Main Births etc
—  City  —
City of Pittsburgh
From top to bottom, left to right: Pittsburgh skyline; Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh; Carnegie Mellon University; PNC Park; Duquesne Incline


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): City of Bridges, Steel City,
City of Champions, The 'Burgh
Motto: Benigno Numine
Location in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is located in the USA
Location in the US
Coordinates: 40°26′30″N 80°00′00″W / 40.44167, -80Coordinates: 40°26′30″N 80°00′00″W / 40.44167, -80
Country United States
Commonwealth Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Historic Empires Pavillon royal de France.svg Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg
Historic Colonies Pavillon LouisXIV.svg Flag of Quebec.svg VirginiaColonyArmsRetouch.png Flag of Virginia.svg
Settled 1717
Founded November 27, 1758
Municipal incorporation April 16, 1771 (Township)
April 22, 1794 (Borough)
March 18, 1816 (City)
Founder George Washington,
General John Forbes
Named for "The Great Commoner": Prime Minister William Pitt
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Bill Peduto (D)
 • City Council
 • State House
 • State Senate Jim Ferlo (D)
Jay Costa (D)
 • U.S. House Mike Doyle (D)
 • City 58.3 sq mi (151 km2)
 • Land 55.5 sq mi (144 km2)
 • Water 2.8 sq mi (7 km2)  4.8%
 • Metro 5,343 sq mi (13,840 km2)
Highest elevation 1,370 ft (420 m)
Lowest elevation 710 ft (220 m)
Population (2012)
 • City 306,211 (62nd)
 • Density 5,540/sq mi (2,140/km2)
 • Urban 1,733,853 (27th)
 • Metro 2,360,733 (22nd)
 • CSA 2,661,369 (19th)
 • GMP $123.6 billion (23rd)
Time zone Eastern Standard Time (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−4)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 412, 724, 878
FIPS code 42-61000
GNIS feature ID 1213644
Expressways I-279.svg I-376.svg I-579.svg PA-28.svg PA-65.svg
Waterways Ohio River, Monongahela River, Allegheny River, Chartiers Creek
Transit Port Authority
Rail Penn Station

Pittsburgh ( /ˈpɪtsbərɡ/, PITS-burg) is the seat of Allegheny County and with a population of 306,211 is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. With a metropolitan CSA population of 2,661,369, it is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and the 20th-largest in the U.S.[1] Pittsburgh is known as both "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses and "the City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges.[2] The city features 30 skyscrapers, 2 inclined railways, a pre-revolutionary fortification, and the source of the Ohio at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. This vital link of the Atlantic coast and the Midwest cuts through the mineral-rich Alleghenies which made the area coveted by the French and British Empires, Virginia, Whiskey Rebels, Civil War raiders and media networks.[3]

Known for steel, Pittsburgh also led innovations and industries in aluminum, glass, shipbuilding, petroleum, foods, appliances, sports, transportation, computing, retail, cars, and electronics.[4] This creative wealth placed Pittsburgh third (after New York City and Chicago) in corporate headquarters employment for much of the 20th century, second only to New York City in bank assets and with more stockholders per capita than any other U.S. city.[5] America's 1980s deindustrialization laid off millions of blue-collar workers in the area, with thousands of downtown white-collar workers joining them after multi-billion-dollar corporate raids relocated the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters of Gulf Oil, Sunbeam, Rockwell and Westinghouse.[6] This status as a global industrial and banking center, its "melting pot" of industrial immigrant workers, and top-10 rank among the largest cities in the U.S. until 1950 and metro areas until 1980[7] left the region with a plethora of internationally regarded museums, medical centers,[8] parks, research infrastructure, libraries, and a vibrantly diverse cultural district.

These legacies have earned Pittsburgh the title of America's "most livable city" by Places Rated Almanac,[9] Forbes,[10] and The Economist[11] while inspiring National Geographic[12] and Today[13] to name the city a top world destination. Since 2004, the area has added over 3,000 hotel rooms with higher occupancy than 11 comparable cities.[14]

Apple, Google and Intel are among 1,600 technology firms generating $10.8 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls, with the area serving as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, robotics, energy research and the nuclear navy.[15] R&D leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh annually produce multiple startups as the city has earned the top rank as "America's smartest" with a total of 68 area colleges and universities, 38 of them non-profit.[16]

The nation's fifth-largest bank, nine Fortune 500 companies, and six of the top 300 US law firms make their global headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, while RAND, BNY Mellon, Nova, Bayer, FedEx, GSK and NIOSH have large regional bases that helped Pittsburgh become the sixth-best metro area for U.S. job growth. Area retail and housing have also grown with the multi-million-dollar SouthSide Works, Bakery Square, and Washington's Landing repurposing former industrial sites.[17]

Pittsburgh is a leader in environmental design with 60 total and 10 of the world's first green buildings, including downtown's convention center, even as billions have recently been invested in the area's energy renaissance with Marcellus shale.[18] A renaissance of Pittsburgh's 116-year-old film industry—that boasts the world's first movie theater—has grown from the long-running 3R Film Festival to an influx of major productions including Disney and Paramount offices with the largest sound stage outside Los Angeles and New York.[19]


Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. Forbes was a Scotsman and it is conjectured that the pronunciation was originally intended to be /ˈpɪtsbrə/ PITS-brə or PITS-bə-rə (similar to Edinburgh).[20] Pittsburgh was incorporated as a township in 1771 and as a borough on April 22, 1794 with the following Act:[21] "Be it enacted by the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be...erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever."[22]

Pittsburgh is one of the few American cities to be spelled with an h at the end of a burg suffix.[23] From 1890 to 1911 the city's "h" was removed but after a public campaign it was officially restored by the United States Board on Geographic Names.[22]


The Fort Pitt Blockhouse, dating to 1764, is the oldest extant structure in the City of Pittsburgh.

Historical Claims

French Empire 1669–1758
British Empire 1681–1781
United States 1776–present

The area of the Ohio headwaters was inhabited by the Shawnee and several other settled groups of native Americans.[24] The first European was the French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle in his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River from Quebec.[25] European pioneers, primarily Dutch, followed in the early 18th century. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a 1717 manuscript, and later that year European traders established area posts and settlements.[26] In 1749, French soldiers from Quebec launched a serious expedition to the forks to unite Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers.[26] Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Major George Washington to warn the French to withdraw. During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George before a larger French force drove them off. The French built Fort Duquesne based on LaSalle's 1669 claims. The French and Indian War began with the future Pittsburgh as its center. British General Edward Braddock was dispatched with Washington as his aide to take Fort Duquesne.[27] The British and colonial force met defeat at Braddock's Field and it was not until General John Forbes's 1758 march that the French surrendered the forks. Forbes began construction on Fort Pitt, named after British Secretary of State and soon-to-be Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder while the settlement was named "Pittsborough".[28]

Pontiac's Rebellion had native tribes lead a siege of Fort Pitt for two months until Colonel Henry Bouquet's victory at the Battle of Bushy Run. The battle's outcome may have been decided by the first use of biological warfare. Lord Jeffrey Amherst is claimed to have ordered blankets inoculated with smallpox distributed to the tribes surrounding the fort in 1763, although this claim is disputed.[29]

The 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix allowed the Penns to purchase the modern region from the Iroquois. A 1769 survey of the land situated between the two rivers referenced the future city as the "Manor of Pittsburgh".[30] Both the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania claimed the region until 1780 when it was agreed to extend the Mason-Dixon Line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. On March 8, 1771 Bedford County, Pennsylvania was created to govern the frontier. On April 16, 1771, the city's first civilian local government was created with Pitt Township.[31][32] William Teagarden was the first constable with William Troop the first clerk.[33]

Following the American Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was boat building for settlers of the Ohio Country. In 1784, Thomas Viceroy completed a town plan which was approved by the Penn family attorney. Pittsburgh became a possession of Pennsylvania in 1785. The following year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787, the Pittsburgh Academy was chartered. The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 saw unrest and federal troops. By 1797, glass began to be manufactured in the city as the population grew to around 1400.

Monongahela River scene, 1857


Downtown facade memorializing Pittsburgh's industrial heritage with an image of legendary steelworker Joe Magarac

The War of 1812 cut off the supply of British goods, stimulating American industry. By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin and glass. On March 18, 1816 the 46 year old local government became a city. In the 1830s, many Welsh people from the Merthyr steelworks immigrated to the city following the aftermath of the Merthyr Rising. By the 1840s, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains before the Great Fire of Pittsburgh destroyed over a thousand buildings in 1845. The city rebuilt and by 1857, Pittsburgh's 1,000 factories were consuming 22 million coal bushels yearly.

The American Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased iron and armament demand. Andrew Carnegie began steel production in 1875 at the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, which evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company.

