Centre County, Pennsylvania

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Centre County, Pennsylvania
Centre County Courthouse.jpg
The Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte
Seal of Centre County, Pennsylvania
Seal
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Centre County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded February 13, 1800
Seat Bellefonte
Largest municipality State College
Area
 • Total 1,112 sq mi (2,880 km2)
 • Land 1,108 sq mi (2,870 km2)
 • Water 4 sq mi (10 km2), 0.39%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012) 155,171
 • Density 139/sq mi (53.6/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website co.centre.pa.us

Centre County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 153,990.[1] Its county seat is Bellefonte.[2]

Centre County comprises the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The lands of the future Centre County were first recorded by James Potter in 1764. Having reached the top of Nittany Mountain, and "....seeing the prairies and noble forest beneath him, cried out to his attendant, 'By heavens, Thompson, I have discovered an empire!'" [3] Centre County was created on February 13, 1800, from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties and named for its central location in the state.

Law and government[edit]

County Commissioners[edit]

  • Steven G. Dershem, Chairman (Republican)
  • Chris Exarchos, Vice-Chair (Republican)
  • Michael Pipe, Commissioner (Democrat) [4]

Other county offices[edit]

Pennsylvania State Senate[edit]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[edit]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

United States Senate[edit]

Politics[edit]

As of November 2010, there are 101,714 registered voters in Centre County.[5]

Centre County had for many years been a strongly Republican county like most of rural Pennsylvania. In recent years, however, it has been becoming more competitive. In 2000 George W. Bush defeated Al Gore with 52% of the vote to Gore's 43%. In 2004 Bush won the county by a much smaller margin. Bush won 51% to Kerry's 47%, a margin of only 4%. In 2006, Governor Ed Rendell and Bob Casey Jr. both carried Centre and Democrat Scott Conklin decisively won the State House seat left open by the retirement of Republican Lynn Herman in the 77th district. In 2008, the Democrats captured the countywide registration edge, Barack Obama carried the county with 55% of the vote to McCain's 44%, and the other three statewide winners (Rob McCord for Treasurer, Jack Wagner for Auditor General, and Tom Corbett for Attorney General) also carried Centre. Perhaps the reason for the competitiveness of the Democrats is the fact that the main campus of Penn State is located in State College in the southern half of the county.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,112 square miles (2,880.1 km2), of which 1,108 square miles (2,869.7 km2) is land and 4 square miles (10.4 km2) (0.39%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Significant Topographic Features[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 10,681
1820 13,796 29.2%
1830 18,879 36.8%
1840 20,492 8.5%
1850 23,355 14.0%
1860 27,000 15.6%
1870 34,418 27.5%
1880 37,922 10.2%
1890 43,269 14.1%
1900 42,894 −0.9%
1910 43,424 1.2%
1920 44,304 2.0%
1930 46,294 4.5%
1940 52,608 13.6%
1950 65,922 25.3%
1960 78,580 19.2%
1970 99,267 26.3%
1980 112,760 13.6%
1990 123,786 9.8%
2000 135,760 9.7%
2010 153,990 13.4%
Est. 2012 155,171 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 153,990 people, 57,573 households, and 31,256 families residing in the county. The population density was 139 people per square mile (54/km²). There were 63,297 housing units at an average density of 57 per square mile (22/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.4% White, 3.0% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 5.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. 2.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 57,573 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out with 15.9% under the age of 18, 28.9% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 107.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.1 males.

Media[edit]

Centre County's main daily newspaper is the Centre Daily Times (part of the McClatchy Company chain). Alternative newspapers include the Centre County Gazette and State College City Guide. Newspapers of Pennsylvania State University's main campus include The Forum and the student-run Daily Collegian.[9]

Numerous magazines are also published including Town & Gown,[10] State College Magazine,[11] Good Life in Happy Valley,[12] Blue White Illustrated, Pennsylvania Business Central, and Voices of Central Pennsylvania.[13]

The radio market of Centre County is ranked #257 in the nation. Some of the more popular stations include WPSU, WKPS, WBUS, WQWK, WFGE, WBHV, WZWW, WRSC, WRSC-FM, and WMAJ.

