Pennsylvania’s Fastest Growing Communities

Here is a list of the fastest-growing communities in Pennsylvania, in reverse order. 

Cecil Township, Washington County 

Population in 2017: 12,460   

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

Cecil Township, named after Cecil County, Md., is in the northeastern corner of Washington County. It's home to the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies and the Montour Trail, named Pa.'s 2017 Trail of the Year. In 2011 the township was voted the safest city in Pennsylvania, to live.

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Lower Nazareth Township, Northampton County  

Population in 2017: 6,276            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

The township's official website states that it was originally part of the "Walking Purchase" of 1737. Early residents named the township after the biblical town of Nazareth. Lower Nazareth Township was incorporated in 1807 and to this point has experienced slow, controlled growth.

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Avondale, Chester County 

Population in 2017: 1,402            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

Avondale was incorporated as a borough in 1894 and is part of two townships.

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Mount Joy, Lancaster County            

Population in 2017: 8,215            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

Mount Joy Borough was founded by Scots-Irish immigrants. It gets its name from the ship Mountjoy that broke the siege of Derry in Ireland in 1689. In 2002 the borough was designated a Main Street Community by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Sadsbury Township, Chester County  

Population in 2017: 3,958             

Growth since 2010: 11 percent 

Sadsbury Township was established in 1708.

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Paradise Township, Lancaster County

Population in 2017: 5,692            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

Paradise Township, organized in 1843, lies in the Pequea Valley area and Lancaster County's Amish Country. The township website states that "Most of the land is rural and agricultural in use. Approximately 65 percent of the area is being actively tilled. Most of the area being farmed is considered by soil scientists to be prime agricultural land." 

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South Coatesville, Chester County 

Population in 2017: 1,447            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

The Borough of South Coatesville was incorporated in June of 1921. The borough's website states that "shortly after its incorporation South CoatesvIlle was referred to as the youngest - and richest - borough in the county by a local newspaper because of the growing industry located within its boundaries. The borough was closely associated with the steel industry.

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Alburtis, Lehigh County  

Population in 2017: 2,622            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

The Alburtis Historical Society website notes that according to legend the town was named in honor of Edward K. Alburtis, a civil engineer responsible for construction of the East Pennsylvania Branch of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway, who was very fond of the area and spent much time there.

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Springfield Township, York County            

Population in 2017: 5,731            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

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Marion Township, Berks County  

Population in 2017: 1,878            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

Marion Township is a farming community in western Berks County. The Union Canal operated in the township in the mid-1800s, a time of prosperity.  Remnants of the canal are still visible.

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Penn Township, Lancaster County  

Population in 2017: 9,787            

Growth since 2010: 11 percent

Penn Township is in north central Lancaster County. Settlers, most of Germanic and Swiss ancestry, began settling in the area around 1735. The township today has a growing suburban area, surrounded by the large rural region.

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East Whiteland Township, Chester County        

Population in 2017: 11,890          

Growth since 2010: 12 percent

Welsh settlers arrived in Whiteland Township about 1621. The township was founded in 1704 and was made up of what is currently known as East and West Whiteland townships.

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Mount Joy Township, Lancaster County 

Population in 2017: 11,026          

Growth since 2010: 12 percent

Mount Joy Township, organized in 1759, was part of a large, original Donegal Township. The township is located between the boroughs of Elizabethtown and Mount Joy. Early settlers were Scotch-Irish who arrived around 1735. They were followed by large groups of Germans. Many descendants of these settlers continue to occupy the patented land of their immigrant ancestors.

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Windsor, York County 

Population in 2017: 1,483            

Growth since 2010: 12 percent

The Borough of Windsor was established in 1905 and was named for Windsor, England. It was formerly named Windsorville.

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West Hanover Township, Dauphin County 

Population in 2017: 10,511          

Growth since 2010: 13 percent

West Hanover Township was established in 1842. Based on population, it is classified as a Second Class Township under PA local government statutes.

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Plumstead Township, Bucks County    

Population in 2017: 14,005          

Growth since 2010: 13 percent

Plumstead Township is in the eastern portion of central Bucks County. It was formed shortly after 1700 by English Quakers who came to Pennsylvania in search of religious freedom. Later settlements were Scottish and Irish, and eventually many of the township's inhabitants were of German ancestry. A group of residents presented a petition to the Bucks County Court in 1725, organizing Plumstead Township. Renowned township residents include the notorious Doan Gang, a group of outlaws in the area during the latter part of the 18th century.