In 1901, Carnegie merged several companies into U.S. Steel. By 1911 Pittsburgh was the nation's 8th largest city accounting for between a third and a half of national steel output. The city's population swelled to over a half million with European immigration via Ellis Island. By 1940, non-Hispanic whites were 90.6% of the city's population.[34] Pittsburgh was a main destination of the African-American Great Migration[35] with 95% percent becoming unskilled steel workers.[36] World War II saw area mills operate 24 hours a day to produce 95 million tons of steel,[28] but also recorded the highest levels of air pollution in its almost century of industry. The city's reputation as the "arsenal of democracy"[37][38] was being overshadowed by James Parton's 1868 observation of Pittsburgh being "hell with the lid off".[39]

Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance." This much-acclaimed effort was followed by the "Renaissance II" project in 1977 and focusing on cultural and neighborhood development. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1970s, but beginning in the early 1980s both the area's steel and electronics industries imploded, with massive layoffs from mill and plant closures.[6]

In the latter 20th century the area shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare/medicine, finance and high technology such as robotics. Although Pittsburgh successfully shifted its economy and remained viable, the city's population never rebounded to its industrial-era highs. While 680,000 people lived in the city proper in 1950, a combination of suburbanization and economic turbulence caused a decrease in city population.

During the late 2000s recession Pittsburgh was economically strong, adding jobs when most cities were losing them, and one of the few cities in the United States to see housing property values rise. Between 2006 and 2011, the Pittsburgh MSA experienced over 10% appreciation in housing prices—the highest appreciation of the largest 25 MSAs in the United States as 22 of the top 25 MSAs saw a depreciation of housing values.[40] Pittsburgh's story of economic regeneration was the inspiration for President Barack Obama to host the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit.[41]


Downtown Pittsburgh and the Duquesne Incline from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh has a total area of 58.3 square miles (151 km2), of which 55.6 square miles (144 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (or 4.75%) is water. The 80th meridian west passes directly through the city's downtown.

The city is on the Allegheny Plateau, within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau,[42] The Downtown area (also known as the Golden Triangle) sits where the Allegheny River from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River. The actual convergence is in Point State Park and referred to as "the Point." The city extends east to include the Oakland and Shadyside sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions. The southern, western and northern areas of the city are primarily residential.

Many of the city's neighborhoods are steeply sloped with two-lane roads. More than a quarter of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods make reference to "hills," "heights," or other similar indicators by name.[note 1]

The city has some 712 sets of outdoor pedestrian stairs with 44,645 treads and 24,090 vertical feet including hundreds of paper streets composed entirely of stairs and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks.[43] Many provide vistas of the Pittsburgh area while attracting hikers and fitness walkers.[44]

Bike and walking trails border many of the city's rivers and hollows, but steep hills and variable weather can make biking a challenge. The Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath connect the city directly to downtown Washington, D.C. (some 245 miles (394 km) away) with a continuous bike/running trail.


Pittsburgh lies in the humid continental as it transitions to the humid subtropical climate (Köppen Dfa/Cfa).[45] The city and river valleys lie in the USDA plant hardiness zone 6b while higher elevated areas lie in zone 6a. The area has four distinct seasons, with precipitation somewhat evenly spread throughout the year.

The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh is July, with a 24-hour average of 72.6 °F (22.6 °C). Conditions are often humid, and combined with highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 9.5 days a year,[46] a considerable heat index arises. The coldest month is January, when the 24-hour average is 28.4 °F (−2.0 °C), and sub-zero lows (≤ −18 °C) can be expected on an average 2.6 nights per year.[46] Extremes in temperature range from −22 °F (−30.0 °C), on January 19, 1994 to 103 °F (39 °C), which occurred three times, most recently on July 16, 1988. Springs and falls in the area are generally mild.

Average annual precipitation is 38.1 inches (970 mm) and total precipitation is greatest in May while least in October. On average, December and January have the greatest number of precipitation days. Snowfall averages 41.5 inches (105 cm) per season. There is an average of 59 clear days and 103 partly cloudy days per year, while 203 days are cloudy.[47] In terms of annual percent-average possible sunshine received, Pittsburgh (45%) is similar to Seattle (43%).[48]

Climate data for Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh International Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 75
Average high °F (°C) 35.7
Average low °F (°C) 21.1
Record low °F (°C) −22
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.69
Snowfall inches (cm) 11.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 16.2 13.6 14.0 13.8 13.3 12.1 10.2 9.8 9.8 10.5 12.8 15.1 151.3
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 11.5 8.4 5.6 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 .3 3.0 8.5 39.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 93.0 110.2 155.0 183.0 217.0 243.0 254.2 229.4 198.0 167.4 99.0 74.4 2,023.6
Source: NOAA (extremes 1875–present,)[46][49]HKO (sun only, 1961–1990)[50]

Air and water quality[]

"It's the best it's been in the lifetime for virtually every resident in this county...We've seen a steady decrease in pollution levels over the past decade and certainly over the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years or more."

Guillermo Cole

In a 2013 ranking of 277 metropolitan areas in the United States, the American Lung Association (ALA) ranked six other U.S. metro areas as having higher amounts of short-term particle pollution and seven other U.S. metro areas having higher amounts of year-round particle pollution. Ozone (smog) pollution ranked 23 U.S. metro areas as having greater amounts than the Pittsburgh region.[51][52] Although the area has improved its air quality with every annual survey the ALA's rankings have been disputed by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), since data from only the worst of the region's 20 air quality monitors is considered by the ALA, without any context or averaging. The lone monitor used is located immediately downwind and adjacent to U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, the nation's largest coke mill and several municipalities outside the city's jurisdiction of pollution controls, leading to possible confusion that Pittsburgh itself is the source or center of the emissions used for the survey.[53] The region's readings also reflect pollution from Ohio and West Virginia, though both are outside the jurisdictional powers of local leadership.[54] Although the county was still below the "pass" threshold, the report showed substantial improvement over previous decades on every air quality measure. Fewer than 15 high ozone days were reported between 2007 and 2009 and just 10 between 2008 and 2010 compared to more than 40 between 1997 and 1999.[55] ACHD spokesman Guillermo Cole stated that "It's the best it's been in the lifetime for virtually every resident in this county...We've seen a steady decrease in pollution levels over the past decade and certainly over the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years or more."[56]

Local rivers have shown great improvement though continue to have pollution levels exceeding EPA limits. Fish catches in the city in 2007 were found to be more than twice as free of pollutants than catches on the Canadian side of Lake Erie and six times as free of pollutants than Allegheny River catches of the New York border area.[57] Despite these positive results, there are concerns about local storm sewers and waste treatment plants frequently overflowing untreated sewage into local waterways due to flood conditions and antiquated infrastructure.

The city boasts 31,000 trees on 900 miles of streets, by the last count conducted in 2005. A 2011 analysis of Pittsburgh’s total tree cover, which involved sampling more than 200 small plots throughout the city, showed a value of between $10 and $13 million in annual benefits based on the "urban forest" contributions to aesthetics, energy use and air quality. Energy savings from shade, impact on city air and water quality and the boost in property values were taken into account in the analysis. The city spends $850,000/year on street tree planting and maintenance.[58]


Pittsburgh is home to 90 distinct neighborhoods.

The city consists of the Downtown area, called the Golden Triangle,[59] and four main areas surrounding it. These surrounding areas are further subdivided into distinct neighborhoods (in total, Pittsburgh contains 90 neighborhoods).[60] These areas, relative to downtown, are known as the North Side, South Side/South Hills, East End, and West End.

Downtown Pittsburgh is compact, featuring 30 skyscrapers, 9 of which top 500 feet (150 m). U.S. Steel Tower is the tallest at 841 ft (256 m).[61] The Cultural District comprises a 14-block area of downtown along the Allegheny River. It is packed with theaters and arts venues, and is seeing a growing residential segment. Most significantly, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is embarking on Riverparc, a four-block mixed-use "green" community, featuring 700 residential units and multiple towers between 20 and 30 stories. The Firstside portion of downtown borders the Monongahela River, the historic Mon Wharf and is home to the distinctive PPG Place Gothic glass skyscraper complex. This area is seeing a growing residential sector, as new condo towers are constructed and historic office towers are converted to residential use. Downtown is serviced by the Port Authority's subway and multiple bridges leading north and south.[62] It is also home to Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University which borders Uptown.

Street in Shadyside, a neighborhood in the East End

The Carnegie Library and Museums of Art and Natural History in the foreground and Carnegie Mellon University behind it

Downtown Pittsburgh Skyscrapers seen from Station Square.

Pittsburgh's Central North Side Neighborhood

The North Side is home to various neighborhoods in transition. What is known today as Pittsburgh's North Side was once known as Allegheny City and operated as a city independently of Pittsburgh. Allegheny City merged with Pittsburgh under great protest from its citizens. The North Side is primarily composed of residential neighborhoods and is noteworthy for well-constructed and architecturally interesting homes. Many buildings date from the 19th century and are constructed of brick or stone and adorned with decorative woodwork, ceramic tile, slate roofs and stained glass. The North Side is also home to many popular attractions such as Heinz Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Andy Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory installation art museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Highmark SportsWorks, Penn Brewery and Allegheny Observatory. The North Side is also home to Allegheny General Hospital, listed among the 1999 US News & World Report 2000 best hospitals nationwide.

