PA’s Higher-Density Metros Have Higher Compensation

Share With Friends
  

Rich Wilkins has a helpful list of the top 10 most populous PA cities:

1.Philadelphia 1,526,006
2.Pittsburgh 305,704
3.Allentown 118,032
4.Erie 101,786
5.Reading 88,082
6.Scranton 76,089
7.Bethlehem 74,982
8.Lancaster 59,322
9.Harrisburg 49,528
10.Altoona 46,320
11.York 43,718
12.State College 42,034

Notice how that roughly lines up with economic output:

And also notice how higher compensation correlates with higher population. BEA just released their 2010 stats for compensation by county. Here’s the top 15 in PA:

1. Chester – $75,057
2. Montgomery – $71,169
3. Philadelphia – $67,202
4. Delaware $60,560
5. Allegheny – $60,374
6. Greene – $59,411
7. Dauphin – $56,452
8. Lehigh – $55,987
9. Bucks $55,687
10. York – $51,465
11. Northampton – $50,597
12. Monroe – $49,635
13. Wyoming – $49,299
14. Lancaster – $47,918
15. Union – $47,174

The relationship is clear: Philadelphia is enough of an economic engine to put itself and its immediate suburbs in the top 4 slots.

Then you have Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Greene (is this considered part of the Pittsburgh metro area?), Dauphin (Harrisburg), and Lehigh (Allentown). Then it’s Bucks (Philly), York, and Northampton (Bethlehem and Easton). And the rest look roughly like the population list and the economic output list.

Regions that have higher populations, and higher population density have higher wages on average. This is what we would expect, given the robust evidence for the correlation between higher density and higher productivity. The easiest way to boost average wages is to zone for greater population density and employment density in the central business districts of your core cities.

(h/t Chris Briem)

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

Comments are closed.