Pittsburgh facts

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
City
City of Pittsburgh
Clockwise from top: Pittsburgh skyline; Carnegie Mellon University; PNC Park; Duquesne Incline; Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh
Clockwise from top: Pittsburgh skyline; Carnegie Mellon University; PNC Park; Duquesne Incline; Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh
Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Flag
Coat of arms of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): City of Bridges, Steel City,
City of Champions, The 'Burgh
Motto: Benigno Numine
Location in Allegheny County and the state of Pennsylvania
Location in Allegheny County and the state of Pennsylvania
Country  United States of America
State  Pennsylvania
County

Flag of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.svg Allegheny


Historic empires Pavillon royal de France.svg France
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Great Britain
Historic colonies Royal Standard of King Louis XIV.svg New France
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Quebec
VirginiaColonyArmsRetouch.png Virginia
Founded November 27, 1758
Municipal incorporation April 16, 1771 (Township)
April 22, 1794 (Borough)
March 18, 1816 (City)
Founded by George Washington,
General John Forbes
Named for "The Great Commoner": Prime Minister William Pitt
Government
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Bill Peduto (D)
 • City Council
 • State House
 • State Senate Wayne Fontana (D)
Jay Costa (D)
Randy Vulakovich (R)
 • U.S. House Mike Doyle (D)
Area
 • City 58.3 sq mi (151 km2)
 • Land 55.5 sq mi (144 km2)
 • Water 2.8 sq mi (7 km2)  4.8%
 • Metro 5,343 sq mi (13,840 km2)
Highest elevation 1,370 ft (420 m)
Lowest elevation 710 ft (220 m)
Population (2015)
 • City 304,391
 • Rank US: 62nd
 • Density 5,540/sq mi (2,140/km2)
 • Urban 1,733,853 (US: 27th)
 • Metro 2,360,867 (US: 22nd)
 • CSA 2,659,937 (US: 20th)
 • GMP $131.3 billion (23rd)
Demonym(s) Pittsburgher, Yinzer
Time zone Eastern Standard Time (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−4)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 412, 724, 878
FIPS code 42-61000
GNIS feature ID 1213644
Expressways I-279.svg I-376.svg I-579.svg PA-28.svg PA-65.svg
Waterways Ohio River,
Monongahela River,
Allegheny River,
Chartiers Creek,
Saw Mill Run,
Becks Run
Street's Run
Transit Port Authority Transit
Rail Penn Station
Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian
Website PittsburghPA.gov
Invalid designation
Designated: 1946

Pittsburgh (/ˈpɪtsbərɡ/ PITS-burg) is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. The city proper has a total population of 304,391, being the 63rd largest city in the United States. The metropolitan population of 2,353,045 is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania (behind Philadelphia), and the 26th-largest in the U.S.

Located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, Pittsburgh is known as both "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses, and as the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges. The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclines, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders.

Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in manufacturing of aluminum, glass, shipbuilding, petroleum, foods, sports, transportation, computing, autos, and electronics. For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment; it had the most U.S. stockholders per capita. America's 1980s deindustrialization laid off area blue-collar workers and thousands of downtown white-collar workers when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters moved out. This heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, parks, research centers, libraries, a diverse cultural district and the most bars per capita in the U.S.

Today, Google, Apple, Bosch, Facebook, Uber, Nokia, Autodesk, and IBM are among 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls. The area has served also as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, robotics, energy research and the nuclear navy. The area is home to 68 colleges and universities, including research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The nation's fifth-largest bank, eight Fortune 500 companies, and six of the top 300 US law firms make their global headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, while RAND, BNY Mellon, Nova, FedEx, Bayer and NIOSH have regional bases that helped Pittsburgh become the sixth-best area for U.S. job growth.

In 2015, Pittsburgh was listed among the "eleven most livable cities in the world"; The Economist's Global Liveability Ranking placed Pittsburgh as the first- or second-most livable city in the United States in 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014. The region is a hub for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, sustainable energy, and energy extraction.

History

Bouquet blockhouse
Historical claims

French Empire 1669–1758
British Empire 1681–1781
United States 1776–present

Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. The original pronunciation would have been /ˈpɪtsbrə, -bərə/ PITS-brə or PITS-bə-rə, matching similarly named places in Great Britain such as Edinburgh in Scotland and Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Pittsburgh was incorporated as a township in 1771 and as a borough on April 22, 1794 with the following Act: "Be it enacted by the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be...erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever."

The current pronunciation is almost certainly a result of a printing error in some copies of the City Charter of March 18, 1816 (though not on the original document). The error was repeated commonly enough throughout the rest of the 19th century that the original pronunciation was lost and in 1890 the "h" was removed in order to make it easier to spell. After a public campaign the original spelling was officially restored by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1911.

The area of the Ohio headwaters was long inhabited by the Shawnee and several other settled groups of Native Americans. The first known European to enter the region was the French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle from Quebec during his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River. European pioneers, primarily Dutch, followed in the early 18th century. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a 1717 manuscript, and later that year European fur traders established area posts and settlements.

