The WCDC works to connect the community to information about Wilkinsburg and resources available to residents. Here you will find borough information, demographics, and social services in Wilkinsburg.
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The Borough of Wilkinsburg is an independent municipality in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Taking up an area of just 2.2 square miles, Wilkinsburg is bordered by the City of Pittsburgh, Edgewood Borough, Borough of Forest Hills, Penn Hills Township, and Churchill Borough.
Like many first tier suburbs in southwestern Pennsylvania, Wilkinsburg was once a prosperous community with a thriving business district. In fact, it was one of the wealthiest communities in Allegheny County. In 1950, Wilkinsburg reached its peak population of 31,500 residents. Today, that number has dwindled to less than 16,000. More than 23% of these residents live below the poverty level, which is 10% more than the Pennsylvania state average.
As the population has fallen, Wilkinsburg’s vacancy rate has increased more dramatically than most municipalities. The current vacancy rate is 18.9%, with more than 760 properties listed as abandoned. The declining population and high percentage of chronically tax delinquent properties are a constant strain on both the Borough of Wilkinsburg and the Wilkinsburg School District, which at 56.36 represents the highest combined millage rate in Allegheny County. Wilkinsburg’s decline has also contributed to the negative perception, which the WCDC, borough, and community work to change by continuing the efforts to rebuild and revitalize Wilkinsburg.
The Borough of Wilkinsburg is divided into three wards. Ward One is comprised of six districts, Ward Two is comprised of five districts, and Ward Three is comprised of six districts. Each ward is represented by three council members.
As an independent borough, Wilkinsburg has its own police force, managed by the borough mayor, and code enforcement, public works, and finance departments, which are overseen by the borough manager. Wilkinsburg contracts with the City of Pittsburgh for fire and waste removal services. Learn more about the borough’s departments and programs.
The Borough of Wilkinsburg also has its own school district. The Wilkinsburg School District includes two elementary schools, Turner (located in Ward One) and Kelly (located in Ward 3), and a shared middle and high school (located in Ward 3). The Wilkinsburg School District is governed by nine board members. Learn more about the Wilkinsburg School District.
The U.S. Census 2013 data estimates that Wilkinsburg’s current population is 15,882. The population density is approximately 7,077 people per square mile. Approximately 67 percent of Wilkinsburg’s population is African American or Black, 28 percent is White, and Other Races make up the remaining 5 percent.
The 2010 median income for a household in the borough was $28,076, and the median income for a family was $33,412. The homeownership rate is around just 37 percent, which shows that Wilkinsburg has a large population of renters. More statistics are available via the U.S. Census Bureau.
As for Wilkinsburg’s business community, over 150 businesses currently operate in the borough.
In the Central Business District there are 55 small, family run, or local businesses. Of our business ownersl, 40 percent are African American or Black, 40 percent are White, 8 percent are Asian, and 3 percent are Middle Eastern.
We also have a balanced mix of male and female owned and operated businesses. Many are run jointly by a couple. Overall, women are involved in over 50 percent of Wilkinsburg’s businesses.