The South Side was once composed primarily of dense inexpensive housing for mill workers, but has in recent years become a local Pittsburgher destination. The South Side is one of the most popular neighborhoods in which to own a home in Pittsburgh. The value of homes in the South Side has increased in value by about 10% annually for the past 10 years. The South Side's East Carson Street is one of the most vibrant areas of the city, packed with diverse shopping, ethnic eateries, pulsing nightlife and live music venues. In 1993 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchased the South Side Works steel mill property, and worked together with the community and various developers to create a master plan for a mixed-use development including a riverfront park, office space, housing, health-care facilities, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers indoor practice fields. Construction began in 1998, and the Southside Works is now open for business with many store, restaurants, offices, and the world headquarters for American Eagle Outfitters.[63]

The East End is home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University, Chatham University, The Carnegie Institute's Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Center (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatory, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are large, wealthy neighborhoods featuring large shopping/business districts. Oakland, heavily populated by undergraduate and graduate students, is home to most of the universities, Schenley Park and the Petersen Events Center. Bloomfield is Pittsburgh's Little Italy and is known for its Italian restaurants and grocers. Lawrenceville is a revitalizing rowhouse neighborhood popular with artists and designers, which is expected to benefit from the recent new construction of a new Children's Hospital. The Strip District is an open-air marketplace by day and a clubbing destination by night.

The West End includes Mt. Washington, with its famous view of the Downtown skyline and numerous other residential neighborhoods like Sheraden and Elliott.

Pittsburgh's patchwork of neighborhoods still retain an ethnic character reflecting the city's immigrant history. These include:

  • German: Troy Hill, Mt. Washington, and East Allegheny (Deutschtown)
  • Italian: Brookline, Bloomfield, Morningside, Oakland and Beechview
  • Polish and other Central European: South Side, Lawrenceville, and Polish Hill
  • African American: Hill District, Homewood, and Larimer
  • Jewish: Squirrel Hill

Several neighborhoods on the edges of the city are less urban, featuring tree-lined streets, yards and garages giving a more characteristic suburban feel, while other aforementioned neighborhoods, such as Oakland, the South Side, the North Side, and the Golden Triangle are characterized by a more diverse, urban feel.

The city of Pittsburgh at dawn, as seen from Mt. Washington. The Monongahela River is in the foreground.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 1,565
1810 4,768 204.7%
1820 7,248 52.0%
1830 12,568 73.4%
1840 21,115 68.0%
1850 46,601 120.7%
1860 49,221 5.6%
1870 86,076 74.9%
1880 156,389 81.7%
1890 238,617 52.6%
1900 321,616 34.8%
1910 533,905 66.0%
1920 588,343 10.2%
1930 669,817 13.8%
1940 671,659 0.3%
1950 676,806 0.8%
1960 604,332 −10.7%
1970 520,117 −13.9%
1980 423,938 −18.5%
1990 369,879 −12.8%
2000 334,563 −9.5%
2010 305,704 −8.6%
Est. 2012 306,211 −8.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[64]
2012 Estimate[65]

At the 2010 Census, there were 305,704 people residing in Pittsburgh, a decrease of 8.6% since 2000. 64.8% of the population was White, 25.8% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.4% Asian, 0.3% Other and 2.3% mixed. 2.3% of Pittsburgh's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 64.8% of the population in 2010,[66] compared to 78.7% in 1970.[67]

As of the census of 2000,[68] there were 334,563 people, 143,739 households, and 74,169 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,019.0 people per square mile (2,324.1/km2). There are 163,366 housing units at an average density of 2,939.1 per square mile (1,134.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.63% White, 27.12% African American, 2.75% Asian, 0.19% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population. As of the American Community Survey Three-Year Estimate of 2006–2008, the city's population was 67.0% White (65.8% non-Hispanic White alone), 26.5% Black or African American, 1.0% American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.5% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.7% from some other race and 2.1% from two or more races. 1.8% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[69]

The five largest White ethnic groups in the city are German (19.7%), Irish (15.8%), Italian (11.8%), Polish (8.4%), and English (4.6%), while the metropolitan area is approximately 22% German, 15.4% Italian and 11.6% Irish . Pittsburgh has one of the largest Italian communities in the nation,[70] and also has the nation's fifth largest Ukrainian community[71] and the largest Croatian community in the USA. In the metro Pittsburgh area live more than 200,000 Croatian descendants.

According to a 2010 ARDA study reported 773,341 Catholics, 326,125 "Mainline Protestants", 174,119 "Evangelical Protestants", 20,976 "Black Protestants" and 16,405 "Orthodox Christians" with 996,826 listed as "unclaimed" and 16,405 as "other" in the metro area.[72]

There were 143,739 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out, with 19.9% under the age of 18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,588, and the median income for a family was $38,795. Males had a median income of $32,128 versus $25,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,816. About 15.0% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% ages 65 or older.

In 2002, it was estimated that Pittsburgh ranked 22nd of 69 urban places in the U.S. in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who had completed a Bachelor's degree, with 31% of such people having completed the degree.[73] The same study ranked Pittsburgh 15th of the 69 places in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who have completed a high school degree, with a figure of 84.7%.[74]

The metro area has shown greater residential integration during the last 30 years. According to the 2010 census 18 other U.S. metros rank as having greater black-white segregation while 32 other U.S. metros rank higher for black-white isolation.[75] Within city limits both Carlow University[76] and Chatham University[77] have residential gender segregation above 90%, as Duquesne University[78] and Point Park University[79] both have female populations at 60% or greater as Carnegie Mellon University has a 60% male population.[80]

Law enforcement[]

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police vehicles

The area's largest law enforcement agency is the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, with close to 1,000 sworn officers. The city also has separate housing and school police departments. Other agencies also provide police protection within the city because of overlapping jurisdictional boundaries. The Allegheny County Sheriff focuses on jail and courthouse security while providing detective/investigatory functions for smaller suburbs. The Allegheny County Police primarily patrols county-owned parks and airports, and the Port Authority police patrols rapid transit. Additionally, the State Police Troop B provides patrols for the city and immediate suburbs.

The county's lead law enforcement officer is Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala while the Allegheny County Medical Examiner heads forensics. Crimes of a federal nature are covered by the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania.


Pittsburgh annually ranks as one of America's safest big cities, recently being named the 3rd "most secure" big city by Farmers Insurance.[81] Among crime rates of the 60 largest U.S. cities, 43 had more instances of property crime while 16 had less when compared to Pittsburgh. More instances of violent crime were reported in 21 of the largest cities while 37 had less. The FBI recommends against using data for ranking.[82][83] Per 100,000 persons stats (2012):

Murder Rape Robbery Assault Burglary Theft Motor Vehicle Total Violent Total Property
City 13.1 15.1 363.3 360.4 812.8 2,438.2 174.3 752.0 3,425.4


BNY Mellon Center and the U.S. Steel Tower as seen from Duquesne University

Pittsburgh has adapted since the collapse of its century long steel and electronics industries. The region has shifted to high technology, robotics, health care, nuclear engineering, tourism, biomedical technology, finance, education and services. Total annual payroll of the region's technology industries, when taken in aggregate, exceeded $10.8 billion in 2007,[84] and in 2010 there were 1,600 technology companies.[85] Reflecting the citywide shift from industry to technology former factories have been directly renovated into modern office space. Google has research and technology offices in a refurbished 1918-1998 Nabisco factory, a complex known as Bakery Square.[86] Some of the factory's original equipment, such as a large dough mixer, were left standing in homage to the site's industrial roots.[87] Pittsburgh's transition from its industrial heritage has earned it praise as "the poster child for managing industrial transition".[88] Other major cities in the northeast and mid-west have increasingly borrowed from Pittsburgh's model in order to renew their industries and economic base.[89]

Pittsburgh is the poster child for managing industrial transition.

Dr. Robert Mauro

The largest employer in the city is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, with 48,000 employees. All hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctor's office positions combine for 116,000 jobs, approximately 10% of the jobs in the region. An analyst recently observed of the city's medical sector: "That's both more jobs and a higher share of the region's total employment than the steel industry represented in the 1970s."[90]

Top publicly traded companies
in the Pittsburgh region for 2012

(ranked by revenues)
with Metropolitan and U.S. ranks
Metro corporation US
1 United States Steel 147
2 PNC Financial Services 170
3 PPG Industries 182
4 H.J. Heinz Company 234
5 Mylan 374
6 WESCO International 385
7 Dick's Sporting Goods 437
8 Consol Energy 463
9 Allegheny Technologies 490
Source: Fortune 500[91]

Area retail is anchored by over 35 shopping malls and a healthy downtown retail sector as well as boutique shops along Walnut Street, in Squirrel Hill and Station Square.

