Chester County remains one of Pennsylvania’s fastest growing counties in population, according to figures released recently by the U.S. Census bureau, but it is also bucking a trend in the state in where its population growth is taking place.
Although the overwhelming number of new residents in the county found their home in one of its 57 townships, there was significant growth from July 2010 to July 2012 in its 15 boroughs, the numbers show.
“Chester County is different than the statewide trends,” said David Ward, the assistant director of the county Planning Committee, who spoke about the new census numbers on Friday. “We are seeing as much reinvestment in the borough’s as new development in the townships.”
The growth in borough population, Ward and others said, was driven by a number of factors, including the fact that infrastructure such as roads and water and sewage system are largely in place, and that younger residents are finding it more affordable to locate in those largely urban areas.
According to the Census Bureau’s estimates, the county’s population rose by 7,697 over the two-year span from 2010 to 2012, from 498,886 to 506,575, an increase of 1.5 percent. (The county’s population topped the 500,000 mark in July 2011, with an estimated 503,662 residents.)
Only Montgomery County, with an increase of 8,579 residents, had a larger growth than Chester County, although its rate of 1.1 percent was behind Chester’s. Philadelphia gained the largest number of new residents in the time period of any municipality, with 21,601.
Pennsylvania now has more than 12,763,000 residents, adding 61,157 over the period.