While Allegheny County is still the second oldest county in the U.S. in terms of residents' age, downtown Pittsburgh is bucking that trend.
According to the Census Bureau, about 17 percent (or 1 in 6) of the county's population is 65 years or older, but 27 percent of downtown Pittsburgh residents are under age 30. That's according to a new study by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP), which also found that 45 percent are under age 40.
A similar study in 2012 indicated 47 percent and 26 percent of downtown residents were under 40 and 30 respectively.
Meanwhile, their income is climbing. Forty eight percent of downtown households earn more than $100,000 annually compared to 42 percent two years earlier.
Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the PDP, said one of the best ways to promote downtown is to capture data about issues that are important to residents.
“We wanted to begin to look at the growing residential population and get their thoughts and interests in downtown: Why they want to be here, what they like about being here, what they don’t like about being here — so that we can begin to have our services, our programs, our efforts, respond to the needs and desires of that community.”
The study noted that Market Square is a favorite location among workers and residents, and that more than half of the downtown pedestrians rely on public transportation which Waldrup sees as vital to the success of downtown.
“Numbers still hold true: 54 percent of those that we’ve sampled travel to and from downtown by using public transit," he said. "What we’re hearing loud and clear across the country is folks value public transit. They want walkable communities, and transit definitely affords that, and we need to make sure that we are planning now for future generations and the success of Pittsburgh.”