Can't leave on The Day After without the roundup on the local Census numbers from demographic guru Chris Briem. As the maps he posted previously show, there is just not much positivity in there for the city of Pittsburgh, period:
There is not a lot good in the numbers. I know some commenters here have been suggesting in the past that city might have had more growth (or less decline as it were) than we were expecting. For the numbers to come in well below where the estimates trend had us pegged is pretty bad. It’s been pretty clear to us that could not be the case. Too many Pittsburgh neighborhoods are depopulating. They just happen to be neighborhoods that a lot of folks just never go see. If you have not been in Homewood in the last decade, go visit. Beltzhoover, ditto. We are talking as severe housing vacancy and abandonment as exists anywhere. So if you think there are more people living in the city, you have to ask yourself where they are living.
On the holy grail of Downtown living. I’ll skip the long story, but if are looking at the Census' data for Downtown in 2000, the data you are looking at is generally wrong. The short version is that the Census Bureau forgot to move the location of the jail in their data. So for 2000, the Downtown population appears to have roughly 2,500 (the inmate population of the jail at the time) too many people. If they were place in the Bluff where the jail now technically resides, the population there would be much higher. Since they got it right this time around, you have to be careful what you compare. The 2000 downtown population was 4874 (per the SF3 number… or 5222 per SF1). If you took out the 2500 jail population you get a remainder between 2,500 and 2,800. So with 2010 we are seeing a Downtown population of 3,629. So it looks like the non-jail population residing downtown has indeed gone up by somewhere between 800 and 1,200. Growth for sure and certainly a big % gain. I’ve had this Groundhog Day like conversation for many years with folks saying the Downtown population will be the catalyst for overall growth in the city. It just isn’t possible for any conceivable gains Downtown to begin offset losses in so many other neighborhoods. If we had 10 Downtowns like that I suppose, but we can’t afford subsidizing that many condos I am pretty sure.