Preliminary census data shows decline in valley population | New
According to the 2020 municipal population estimates released by the US Census Bureau, only a quarter of the boroughs, towns and townships in the valley have increased in the past decade.
According to office data, 21 of the 82 municipalities in the Four County region have more people than in 2010. Only one of the 36 municipalities in Northumberland County, West Chillisquaque Township, has seen an increase in the last decade. Only two municipalities in Montour County have more inhabitants now.
In the Four County region, preliminary data shows 4,533 fewer residents live in the valley compared to ten years ago. Snyder County is the only Valley County that has seen an increase in the past decade, from 39,702 to 40,317. Northumberland County has lost over 4,000 people, according to estimates.
Throughout the state of Pennsylvania, the population grew by less than one percent – estimates now stand at 12,783,254, up from about 81,000 – costing the state l ‘one of its seats in Congress during the reassignment announced earlier this year.
The Valley is not the only one to experience a demographic decline. According to the Pennsylvania State Data Center, just over one-fifth (203) of the state’s boroughs experienced an increase in population, while more than three-quarters (754) experienced a decline. One-third (514) of the state’s townships experienced an increase in population, while two-thirds (1,034) suffered losses. Only eight cities have experienced population growth since 2010.
People go to where the work is, said Northumberland County Commissioner Chairman Sam Schiccatano.
“Small towns are losing industry,” he said. “It’s not like 20 or 30 years ago when the factories were in the county. We are working on it (bringing in companies) all the time. Businesses want to move to big cities or overseas.
“Funding is population-based,” said Commissioner Joe Klebon. “You hate losing funding. Hope this does not affect us in this area.
In Northumberland County, 15 different municipalities have experienced a decline of at least 5% over the past decade, including the two towns, Sunbury and Shamokin. Sunbury’s estimated population declined by 583 in 10 years, while Milton was down 492 and Shamokin by 465. Coal Township, the most populous municipality in the valley, fell from 380 to 10,003. the only municipality in the Valley with more than 10,000 inhabitants.
The Township of West Chillisquaque, the only municipality in the county to experience an estimated increase, saw an increase of 40 residents.
Klebon predicted the county would experience a turnaround as companies allow employees to work from home.
“I think it will be the other way around,” he said. “More people will come to rural areas if they can work from home. It’s safer here, less hectic and more laid back. “
In Montour County, only the townships of Cooper and Limestone experienced increases. The borough of Danville accounted for nearly half of the loss of 225 county residents, including 104 for the borough alone.
About a dozen of Snyder County’s 21 municipalities have grown over the past decade. The county’s population estimate now stands at 40,317, up 615 from 10 years ago. The Borough of Selinsgrove has 259 more residents than in 2010, an increase of about 4.6 percent, while the Township of Monroe added 224 residents, a growth of 5.8 percent.
Union County saw the biggest increase and decrease according to preliminary data. While the county has 653 fewer residents in 2020, the Township of East Buffalo saw an increase of 472 residents, a growth of 7.4%. In neighboring Kelly Township, there was a 15% drop in population to 347 fewer than in 2010.
Daily Item reporter Justin Strawser contributed to this story.