Centre County is part of the Johnstown/Altoona/State College television market, which is currently ranked #99 in the nation. Television stations broadcasting out of State College include WPSU (PBS) and WHVL (MyNetworkTV) as well as C-NET, Centre County's Government and Education Access Television Network, which broadcasts on two channels: CGTV (Government Access TV) and CETV (Educational Access TV). Johnstown-based WJAC-TV (NBC) and Altoona-based WTAJ-TV (CBS) also maintain satellite studios and offices here.

Municipalities[edit]

Map of Centre County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are five types of incorporated municipalities: cities, home rule municipalities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following municipalities, boroughs and townships are located in Centre County:

Home rule municipalities[edit]

Boroughs[edit]

Townships[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Education[edit]

Old Main, the main administrative building of Penn State, located at University Park.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Community, Junior, and Technical Colleges[edit]

Public School Districts[edit]

Map of Centre County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Public Charter Schools[edit]

  • Young Scholars of Central PA Charter School
  • Centre Learning Community Charter School
  • Nittany Valley Charter School
  • Wonderland Charter School
  • There are 11 public cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania that are available for free statewide, to children K-12. See: Education in Pennsylvania.

Private Schools[edit]

As reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education 2010.

  • Bower Hollow Parochial School - Woodward
  • Centre County Christian Academy - Bellefonte
  • Elk Creek School - Rebersburg
  • Faith Christian Academy - Philipsburg
  • Grace Prep - State College
  • Hill Side School - Rebersburg
  • Hubler Ridge School - Bellefonte
  • Kramer Gap School - Spring Mills
  • Little Nittany Amish Parochial School - Howard
  • Mountain View School - Rebersburg
  • Nittany Christian School - State College
  • Our Lady of Victory School - State College
  • Peach Lane Amish School - Madisonburg
  • Penns Valley Amish Paroch School - Woodward
  • Rockville School - Rebersburg
  • Spring Bank School - Rebersburg
  • St John Evangelist School - Bellefonte
  • St. Joseph's Academy - Boalsburg
  • State College Friends School - State College
  • Sunny Meadow Parochial School - Howard
  • Sunset View School - Howard
  • Sunset View School - Rebersburg
  • Windy Poplars School - Centre Hall
  • Woodside Amish School - Spring Mills

Libraries[edit]

Pennsylvania State University Libraries[edit]

Recreation[edit]

An apple tree and meadow at Bald Eagle State Park

There are six Pennsylvania state parks in Centre County.

Transportation[edit]

  • Interstate 80 runs east-west through the center of the county.
  • Interstate 99 runs east-southwest breaking off with I-80 near Bellefonte and runs past and through State College.
  • US Route 322 runs south-north through Potter's Mills to Philipsburg.
  • US Route 220 runs concurrently with I-80 in the eastern half of the county then splits with I-99 and runs concurrently with it in the western half of the county.
  • There are four significant state routes; PA-45.svg PA 45, PA-192.svg PA 192, PA-64.svg PA 64, and PA-150.svg PA 150 run parallel to I-80 while PA-144.svg PA 144 runs perpendicular to it, north-south, from Potter's Mills to Snow Shoe.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Centre County Pennsylvania: 15 Historical Sketches of Our 200 Years". Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Centre County Government - Welcome Page". Centre County Government. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Running for Office. Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Pennsylvania Newspapers". NewsLink. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ Town & Gown Magazine Town & Gown Magazine
  11. ^ State College Magazine, Pennsylvania. State College Magazine (2011-03-01). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  12. ^ Good Life in Happy Valley | Centre Daily Times – State College, PA | Penn State, Nittany Lions, weather, news, jobs, homes, apartments, real estate. Centredaily.com (2009-06-19). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  13. ^ Voices of Central Pennsylvania

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°55′N 77°49′W / 40.91°N 77.82°W / 40.91; -77.82