In 1749, French soldiers from Quebec launched an expedition to the forks to unite Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers. During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George before a larger French force drove them off. The French built Fort Duquesne based on LaSalle's 1669 claims. The French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War, began with the future Pittsburgh as its center. British General Edward Braddock was dispatched with Major George Washington as his aide to take Fort Duquesne. The British and colonial force were defeated at Braddock's Field. General John Forbes finally took the forks in 1758. Forbes began construction on Fort Pitt, named after William Pitt the Elder while the settlement was named "Pittsborough".

During Pontiac's Rebellion, native tribes conducted a siege of Fort Pitt for two months until Colonel Henry Bouquet relieved it after the Battle of Bushy Run. Fort Pitt is notable as the site of an early use of smallpox for biological warfare. Lord Jeffrey Amherst ordered blankets contaminated from smallpox victims to be distributed in 1763 to the tribes surrounding the fort. The disease spread into other areas, infected other tribes, and killed hundreds of thousands.

During this period, the powerful nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, based in New York, had maintained control of much of the Ohio Valley as hunting grounds by right of conquest after defeating other tribes. By the terms of the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Penns were allowed to purchase the modern region from the Iroquois. A 1769 survey referenced the future city as the "Manor of Pittsburgh". Both the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania claimed the region under their colonial charters until 1780, when they agreed under a federal initiative to extend the Mason–Dixon line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. On March 8, 1771 Bedford County, Pennsylvania was created to govern the frontier. On April 16, 1771, the city's first civilian local government was created as Pitt Township. William Teagarden was the first constable, and William Troop was the first clerk.

Following the American Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was boat building for settlers of the Ohio Country. In 1784, Thomas Viceroy completed a town plan which was approved by the Penn family attorney. Pittsburgh became a possession of Pennsylvania in 1785. The following year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787, the Pittsburgh Academy was chartered. Unrest during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 resulted in federal troops being sent to the area. By 1797, glass manufacture began, while the population grew to around 1,400. Settlers came via routes over the Appalachian Mountains or through the Great Lakes. Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) at the source of the Ohio River became the main base for settlers moving into the Northwest Territory.

Monongahela River Scene Pittsburgh PA 1857
Monongahela River scene, 1857
Muralof300SixthStreetBuilding
Downtown facade memorializing Pittsburgh's industrial heritage with an image of legendary steelworker Joe Magarac

The War of 1812 cut off the supply of British goods, stimulating American industry. By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin, and glass. On March 18, 1816, the 46-year-old local government became a city. In the 1830s, many Welsh people from the Merthyr steelworks immigrated to the city following the aftermath of the Merthyr Rising. By the 1840s, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Great Fire of Pittsburgh destroyed over a thousand buildings in 1845. The city rebuilt with the aid of Irish immigrants and by 1857, Pittsburgh's 1,000 factories were consuming 22 million coal bushels yearly. Coal mining and iron manufacturing attracted waves of European immigrants to the area.

The American Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased iron and armament demand. Andrew Carnegie began steel production in 1875 at the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, which evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company. He adopted the Bessemer process to increase production.

In 1901, Carnegie merged several companies into U.S. Steel. By 1910, Pittsburgh was the nation's 8th-largest city, accounting for between a third and a half of national steel output. The city's population swelled to over a half million with European immigration via Ellis Island in New York harbor. By 1940, non-Hispanic whites were 90.6% of the city's population. Pittsburgh also became a main destination of the African-American Great Migration from the rural South during the first half of the 20th century. Limited initially by discrimination, some 95% percent of the men became unskilled steel workers. During World War II, demand increased and area mills operated 24 hours a day to produce 95 million tons of steel for the war effort. This resulted in the highest levels of air pollution in the city's almost century of industry. The city's reputation as the "arsenal of democracy" was being overshadowed by James Parton's 1868 observation of Pittsburgh being "hell with the lid off."

Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance," cleaning up the air and the rivers. The "Renaissance II" project followed in 1977, focused on cultural and neighborhood development. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1970s, but beginning in the early 1980s both the area's steel and electronics industries imploded during national industrial restructuring. There were massive layoffs from mill and plant closures.

President Obama Visits NREC
President Barack Obama visiting Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center in 2011

In the later 20th century, the area shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare/medicine, finance, and high technology such as robotics. Although Pittsburgh successfully shifted its economy and remained viable, the city's population has never rebounded to its industrial-era highs. While 680,000 people lived in the city proper in 1950, a combination of suburbanization and economic turbulence resulted in a decrease in city population, even as the metropolitan area population increased again.

During the late 2000s recession, Pittsburgh was economically strong, adding jobs when most cities were losing them. It was one of the few cities in the United States to see housing property values rise. Between 2006 and 2011, the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area (MSA) experienced over 10% appreciation in housing prices—the highest appreciation of the largest 25 MSAs in the United States, as 22 of the top 25 MSAs saw a depreciation of housing values. Pittsburgh's story of economic regeneration was the inspiration of President Barack Obama to host the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit.