Education is another major industry in the region. The largest single employer in that industry is the University of Pittsburgh, with 10,700 employees.[92]

Nine Fortune 500 companies calling the area home ranks Pittsburgh for eighth most Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation.[93] In 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.[94] These include PNC Financial Services, PPG Industries, U.S. Steel, H. J. Heinz Company, Mylan (Located in Cecil), WESCO International, CONSOL Energy (Located in Cecil) and Dick's Sporting Goods (Located in Findlay).[95]

The region is home to Allegheny Technologies, American Eagle Outfitters, Kennametal, Bayer USA and Alcoa operation headquarters. Other major employers include BNY Mellon, GlaxoSmithKline, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Lanxess. The Northeast U.S. regional headquarters for Chevron Corporation, Nova Chemicals, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, FedEx Ground, Ariba, and the RAND Corporation call the area home. 84 Lumber, Giant Eagle, Highmark, Rue 21, General Nutrition Center (GNC), CNX Gas (CXG) and Genco Supply Chain Solutions are major non-public companies headquartered in the region. The global impact of Pittsburgh technology and business was recently demonstrated in several key components of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner being manufactured and supplied by area companies.[96]

The nonprofit arts and cultural industry in Allegheny County generates $341 million in economic activity that supports over 10,000 full-time equivalent jobs with nearly $34 million in local and state taxes raised.[97]

The region is a hub for both Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and Marcellus Shale energy extraction.[18]

Pittsburgh has hosted INPEX, the world's largest invention trade show annually since 1984.[98]

Economic upward mobility[]

A National Bureau of Economic Research 2014 report named Pittsburgh the 2nd best U.S. city for intergenerational economic mobility[99] or the American Dream.[100]

Arts and culture[]


Phipps Conservatory

Friday Nite Improvs at the Cathedral of Learning

Downtown Pittsburgh from the North Shore

Pittsburgh has a rich history in arts and culture dating from 19th century industrialists commissioning and donating public works, such as Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts and the Benedum Center, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Opera, respectively as well as such groups as the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues and bluegrass music. The National Negro Opera Company was founded in the city as the first all African-American opera company in the United States. This led to the prominence of African-American singers like Leontyne Price in the world of opera. Pittsburgh has a number of small and mid-size arts organizations including the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Quantum Theatre, the Renaissance and Baroque Society of Pittsburgh, and the early music ensemble Chatham Baroque.

Pittsburgh Dance Council and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater host a variety of dance events. Polka, folk, square and round dancing have a long history in the city and are celebrated by the world famous Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance.

Lifetime's reality show, Dance Moms, is filmed at Pittsburgh's Abby Lee Dance Company.

Hundreds of major films have been shot partially or wholly in Pittsburgh. The Dark Knight Rises was largely filmed in Downtown, Oakland, and the North Shore. Pittsburgh has also teamed up with a LA based production company, and has built the largest and most advanced movie studio in the eastern United States.[19]

Pittsburgh's major art museums include the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Mattress Factory. The ToonSeum, one of three museums in the US dedicated to cartoon art, is located downtown.[101] The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is the fourth ranked natural history museum in the US[102] and has extensive dinosaur, mineral, animal, and Egyptian collections. The Carnegie Science Center and associated SportsWorks has interactive technology and science exhibits. The Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a Smithsonian affiliated regional history museum located in the Strip District and its associated Fort Pitt Museum is located in Point State Park. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland houses Western Pennsylvania military exhibits from the Civil War to present. The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side features a planetarium and interactive exhibits for children. The eclectic Bayernhof Music Museum is six miles (9 km) from downtown while The Clemente Museum is located in the city's Lawrenceville section. The Cathedral of Learning's Nationality Rooms showcase pre-19th century learning environments from around the world. There are regular guided and self-guided architectural tours in numerous neighborhoods. Downtown's cultural district hosts quarterly Gallery Crawls and the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival. Pittsburgh is home to a number of art galleries and centers including the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, University Art Gallery of the University of Pittsburgh, the American Jewish Museum, and the Wood Street Galleries.

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the National Aviary have served the city for over a century.

Pittsburgh is home to one of the several state licensed casinos. The Rivers Casino is located on the North Shore along the Ohio River, just west of Carnegie Science Center and Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh's Wiz Khalifa is a recent artist to have a number one record. His anthem "Black and Yellow" (a tribute to Pittsburgh's official colors) reached number one on Billboard's "Hot 100"[103] for the Week of February 19, 2011[104] Not since grammy-winning[105] blues guitarist George Benson, has a Pittsburgh artist received such national acclaim. Perry Como and Christina Aguilera are from Pittsburgh suburbs. Hip hop artist Mac Miller recent Blue Slide Park reach number 1 on Billboard's album chart; its first independent artist #1 since Snoop Dogg in 1995.

Many Punk Rock and Hardcore punk acts, such as Aus Rotten and Anti-Flag, originated in Pittsburgh.


The Benedum Center

The city's first play was produced at the old courthouse in 1803[106] and the first theater built in 1812.[107] Modern Companies include Attack Theatre, Bald Theatre Company, barebones productions, Bricolage Production Company, City Theatre, Jewish Theatre of Pittsburgh, Phase 3 Productions, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Prime Stage Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Quantum Theatre, Hiawatha Project, Cup-A-Jo Productions, Organic Theater Pittsburgh, 12 Peers Theater, Three Rivers Theatre Company, Throughline Theatre Company, Comtra Theater, No Name Players, Terra Nova Theatre Group, Caravan Theatre of Pittsburgh, Carrnivale Theatrics, Theatre Sans Serif, The Summer Company, Stage Right, Unseam'd Shakespeare Company and Saltworks Theatre Company. Collegiate companies include the University of Pittsburgh's Repertory Theatre and Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Point Park University's resident companies at its Pittsburgh Playhouse, and Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama productions and Scotch'n'Soda organization. The city's longest-running theater show, Friday Nite Improvs, is an improv jam that has been performed in the Cathedral of Learning and other locations for 20 years. The Pittsburgh New Works Festival utilizes local theatre companies to stage productions of original one-act plays by playwrights from all parts of the country. Similarly, Future Ten showcases new ten-minute plays. Saint Vincent Summer Theatre, Off the Wall Productions, Mountain Playhouse, The Theatre Factory, and Stage Right! in nearby Latrobe, Carnegie, Jennerstown, Trafford, and Greensburg, respectively, employ Pittsburgh actors and contribute to the culture of the region.


Pittsburgh is the birthplace of Gertrude Stein and Rachel Carson, a Chatham University graduate from the suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvania.[108] Modern writers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson and Michael Chabon with his Pittsburgh-focused commentary on student and college life. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, David McCullough was born and raised in Pittsburgh.[109] Annie Dillard, a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Much of her memoir An American Childhood takes place in post-World War II Pittsburgh. Poet Michael Simms, founder of Autumn House Press, currently resides in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Poet Samuel John Hazo, the first poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, also resides in the city. John Edgar Wideman grew up in Pittsburgh and based "Brothers and Keepers," a National Book Critics awarded novel in his hometown. New writers include Chris Kuzneski who attended the University of Pittsburgh and mentions Pittsburgh in his books. Pittsburgh's unique literary style extends to playwrights,[110] as well as local graffiti and hip hop artists.

There are also specific Pittsburgh genres that have been adopted in globally, from children's television to sci-fi/fantasy to Yinzer Pittsburghese.

Pittsburgh's position as the birthplace for community owned television and networked commercial television helped spawn the modern children's show genres exemplified by Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Happy's Party, Cappelli & Company and The Children's Corner, all nationally broadcast.

The Pittsburgh Dad series has showcased the Pittsburghese genre to a global Youtube audience since 2011.

The modern fantasy, macabre and science fiction genre was popularized by director George A. Romero, television's Bill Cardille and his Chiller Theatre,[111] director and writer Rusty Cundieff[112] and makeup effects guru Tom Savini.[113] The genre continues today with the PARSEC writers organization,[114] The It's Alive Show, the annual "Zombie Fest",[115] and several writer's workshops including Write or Die,[116] Pittsburgh SouthWrites,[117] and Pittsburgh Worldwrights[118][119] with Barton Paul Levenson, Kenneth Chiacchia and Elizabeth Humphreys Penrose.

Local dialect[]

The Pittsburgh English dialect, commonly called Pittsburghese, was influenced by Scots-Irish, Welsh, German, Central European and Eastern European immigrants. Locals who speak the dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word "yinz" [var. yunz], a blended form of "you ones", similar to "y'all" and "you all" in the South). Common Pittsburghese terms are: slippy (slippery), redd up (clean up), and gum bands (rubber bands). The dialect is also notable for dropping the verb "to be". In Pittsburghese one would say "the car needs washed" instead of "needs to be washed", "needs washing", or "needs a wash". The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects of Erie and Baltimore, but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms. The staccato qualities of the dialect are thought to originate either from Welsh or other European languages. The many local peculiarities have prompted the New York Times to describe Pittsburgh as, "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect."[120] The lexicon itself contains notable loans from Polish and other European languages; examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.[121]


Night view of Pittsburgh from the West End Overlook

Pittsburgh often places high in lists of the nation's most livable cities. After placing fourth and first in the first two editions of Places Rated Almanac, Pittsburgh finished third in 1989, fifth in 1993, 14th in 1997 and 12th in 2000, before reclaiming the number one spot in 2007.[9] The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition.

In 2005, 2009 and 2011, Pittsburgh was named most livable city in the United States and in those years, between the 26th and 29th most livable city worldwide by The Economist.[11][122] Pittsburgh ranked No. 28 in the book Cities Ranked and Rated (2004) by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander.

