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Pittsburgh Demographics and Lifestyle

When you think of Pittsburgh, you may envision a blue-collar city that specializes in producing steel. Yet, what is it like to live there? To help you understand what to expect in the “City of Bridges,” we have put together this short guide of the animals, people, and weather.

What Are the Demographics of Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is home to more than 300,000 people. According to the 2010 United States Census, nearly two-thirds of the city’s inhabitants are self-identified as white, over a quarter of Pittsburghers are African-American, a little more than four percent are Asian, and less than three percent identify as Hispanic. Nearly 52 percent of the city’s population is female, and almost fourteen percent of inhabitants are aged 65 years or older.

People from all across the nation and the world settle in Pittsburgh because of its livability and low cost of living. In fact, about eight percent of the people in Pittsburgh were born in a different country. One out of every ten residents speaks a language other than English at home. Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods retain an ethnic character that reflects the city’s immigrant history. There are German, Italian, Polish, African American, and Jewish neighborhoods throughout the city.

Pittsburgh’s Climate and Natural Forces

Pittsburgh is located in the humid continental climate zone. The area experiences four distinct seasons. Falls and springs are typically mild with moderate levels of sunshine. Summers are warm to hot and humid with average highs around 80 degrees and humidity at 70 percent. Winters are cloudy, moderately snowy, and cold with average lows in the low to mid-20s and snowfall averaging about 11.5 inches in January, the snowiest month.

Pittsburgh regularly wins high honors for livability since it faces little risk from natural disasters, like wildfire, earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. In fact, Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as having the second lowest risk for natural disasters. However, in the Greater Pittsburgh area, residents living in low-lying areas may be susceptible to flooding from the many streams and creeks. On the other hand, river flooding is rare.

Despite the low risk of natural disasters, the City of Pittsburgh is still prepared for just about anything. They have created the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. In addition, they maintain a fleet of snowplows and salt trucks to clear the streets when there is a snowfall or ice storm. In fact, you can even track the plows as they make their way around town.

Pittsburgh’s Plants and Wildlife

Despite being a big city, there are wild plants and animals even within the city limits. The official tourism website for the State of Pennsylvania maintains a list of great places to go and observe the local birds and other wildlife in Pittsburgh. The A.W. Robertson Arboretum is a sixteen-acre rare virgin oak forest that is home to ferns, wildlife, and wildflowers.

Though there are many different types of animals in and around Pittsburgh, none of them are really much of a threat to humans. There have been some black bear sightings in the region, but they stay away from the city.

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