York Town Square

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Population tops 400,000: York County, Pa., by the U.S. Census numbers, Part I

Contractors work to build housing in the Buttonwood development in eastern York County, Pa.’s, Hallam in 2004. Such new housing has slowed down with the Great Recession of the past few years. But York County’s population continues to grow. Also of interest: YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Post-high-school prospects rising and Despite historic occurrence among Pennsylvania Dutch, rate is falling and York countians tipping the scales – 2/3 of us are fat or obese.

The every-10-year U.S. Census provides all kind of insight about York County.
Record home foreclosures aside, York County’s population has continued to grow.
For example, estimates of the county’s population have topped 400,000. The American Community Survey estimates (for past five years) county population at 419,563, compared to actual 2000 census numbers of 381,751.

The City of York, which flirted with 60,000 in the post-World War II boom in 1950, will remain above 40,000, which has been a key number for city officials in the past. York City’s population declined from 40,862 people in 2000 to 40,301 estimated residents.
Many other estimated stats are flowing from the census and associated surveys, but here’s a particularly disappointing one:
Divorces are up 25 percent, five-year estimate vs. 2000 actual. I called attention to that unfortunate stat in a York Daily Record/Sunday News editorial (12/25/10): Little things bring great hope.
In fact, here are a host of sobering stats (first, 2000 census, the five-year estimate) followed by York College sociologist David Polk’s assessment of the numbers:
— Marital Status
–Never married: 67,854 (Census)
Never married: 85,214 (ACS estimates)
Percent change: 26 percent increase.
— Now married: 188,834 (Census)
Now married: 191,282 (ACS estimates)
Percent change: 1.3 percent increase.
— Divorced: 27,304 (Census)
Divorced: 34,182 (ACS estimates)
Percent change: 25 percent increase.
What the numbers mean
In the past, marriage was seen as a precursor to having children, Polk said.
“That is no longer the case,” he said. “It’s become more socially acceptable to have children outside of marriage.”
A growing trend has shown that more women who wait until later in life to have children are doing so without getting married, Polk said.
For example, in the past year, 30.1 percent of all York County women between 15 and 50 years old who gave birth were not married, according to the survey.
“Times have changed,” Polk said. During tough economic times, the marriage rate usually goes down, he said. The economy might stop people from getting married, “but it doesn’t stop hormones from flowing.”
Here is the complete York Daily Record/Sunday News story on those numbers and more.
Also of interest:
For additional trends about York County, check out YorkCounts indicators.
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