Geography

See also: Pittsburgh metropolitan area#Regional identity

Pittsburgh has a total area of 58.3 square miles (151 km2), of which 55.6 square miles (144 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (or 4.75%) is water. The 80th meridian west passes directly through the city's downtown.

The city is on the Allegheny Plateau, within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau, The Downtown area (also known as the Golden Triangle) sits where the Allegheny River flowing from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River. The convergence is at Point State Park and is referred to as "the Point." The city extends east to include the Oakland and Shadyside sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions. The southern, western, and northern areas of the city are primarily residential.

Downtown Pittsburgh from Duquesne Incline in the morning
Downtown Pittsburgh and the Duquesne Incline from Mt. Washington

Many Pittsburgh neighborhoods are steeply sloped with two-lane roads. More than a quarter of neighborhood names make reference to "hills," "heights," or similar features.

The steps of Pittsburgh comprise some 712 sets of outdoor public stairways with 44,645 treads and 24,090 vertical feet. They include hundreds of streets composed entirely of stairs, and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks. Many provide vistas of the Pittsburgh area while attracting hikers and fitness walkers.

Bike and walking trails have been built to border many of the city's rivers and hollows, but steep hills and variable weather can make biking a challenge. The Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath connect the city directly to downtown Washington, D.C. (some 335 miles (539 km) away) with a continuous bike/running trail.

Cityscape

Areas

See also: List of Pittsburgh neighborhoods, List of tallest buildings in Pittsburgh, List of City of Pittsburgh historic designations, and List of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmarks
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania neighborhoods fade
Pittsburgh's 90 distinct neighborhoods

The city consists of the Downtown area, called the Golden Triangle, and four main areas surrounding it. These surrounding areas are subdivided into distinct neighborhoods (in total, Pittsburgh contains 90 neighborhoods). Relative to downtown, these areas are known as the North Side, South Side/South Hills, East End, and West End.

Golden Triangle
Pitt Skyline
Downtown Pittsburgh from Station Square

Downtown Pittsburgh has 30 skyscrapers, nine of which top 500 feet (150 m). U.S. Steel Tower is the tallest at 841 ft (256 m). The Cultural District comprises a 14-block area of downtown along the Allegheny River. It is packed with theaters and arts venues, and has a growing residential segment. Most significantly, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is embarking on RiverParc, a four-block mixed-use "green" community, featuring 700 residential units and multiple towers between 20 and 30 stories. The Firstside portion of downtown borders the Monongahela River, the historic Mon Wharf and is home to the distinctive PPG Place Gothic-style glass skyscraper complex. New condo towers have been constructed and historic office towers are converted to residential use, increasing 24-hour residents. Downtown is served by the Port Authority's subway and multiple bridges leading north and south. It is also home to Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University which borders Uptown.

North Side
Further information: North Side (Pittsburgh)
Buena vista
The North Side

The North Side is home to various neighborhoods in transition. What is known today as Pittsburgh's North Side was once known as Allegheny City, and operated as a city independently of Pittsburgh. Allegheny City merged with Pittsburgh under great protest from its citizens. The North Side is primarily composed of residential neighborhoods and is noteworthy for well-constructed and architecturally interesting homes. Many buildings date from the 19th century and are constructed of brick or stone and adorned with decorative woodwork, ceramic tile, slate roofs and stained glass. The North Side is also home to many popular attractions such as Heinz Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Andy Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory installation art museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Randyland, Highmark SportsWorks, Penn Brewery, and Allegheny Observatory. The North Side is also home to Allegheny General Hospital, which is listed among the 1999 US News & World Report 2000 best hospitals nationwide.

South Side
Further information: South Side (Pittsburgh)

The South Side was once the site of the Pennsylvania Railroad railyards and associated dense, inexpensive housing for mill and railroad workers. Since the late 20th century, the city undertook a Main Street program in cooperation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, encouraging design and landscape improvements on East Carson Street, and supporting new retail. The area has become a local Pittsburgher destination. The South Side is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city in which to own a home. The value of homes in the South Side has increased in value by about 10% annually for the past 10 years. East Carson Street has developed as one of the most vibrant areas of the city, packed with diverse shopping, ethnic eateries, vibrant nightlife, and live music venues.

In 1993 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchased the South Side Works steel mill property. It collaborated with the community and various developers to create a master plan for a mixed-use development, to include a riverfront park, office space, housing, health-care facilities, and indoor practice fields for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers. Construction began in 1998. The SouthSide Works has been open since 2005, featuring many stores, restaurants, offices, and the world headquarters for American Eagle Outfitters.

