGTON – Warren County’s population dropped 7.7% over the last decade and is at its lowest in 130 years according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday, Aug. 12.
According to the 2020 Census, Warren County’s population is now 38,587, the lowest county population since the 1890 Census when the population was recorded at 37,585 (an increase of 34.3% at the time over the 1880 Census number of 27,981). It is the first time Warren County has been below 40,000 people since 1910 when the county population was recorded at 39,573.
In 2010, Warren County’s population was 41,815. The county ranks 54th out of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties in total population.
The decline in population marked the fifth straight Census that Warren County has seen a decline, and the 7.7% decline was the largest the county has ever seen topping the previous mark of 5.1% decline from 1980 (47,449) to 1990 (45,050). The last Census to see population growth in Warren County was 1970 when the population grew 4.6% to 47,682 up from 45,582 in 1960. The 1970 Census marked the highwater mark for Warren County’s population as recorded by a United States Census.
Nationally in 2020, the U.S. population grew by 7.4 percent from 2010 and now stands at 331,449,281. It was the country’s lowest growth rate in 80 years.
“This past decade’s 7.4 percent population increase was lower than the previous decade’s 9.7 percent increase and was, in fact, the second-lowest percent increase ever,” said Marc Perry a Senior Demographer, Population Division. “Only the 1930s had slower growth.”
Only six Pennsylvania counties had a larger percentage decrease in population over 2010 than Warren County. Two of those, Forest and Venango, neighbor Warren. Forest County’s population decreased by 743, or 9.6 percent, while Venango’s population saw a drop of 4,530 or 8.2 percent.
Susquehannah County had the largest percent decrease with an 11.4 percent drop from 2010. Nearby Cameron County was next at a loss of 10.6 percent.
Cumberland County (Southeast Pennsylvania) had the biggest percentage increase with a gain of 10.2 percent from 2010. Butler (5.4 percent), Allegheny (2.2 percent) and Washington (0.7 percent) were the only Western Pennsylvania Counties to see an increase in the last decade.
Regionally, only Jefferson (1.6 percent), Elk (3.0 percent and Erie (3.5 percent) had decreases under five percent. In addition to Warren, Cameron, Forest and Venango, McKean (6.9 percent), Clarion (6.9 percent), Potter (6.1 percent), Crawford (5.4 percent) and Mercer (5.1 percent) all had decreases of five percent or more.
Philadelphia County had the biggest numerical gain at 77,791. Montgomery County gained 56,679, while Chester County added 35,527. All three of those counties are in the Southeast corner of the Commonwealth.
In Western PA, Allegheny County led the way with a gain of 27,230. Butler County was just shy of the 10,000 mark with 9,901.
Erie had the biggest numerical drop in the region with a loss of 9,690, the third biggest drop in the state. Mercer County fell by 5,986 and Crawford County dropped by 4,827.
As a state, Pennsylvania gained 300,321 for a 2.4 percent increase over 2010. The percent change was 44th nationally, though the numerical growth put the Commonwealth in the middle of the pack at No. 21.
The state changes mirrored national trends with most of the growth concentrated in metro areas (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) while a majority of counties saw a decrease.
52% of all counties have smaller populations in 2020 than in 2010.
Metro areas are prominent this decade as the locations of population growth amidst otherwise widespread population decline. pic.twitter.com/e1XhlbWNIP
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) August 12, 2021
Texas added nearly 4 million people in the last decade (3,999,944) to lead the country. Florida (2,736,877) was second with California (2,284,267) third. Utah had the biggest percent change, 18.4 percent, while Idaho (17.3 percent) was second and Texas (15.9 percent) was third.
WARREN COUNTY HISTORICAL CENSUS DATA