Capital city Harrisburg
Population 13.011.844 (2020)
Surface 119.283 kmĀ²
Governor Tom Wolf (D)
Member of the US since 1787

A map of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the fifty states of the United States. The state is located in the northeast of the country. It belongs to the Mid-Atlantic States. Pennsylvania’s abbreviation is PA and its nickname is ‘The Keystone State’. Pennsylvania is bordered to the north by New York, to the east by New Jersey, to the south by Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia, and to the west by Ohio. The state also has a small border with Canada via Lake Erie. The state has about 13 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous states in the country. The capital is Harrisburg, but the largest city is Philadelphia. The state was one of the original 13 British colonies. Pennsylvania was founded in 1681 by William Penn (after whom the state is named). The south belonged to the Swedish colony of New Sweden, but was later handed over to Pennsylvania. The Quackers, a Christian denomination, lived in Pennsylvania. Yet other religions were also welcome and there was talk of religious freedom. The state played an important role in the American Revolutionary War. The United States Declaration of Independence was presented at Independence Hall in Philadelphia drawn. Pennsylvania was the second state to approve the US Constitution and Philadelphia was the capital of the United States for a while when Washington DC was still under construction. Benjamin Franklin was also from Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is known as the place where many Amish live. These are very strict Christian people, who live as before. They have no electricity, cars or modern technology. The state is a swing state, which means that both the Republican and Democratic Party have a lot of following in the state.

Geography

A scenic area in Pennsylvania

Landscape

Pennsylvania comes from four regions of the United States, namely the Northern States, the Southern States, the Midwest, and the Atlantic Coast region. Pennsylvania itself has no coastline, but it borders Lake Erie to the northwest. Several rivers flow through the state, such as the Delaware, Ohio, and Susquehanna. The southeast of the state is very flat. This is also where you will find most cities, such as Philadelphia. The rest of the state is pretty much mountainous. The Appalachians run right through the state. The far west is slightly less mountainous than the center of the state. Many raw materials can be found in the mountain areas, just like natural gas. The highest point in the state is Mount Davis with a height of 979 meters.

Largest Cities in Pennsylvania

Number City Residents County
1. Philadelphia 1.603.797 Philadelphia County
2. Pittsburgh 302.971 Allegheny County
3. Allentown 125.845 Lehigh County
4. Reading 95.112 Berks County
5. Erie 94.831 Erie County
6. Upper Darby 85.681 Delaware County
7. Scranton 76.328 Lackawanna County
8. Bethlehem 75.781 Northampton County
9. Lower Merion Township 63.633 Montgomery County
10. Bensalem Township 62.707 Bucks County

Climate

Pennsylvania generally has two different climates. In the north there is a humid continental climate. There are warm summers and cold winters here. There is a lot of precipitation throughout the year. In the south there is a subtropical climate with warm summers and mild winters. Here too there is a lot of rain throughout the year. In general, most precipitation falls in winter. Sometimes snow can also fall, even in areas with a subtropical climate. This is because cold air from the Appalachians allows snow to form. There are no hurricanes in Pennsylvania, as the state is not on the sea. Sometimes tornadoes do occur, but often there is little damage.

The Pennsylvania countryside

Population

General

Pennsylvania has more than 13 million inhabitants. Pennsylvania is one of the largest states in the United States in terms of population. Only California, Texas, Florida and New York have more inhabitants. The state’s population continues to grow, mainly through immigration. However, this growth is slowing. About 75% of the residents were born in Pennsylvania itself. 20% were born in another US state or territory and 5% were born abroad. 76% of residents are White, 11% African American, 8% Latino, 4.5% Asian, and 1.1% Native American.

The Amish live just like they used to. Most therefore do not have a car.

About 28% of the inhabitants have a German migration background. This includes the Amish, most of whom live in Pennsylvania. The Amish are a strict Christian community living without modern technology. For example, they use a horse and carriage instead of a car and have no electricity, internet or other modern machines. They often also wear traditional costumes and speak Pennsylvania Dutch. Other residents have Irish, English, Italian, African or Polish migration backgrounds.