East End
Further information: East End (Pittsburgh)
CMU from 36th floor
The Carnegie Library, Museums of Art and Natural History (foreground), Carnegie Mellon University (background)

The East End is home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University, Chatham University, The Carnegie Institute's Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Center (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatory, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are large, wealthy neighborhoods with some apartments and condos. They enjoy pedestrian-oriented shopping/business districts. Oakland, heavily populated by undergraduate and graduate students, is home to most of the universities, Schenley Park and the Petersen Events Center. Bloomfield is Pittsburgh's Little Italy and is known for its Italian restaurants and grocers. Lawrenceville is a revitalizing rowhouse neighborhood popular with artists and designers; it is expected to benefit from the recent new construction of a new Children's Hospital. The Strip District to the west along the Allegheny River is an open-air marketplace by day and a clubbing destination by night.

West End
Further information: West End (Pittsburgh) § Region

The West End includes Mt. Washington, with its famous view of the Downtown skyline and numerous other residential neighborhoods such as Sheraden and Elliott.

Ethnicities

Pittsburgh's patchwork of neighborhoods still retain an ethnic character reflecting the city's immigrant history. These include:

Population densities

Several neighborhoods on the edges of the city are less urban, featuring tree-lined streets, yards and garages, with a more suburban character. Oakland, the South Side, the North Side, and the Golden Triangle are characterized by more density of housing, walking neighborhoods, and a more diverse, urban feel.

Images

Pittsburgh seen from Mt. Washington at night in 2015. The Monongahela River in the foreground.
Daytime photo from Mt. Washington in 2015.

Regional identity

Pittsburgh falls within the borders of the Northeastern United States as defined by multiple US Government agencies, but the Pittsburgh Combined Statistical Area extends into both the Southern United States (West Virginia) and the Midwestern United States (Ohio), with the borders of the three regions meeting 30 miles (48 km) from the city. Pittsburgh is also in the Great Lakes Megalopolis, a collection of primarily Midwestern cities, reflecting Pittsburgh's socio-economic connections to Ohio and points west.

Pittsburgh falls within the borders of Appalachia as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and has long been characterized as the "northern urban industrial anchor of Appalachia." In its post-industrial state, Pittsburgh has been characterized as the "Paris of Appalachia", recognizing the city's cultural, educational, healthcare, and technological resources, as well as its status as Appalachia's largest city.

Climate

Pittsburgh lies in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfa). The city and river valleys lie in the USDA plant hardiness zone 6b while higher elevated areas lie in zone 6a. The area has four distinct seasons: winters are cold, cloudy, and moderately snowy, springs and falls generally mild with moderate levels of sunshine, and summers warm to hot and humid. As measured by percent possible sunshine, summer is by far the sunniest season.

The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh is July, with a 24-hour average of 72.6 °F (22.6 °C). Conditions are often humid, and combined with highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 9.5 days a year, a considerable heat index arises. The coldest month is January, when the 24-hour average is 28.4 °F (−2.0 °C), and lows of 0 °F (−18 °C) or below can be expected on an average 2.6 nights per year. Officially, record temperatures range from −22 °F (−30 °C), on January 19, 1994 to 103 °F (39 °C), which occurred three times, most recently on July 16, 1988; the record cold daily maximum is −3 °F (−19 °C), which occurred three times, most recently the day of the all-time record low, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 82 °F (28 °C) on July 1, 1901. Due to elevation and location on the windward side of the Appalachian Mountains, 100 °F (38 °C)+ readings are very rare, and were last seen on July 15, 1995.

Average annual precipitation is 38.2 inches (970 mm) and total precipitation is greatest in May while least in October; annual precipitation has historically ranged from 22.65 in (575 mm) in 1930 to 57.41 in (1,458 mm) in 2004. On average, December and January have the greatest number of precipitation days. Snowfall averages 41.4 inches (105 cm) per season, but has historically ranged from 8.8 in (22 cm) in 1918–19 to 82.0 in (208 cm) in 1950–51. There is an average of 59 clear days and 103 partly cloudy days per year, while 203 days are cloudy. In terms of annual percent-average possible sunshine received, Pittsburgh (45%) is similar to Seattle (43%).

Air and water quality

"It's the best it's been in the lifetime for virtually every resident in this county...We've seen a steady decrease in pollution levels over the past decade and certainly over the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years or more."

Guillermo Cole

In a 2013 ranking of 277 metropolitan areas in the United States, the American Lung Association (ALA) ranked only six U.S. metro areas as having higher amounts of short-term particle pollution, and only seven U.S. metro areas having higher amounts of year-round particle pollution than Pittsburgh. For ozone (smog) pollution, Pittsburgh was ranked 24th among U.S. metro areas. The area has improved its air quality with every annual survey. The ALA's rankings have been disputed by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), since data from only the worst of the region's 20 air quality monitors is considered by the ALA, without any context or averaging. The lone monitor used is located immediately downwind and adjacent to U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, the nation's largest coke mill, and several municipalities outside the city's jurisdiction of pollution controls, leading to possible confusion that Pittsburgh itself is the source or center of the emissions cited in the survey. The region's readings also reflect pollution swept in from Ohio and West Virginia, though both are outside the jurisdictional powers of local leadership.