In 2010, Forbes and Yahoo! listed Pittsburgh as the most livable city in the United States.[10][123] A month later, Forbes named Pittsburgh the 7th best place to raise a family.[124] Pittsburgh was ranked the 4th best city for working mothers by Forbes in 2010[125] and the city was ranked as one of the best for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur.[126] Forbes named Pittsburgh, in an 8-way tie, the world's 10th cleanest city for 2007.[127]

The Economist Intelligence Unit named Pittsburgh the top place to live in the United States in 2011,[128] and behind only Honolulu for 2012.[129]

The city was listed among the 10 best U.S. places to retire in 2012 by CBS Money Watch and U.S. News.[130][131] In February 2013 Forbes again placed Pittsburgh among its 10 most romantic world locations.[132]

Livability rankings typically consider factors such as cost of living, crime, and cultural opportunities. Pittsburgh has a low cost of living compared to other northeastern U.S. cities. According to the Federal Housing Board the average price for a 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bath family home in Pittsburgh for 2004 is $162,000, well below the national average of $264,540. Average 2010 rent for all bedrooms in Pittsburgh was $789. This compares to the nationwide average of $1087.[133]

Enhancing Pittsburgh's livability is that the area faces little natural disaster risk such as an earthquake, hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as having the 2nd lowest natural disaster risk in the nation for 2009.[134] Greater Pittsburgh is not entirely free of natural disasters, however. Residents living in extremely low-lying areas near the rivers or one of the 1,400 creeks and streams experience occasional floods,[135] such as those caused when the remnants of Hurricane Ivan hit rainfall records in 2004.[136] River flooding is relatively rare due to federal flood control efforts extensively managing locks, dams, and reservoirs.[135][137][138] Residents living near smaller tributary streams are less protected from occasional flooding, and the cost of a comprehensive flood control program for the region has been estimated at a prohibitive $50 billion.[135]

Regional identity[]

Pittsburgh narrowly falls within the borders of the Northeastern United States as defined by multiple US Government agencies, but the Pittsburgh Combined Statistical Area extends into both the Southern United States (West Virginia) and the Midwestern United States (Ohio) with the borders of the three regions meeting only 30 miles (48 km) from the city. Pittsburgh is also in the Great Lakes Megalopolis, a collection of primarily Midwestern cities, reflecting Pittsburgh's stronger socio-economic connections to Ohio than eastern Pennsylvania.[139][140]

Pittsburgh falls within the borders of Appalachia as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and has long been characterized as the "northern urban industrial anchor of Appalachia".[141] In its post-industrial state, Pittsburgh has been characterized as the "Paris of Appalachia",[142][143][144][145] recognizing the city's cultural, education, healthcare, and technology resources as well as its status as Appalachia's largest city.

Health care[]

The two largest area health care providers are the world renown University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) (since 1893) and West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) (since 1882), respectively. Both flagship hospitals annually rank as among the best overall in the United States, with UPMC being among U.S. News and World Reports "Honor Roll" every year since 2000.

Health care development[]

The first military hospital in U.S. history as well as the first west of the Atlantic Plain—General Edward Hand Hospital—served the area from 1777 to 1845.[146] Since 1847, Pittsburgh has hosted the world's first "Mercy Hospital".[147] This was followed by West Penn hospital in 1848, Passavant Hospital in 1849,[148] the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in 1883, Children's Hospital in 1887, and Magee Womens Hospital in 1911. In 1954, Allegheny General (AGH) was among the first to administer Cobalt therapy.[149]

In 1980, UPMC announced a $250 million ($801 million today) expansion and also hired transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl.[150] In 1984, Allegheny General surgeons pioneered modern brain surgery. Dr. Starzl arranged the 1985 liver transplant of 5 year old Amie Garrison as a UPMC surgery team flew to Baylor University, starting its transplant program.[151] Also in 1985, UPMC surgeons Drs. Griffith, Hardesty & Trento reveal a new device after a heart-lung transplant. In 1986, UPMC announced a $230 million ($488 million today) modernization. In 1996, UPMC's planned Sicily ISMETT branch was approved by the Italian government as transplant surgeons supervise and deliver the world's third (both earlier ones done at UPMC)--and first public—cross species marrow transplant at University of California, San Francisco.[152] UPMC's Thomas Detre founded the International Society for Bipolar Disorders at a world medical conference in Pittsburgh in 1999.[153]

The $80 million ($108 million today) UPMC Sports Performance Complex for the Pittsburgh Panthers & Pittsburgh Steelers opened in 2000. In 2002, AGH opened its $30 million ($39.4 million today), 5 floor, 100,000 sq. ft., cancer center. The $130 million ($168 million today) 350,000 sq. ft. Hillman Cancer Center opened in 2003 as UPMC entered into an 8-year, $420 million ($517 million today) agreement with IBM to upgrade medical technologies & health information systems.

In 2009, the $600 million ($648 million today) Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC opened. The campus was featured in world news in 2012 for several unique approaches to patient care.[154] UPMC officially adopted in Erie, Pennsylvania's Hamot Medical Center in 2010. The Pittsburgh Penguins announced a state of the art training facility with UPMC in 2012.[155] UPMC announced in 2013 that it had partnered with Nazarbayev University to help found its medical school.[156]

Health discoveries[]

Many notable physicians have made major world discoveries and innovations at area hospitals including polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk, MRI inventor Paul Lauterbur, pediatric psychoanalyst Benjamin Spock, CPR and intensive care unit pioneer Peter Safar, surgeon Thomas Starzl who perfected organ transplantation, pathologist Maud Menten who made enzyme kinetics discoveries, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert Freddie Fu, pioneering immunologist Niels Kaj Jerne, forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, Vitamin C's discoverer Charles Glen King, pediatrician Jack Paradise, head and neck cancer surgeon and otolaryngologist Eugene Nicholas Myers, laparoscopic liver resection pioneer David Geller, breast cancer treatment pioneer Bernard Fisher, and virologists Patrick S. Moore and Yuan Chang, who co-discovered Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.

UPMC has pioneered several world firsts including the first known cystic fibrosis heart-lung transplant (1983), the world's first simultaneous liver & heart transplant operation on a child (6-year-old Stormie Jones in 1984), the youngest heart-lung transplant (9 years old in 1985), the world's first heart-liver-kidney transplant (1989),[157] the world's first heart-liver transplant on an infant (1997),[158] the first pediatric heart-double lung-liver transplant (1998), the nation's first double hand transplant (2009) and the first total forearm & hand transplant (2010), as well as the state's first heart transplant (1968).[159][160]

The Lancet published a 2012 UPMC study of two 9 year quadriplegics being able to move a robotic arm by thought, to pick up objects, shake hands, and even eat. Wiring the brain around spine damage to restore arm and leg muscle function was successful using robotic arms controlled via an embedded computer to translate signals near a small group of neurons with 200 needles.[161]

Notable patients[]

Several notable patients have chosen to be treated at the city's hospitals including President Yudhoyono (2012), Steelers founder Art Rooney (1988),[162][163] MCI Communications founder William G. McGowan (who in 1990 gifted $1 million ($1.87 million today) to UPMC),[164] a Saudi princess (1983),[165] Rob Buck (2000),[166] Bob Prince (1985),[167] William Block, publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2005),[168] 2 1/2 old Lauren Toohey for a liver transplant (1981),[169] Miami 7 year old Ronnie DeSillers for a liver transplant (1987),[170] 9 year old Tabatha Foster for an innovative transplant surgery that had President Ronald Reagan commending the city's hospitals & urging donations to Tabatha's recovery in 1988.[171] In 1997, a Tennessee judge denied James Earl Ray's request for a UPMC liver transplant.[172]

Both Governors Tom Corbett (2011) and Robert P. Casey (1993), months after his presidential bid were treated at AGH and UPMC respectively.


File:Pittsburgh's Vince Lombardi Trophy & Stanley Cup 2009.jpg

The Lombardi Trophy and the Stanley Cup, both won in 2009.

Pittsburgh boasts several professional teams which have won the city the Sporting News title of "Best Sports City" in the United States in 2009[173] and Sperling's Best Places "top 15 cities for baseball" in 2013.[174] College sports also have large followings with the University of Pittsburgh in football and sharing Division I basketball fans with Robert Morris and Duquesne. Nearby Penn State and West Virginia University have sizable fanbases in the city.

Pittsburgh's dedication to sports has a long history with its major professional sports teams—the Steelers of the National Football League, the Penguins of the National Hockey League, and the Pirates of Major League Baseball[175]—share the same team colors, the official city colors of black and gold. This tradition of solidarity is unique to Pittsburgh. The black-and-gold color scheme has since become widely associated with the city and personified in its famous Terrible Towel.[176]

Pro Club Founded League Sport Venue Championships
Pittsburgh Pirates 1882 MLB Baseball PNC Park 1901* 1902*
1909 1925
1960 1971
Pittsburgh Steelers 1933 NFL American football Heinz Field 1974 1975
1978 1979
2005 2008
Pittsburgh Penguins 1967 NHL Ice hockey Consol Center 1991* 1992*
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1999 USL Pro Soccer Highmark Stadium
Pittsburgh Passion 2002 IWFL American football 2007
Pittsburgh Force 2008 WFA American football Rubenstein Stadium
Pittsburgh Power 2011 AFL Arena football Consol Center

*1901 and 1902 were Pre World-Series Era Champions.

