Census estimates released today show the 1980s are still shaping Pittsburgh's future, but new industries and an increase in college- educated people eventually could reverse the area's population decline, experts said.
Chris Briem, a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Social and Urban Research, said the seven- county region lost between 50,000 and 60,000 people a year -- mostly working-age adults and their children -- in the mid-1980s. A quarter- century later, relatively few of them have returned, he said.
Consequently, Pittsburgh is the only metro area among the 50 largest that has more deaths than births.
"The elderly aren't …