Although the county was still below the "pass" threshold, the report showed substantial improvement over previous decades on every air quality measure. Fewer than 15 high ozone days were reported between 2007 and 2009, and just 10 between 2008 and 2010, compared to more than 40 between 1997 and 1999. ACHD spokesman Guillermo Cole stated that "It's the best it's been in the lifetime for virtually every resident in this county...We've seen a steady decrease in pollution levels over the past decade and certainly over the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years, or more."

The local rivers continue to have pollution levels exceeding EPA limits; however, fish catches in the city in 2007 were found to be more than twice as free of pollutants than catches on the Canadian side of Lake Erie and six times as free of pollutants than Allegheny River catches of the New York border area. There are other concerns about local storm sewers and waste treatment plants frequently overflowing untreated sewage into local waterways, due to flood conditions and antiquated infrastructure.

The city contains 31,000 trees on 900 miles of streets, by the last count conducted in 2005. A 2011 analysis of Pittsburgh's total tree cover, which involved sampling more than 200 small plots throughout the city, showed a value of between $10 and $13 million in annual benefits based on the "urban forest" contributions to aesthetics, energy use and air quality. Energy savings from shade, impact on city air and water quality, and the boost in property values were taken into account in the analysis. The city spends $850,000/year on street tree planting and maintenance.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1760 149 —    
1761 332 +122.8%
1796 1,395 +320.2%
1800 1,565 +12.2%
1810 4,768 +204.7%
1820 7,248 +52.0%
1830 12,568 +73.4%
1840 21,115 +68.0%
1850 46,601 +120.7%
1860 49,221 +5.6%
1870 86,076 +74.9%
1880 156,389 +81.7%
1890 238,617 +52.6%
1900 321,616 +34.8%
1910 533,905 +66.0%
1920 588,343 +10.2%
1930 669,817 +13.8%
1940 671,659 +0.3%
1950 676,806 +0.8%
1960 604,332 −10.7%
1970 520,117 −13.9%
1980 423,938 −18.5%
1990 369,879 −12.8%
2000 334,563 −9.5%
2010 305,704 −8.6%
2015 304,391 −0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census

At the 2010 Census, there were 305,704 people residing in Pittsburgh, a decrease of 8.6% since 2000. 66.0% of the population was White, 25.8% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.4% Asian, 0.3% Other, and 2.3% mixed. 2.3% of Pittsburgh's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 64.8% of the population in 2010, compared to 78.7% in 1970.

Racial composition 2010 1990 1970 1950
White 66.0% 72.1% 79.3% 87.7%
—Non-Hispanic 64.8% 71.6% 78.7% n/a
Black or African American 26.1% 25.8% 20.2% 12.2%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 2.3% 0.9% 0.5% (X)
Asian 4.4% 1.6% 0.3% 0.1%
Race and ethnicity 2010- Pittsburgh (5559872301)
Map of racial distribution in Pittsburgh, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow)

The five largest European ethnic groups in the city are German (19.7%), Irish (15.8%), Italian (11.8%), Polish (8.4%), and English (4.6%), while the metropolitan area is approximately 22% German-American, 15.4% Italian American and 11.6% Irish American. Pittsburgh has one of the largest Italian-American communities in the nation, the fifth-largest Ukrainian community. Pittsburgh has over 200,000 Croatian people making it the city with the most extensive Croatian community in the United States.

According to a 2010 ARDA study, residents include 773,341 "Catholics"; 326,125 "Mainline Protestants"; 174,119 "Evangelical Protestants;" 20,976 "Black Protestants;" and 16,405 "Orthodox Christians," with 996,826 listed as "unclaimed" and 16,405 as "other" in the metro area.

There were 143,739 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 19.9% under the age of 18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,588, and the median income for a family was $38,795. Males had a median income of $32,128 versus $25,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,816. About 15.0% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% ages 65 or older.

In a 2002 study, Pittsburgh ranked 22nd of 69 urban places in the U.S. in the number of residents 25 years or older who had completed a bachelor's degree, at 31%. Pittsburgh ranked 15th of the 69 places in the number of residents 25 years or older who completed a high school degree, at 84.7%.

The metro area has shown greater residential racial integration during the last 30 years. The 2010 census ranked 18 other U.S. metros as having greater black-white segregation, while 32 other U.S. metros rank higher for black-white isolation. Within city limits both Carlow University and Chatham University have residential gender segregation above 90%, as Duquesne University and Point Park University both have female populations at 60% or greater. Carnegie Mellon University has a 60% male population.

Arts and culture

Entertainment

Phipps6
Phipps Conservatory
CathedralfromFrick
The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Skyline Morning
Downtown Pittsburgh from the North Shore in the morning.

Pittsburgh has a rich history in arts and culture dating from 19th century industrialists commissioning and donating public works, such as Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts and the Benedum Center, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Opera, respectively as well as such groups as the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues, and bluegrass music. The National Negro Opera Company was founded in the city as the first all African-American opera company in the United States. This led to the prominence of African-American singers like Leontyne Price in the world of opera. Pittsburgh has a number of small and mid-size arts organizations including the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Quantum Theatre, the Renaissance and Baroque Society of Pittsburgh, and the early music ensemble Chatham Baroque. Several choirs and singing groups are also present at the cities' universities; some of the most notable include the Pitt Men's Glee Club and the Heinz Chapel Choir.

