The Growth of Pittsburgh
Annexation and Population

Pittsburgh was chartered as a village in 1759. The following year, the commandant of Fort Pitt counted 149 people living within the village, besides the soldiers that manned the fort. For the next 190 years Pittsburgh saw a steady growth in the population count. In 1907, when Allegheny City was annexed, the count was at 521,000, making Pittsburgh the sixth largest city in the nation.

Although the city ranking within the United State of America never moved past 6th place, and that ranking has declined ever since, the number of residents within city limits continued to grow, peaking at 676,806 in 1950. Since that high point, the population has seen a steady decrease to it's current 2010 level of 305,704, ranked 59th in the country.

The rapid growth of the city during the 1800s was accelerated by a series of annexations of adjacent boroughs and townships. The city that once included only the area of the golden triangle now covered 55.6 square miles.

Below is a list of annexations from 1868 through 1930 that helped Pittsburgh grow from a small village at the forks of the Ohio to the metropolis of today, followed by a list of census totals showing the growth, and subsequent decline, of the Pittsburgh population.

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Pittsburgh's Growth By Annexation

March 1, 1837 - Annexed the Northern Liberties Borough.

December 15, 1846 - Annexed part of Pitt Township.

June 30, 1868 - Annexed the Townships of Pitt, Peebles, Liberty, Collins and Oakland, and the Borough of Lawrenceville.

April 2, 1872 - Annexed the Boroughs of South Pittsburgh, Monongahela, Allentown, St. Clair, Temperanceville, Birmingham, Sligo, Mount Washington, Union, West Pittsburgh and Ormsby (East Birmingham).

July, 1881 - Annexed the Village of Garfield.

December 1, 1894 - Annexed the Village of Brushton.

March 1, 1898 - Annexed the Borough of Beltzhoover.

January 2, 1905 - Annexed the Borough of Elliott.

January 2, 1906 - Annexed the Borough of Esplen.

January 8, 1906 - Annexed the Township of Sterrett.

January 7, 1907 - Annexed the Borough of Montooth.

November 21, 1907 - Annexed the Borough of Sheraden.

December 6, 1907 - Annexed the City of Allegheny (North Side).

January 6, 1908 - Annexed the Borough of West Liberty (Brookline and Beechwood).

December 18, 1908 - Annexed parts of Union Township (including Banksville) and O'Hara Townships.

January 4, 1909 - Annexed Beechview Borough.

December 30, 1911 - Annexed parts of Baldwin Township.

1920 - Annexed Chartiers Township and Spring Garden.

February 7, 1924 - Annexed remaining section of Lower St. Clair Township (St. Clair Village).

June 3, 1927 - Annexed the Borough of Carrick.

January 6, 1930 - Annexed the Borough of Overbrook.

In the following years, there have been small parcels of land that have been added to the city tracts from neighboring townships like Baldwin. For example, in the Brookline community, parts of Ebenshire Village and a small strip of land along McNeilly Road were added in the 1950s.

Despite efforts by the city and the councilmembers of other nearby municipalities, places like Mount Oliver, Dormont, Mount Lebanon and Brentwood have chosen to retain their unique individual identities. This despite the fact that some of these municipatlities share city infrastructure.

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Pittsburgh Population
(city ranking in parenthesis)

1760
1761
1790
1796
1800
1810
1820
1830
1840
1850
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
2010
*2016

 

149
332
376
1,395
1,565
4,786 (31)
7,248 (23)
12,568 (17)
21,115 (17)
46,601 (12)
49,221 (17)
86,076 (16)
156,389 (12)
238,617 (13)
321,616 (11)
533,905 (8)
588,343 (9)
669,817 (10)
671,659 (10)
676,806 (12)
604,332 (16)
520,117 (24)
423,938 (30)
369,879 (40)
334,563 (52)
305,704 (59)
303,625 (63)*

* 2016 figures are an estimate.

Census figures were obtained from the US Census Bureau.

<U.S. Census History>

Wikipedia: United States Cities By Population.

<Historical Facts> <> <Brookline History>