2009-03-26 / Front Page

Fulton Ranks Among Top 20 In Population Growth In Pa.

County experiences 4.7 percent growth in eight-year period

The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2008 Pennsylvania county population estimates last week and the results show that Fulton County has grown by 4.7 percent since April 1, 2000. The population estimates show the county with a population of 14,261 on April 1, 2000, and a population of 14,935 on July 1, 2008.

The annual population growth estimates show Fulton County ranking 19th (out of 67 counties) in the state in terms of percentage of growth. The county ranks 26th in terms of growth of actual population numbers.

The estimates show that Franklin County is the sixth fastest-growing county in the state over the eight-year period. The five fastest-growing counties are: 1) Forest (whose growth is believed to be tied to the construction of a state correctional institution there); 2) Pike; 3) Monroe; 4) Chester; and 5) York. Both Bedford and Huntingdon counties experienced small losses in population during the eight-year period.

Discounting Forest County, Pike continues to be the fastestgrowing county, and has grown 1.9 percent or 1,106 people just since July 1, 2007. Pike County, located in northeastern Pennsylvania near New York City, grew by 28.8 percent since April 1, 2000. It has been ranked the fastest-growing county in the state each year since 2000.

In spite of the strong growth shown by some counties, no Pennsylvania county ranks in the national top 100 for growth rate over the time period. However, the state does have four counties ranking among the top 100 largest nationally in 2008, and they include Philadelphia (ranking 24th in the nation), Allegheny (30th), Montgomery (71st) and Bucks (98th).

The fastest growing counties in the one-year period of 2007- 2008 were Pike, Franklin, Chester and York counties. Each had a percentage of population increase of 1.9, 1.3, 1.2 and 1.0 percent, respectively. By contrast, Sullivan, Potter and Forest counties experienced the largest percentage loss of population during the one-year period. A total of 39 counties experienced population loss during the period. The fastest growth seems to be in the south-central and eastern part of the state, while the greatest population losses are in the western and north-central part of the state.

Among the 100 fastest-growing counties in the nation for the one-year period, the majority were in Texas (19), Georgia (14), North Carolina (11) and Utah (nine).

Micropolitan areas, as defined by the Census Bureau, are urban areas based around a core city or town with a population of 10,000 to 49,999. The micropolitan area designation was created in 2003. Chambersburg has the distinction of being ranked nationally in terms of its numeric population gain from 2007-2008. The area, ranked 19th, added 1,852 people for a 2008 total of 143,495.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines a metropolitan area as urban areas based around core cities or towns with a population of more than 50,000. Two of Pennsylvania's metro areas ranked among the nation's top 100 in numeric population gain from 2007-2008 and they include the Philadelphia metro area (ranked 38th), and the Allentown metro area (ranked 86th). Raleigh-Cary, N.C., and Austin- Round Rock, Texas, were the nation's fastest-growing metro areas between 2007 and 2008.

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