Erie drops to fifth largest city in Pennsylvania

Local News

The U.S. Census Bureau has released the results of the 2020 census, and both the City of Erie and Erie County are losing population.

Erie is no longer the fourth largest city in Pennsylvania but, instead, No. 5 after being passed by Reading.

The City of Erie experienced a seven percent drop in population numbers from a decade ago, resulting in this year’s total of 94,831,

The population of Erie County dropped, too, by 3.5 percent.

The county lost nearly 10,000 residents, and now the headcount stands at 270,876.

“The census numbers are not surprising, knowing what we’ve seen in the community surveys,” said Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper.

The population of Erie, according to the census, is under 100,000 people, which has a significant impact on how much money the city will receive.

“We think that there were a lot of people that didn’t get counted,” said Erie Mayor Joe Schember. “I saw some statistics that said around 60 percent of the people that were requested to call never called to report.”

Schember said the city is considering to go back to the census and get a reclassification for the City of Erie to say it has over 100,000 people, which can make a big difference.

“That count is very important because it will give us access to literally millions of dollars more in federal funding that is available to cities over that amount,” Schember said. “If you are below that you cant qualify for as much.”

Dahlkemper hopes the population rises again for the next census in 2030.

“I ask you to become an ambassador and tell your friends far and wide, and your family far and wide, why they might want to consider coming back to Erie or move to Erie,” she said.

Dahlkemper added the city is making an effort to make the community fun and vibrant, so the next census will look different than the 2020 results.

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