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CPBJ Extra Blog

Built to last

Jason Scott
Jason Scott

The population of Central Pennsylvania might be trending up, but the pace of new construction is not, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures on the age of our homes.

The five-year estimates from 2007 to 2011 found that 63.8 percent of homes in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties were built before 1980.

York County had the lowest percentage at 59.9 percent of homes built before 1980. Dauphin County had the highest at 70.5 percent.

Nearly 22 percent of midstate homes were built in 1939 or earlier, according to the Census.

At the low end was Cumberland County at 17.1 percent; the high was Lebanon County at 24.8 percent.

Excluding the 1939 or earlier column and the 2000s, which were broken out into two separate periods — 2000 to 2004 and 2005 or later — the most common age for homes in the midstate, by county, was 1970 to 1979, according to the Census.

In Cumberland County, 15.5 percent of homes were built over that span. In Dauphin County, 14.6 percent of homes were built from 1950 to 1959 with another 14.1 percent in the 1970s.

In Lancaster County, the top decade was 1980 to 1989 with 14.9 percent, followed by the 1990s at 13.6 percent.

In Lebanon County, 14.8 percent of homes were built in the 1970s, while 13.6 percent of York County homes were built in that decade.

York County's top decade was the 1990s with 14.6 percent, according to the Census.

In Pennsylvania, 27.8 percent of homes were built in 1939 or earlier. The top decade was the 1950s, when 14 percent of commonwealth homes were built. Nationwide, the 1970s topped the list at 16.2 percent.

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at You can also follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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