PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – “The Places Rated Almanac” salutes Pittsburgh’s livability periodically. Forbes and Yahoo report the region as safe and a great place for raising kids. “The Economist” likes us a lot and “National Geographic” sees us as a worldwide travel destination.
Just a handful of years ago, population in the city and in Allegheny County was continuing its slide. Now, the latest U.S. Census is detecting a pulse beat in our population for the first time since the steel industry tanked.
“Five-thousand more people moved in than moved out of the Pittsburgh region last year; that’s a remarkable turnaround,” said Chris Briem, a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh.
Briem said the reason for the boost can be attributed to jobs.
“Most people move for jobs,” said Briem. “I think the Pittsburgh region has been doing pretty well relative to a lot of other regions through this recession; people don’t quite realize that. I think jobs are the reason.”
Pittsburgh’s profile is changing. With a reasonable cost of living and hip housing in The Strip and Downtown, cool spots like Market Square, high tech companies like Google, health care, robotics, finance and education are just some of the draws.
“I’m from Ohio. I moved here three years ago and I’ve stayed ever since, and the big difference is the opportunities that are here,” said David Kurkasky.
Carleigh Mallah finds the cultural scene appealing.
“I think it’s the arts communities that they have and the thriving music scene, especially for people my age,” she said.
For David Ellis, the lure is business opportunity and sports.
“More jobs bring in more business here, restaurants, and you know there’s more opportunities right about now. Plus we have a great Steelers team,” he said.
The city’s diversity is another attraction and the newest population increase is skewing young.
“Most migration is younger workers so when you see changes in migration flows you really are talking about folks in their 20′s who are more likely to move, ” said Briem.
And it looks like a trend that will last.