Division I Athletics Prominent sports Venues Conference National Championships
University of Pittsburgh Pitt Football (FBS) Heinz Field ACC 1915 1916 1918
1929 1931 1934
1936 1937 1976
Pitt Basketball Petersen Events Center 1927–28 1929–30
Duquesne University Dukes Football (FCS) Art Rooney Field NEC 1995 2000 2003
Dukes Basketball Palumbo Center A10 1954-55 (NIT)
Robert Morris University Colonials Basketball Sewall Center NEC
Colonials Hockey Island Sports Center AHA


PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

[t]his is the perfect blend of location, history, design, comfort and baseball…The best stadium in baseball is in Pittsburgh.


The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, often referred to as the Bucs or the Buccos (derived from buccaneer), is the city's oldest professional sports franchise having been founded in 1882, and plays in the Central Division of the National League. The Pirates are nine-time Pennant winners and five-time World Series Champions, were in the first World Series in 1903 and claim two pre-World Series titles in 1901 and 1902. The Pirates play in PNC Park, annually ranked as one of the sports best venues with stating: "[t]his is the perfect blend of location, history, design, comfort and baseball…The best stadium in baseball is in Pittsburgh."[177] PNC Park hosted the team's MLB record-tying fifth All-Star game in 2006. Pittsburgh also has a rich Negro League history with the former Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays credited with as many as 14 league titles and 11 Hall of Famers between them in the 1930s and 1940s while the Keystones fielded teams in the 1920s. In addition, the Pirates were the first Major League team to field an all-nonwhite lineup in 1971. One sportswriter claimed, "No city is more synonymous with black baseball than Pittsburgh."[178] The Pirates hold the MLB record for most consecutive losing seasons with 20 between their 3 straight National League Championship Series appearances until 1992 (going 6, 7 and 7 games each) and their National League Division Series 2013 appearance—despite a 1997 September pennant race that featured the franchises' last no-hitter and last Sporting News' Executive of the Year.[179]


For more details on this topic, see American football in Western Pennsylvania.

Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Panthers (football).

Heinz Field seen from above.

Football is the most popular and tradition laden sport in the region with the nation's first professional game being played in the city on November 12, 1892, between the Allegheny Athletic Association and the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, the first pro-team in nearby Latrobe and first organized league, the NFL and their inaugural champions: the Pittsburgh Stars.

High school football routinely attract 10,000 fans per game and extensive press coverage. The Tom Cruise film All the Right Moves and ESPN's Bound for Glory with Dick Butkus both filmed in the area to capture the tradition and passion high school football enjoys in the region. College football in the city dates to 1889 with the Division I (FBS) Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh posting nine national championships and recently qualifying for six straight bowl games. Pittsburgh is the closest major city/media market to both Penn State and West Virginia. Local universities Duquesne and Robert Morris have loyal fan bases that follow their lower (FCS) teams. Duquesne, Carnegie Mellon University and Washington & Jefferson College all posted major bowl games and AP Poll rankings from the 1920s to the 1940s as that era's equivalent of Top 25 FBS programs.

The city's most popular team is the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers. News of the team has preempted news of elections and other events and are more than a sports team to the region and its diaspora. The Steelers have been owned by the Rooney family since the team's founding in 1933, show consistency in coaching (only three coaches since the 1960s all with the same basic philosophy) and are noted as one of sports' most respectable franchises on and off the field. The Steelers have a long waiting list for season tickets, and have sold out every home game since 1972.[180] The team won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s, a fifth Super Bowl in 2006, and a league record sixth Super Bowl in 2009. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 they have qualified for the most NFL playoff berths (25) and have played in (15) and hosted (11) the most NFL conference championship games. Heinz Field serves as home for the Steelers, Panthers, and both the suburban and city high school championships. Since 2011 the Pittsburgh Power have played in the Arena Football League at the Consol Energy Center as heirs to the Pittsburgh Gladiators who hosted ArenaBowl I in the city, competing in two total.[181] The Pittsburgh Passion has been the city's professional women's football team since 2002 and plays its home games at Highmark Stadium. The Ed Debartolo owned Pittsburgh Maulers featured a Heisman Trophy winner in the mid-1980s.

Ice hockey[]

Consol Energy Center, current home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ice hockey in Pittsburgh has become increasingly popular on both the amateur and professional levels during the last few decades and has had a regional fan base since the 1890s semi-pro Keystones. The world's first artificial ice rink debuted at the city's Schenley Gardens in 1898 and was later improved at the Duquesne Gardens. The NHL awarded one of its first franchises to the city in 1924 on the strength of the back-to-back USAHA championship winning Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets featuring future Hall of Famers and a Stanley Cup winning coach. The NHL's Pittsburgh Pirates made several Stanley Cup playoff runs with a future Hall of Famer before folding from Great Depression financial pressures. Hockey survived with the Pittsburgh Hornets farm team (1936-1967) and their seven finals appearances and three championships; all in an "original six" NHL era with "farm team" talent (especially Calder Cup champions) exceeding the level on most modern day NHL playoff teams.

The NHL's first expansion in 1967 included the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team has won four Eastern Conference titles and three Stanley Cup championships. Since 1999 Hall of Famer and back-to-back playoff MVP Mario Lemieux has served as Penguins owner. Until moving into the Consol Energy Center in 2010 the team played their home games at the world's first retractable domed stadium, the Civic Arena, or in local parlance "The Igloo".

Robert Morris University fields a Division I college hockey team at the Island Sports Center, and like 100 years ago, Pittsburgh is again a hotbed for semi-pro and amateur teams such as the top 50 ranked Junior Penguins, Predators and Viper Stars with the Hornets a top 20 team for the last 7 years. Pro-grade ice rinks such as the Rostraver Ice Garden and Iceoplex at Southpointe have trained several native Pittsburgh players for NHL play. RMU hosted the city's first Frozen Four college championship in 2013 with the four Consol Energy Center games televised by ESPN.


Professional basketball in Pittsburgh dates to the 1910s with teams "Monticello" and "Loendi" winning five national titles, the Pirates (1937-45 in the NBL), the Pittsburgh Ironmen (1947-48 NBA inaugural season), the Pittsburgh Rens (1961–63), the Pittsburgh Condors (first American Basketball Association championship in 1968 and playing until 1972), the Pittsburgh Piranhas (CBA Finals in 1995), the Pittsburgh Xplosion (2004-08) and Phantoms (2009–10) both of the ABA. The city has hosted dozens of pre-season and 15 regular season "neutral site" NBA games, including Wilt Chamberlain's record setting performance in both consecutive field goals and field goal percentage on February 24, 1967, NBA records that still stand.[182]

File:Petersen Events Center 1a.jpg

Petersen Events Center, home of Pittsburgh Panthers basketball

Palumbo Center, home of Duquesne Dukes basketball

The Dukes of Duquesne University and the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh have played College basketball in the city since 1914 and 1905 respectively. During the 1940s to the 1970s, Duquesne was the city's first team to appear in a Final Four (1940), obtain a number one AP Poll ranking (1954),[183] and to win a post-season national title, the 1955 National Invitation Tournament on its second straight trip to the NIT title game. Duquesne became the world's first and still only college program to produce back-to-back NBA #1 overall draft picks with 1955's Dick Ricketts and 1956's Sihugo Green. Duquesne's Chuck Cooper was the first African American drafted by an NBA team.[184]

The Pitt Panthers won two pre-tournament era Helms Athletic Foundation National Championships in 1928 and 1930, competed in a "national title game" against LSU in 1935, and made a Final Four appearance in 1941. Pitt has won 13 conference titles, qualified for the NCAA tournament 24 times including a post season tournament every season since 1999-2000 and regularly sells out the Petersen Events Center. The program has produced 26 NBA draft picks and 14 All Americans while ranking #1 in the nation as recently as 2009.

Since the 1970s, the suburban Robert Morris University's Colonials have competed in NCAA Division I basketball qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last four decades (7 total) and have played in post-season tournaments 3 of the last 4 seasons including the 2013 National Invitation Tournament upset win over the defending national champions Kentucky Wildcats.

All three programs schedule out-of-conference games with each other most seasons while Pitt and Duquesne have played the annual City Game since 1932.

Pittsburgh launched the nation's first high school all-star game in 1965. The Roundball Classic annually featured future NBA hall of famers at the Civc Arena with Nike and Asics as sponsors and ESPN televising. The Civic Arena also hosted the Championship Tournament for the Eastern Eight Conference from 1978 until 1982.

Pittsburgh Panthers women's basketball has qualified for 13 post season tournaments and boasts of 5 All-Americans selected 6 times with 3 WNBA players. Pitt women began play in 1914 before being reintroduced in 1970. Duquesne University also has a competitive women's basketball program.