Taal

Pennsylvania has no official language under the Constitution. Still, you can see English as the official language. English is used in politics, education and law. English is also used in everyday life and most residents do not speak any other language. 4% of the inhabitants speak Spanish, 0.9% German and 0.5% Chinese. Among the German speakers are the Amish. They speak Pennsylvania Dutch. Although the word Dutch uses Dutch, it is a German-speaking dialect. The Amish are originally from Germany. Incidentally, most of them also speak English.

Religion

Pennsylvania was the first state to have freedom of religion after Rhode Island. Because of this, there have always been a huge number of religions in Pennsylvania. About 47% of the inhabitants are Protestant. Especially Presbyterianism and baptism have a lot of followers. 24% of the inhabitants are Catholic and 21% have no religion or are non-believers. Minor religions include Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam.

Politics

State politics

The Pennsylvania State House

Pennsylvania is run by a governor. The governor is elected every four years in direct elections. The current governor of the state is Tom Wolff of the Democratic Party. In addition, there is another lieutenant governor, who assists and replaces the governor. In addition, the state has a parliament; the Pennsylvania General Assembly. It consists of two rooms:

  • The House of Representatives, consisting of 203 members who are elected every two years.
  • The Senate, consisting of 50 members who are elected every four years.

The Republican Party has a small majority in both chambers. The Democrats take the remaining seats.

Administrative division

How many counties in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania is divided into 67 counties. These are:

  • Adams County
  • Allegheny County
  • Armstrong County
  • Beaver County
  • Bedford County
  • Berks County
  • Blair County
  • Bradford County
  • Bucks County
  • Butler County
  • Cambria County
  • Cameron County
  • Carbon County
  • Centre County
  • Chester County
  • Clarion County
  • Clearfield County
  • Clinton County
  • Columbia County
  • Crawford County
  • Cumberland County
  • Dauphin County
  • Delaware County
  • Elk County
  • Erie Couny
  • Fayette County
  • Forest County
  • Franklin County
  • Fulton County
  • Greene County
  • Huntingdon County
  • Indiana County
  • Jefferson County
  • Juniata County
  • Lackawanna County
  • Lancaster County
  • Lawrence County
  • Lebanon County
  • Lehigh County
  • Luzerne County
  • Lycoming County
  • McKean County
  • Mercer County
  • Mifflin County
  • Monroe County
  • Montgomery County
  • Montour County
  • Northampton County
  • Northumberland County
  • Perry County
  • Philadelphia County
  • Pike County
  • Potter County
  • Schuylkill County
  • Snyder County
  • Somerset County
  • Sullivan County
  • Susquehanna County
  • Tioga County
  • Union County
  • Venango County
  • Warren County
  • Washington County
  • Wayne County
  • Westmoreland County
  • Wyoming County
  • York County

National politics

Pennsylvania is a typical swing state. This means that the state can go to both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. That is why there is a lot of campaigning in Pennsylvania during presidential elections. Pennsylvania also has many electoral votes, making it interesting for both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to win. Often the state is won by only a few percent and has to be recounted. Between 1992 and 2012, Pennsylvania was consistently won by the Democrats by a small majority. In 2016, Republican Donald Trump won the state and in 2020 the state went to Democrat Joe Biden.

A factory in Pennsylvania

The state is represented in the United States Congress by 18 representatives and two senators. Of the 18 delegates, 9 are Democrat and 9 Republican. Of the two senators, one is (Bob Casey Jr.) Democrat and one (Pat Toomey) Republican.

Economy

Pennsylvania is richer than most other states. There is a lot of industry in the state, especially in cities like Pittsburgh, Erie and Philadelphia. Well-known Pennsylvania companies include US Steel, GE Transportation, and Heinz. Yet in agriculture the most important sector of the state. Mainly milk, apples, Christmas trees, chicken, grapes and horse meat come from Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is also the largest producer of mushrooms in the United States. Much industry in Pennsylvania also relies on the food industry. Mining was also very important to the state. Pennsylvania is one of the places where a lot of fracking takes place.

Pennsylvania - The Keystone State

Pennsylvania – The Keystone State
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