Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
|Montgomery County, Pennsylvania|
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
|Founded||September 10, 1784|
|Largest Township||Lower Merion|
487 sq mi (1,261 km²)
483 sq mi (1,251 km²)
4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.89%
1,653/sq mi (638.4/km²)
|Congressional districts||2nd, 6th, 7th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania in the United States. As of 2010, the population was 799,874, making it the third most populous county in Pennsylvania (after Philadelphia and Allegheny counties). The county seat is Norristown.
The county was created on September 10, 1784, out of land originally part of Philadelphia County. The first courthouse was housed in the Barley Sheaf Inn. It is believed to have been named either for Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while attempting to capture Quebec City, Canada, or for the Welsh county of Montgomeryshire (which was named after one of William the Conqueror's main counselors, Roger de Montgomerie), as it was part of the Welsh Tract, an area of Pennsylvania settled by Quakers from Wales. Early histories of the county indicate the origin of the county's name as uncertain.
Montgomery County is a suburban county northwest of Philadelphia. It is part of the Delaware Valley and marks the region's northern border, with the Lehigh Valley region of the state to the north. In 2010 it was the 51st wealthiest county in the country (measured by median household income). In 2008 it was named the 9th Best Place to Raise a Family by Forbes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 487 square miles (1,262 km²), of which 483 square miles (1,251 km²) is land and 4 square miles (11 km²) (0.89%) is water.
- Lehigh County (north)
- Bucks County (northeast)
- Philadelphia County (southeast)
- Delaware County (southwest)
- Chester County (west)
- Berks County (northwest)
National protected area
As of the 2010 census, the county was 79.0% White non-Hispanic, 8.7% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American or Alaskan Native, 6.4% Asian (2.1% Indian, 1.7% Korean, 1.2% Chinese, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.3% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, 0.6% Other Asian), 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 1.9% were two or more races, and 1.6% were some other race. 4.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.
As of the census of 2000, there were 750,097 people, 286,098 households, and 197,693 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,553 people per square mile (599/km²). There were 297,434 housing units at an average density of 238 units/km² (616 units/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 86.46% White, 7.46% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 4.02% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 2.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.5% were of German, 16.7% Irish, 14.3% Italian, 6.5% English and 5.0% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 90.5% spoke English, 2.0% Spanish, 1.1% Korean and 1.0% Italian as their first language. Historically, much of western Montgomery County is part of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, with a great many descendants of German-speaking settlers from the 18th Century.
Montgomery County is home to large and growing African American, Korean American, Puerto Rican American, Mexican American and Indian American populations. The county has the second largest foreign-born population in the region.
There were 286,098 households out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.90% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $60,829, and the median income for a family was $72,183 (these figures had risen to $73,701 and $89,219 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $48,698 versus $35,089 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,898. About 2.80% of families and 4.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.60% of those under age 18 and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.
The following is a table of the largest townships/boroughs in Montgomery County.
|Township/Borough||Population (2010 US Census)||Density mi2|
|Lower Merion Township||57,825||2,526.1|
|Municipality of Norristown||34,324||9,806.9|
|Upper Merion Township||28,395||1,593.3|
|Upper Dublin Township||25,569||1,960.7|
|Lower Providence Township||25,436||1,458.8|
|Upper Moreland Township||24,015||3,202|
Montgomery County is a suburb of Philadelphia and consequently, many of its residents work in the city. However, Montco is also a major employment center with large business parks in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Fort Washington, Horsham and King of Prussia which attract thousands of workers from all over the region. The strong job base and taxes generated by those jobs have resulted in Montgomery County receiving the highest credit rating of 'AAA' from Standard & Poor's, one of fewer than 30 counties in the United States with such a rating.
Major employers include:
- Abington Memorial Hospital
- BAE Systems
- Bradford White
- Dorman Products
- Genuardi's Family Markets
- Holy Redeemer Hospital
- InfoStretch Corporation
- Jefferson Health System
- Johnson & Johnson - McNeil Pharmaceuticals
- Lockheed Martin
- Quest Diagnostics
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
Montgomery County's population grew about 10.6% as of the 2000 census with much of the growth in the western part of the county. Much of the growth is attributable to population shifts in the region. The county especially saw an increase of Asian American immigrants as well as in Mexican immigrants. Also, Montgomery County receives a large number of immigrants, and many migrants from other urban areas, looking for cheaper real estate compared to their areas. Montgomery County provides many expressways to Philadelphia, New Jersey, and many other places in Pennsylvania. Census Bureau projections show a slowing of the growth this decade. Part of the slowing of the growth is attributed to the massive emigration of native born residents.