Golf has deep roots in the area. The oldest U.S. course in continuous use, Foxburg Country Club dating from 1887 calls the region home. Suburban Oakmont Country Club holds the record for most times as host for the U.S. Open (8). U.S. Women's Open (2),PGA Championships (3), and U.S. Amateurs (8) have also called Oakmont home.

Golf legends Arnold Palmer, Jim Furyk and Rocco Mediate learned the game and began their careers on Pittsburgh area courses. Suburban courses such as Laurel Valley Golf Club and the Pittsburgh Field Club have hosted PGA Championships (1937, 1965), the Ryder Cup (1975), LPGA Championships (1957–58), Senior Players Championships (2012–14) and the Senior PGA Championship (2005).

Local courses have sponsored annual major tournaments for 40 years:

  • Pennsylvania Open Championship 1920–1940 (even years)
  • Dapper Dan Open 1939–1949
  • Pittsburgh Open (LPGA Tour) 1956
  • Pittsburgh Senior Classic 1993–1998
  • 84 Lumber Classic 2001–2006
  • Mylan Classic 2010–2013


"Rails to Trails", has converted miles of former rail tracks to recreational trails, including a Pittsburgh-Washington D.C. bike/walking trail. Several mountain biking trails are located within the city and suburbs, Frick Park has biking trails and Hartwood Acres Park has many miles of single track trails.

Annual sports events[]

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Pittsburgh also hosts several annual major sporting events, including the:

  • Three Rivers Regatta (Since 1977)
  • Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (Since 1983)
  • Dirty Dozen Cycle Race (Since 1983)
  • Pittsburgh Marathon (Since 1985)
  • Great Race 10K (Since 1985)
  • Head of the Ohio Regatta (Since 1987)

The city's vibrant rivers have attracted annual world title competitions of the Forrest Wood Cup in 2009 and the Bassmaster Classic in 2005.

Annual events continue during the winter months at area ski resorts such as Boyce Park, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Wisp as well as ice skating at PPG Place and North Park.

Government and politics[]


The Pittsburgh City-County Building at right, with the Allegheny County Courthouse at left

The Government of Pittsburgh is composed of the Mayor of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh City Council, and various boards and commissions. The mayor and the nine-member council serve a four-year term. Since the 1950s the Mayor's Chief of Staff has assumed a large role in advising, long term planning and as a "gatekeeper" to the mayor. City council members are chosen by plurality elections in each of nine districts. The government's official offices are located in the Pittsburgh City-County Building.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds sessions in Pittsburgh, as well as Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Pittsburgh is represented in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by three Senate Districts and nine House Districts. Federally, Pittsburgh is part of Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district.


After the death of Mayor Bob O'Connor in September 2006, City Council President Luke Ravenstahl was sworn in as mayor at age 26, becoming the youngest mayor in the history of any major American city. His successor, Bill Peduto, was sworn in as mayor on January 6, 2014. Current Pittsburgh City Council members are: Darlene Harris, Theresa Kail-Smith, Natalia Rudiak, Cory O'Conner, R. Daniel Lavelle, Deborah Gross, Dan Gilman, and Rev. Ricky Burgess.[185] The president of city council is Bruce Kraus.

Prior to the American Civil War, Pittsburgh was strongly abolitionist and was selected as the birthplace of the national Republican Party, when the party held its first convention in February 1856. From the Civil War to the 1930s, Pittsburgh was a Republican stronghold until the Great Depression combined with entrenched local GOP scandals swept in the Democratic Party. With the exceptions of the 1973 and 1977 elections (where lifelong Democrats ran off the party ticket), Democrats have been elected consecutively to the mayor's office since the 1933 election. The city's current ratio of party registration is 5 to 1 Democrat.[186]

Pittsburgh is represented in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by three Senate Districts (Jim Ferlo-district 38, Wayne D. Fontana-42, and Jay Costa-43) and nine House Districts (Jake Wheatley-19, Adam Ravenstahl-20, Dom Costa-21, Erin Molchany-22, Dan Frankel-23, Ed Gainey-24, Dan Deasy-27, Paul Costa-34, and Harry Readshaw-36).

Federally, Pittsburgh is part of Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district, represented by Democrat Michael F. Doyle since 1995.

By April 2008, the city and county were discussing a plan to merge as early as 2009 in the interests of consolidating government and enhancing the status of the region.[187] If approved, the city of Pittsburgh would annex all of surrounding Allegheny County in a Metropolitan Government with a population of 1.2 million, making Pittsburgh the 10th largest U.S. city.[188] Opposition to this plan noted the added big government bureaucracy, inefficiencies, and the possibility that corruption will extend to the newly annexed communities resulting in a loss of services and an increase in taxes with higher city debt service costs.


University of Pittsburgh

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh is home to many colleges, universities and research facilities, the most well-known of which are Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University. Also located in the city are Carlow University, Chatham University, Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the Community College of Allegheny County, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. The region's suburbs also host several colleges and universities such as: Clarion University of Pennsylvania, LaRoche College, Slippery Rock University, Westminster College and Grove City College north of the city, Robert Morris University and Geneva College west of the city, Washington & Jefferson College, California University of Pennsylvania and Waynesburg University to the south, and Seton Hill University, Saint Vincent College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania to the east.

The campuses of Carlow, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh are located adjacent to each other in the Oakland neighborhood that is the city's traditional cultural center. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university founded by Andrew Carnegie and is ranked 23rd overall on US News & World Report list of America's Best National Universities.[189] CMU is globally respected for its Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Tepper School of Business, Heinz College, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts, Social and Decision Sciences, and psychology programs. The University of Pittsburgh, established in 1787 and popularly referred to as "Pitt", is a state-related school with one of the nation's largest research programs.[16] Pitt is ranked as the 21st national public university by US News & World Report[190] and 62nd overall, and is known for the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, and other biomedical and health-related sciences.[189][191][192][193][194] Carlow University is a small private Roman Catholic university that while coeducational, has traditionally educated women. Chatham University, a liberal arts women's college with coeducational graduate programs, is located in the Shadyside neighborhood, but also maintains a 388-acre (157.0 ha) Eden Hall Farm campus located in the North Hills. Duquesne University, a private Catholic university located in the Bluff neighborhood and is noted for its song and dance troupe, the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, as well as programs in law, business, and pharmacy. Point Park University was founded in 1961 and is well known for its Conservatory of Performing Arts and its Pittsburgh Playhouse.

Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers are paid well relative to their peers, ranking 17th in 2000 among the 100 largest cities by population for the highest minimum salary offered to teachers with a BA ($34,300). Pittsburgh ranked fifth in the highest maximum salary offered to teachers with an MA ($66,380). Local public schools include many charter and magnet schools, including City Charter High School (computer and technology focused), Pittsburgh Montessori School (formerly Homewood Montessori), Pittsburgh Gifted Center, Barack Obama Academy of International Studies 6-12, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6–12, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, and a school for the blind, The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, or otherwise challenged children.

Private schools in Pittsburgh include North Catholic High School, Bishop Canevin High School, Seton-La Salle Catholic High School, Central Catholic High School, Oakland Catholic High School, Winchester Thurston School, St. Edmund's Academy, and The Ellis School. Shady Side Academy maintains a PK–5 primary school campus in the Point Breeze neighborhood, in addition to its 6–12 middle and upper school campuses located in nearby suburban Fox Chapel.

The city also has an extensive library system, both public and university. Most notable are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh's University Library System, which rank 9th largest (public) and 18th largest (academic) in the nation, respectively.[195]


Headquarters for KDKA-TV and KDKA (AM) in Gateway Center.

There are two major daily newspapers in Pittsburgh: the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Weekly papers in the region include the Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Catholic, The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, The New People, and the New Pittsburgh Courier. Independent student-written university-based newspapers include The Pitt News of the University of Pittsburgh, The Tartan of Carnegie Mellon University, The Duquesne Duke of Duquesne University, and The Globe of Point Park University. The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is also home to JURIST, the world's only university-based legal news service.

The Pittsburgh metro area is served by many local television and radio stations. The Pittsburgh designated market area (DMA) is the 22nd largest in the U.S. with 1,163,150 homes (1.045% of the total U.S.).[196] The major network television affiliates are KDKA-TV 2 (CBS), WTAE 4 (ABC), WPXI 11 (NBC), WPGH-TV 53 (Fox), WPCW 19 (CW), WINP-TV 16 (Ion), WPMY 22 (MyNetworkTV), and WPCB 40 (Cornerstone). WBGN-CD 16 is an independent station owned and operated by the Bruno-Goodworth Network.

WQED 13 is the local PBS station in Pittsburgh. It was established on April 1, 1954, and was the first community-sponsored television station and the fifth public station in the United States. The station has produced much original content for PBS, including Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, several National Geographic specials, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?[197]

There are a wide variety of radio stations serving the Pittsburgh market. The first was KDKA 1020 AM, also the world's first commercially licensed radio station, airing on November 2, 1920.[198] Other popular stations include KQV 1410 AM (news), WBGG 970 AM (sports), KDKA-FM 93.7 FM (sports), WKST-FM 96.1 FM (pop and hip-hop), WAMO-AM 660 AM (pop and hip-hop) WBZZ 100.7 FM ( Hot Adult Contemporary), WDVE 102.5 FM (album rock), WPGB 104.7 FM (talk), and WXDX 105.9 FM (modern rock). There are also three public radio stations in the area; including WESA 90.5 FM (National Public Radio affiliate), WQED 89.3 FM (classical), and WYEP 91.3 FM (adult alternative). Three non-commercial stations are run by Carnegie Mellon University (WRCT 88.3 FM), the University of Pittsburgh (WPTS 92.1 FM), and Point Park University (WPPJ 670 AM).