Pittsburgh Dance Council and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater host a variety of dance events. Polka, folk, square, and round dancing have a long history in the city and are celebrated by the world-famous Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance.

Hundreds of major films have been shot partially or wholly in Pittsburgh. The Dark Knight Rises was largely filmed in Downtown, Oakland, and the North Shore. Pittsburgh has also teamed up with a Los Angeles-based production company, and has built the largest and most advanced movie studio in the eastern United States.

Pittsburgh's major art museums include the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Mattress Factory. The ToonSeum, one of three museums in the US dedicated to cartoon art, is located downtown. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is the fourth ranked natural history museum in the US and has extensive dinosaur, mineral, animal, and Egyptian collections. The Carnegie Science Center and associated SportsWorks has interactive technology and science exhibits. The Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a Smithsonian affiliated regional history museum located in the Strip District and its associated Fort Pitt Museum is located in Point State Park. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland houses Western Pennsylvania military exhibits from the Civil War to present. The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side features interactive exhibits for children. The eclectic Bayernhof Music Museum is six miles (9 km) from downtown while The Clemente Museum is located in the city's Lawrenceville section. The Cathedral of Learning's Nationality Rooms showcase pre-19th century learning environments from around the world. There are regular guided and self-guided architectural tours in numerous neighborhoods. Downtown's cultural district hosts quarterly Gallery Crawls and the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival. Pittsburgh is home to a number of art galleries and centers including the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, University Art Gallery of the University of Pittsburgh, the American Jewish Museum, and the Wood Street Galleries.

Pittsburgh is home to the popular amusement park, Kennywood.

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the National Aviary have served the city for over a century.

Pittsburgh is home to one of the several state licensed casinos. The Rivers Casino is located on the North Shore along the Ohio River, just west of Carnegie Science Center and Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh's Wiz Khalifa is a recent artist to have a number one record. His anthem "Black and Yellow" (a tribute to Pittsburgh's official colors) reached number one on Billboard's "Hot 100" for the Week of February 19, 2011 Not since Grammy-winning blues guitarist George Benson has a Pittsburgh artist received such national acclaim. Perry Como and Christina Aguilera are from Pittsburgh suburbs. Hip hop artist Mac Miller's album Blue Slide Park debuted at the top of Billboard's album chart; its first #1 independent release since Dogg Food in 1995.

Many punk rock and Hardcore punk acts, such as Aus Rotten and Anti-Flag, originated in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is home to the world's largest furry convention known as Anthrocon, which has been held annually at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center since 2006. In 2013 Anthrocon drew over 5,000 visitors and had an economic impact of $6.2 million.

Theatre

Pittsburgh benedumcenter
Benedum Center

The city's first play was produced at the old courthouse in 1803 and the first theater built in 1812. Collegiate companies include the University of Pittsburgh's Repertory Theatre and Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Point Park University's resident companies at its Pittsburgh Playhouse, and Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama productions and Scotch'n'Soda organization. The Duquesne University Red Masquers, founded in 1912, are the oldest, continuously producing theater company in Pennsylvania. The city's longest-running theater show, Friday Nite Improvs, is an improv jam that has been performed in the Cathedral of Learning and other locations for 20 years. The Pittsburgh New Works Festival utilizes local theatre companies to stage productions of original one-act plays by playwrights from all parts of the country. Similarly, Future Ten showcases new ten-minute plays. Saint Vincent Summer Theatre, Off the Wall Productions, Mountain Playhouse, The Theatre Factory, and Stage Right! in nearby Latrobe, Carnegie, Jennerstown, Trafford, and Greensburg, respectively, employ Pittsburgh actors and contribute to the culture of the region.

Literature

See also: List of fiction set in Pittsburgh, List of films shot in Pittsburgh, and List of television shows shot in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is the birthplace of Gertrude Stein and Rachel Carson, a Chatham University graduate from the suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvania. Modern writers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson and Michael Chabon with his Pittsburgh-focused commentary on student and college life. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, David McCullough was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Annie Dillard, a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Much of her memoir An American Childhood takes place in post-World War II Pittsburgh. John Edgar Wideman grew up in Pittsburgh and based "Brothers and Keepers," a National Book Critics awarded novel in his hometown. Poet Terrance Hayes, winner of the 2010 National Book Award and a 2014 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, received his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, where he is currently a faculty member. Poet Michael Simms, founder of Autumn House Press, currently resides in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Poet Samuel John Hazo, the first poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, also resides in the city. New writers include Chris Kuzneski who attended the University of Pittsburgh and mentions Pittsburgh in his works and Pittsburgher Brian Celio, author of Catapult Soul who captured the Pittsburgh 'Yinzer' dialect in his writing. Pittsburgh's unique literary style extends to playwrights, as well as local graffiti and hip hop artists.