Major roads and highways
|2012||42.3% 169,903||56.6% 227,561|
|2008||39.2% 165,552||60.0% 253,393|
|2004||44.0% 174,741||55.6% 222,048|
|2000||43.8% 145,623||53.5% 177,990|
|1996||41.2% 121,047||48.9% 143,664|
|1992||39.5% 125,704||42.9% 136,572|
|1988||60.2% 170,294||38.8% 109,834|
|1984||64.2% 181,426||35.3% 99,741|
|1980||57.8% 156,996||31.0% 84,289|
|1976||56.9% 155,480||41.2% 112,644|
|1972||64.3% 173,662||34.1% 91,959|
|1968||54.3% 141,621||39.3% 102,464|
|1964||43.0% 102,714||56.7% 135,657|
|1960||60.7% 142,796||39.2% 92,212|
As of January 2010, there are 577,378 registered voters in Montgomery County.
While Republicans have dominated county politics, the Democratic Party has made substantial gains in the county over the last 20 years and gained the registration edge early in 2008. After voting for the Republican Presidential nominee for six consecutive elections from 1968 to 1988, the Democratic Presidential nominee has carried Montgomery for the past five consecutive elections by progressively increasing margins. Most county-level offices were held by Republicans until after the 2007 election, when Democrats picked up control of five row offices. Democrats have also won significant[according to whom?] elections for the Pennsylvania General Assembly in recent years, including two GOP-leaning State House districts in 2004, the 148th with Mike Gerber and the 153rd with Josh Shapiro. The county was also the only county that voted for Barbara Hafer in the 1990 gubernatorial election over the incumbent governor, Bob Casey.
In the 2004 US Senate election, Republican Arlen Specter won the county over Montco resident Joe Hoeffel, but Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. out-polled Rick Santorum in the 2006 Senate election. In 2006, Democrat Rick Taylor unseated incumbent Republican Eugene McGill in the 151st (although Taylor lost in 2010 to Republican Todd Stephens) and, in 2008, Democrat Matthew Bradford unseated incumbent Republican Jay Moyer in the 70th. Six out of twelve of the 12 Montgomery State Representative seats are now held by Democrats, but Daylin Leach is the only Democrat in a Montgomery State Senate seat, the 17th. All four statewide Democratic candidates carried Montgomery in 2008, with Barack Obama receiving 60% of the county's vote.
Montgomery County is governed by a three-person County Commission. The current composition is two Democrats and one Republican. By law, the County Commission must have one member of a minority party represented.
The current commissioners are:
The county row officers are:
- Clerk of Courts - Ann Thornburg Weiss (D)
- Controller - Stewart J. Greenleaf, Jr. (R)
- Coroner - Walter Hofman (D)
Coroner Walter Hofman refuses to allow public access to the official records of the Coroner's Office (e.g., autopsy reports) or to file these records with the Montgomery County Prothonotary, in violation of Pennsylvania law (see http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-69-2012mo.pdf, http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-54a&b-2008mo.pdf ).
- District Attorney - Risa Vetri Ferman (R)
- Prothonotary - Mark Levy (D)
- Recorder of Deeds - Nancy Becker (R)
- Register of Wills - D. Bruce Hanes (D)
- Sheriff - Eileen Whalon Behr (R)
- Treasurer - Jason Salus (D)
The new officials took office in January 2012.
Montgomery County contains parts of six Congressional Districts: the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, and 15th. The Montgomery-based 13th district, which also includes most of Northeast Philadelphia, is represented by Democrat Allyson Schwartz.
