pennsylvania population shifts bring changes and challenges

Some interesting new information about demographic shifts in Pennsylvania... According to Census data, the state's population grew for the first time in sixty years, thanks to large numbers of Latino and Asian immigrants -- nearly 97,000 -- moving in during the last decade: Immigrant surge: Why area grew.
With comparatively few native newcomers, "Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania have benefited from international migration," said Sue Copella, director of the Pennsylvania State Data Center in Harrisburg, the commonwealth's authority on population analysis. They come to Philadelphia through a reemerging gateway for immigration, she said, or "up from Baltimore and down from New York."

Pennsylvania's population grew 3.4 percent from 2000 to 2010, to 12,702,379. Absent Hispanic and Asian newcomers, however, it would not have grown at all.

Among arrivals spurring growth are Dominican immigrants moving from New York for cheaper housing and business opportunities; Mexicans joining friends and family in the established Hispanic enclaves of South Philadelphia, Norristown, and Kennett Square; Asian Indians joining well-established communities in Bensalem; and refugees from Cambodia, Burma, and Nepal being aided in resettlement by the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians or Philadelphia's Nationalities Service Center.
In Philadelphia, the question people are asking now is how those surging Asian and Latino number will translate to political influence in the 2011 city elections: What will Philadelphia's demographic change mean at the ballot box?

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