There are also specific Pittsburgh genres that have been adopted in globally, from children's television to sci-fi/fantasy to Yinzer Pittsburghese.

Pittsburgh's position as the birthplace for community owned television and networked commercial television helped spawn the modern children's show genres exemplified by Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Happy's Party, Cappelli & Company, and The Children's Corner, all nationally broadcast.

The Pittsburgh Dad series has showcased the Pittsburghese genre to a global YouTube audience since 2011.

The modern fantasy, macabre and science fiction genre was popularized by director George A. Romero, television's Bill Cardille and his Chiller Theatre, director and writer Rusty Cundieff and makeup effects guru Tom Savini. The genre continues today with the PARSEC writers organization, The It's Alive Show, the annual "Zombie Fest", and several writer's workshops including Write or Die, Pittsburgh SouthWrites, and Pittsburgh Worldwrights with Barton Paul Levenson, Kenneth Chiacchia and Elizabeth Humphreys Penrose.

Local dialect

The Pittsburgh English dialect, commonly called Pittsburghese, was influenced by Scots-Irish, Welsh, German, Central European, and Eastern European immigrants. Locals who speak the dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word "yinz" [var. yunz], a blended form of "you ones," similar to "y'all" and "you all" in the South). Common Pittsburghese terms are: slippy (slippery), redd up (clean up), jagger bush (thorn bush), and gum bands (rubber bands). The dialect is also notable for dropping the verb "to be." In Pittsburghese one would say "the car needs washed" instead of "needs to be washed," "needs washing," or "needs a wash." The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects of Erie and Baltimore, but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms. The staccato qualities of the dialect are thought to originate either from Welsh or other European languages. The many local peculiarities have prompted the New York Times to describe Pittsburgh as, "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect." The lexicon itself contains notable loans from Polish and other European languages; examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.

Livability

Pittsburgh WEO Night 1
Pittsburgh from the West End Overlook

Pittsburgh often places high in lists of the nation's most livable cities. After placing fourth and first in the first two editions of Places Rated Almanac, Pittsburgh finished third in 1989, fifth in 1993, 14th in 1997, and 12th in 2000, before reclaiming the number one spot in 2007. The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition.

In 2005, 2009, and 2011, Pittsburgh was named the most livable city in the United States and in those years, between the 26th- and 29th-most livable cities worldwide by The Economist. Pittsburgh ranked No. 28 in the book Cities Ranked and Rated (2004) by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander.

In 2010, Forbes and Yahoo! listed Pittsburgh as the most livable city in the United States. A month later, Forbes named Pittsburgh the 7th best place to raise a family. Pittsburgh was ranked the 4th best city for working mothers by Forbes in 2010 and the city was ranked as one of the best for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur. Forbes named Pittsburgh, in an 8-way tie, the world's 10th cleanest city for 2007.

The Economist Intelligence Unit named Pittsburgh the top place to live in the United States in 2011, and behind only Honolulu for 2012 and 2014.

The city was listed among the 10 best U.S. places to retire in 2012 by CBS Money Watch and U.S. News. In February 2013 Forbes again placed Pittsburgh among its 10 most unexpectedly romantic world locations. In April 2014, Niche rated Pittsburgh the 15th best city for millennials.

Livability rankings typically consider factors such as cost of living, crime, and cultural opportunities. Pittsburgh has a low cost of living compared to other northeastern U.S. cities. According to the Federal Housing Board the average price for a 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bath family home in Pittsburgh for 2004 is $162,000, well below the national average of $264,540. Average 2010 rent for all bedrooms in Pittsburgh was $789. This compares to the nationwide average of $1,087. Pittsburgh also has five city parks and several parks managed by the Nature Conservancy, the largest of which, Frick Park, provides a 664 acres (269 ha) of woodland park with extensive hiking and biking trails throughout steep valleys and wooded slopes. Birding enthusiasts love to visit Clayton Hill area of Frick Park, where well over 100 species of birds have been recorded.

Enhancing Pittsburgh's livability is that the area faces little natural disaster risk such as an earthquake, hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as having the 2nd lowest natural disaster risk in the nation for 2009. Greater Pittsburgh is not entirely free of natural disasters, however. Residents living in extremely low-lying areas near the rivers or one of the 1,400 creeks and streams experience occasional floods, such as those caused when the remnants of Hurricane Ivan hit rainfall records in 2004. River flooding is relatively rare due to federal flood control efforts extensively managing locks, dams, and reservoirs. Residents living near smaller tributary streams are less protected from occasional flooding, and the cost of a comprehensive flood control program for the region has been estimated at a prohibitive $50 billion.

Pittsburgh has the most bars per capita in the nation.

Utilities

Further information: Allegheny County Sanitary Authority

The city is served by Duquesne Light, one of the original 1912 power companies founded by George Westinghouse. Water service is provided by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and Pennsylvania American Water. Natural gas is provided by Equitable Gas, Columbia Gas, Dominion Resources, Direct Energy, and Novec.

