Regional News

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Air Quality Trends

The days when Pittsburgh earned the reputation as the “Smokey City” may be long gone, but the quality of the region’s air remains a concern.

Environmental Ethic

The environmental ethic among southwestern Pennsylvanians is complex, data reported in the Pittsburgh Regional Environmental survey suggest.

Infant Mortality Trends

Infant mortality remains a serious public health issue in the region, nation and around the world. Local data, however, is encouraging.

Combined Sewage Overflow

Abundant annual rainfall leaves southwestern Pennsylvania in a fortunate position as much of the world grapples with the prospect of a shortage of fresh water. But effective stewardship to protect the quality of its rivers and streams has not been the region’s strong suit.

Regional Poverty

Poverty remains a stubborn problem for most regions in the United States and southwestern Pennsylvania is no exception.

A Question of Learning

As a digital revolution changes classrooms across the region and country, one key question lingers at the end of each school day: Do the new technologies actually enhance students’ learning?

Rethinking Education

by Julia Fraser
Janice Smith’s fifth-​grade reading class at Central Elementary in the Elizabeth Forward School District was supposed to be working on a book report. Huddled around iPads, the students chatted with one another, pointing and swiping at the screens. No one was being shushed, few were sitting square in their seats,…

Regional Housing Trends

More southwestern Pennsylvanians have been able to find housing that fits their budgets in the past decade, despite steadily rising home values and rents. But there are stark disparities in the affordability of housing across income levels.

Regional Crime

When Pittsburgh rises to the top of various “best places to live” lists, one indicator often cited is the region’s relative safety as measured by crime rates, which typically are among the lowest of U.S. metropolitan areas.
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