PITTSBURG, KS – Based on population data from the US Bureau of the Census and other sources, Pittsburg has grown significantly over the past two years – and the numbers keep going up.
Estimates recently released from the 2020 Census show the population in Pittsburg increased by 2.4 percent in 2020, up 475 people since 2019. This news comes on the heels of another report from data analytics company Unacast, which reported Pittsburg has gained more than 878 residents since March of 2020.
Pittsburg State University Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Michael Davidsson says this is good news for Pittsburg and for the region.
“Cities that are growing have better employment, training and social opportunities, especially social interest matching opportunities, and it increases the local menu of consumer services,” says Davidsson. “This also means that the labor force is growing and the skill set of the labor force is getting denser. That is good news for local employers, because a deeper set of local skills implies lower training costs. Unacast estimates that a substantial $103 million dollars was transferred to Pittsburg. This represents new financial resources, which potentially might be spent locally in the future. That is a boon for the Pittsburg area.”
This data seems to support other evidence that Pittsburg’s population is on the rise. City of Pittsburg sales tax revenues increased 3 percent in 2020 and 11 percent to date in 2021, even though sales tax rates remained the same. Assessed valuation in Pittsburg has also risen by about 13 percent since 2012, according to the City of Pittsburg’s most recent budget.
A Pittsburg Micropolitan Area Economic Report shows the residential housing market in Pittsburg is taking off, with home sales up 71 percent since May 2020. In May 2021, the median time on the market was just 48 days.
Davidsson says the population increase can be attributed to significant private and public investments in business development, infrastructure, technology and tourism over the last several years.
“Almost half a billion dollars – $496 million, most of it private – has been invested in the City of Pittsburg in the last six to seven years,” said Davidsson. “This includes a significant $10 million-dollar investment in fiber optic internet cable, which prompted PCMag in February to rank Pittsburg as the 31st best city nationwide in which to work from home. This investment also includes 29 downtown revitalization projects that are in the pipeline or recently completed, increasing the local quality of life and making the city more attractive, resulting in an increase in both population growth and local tourism.”
Unacast Head of Content & Communications Scott Valentine says this steady growth has likely been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought about an “urban exodus” in our nation’s largest cities. His firm has seen significant gains in many small communities, especially cities like Pittsburg that were already growing before the pandemic.
“It says that your city seems to have planned for some time to grow, as the opportunity to attract population is one thing, whereas the readiness to accommodate it is quite another,” stated Valentine. “It says your future looks bright.”
The mission of the City of Pittsburg is to provide exceptional services, facilities and activities with integrity, professionalism, excellent customer service and a commitment to economic vitality.