Pittsburgh's 116-year-old film industry accelerated after the 2006 passage of the Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit.[199] According to the Pittsburgh Film Office, over 123 major motion pictures have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Pittsburgh, including The Mothman Prophecies, Wonder Boys, Dogma, Hoffa, The Silence of the Lambs, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Pittsburgh became "Gotham City" in 2011 during filming of The Dark Knight Rises.[19] George A. Romero has shot nearly all his films in the area, including his Living Dead series.


At least fifteen of Pittsburgh's bridges are visible in this aerial photo.

Pittsburgh is a city of bridges with a total of 446,[200] it has three bridges more than Venice, Italy, which has historically held the title "City of Bridges."[201] Around 40 bridges cross the three rivers near the city. The Smithfield Street Bridge was the world's first lenticular truss bridge. The city's Three Sisters Bridges offer a picturesque view of the city from the North. The south-western "entrance" to Downtown for travelers coming in from Interstate 79 and the Pittsburgh International Airport is through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and over the Fort Pitt Bridge. The Fort Duquesne Bridge carrying Interstate 279 is the main gateway from Downtown to both PNC Park, Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino. The Panhandle Bridge carries the Port Authority's Blue/Red/Brown subway lines across the Monongahela River. The renovated J&L Steel Company bridge has been a key traffic/running-biking trail conduit connecting the Southside Works and Pittsburgh Technology Center. Over 2,000 bridges span the landscape of Allegheny County.[202]


Pittsburgh's rail industry dates to 1851 when the Pennsylvania Railroad first opened service between the city and Philadelphia. In 1865 Andrew Carnegie opened the Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works which manufactured for the industry until 1919. Carnegie also founded the heavy freight Union Railroad in 1894 which still serves the area's steel industry.

Pittsburgh is home to one of Norfolk Southern Railway's busiest freight corridors: the Pittsburgh Line operates up to 70 runs per day. The suburban Conway Rail Yard—originally built in 1889—was the largest freight rail center in the world from 1956 until 1980 and remains the nation's second largest. CSX freight also has major area operations with their Pittsburgh Subdivision.

Amtrak intercity rail service via the Capitol Limited and the Pennsylvanian serves the city from Penn Station. Enhancements to allow for highspeed rail transit connections to Philadelphia and the Northeast Corridor are underway as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


The Port of Pittsburgh ranks as the 21st largest port in the United States with almost 34 million short tons of river cargo for 2011, the port ranked 9th largest in the U.S. when measured in domestic trade.[203]

Expressways and highways[]

Expressways Other Highways
I-279.svg Parkway North US 19.svg US 19 PA-88.svg PA 88
US 22.svg US 30.svg
Parkway East & West Truck plate.svg
US 19.svg
US 19
PA-121.svg PA 121
I-579.svg Crosstown PA-8.svg PA 8 PA-130.svg PA 130
PA-28.svg Route 28 PA-50.svg PA 50 PA-380.svg PA 380
PA-65.svg Route 65 PA-51.svg PA 51 PA-837.svg PA 837
    PA-60.svg PA 60 PA-885.svg PA 885

Locals refer to the interstates fanning out from downtown Pittsburgh as the "parkways." I-376 is both the "parkway east" connecting to I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) and the "parkway west" connecting to I-79, the Pittsburgh International Airport, the Ohio end of the Turnpike and I-80. The "parkway north" is I-279 connecting to I-79. The "crosstown" is I-579 allowing access to the heart of downtown, the Liberty Tunnels and the CONSOL Energy Center. Expressways such as Route 28 and Route 22 also carry traffic from downtown to the northeast and western suburbs, respectively. I-70, I-79 and I-76 (the Turnpike) roughly form a triangular-shaped "beltway" with I-80 and I-68 within the media market's northern and southern limits. Turnpike spurs along the Monongahela River, the Airport and near Greensburg also help traffic flow. The non-expressway Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System serves navigation around the city and its suburbs.


Landside Terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The city is served by Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT) 17 miles (27 km) to the west in Findlay.[204] The airport was the fortress hub of US Airways from 1952 to 2005 with over 500 daily departures to more than 110 destinations in 2000. By 2007, fewer than 70 departures to 21 destinations remained.[205] In 2007, US Airways did select the airport for its new $25 million, 27,000 sq ft (2,500 m2), 600-employees-strong Global Flight Operations Center. Since being de-hubbed the airport has seen expanded service from JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines' direct trans-Atlantic service to Paris.

Arnold Palmer Regional Airport also offers commercial service out of suburban Latrobe, Pennsylvania via Spirit Airlines to the Carolinas, Florida and Texas. Palmer has had commercially scheduled air service since the 1980s.

Allegheny County Airport in suburban West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, is the area's largest general aviation airport. The historic landmark, art deco terminal was the main passenger airport for the area until 1952. Allegheny opened in 1931 as the nation's 3rd largest and 1st with "hard surface" runways.

Smaller suburban airports serve as private plane and corporate jet bases. Butler County Airport, Zelienople Municipal Airport, Rock Airport, New Castle Municipal Airport and Lakehill Airport to the north. Rostraver Airport, Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport and Washington County Airport to the south. Pittsburgh-Monroeville Airport, Greensburg Jeannette Regional Airport and Indiana County-Jimmy Stewart Airport to the east. Beaver County Airport, Eddie Dew Memorial Airpark (Ohio), Jefferson County Airpark (Ohio), Herron Airport (West Virginia) and Wheeling Ohio County Airport (West Virginia) to the west.

Public transit[]

Port Authority of Allegheny County, commonly known as the Port Authority, but sometimes referred to by its former nickname "PAT" or "PAT Transit", is the region's mass transit system. While serving only a portion of the Pittsburgh area (the nation's 20th largest metro area), it is the 11th largest transit agency in the nation and helped the region rank 8th on commuters that use non-car means to work, 2nd to only Chicago in metros outside the Northeast corridor.[206] Port Authority runs a network of intracity and intercity bus routes, the Monongahela Incline funicular railway (more commonly known as an "incline") on Mount Washington, a light rail system that runs mostly above-ground in the suburbs and underground as a subway in the city, and one of the nation's largest busway systems.[207] The Duquesne Incline is operated by a non-profit preservation trust,[208] but accepts Port Authority passes and charges Port Authority fares.

The Steel Plaza subway station.

Since 2007, the Port Authority cut annual expenses by $52 million and raised revenues by $14 million to help alleviate a $472 million gap in the state transportation budget.[209][210] In late 2010, the Port Authority's board approved service cuts of 35% (45 routes) and fare increases.[210][211][212] The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission approved a plan by Governor Ed Rendell to allocate $45 million for the Authority to help reduce service cuts to only 15% on March 27, 2011.[213][214] Since Governor Tom Corbett's 2012 budget, the Port Authority has renewed plans to cut service by 35% if the state fails to help with a projected $64 million budget deficit.[215][216]


The city is served by Duquesne Light, one of the original power companies founded in 1912 by George Westinghouse. Water utility service is provided by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority[217] and Pennsylvania American Water.

Natural gas in Pittsburgh is provided by Equitable Gas and Columbia Gas. Both offer "Customer Choice" programs in which residents may choose alternative natural gas suppliers who work under an agreement to provide natural gas in smaller service areas; these companies include Dominion Peoples Plus, Direct Energy, and Novec Energy Solutions.

Sister cities[]

Pittsburgh has twenty four sister cities:[218][219][220]

  • Kazakhstan Astana, Kazakhstan
  • Canada Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Spain Bilbao, Spain
  • Belgium Charleroi, Belgium
  • Vietnam Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Ukraine Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Paraguay Fernando de la Mora, Paraguay
  • Turkey Gaziantep, Turkey
  • Israel Karmiel, Israel
  • Cuba Matanzas, Cuba
  • Israel Misgav, Israel
  • Czech Republic Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • Slovakia Prešov, Slovakia
  • Russia Novokuznetsk, Russia
  • Spain Terrassa, Spain
  • Germany Saarbrücken, Germany
  • Japan Saitama (Omiya-ku, formerly Omiya city), Japan
  • Nicaragua San Isidro, Nicaragua
  • United Kingdom Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • Republic of Macedonia Skopje, Macedonia[221]
  • Bulgaria Sofia, Bulgaria
  • People's Republic of China Wuhan, China
  • Croatia Zagreb, Croatia
  • Croatia Rijeka, Croatia
  • India Kolkata, India
  • Italy Isola delle Femmine, Italy

See also[]


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Further reading[]

  • McCollester, Charles (2008). The Point of Pittsburgh: Production and Struggle at the Forks of the Ohio. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, US: Battle of Homestead Foundation. ISBN 978-0-9818894-0-5. 

External links[]

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