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Royalton, Dauphin County

Population in 2017: 1,023            

Growth since 2010: 13 percent

Until the late 1870s Upper Royalton was known as Furnace Hill, and Lower Royalton was called Port Royal. In September 1891, however, both areas were incorporated and named Royalton.

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Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County   

Population in 2017: 24,022          

Growth since 2010: 13 percent

Upper Providence Township was established in 1805. One of the township's best historical treasures, the Schuylkill Canal's Lock Number 60, built in 1846 to allow boats to travel from a shallower section of the Schuylkill Canal, reopened in 2005 in original working condition after a 10-year restoration project.

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Sewickley Hills, Allegheny County   

Population in 2017: 724

Growth since 2010: 13 percent

Sewickley Hills Borough was founded in 1958. The Borough comprises a mix between suburban residential areas and rural agricultural land areas. 

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Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County  

Population in 2017: 16,818          

Growth since 2010: 14 percent

The earliest European settlers primarily of German, English and Welsh descent arrived in this region over a 20-year period beginning in 1732. These immigrants formally organized the Township in 1743. The basis of the Township's economy for most of its history was agriculture, followed by mining.

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Slippery Rock Township, Butler County   

Population in 2017: 6,378            

Growth since 2010: 14 percent

The Township derives its name from Slippery Rock Creek, which runs westerly through the area. Following several land divisions in Butler County the township was reduced in size until 1854 when a final sub-division cut it down to its present size.

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Valley Township, Chester County    

Population in 2017: 7,731

Growth since 2010: 14 percent

Valley Township was formed by court decree in 1852. It was a rural community, home to many farms. As stated on its website, the township is currently experiencing a growth spurt.

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Findlay Township, Allegheny County 

Population in 2017: 5,761            

Growth since 2010: 14 percent

The Findlay Township website states that "the Pittsburgh International Airport owns slightly more than 8,000 acres in the northern half of the township." This tract of land comprises 39 percent of the township. The township lies west of Pittsburgh.

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Pine Township, Allegheny County  

Population in 2017: 13,101          

Growth since 2010: 14 percent

The Township of Pine was established in 1796. The first school opened in 1800.

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Bally, Berks County    

Population in 2017: 1,249

Growth since 2010: 15 percent

Bally is located between Allentown and Reading. The Borough was incorporated in 1912.

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Malvern, Chester County           

Population in 2017: 3,441

Growth since 2010: 15 percent

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Collier Township, Allegheny County 

Population in 2017: 8,162

Growth since 2010: 15 percent

Early settlements were established during the 1770s. Collier Township was founded June 7, 1875 and was named after the Honorable Fredrick H. Collier of the common pleas bench of county courts. The township is home of our nation's Flag Day holiday.

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Rapho Township, Lancaster County

Population in 2017: 12,045

Growth since 2010: 15 percent

Rapho Township is the largest land mass in Lancaster County, comprising 47 square miles. Its name was derived from a parish of the same name in Donegal, Ireland. The township was organized in 1741.

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Londonderry Township, Chester County   

Population in 2017: 2,485

Growth since 2010: 16 percent


Allen Township, Northampton County   

Population in 2017: 4,938

Growth since 2010: 16 percent

The township was originally part of Bucks County. The Allen Township website states that In June 1748, thirty-seven signers, mostly Scotch-Irish, formed a petition for the creation of a township to the Court of Quarter Sessions in Newtown, Bucks County. The present metes and bounds were established in 1752 and finally coordinated in 1845. The name is derived from Chief Justice William Allen of Philadelphia who owned the 5000 acre "Allen Tract."

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London Grove Township, Chester County   

Population in 2017: 8,665

Growth since 2010: 16 percent

The Township was incorporated in 1723 and traditionally has been an agricultural community, home to dairy, horse and mushroom farms.

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South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County  

Population in 2017: 8,234

Growth since 2010: 18 percent

South Londonderry Township was incorporated in 1894 and comprises Campbelltown, Colebrook, Lawn and portions of Mount Gretna.                           

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New Hanover Township, Montgomery County   

Population in 2017: 12,906

Growth since 2010: 18 percent

The first known permanent settlers in the area to become New Hanover arrived in 1717 from the Upper Rhine region, which later became Germany. They spoke a Germanic dialect known as "Pennsylvania Dutch." The township was established in 1741.

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Ferguson Township, Centre County 

Population in 2017: 525

Growth since 2010: 18 percent

Ferguson Township is in the southwestern corner of Centre County and borders State College. Formed in 1801, it was named for Thomas Ferguson, an early settler who operated a mill in the area.

