2022 Metrics Released — Post Pandemic Recovery

Posted April 25, 2023


Each year CCPC tracks a variety of metrics pertaining to the six goals in Landscapes3, in addition to the Success Stories. These metrics provide a measurable overview of the progress made throughout the county each year, and despite much of 2022 focusing on recovering from the pandemic, proved that Chester County continues to thrive in many ways!

Jake Michael, CCPC's Senior Demographer, covered these metrics at a recent Board presentation, discussing some of the key numbers and differences over the course of the last five years (2018-2022).

We've included some of these highlights below, with the full list of metrics available online.

As of 2022, the metrics indicated that 149,384 acres of land, or 30.7% of the county's land was protected overall. In relation to the base year (2018), this is a 5.1% increase in total protected open space.

Open Space MapIn terms of protected open space within the county's conservation corridors, the 2022 metrics showed 548 acres protected in 2022, leading to a 6.1% total increase from 2018. For protected viable farmland, the county saw an increase of 5,999 acres, or a 7.6% increase from 2018.

Natural resource protection ordinances saw slight increases in the 2022 metrics, with a focus in the areas of woodlands, wetlands, and riparian buffers. Overall, there were 223 municipal resource protection ordinances across the county, which is 11 more than in 2018.

Municipal historic protection measures remained one of the county's strong areas according to the latest metrics, showing an increase in all categories (historic resource ordinances, historic commissions/committees, and historic resources atlas maps) for a total of 158 — 16 more than in 2018.

In terms of historic tourism, there were 415,878 visits to major cultural heritage tourism sites this past year, a 13.1% increase over 2018, and a significant increase over recent years, when visitorship declined significantly due to the pandemic.

HousingThe number of new affordable housing units in the county increased slightly in 2022, with only nine newly constructed units. However, this small number was likely due to many projects being completed in previous years (for instance 65 units in 2018), with some still underway. Additionally, there were 106 rehabilitated affordable housing units in 2022.

The county saw large increases in housing diversity over the last five years, with 3,689 more multi-family apartments than in January, 2018, and more than 3,500 additional single-family attached units.

The county's access to parks also presented positive numbers. With a total population of 545,823 as of 2022 — more than 77% of the county's residents, or 420,667, live within ½ mile of a park.

While the amount of municipal solid waste saw increases previously, the 2022 metrics indicated a decrease of 93 pounds per person compared to 2018.

John Rock Building

Non-residential development increased in the county in 2022, with institutional and industrial development showing the largest amount of new building square footage. Industrial development has taken off recently, including expanding manufacturing facilities, such as the recently completed John Rock Building in Sadsbury Township, which will be used for manufacturing pallets.

The metrics indicated that active transportation remains a strong and steady category in Chester County, with many more miles of trails, sidewalks, and bike lanes than in 2018. Currently, the county has a reported 967.5 miles in these categories collectively.

Public transportation, on the other hand, has seen steady decreases in ridership (AMTRAK stations, SEPTA rail stations, and SEPTA bus routes) across the county due to changes in commuting patterns related to remote work and the pandemic.

On the county's highway, remote work has led to reduced travel times for driving, with a fifteen mile highway trip decreasing by three minutes compared to 2018.

Overall, the 2022 metrics proved that Chester County continues to remain resilient amidst an ever-changing world and has adapted to the changing needs of its residents and businesses!

See the full list of 2022 metrics.