Cumberland County continues to wear the crown of fastest-growing county in Pennsylvania, but neighboring Lebanon and Lancaster counties are nipping at its heels.
The Pennsylvania State Data Center, which analyzes U.S. Census Bureau data, said Thursday that Cumberland County saw its population rise by 6.2 percent between 2010 and 2017, topping Centre County, which grew 5.6 percent, and Lehigh County, at 4.8 percent.
Southcentral and southeastern counties remain the bright spots in an aging Pennsylvania. Population has fallen this decade in 47 of the state’s 67 counties, but overall it has increased slightly, reaching 12.8 million residents, up 0.8 percent since 2010.
In addition to Cumberland, Centre and Lehigh counties, Lebanon and Lancaster counties also are growing. The two were fourth and fifth among counties for percentage growth.
Lebanon County’s population grew by 4.6 percent since 2010, while Lancaster County’s population jumped by 4.5 percent.
The data center also looked at largest numerical growth in residents this decade, an honor that went to Philadelphia County, the commonwealth’s most populous county. Philadelphia County has added 54,857 people since 2010, pushing its population to nearly 1.6 million people.
Cumberland County, meanwhile, had 250,066 people as of July 1, 2017, an increase of 14,658 people since the 2010 Census.
Lebanon County added 6,177 people and has a reported population of 139,754 people. Lancaster County is much larger with 542,903 people. The county grew by 23,456 people since 2010.
The center said Dauphin County’s population rose by 7,610, or 2.8 percent, to 275,710, while York County added 11,080 people, or 2.5 percent more since 2010. The York County population is now 446,078 people.
The biggest population declines in Pennsylvania since 2010 occurred in Westmoreland (12,537), Cambria (10,620) and Erie (6,023) counties. By percentage, Cameron County lost 9.7 percent of its population this decade and now has 4,592 people, according to the Census.