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Adams Township, Butler County  

Population in 2017: 13,783

Growth since 2010: 18 percent

Adams Township is in southern Butler County, less than 30 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.  The Township was created in 1854 from parts of two original Butler County townships: western Middlesex Township and eastern Cranberry Township. It was named for President John Quincy Adams.

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Salford Township, Montgomery County  

Population in 2017: 2,964

Growth since 2010: 18 percent

Salford Township, as it now exists, came into being in 1892.

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Ontelaunee Township, Berks County

Population in 2017: 1,953

Growth since 2010: 19 percent

Ontelaunee Township takes its name from the large stream which drains the greater part of the upper eastern portion of Berks County. The area was settled as early as 1721 by Friends (Quakers).

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West Vincent Township, Chester County 

Population in 2017: 5,438

Growth since 2010: 19 percent

The Township takes its name from Sir Mathias Vincent, who purchased his land from his friend William Penn. In 1832, the original Vincent Township was divided, with about 12,000 acres in the western portion. General George Washington marched his troops through Vincent Township on his way to Valley Forge, where they spent the winter of 1777-78.

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Harris Township, Centre County  

Population in 2017: 5,803

Growth since 2010: 19 percent

Harris Township lies on the southern border of Centre County and is bordered by Ferguson Township to the west, College Township to its north, and Potter Township to its east.

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Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County 

Population in 2017: 7,718

Growth since 2010: 19 percent

Religious tensions in 17th century Europe drove many German speaking peoples to the area. German religious groups that settled the area included Lutherans, Reformed, Catholic, Mennonites and Schwenkfelders. The Township's website notes that before 1741, Upper Hanover was part of Hanover Township. It became a separate township in 1741.

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Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County 

Population in 2017: 24,356

Growth since 2010: 21 percent

European settlers began settling the area in the early 1700s. German immigrants were attracted to its fertile soil and abundant water sources. The area is known for its strong Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Macungie Township was divided into Upper and Lower Macungie on May 3, 1832. Eleven parks are located through the Township, totaling 498 acres of park land.

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East Brandywine Township, Chester County     

Population in 2017: 8,486

Growth since 2010: 26 percent

East Brandywine Township was founded in 1844.

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Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County 

Population in 2017: 17,469

Growth since 2010: 28 percent

Many Scotch-Irish settled in this area. Silver Spring Township was founded in 1757. Historical documents state that the township derives its name "from the spring which arises on the old Silver's property." James Silver, of Scots-Irish decent, was a prominent early settler who moved from the eastern part of Lancaster County into the area now known as Silver Spring Township.

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Connoquenessing, Butler County 

Population in 2017: 685

Growth since 2010: 30 percent

Peter McKinney moved to Butler County in 1792, eventually settling in what is now Connoquenessing Borough. It was for him that the settlement and resulting village were named McKinney's Tavern, Petersburg and Petersville. The name was changed to Connoquenessing in 1871, which remains today. The Native American Indian name means "A Long Way Straight." Connoquenessing was incorporated as a borough in 1898.

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Marshall Township, Allegheny County           

Population in 2017: 9,070

Growth since 2010: 31 percent

As stated on its website, Marshall Township's existence dates to June 3, 1863. The territory, formerly an election precinct of Franklin Township, is named for Thomas Mercer Marshall, "the well-known attorney by whom the proceedings to withdraw from Franklin Township were conducted before the court." Two Indian trails dating from Colonial times wind their way through the area: the Venango Trail and the Kuskusky Path.

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Ohio Township, Allegheny County

Population in 2017: 6,569

Growth since 2010: 38 percent

Ohio Township was established in 1803.

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East Bangor, Northampton County 

Population in 2017: 1,630

Growth since 2010: 39 percent

East Bangor Borough was established in 1884.

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Benner Township, Centre County     

Population in 2017: 9,309

Growth since 2010: 50 percent

In the early 1800s, many families of Scotch-Irish heritage came to this area, known as Buffalo Run Valley, to farm the land. Benner Township was established in 1853 and was named for General Philip Benner who came to the area in 1793. He was an early ironmaster who established the area's first iron forge and constructed a nail and slitting mill at the site.

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Trafford, Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties         

Population in 2017: 109

Growth since 2010: 79 percent

The Borough of Trafford was incorporated in 1904 and was named for Trafford near Manchester, England. It lies in two counties: Allegheny and Westmoreland, but primarily in Westmoreland County, with a small portion in Allegheny.

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Valencia, Butler County

Population in 2017: 1,151

Growth since 2010: 109 percent

This is the Pennsylvania community showing the highest percentage of growth since 2010. The Borough of Valencia lies along the southern border of Butler County, Adams Township, and is served by the Mars Area School District.

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Linda Hasco for Penn Live