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Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2021

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How Do We Attract People to Pittsburgh?

David Feehan, president of Civitas Consultants in Maryland, is a recognized expert in downtown revitalization. For more than 50 years, his work has helped improve dozens of cities and neighborhoods in the United States and elsewhere, including Minneapolis, Detroit, Austin, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Today spoke with him about ideas that might help …

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The Pittsburgh Today Regional Education Survey

The Pittsburgh Today Regional Education Survey is the most comprehensive survey to date to ask Allegheny County residents about their experiences and perspectives regarding education and the local public schools that educate 115,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12.  The online survey was conducted by Pittsburgh Today and the University Center for Social and Urban …

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COVID-19 Survey: Allegheny County Residents React to the Pandemic and Shutdown

Stay-at-home orders, business closures and other social distancing measures taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania were appropriate and necessary in the eyes of 70 percent of Allegheny County residents surveyed last week. More than two-thirds reported they’ve suffered no or only minor financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. …

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Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2020

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For Southwestern Pennsylvania, a Few Reasons to Be Thankful

In the Thanksgiving tradition of reflection and expressions of gratitude, here are a few trends that have raised the quality of life a bit in southwestern Pennsylvania, which is always a reason to be thankful. The region has enjoyed a run of low unemployment this year, as has the nation as a whole. More people …

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Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2019

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Up in the Air

This four-part award-winning series of articles offers a comprehensive look at air quality in southwestern Pennsylvania. The scope of the 14-article series, winner of a national Folio award for regional journalism, ranges from the legacy of the region’s industrial past when Pittsburgh earned the reputation as the “Smoky City,” to the characteristics of the region’s …

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2018 Pittsburgh Regional Quality of Life Survey

The Pittsburgh Regional Quality of Life Survey was first published in 2011 as the most extensive survey of Greater Pittsburgh residents since the historic Pittsburgh Survey of 1908. The intent was to understand the attitudes and circumstances of the region’s citizens then and, by revisiting the questions later, determine how their views change over time. …

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Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2018

In this 2018 Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow report, we compare the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area with regions across the country in key quality of life measures. Additionally, look for in-depth reports on: the region’s 2018 economic forecast; the rationale for building a new airport; an examination of what effect the Trump administration’s removal of …

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Air Quality Regulation: A Primer

Air quality in the United States is governed by a complex regulatory structure that sets pollution limits and authorizes federal, state and local agencies to enforce them. The regulations which agencies enforce vary with the source of pollution, what they emit and the air quality in the region where they are located. Federal President Richard …

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Ecosystem Health

Bird counts in the Pittsburgh area have improved in recent years and limited data suggest that fresh water mussel populations are also doing well – two encouraging trends that offer insight into the health of the region’s ecosystem. Data from the annual Christmas Bird Count organized by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania show generally …

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Internet Access

The digital divide is narrowing in Western Pennsylvania, if only slightly. Fewer people in the Pittsburgh MSA reported a lack of internet in their households in 2015 than in the previous two years, according to data obtained from the Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS). Slowly connecting Access to computers and high-speed Internet connections has …

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Cost of Living

The cost of living has increased in the region since 2011, but so has family income. And despite rising costs, southwestern Pennsylvania continues to rank as one of the least expensive places to live overall among the 16 Pittsburgh Today benchmark regions. The region’s composite cost of living index slipped during 2009 and 2010 in …

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Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2017

The 2017 Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow report, produced by Pittsburgh Today, analyzes recent data to assess the Pittsburgh region’s standing compared with 15 other regions in key economic and quality of life measures. Also included are numerous in-depth reports focusing on the most important issues facing Greater Pittsburgh. To view a PDF version of Pittsburgh …

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Unemployment Trends in Pittsburgh

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy suffered less during the last recession than most regions and one key reason was that unemployment was relatively stable when other places were reeling with more widespread joblessness. While unemployment in the region has largely fallen below the national average since, recent data raise the prospect of trouble ahead, according to U.S. …

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Recreational Opportunities

Southwestern Pennsylvanians think highly of the parks, trails and other recreational amenities in the region and survey data suggest most base their views on firsthand knowledge. The accessibility and quality of outdoor recreational opportunities, whether found in parks and woods or on rivers and streams, are indicators of the quality of life available in the …

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Water Quality: Bromide and TDS

Levels of bromide and total dissolved solids have improved in the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers in recent years. But the future is uncertain due to potential new sources. Both are indicators of water quality in southwestern Pennsylvania’s three major rivers. High concentrations of bromide and other salts in streams and rivers pose environmental and …

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General Health Trends

The prognosis for residents’ health in southwestern Pennsylvania is mixed. Heart disease deaths declined over a recent 10-year period in Allegheny County, the most populous of the seven Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area counties. But across the region, the rate of people reporting fair or poor overall health has increased. Heart disease Allegheny County residents are …

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Mobility Trends in Pittsburgh

An easy commute is hard to come by in the Pittsburgh region. Traffic delays are longer, transit use lags and transportation costs consume a significant share of household income in many places. Transit use Transit use per capita in Allegheny County fell by about 6 percent between 2003 and 2013. The decrease likely reflects to …

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Graduation Rates

High school graduation rates are improving in southwestern Pennsylvania overall. Yet, in a handful of districts, nearly a third or more students fail to graduate on time. Dropping out or otherwise failing to earn a high school degree robs students of opportunity and puts them at greater risk of being unemployed or working low-paying jobs. …

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Racial Equity

The racial and ethnic demographics of southwestern Pennsylvania are changing, just as they are across the nation. The share of the population held by African American, Asian, Hispanic and other minority residents has increased since 2000 and continues to do so. But racial and ethnic minorities accounted for less than 14 percent of the population …

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