Transportation

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
At least 17 of Pittsburgh's bridges are visible in this aerial photo

Pittsburgh is a city of bridges. With a total of 446, it has three bridges more than Venice, Italy, which has historically held the title "City of Bridges." Around 40 bridges cross the three rivers near the city. The Smithfield Street Bridge was the world's first lenticular truss bridge. The city's Three Sisters Bridges offer a picturesque view of the city from the North. The south-western "entrance" to Downtown for travelers coming in from Interstate 79 and the Pittsburgh International Airport is through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and over the Fort Pitt Bridge. The Fort Duquesne Bridge carrying Interstate 279 is the main gateway from Downtown to both PNC Park, Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino. The Panhandle Bridge carries the Port Authority's Blue/Red/Brown subway lines across the Monongahela River. The renovated J&L Steel Company bridge has been a key traffic/running-biking trail conduit connecting the Southside Works and Pittsburgh Technology Center. Over 2,000 bridges span the landscape of Allegheny County.

Rail

Pittsburgh Penn Station (6962200876)
Penn Station was built in 1903

Pittsburgh's rail industry dates to 1851 when the Pennsylvania Railroad first opened service between the city and Philadelphia, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad entered the city in 1871. In 1865 Andrew Carnegie opened the Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works which manufactured for the industry until 1919. Carnegie also founded the Union Railroad in 1894 for heavy freight services and it still serves the area's steel industry, while George Westinghouse's Wabtec has been a leader in rail engines and switching since 1869.

Pittsburgh is home to one of Norfolk Southern Railway's busiest freight corridors, the Pittsburgh Line, and operates up to 70 trains per day through the city. The suburban Conway Rail Yard—originally built in 1889—was the largest freight rail center in the world from 1956 until 1980 and is today the nation's second-largest. CSX, the other major freight railroad in the eastern U.S. also has major operations around Pittsburgh.

Amtrak provides intercity rail service via the Capitol Limited and the Pennsylvanian which use Penn Station.

Port

The Port of Pittsburgh ranks as the 21st-largest port in the United States with almost 34 million short tons of river cargo for 2011, the port ranked 9th-largest in the U.S. when measured in domestic trade.

Expressways and highways

Expressways Other Highways
I-279.svg Parkway North US 19.svg US 19 PA-88.svg PA 88
I-376.svg
US 22.svg US 30.svg
Parkway East & West Truck plate.svg
US 19.svg
Truck
US 19
PA-121.svg PA 121
I-579.svg Crosstown PA-8.svg PA 8 PA-130.svg PA 130
PA-28.svg Route 28 PA-50.svg PA 50 PA-380.svg PA 380
PA-65.svg Route 65 PA-51.svg PA 51 PA-837.svg PA 837
    PA-60.svg PA 60 PA-885.svg PA 885
Pittsburgh (view from the North Hills)
I-279

Locals refer to the interstates fanning out from downtown Pittsburgh as the "parkways." Interstate 376 is both the "parkway east" connecting to Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) and the "parkway west" connecting to Interstate 79, the Pittsburgh International Airport, the Ohio end of the Turnpike and Interstate 80. The "parkway north" is Interstate 279 connecting to I-79. The "crosstown" is Interstate 579 allowing access to the heart of downtown, the Liberty Tunnels and the PPG Paints Arena. The 45 mile long and 70 mile long expressway sections of Pennsylvania Route 28 and U.S. Route 22 also carry traffic from downtown to the northeast and western suburbs, respectively. Interstate 70, 79 and 76 (the Turnpike) roughly form a triangular-shaped "beltway" with Interstate 68 and 80 within the media market's northern and southern limits. Turnpike spurs such as the Mon–Fayette Expressway, Pennsylvania Route 576 and Route 66 also help traffic flow. The non-expressway Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System serves navigation in the region.

Airports

Pittsburgh International Airport and Arnold Palmer Regional Airport provide commercial passenger service to the metropolitan area.

Public transit

Steel Plaza Subway Station
The Steel Plaza subway station

Port Authority of Allegheny County, commonly known as the Port Authority, but sometimes referred to by its former nickname "PAT" or "PAT Transit", is the region's mass transit system. While serving only a portion of the Pittsburgh area (the nation's 20th largest metro area), it is the 11th largest transit agency in the nation and helped the region rank 8th on commuters that use non-car means to work, second to only Chicago in metros outside the Northeast corridor. Port Authority runs a network of intracity and intercity bus routes, the Monongahela Incline funicular railway (more commonly known as an "incline") on Mount Washington, a light rail system that runs mostly above-ground in the suburbs and underground as a subway in the city, and one of the nation's largest busway systems. The Duquesne Incline is operated by a non-profit preservation trust, but accepts Port Authority passes and charges Port Authority fares.

Between 2007 and 2010, the Port Authority cut annual expenses by $52 million and raised revenues by $14 million to help alleviate a $472 million gap in the state transportation budget.

Sister cities

Pittsburgh has 21 sister cities:

Images


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