- Robert Godshall, Republican, 53rd district
- Kate Harper, Republican, 61st district
- Matthew Bradford, Democrat, 70th district
- Mark Painter, Democrat, 146th district
- Marcy Toepel, Republican, 147th district
- Mary Jo Daley, Democrat, 148th district
- Tim Briggs, Democrat, 149th district
- Mike Vereb, Republican, 150th district
- Todd Stephens, Republican, 151st district
- Thomas Murt, Republican, 152nd district
- Madeleine Dean, Democrat, 153rd district
- Lawrence Curry, Democrat, 154th district
- Warren Kampf, Republican, 157th district
- Brendan Boyle, Democrat, 170th district
- Pamela A. DeLissio, Democrat, 194th district
- LeAnna Washington, Democrat, 4th district
- Vincent Hughes, Democrat, 7th district
- Charles T. McIlhinney Jr., Republican, 10th district
- Stewart Greenleaf, Republican, 12th district
- Daylin Leach, Democrat, 17th district
- Andy Dinniman, Democrat, 19th district
- Bob Mensch, Republican, 24th district
- John Rafferty, Jr., Republican, 44th district
- Chaka Fattah, Democrat, 2nd district
- Jim Gerlach, Republican, 6th district
- Pat Meehan, Republican, 7th district
- Mike Fitzpatrick, Republican, 8th district
- Allyson Schwartz, Democrat, 13th district
Under Pennsylvania law, there are five types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, Home Rule Municipalities (which can include communities that bear the name "Borough" or "Township") and, in at most two cases, towns. The following boroughs, townships, and Home Rule Municipalities are located in Montgomery County:
Home Rule Municipalities
- Bryn Athyn (official name remains "Borough of Bryn Athyn")
- Cheltenham Township
- Horsham Township
- Plymouth Township
- Whitemarsh Township
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.
Colleges and universities
- Arcadia University
- Bryn Athyn College of the New Church
- Bryn Mawr College
- Gwynedd Mercy College
- Haverford College
- Manor College
- Montgomery County Community College
- Pennsylvania College of Optometry
- Penn State Abington - a commonwealth campus of The Pennsylvania State University
- Rosemont College
- St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
- St. Joseph's University
- Temple University - Ambler
- Ursinus College
- Westminster Theological Seminary
Public school districts
- Abington School District
- Boyertown Area School District
- Cheltenham Township School District
- Colonial School District
- Hatboro-Horsham School District
- Jenkintown School District
- Lower Merion School District
- Lower Moreland Township School District
- Methacton School District
- Norristown Area School District
- North Penn School District
- Perkiomen Valley School District
- Pottsgrove School District
- Pottstown School District
- Souderton Area School District
- Springfield Township School District
- Spring-Ford Area School District
- Upper Dublin School District
- Upper Merion Area School District
- Upper Moreland School District
- Upper Perkiomen School District
- Wissahickon School District
- Bryn Athyn School District - exists as an entity, but does not operate any schools. Public school students attend class in neighboring districts.
Private secondary schools
- Academy Of The New Church Boys School
- Academy Of The New Church Girls School
- Abington Friends School
- The Baldwin School
- AIM Academy
- Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, formerly known as the Akiba Hebrew Academy
- Bishop McDevitt High School
- Calvary Baptist School
- Christopher Dock Mennonite High School
- Coventry Christian Schools
- The Episcopal Academy
- Friends' Central School
- Germantown Academy
- Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School
- Haverford School
- The Hill School
- Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy
- Indian Creek Mennonite School
- Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School, CLOSED. Replaced by Pope John Paul II Catholic High School in 2010.
- Lakeside School
- Lansdale Catholic High School
- La Salle College High School
- Lincoln Academy
- Main Line Academy
- Martin Luther School
- Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Catholic School
- Meadowbrook School
- Merion Mercy Academy
- Mount Saint Joseph Academy
- New Life Youth & Family Svcs
- The Pathway School
- The Perkiomen School
- Pope John Paul II Catholic High School, replaced Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School and Saint Pius X High School in 2010.
- Reformation Christian School
- Saint Aloysius School
- Saint Basil Academy
- Saint Katherine Day School
- Saint Pius X High School, CLOSED. Replaced by Pope John Paul II Catholic High School in 2010.
- Stowe Lighthouse Christ Academy
- The Shipley School
- Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia
- Trinity Christian Academy
- Valley Forge Baptist Academy
- Wordsworth Academy
- Wyncote Academy
Night schools/adult education
Notable civic institutions
- The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP), a nonprofit organization founded by Glenn Doman, was established in Wyndmoor in 1955. The IAHP is an educational organization that teaches parents about child brain development, and is a treatment center for brain-injured children.
- The Historical Society of Montgomery County (HSMC), founded in 1881, preserves and promotes the history of the county and its people. It also owns and maintains historic Montgomery Cemetery, the oldest non-sectarian cemetery in Montgomery County. HSMC-Website-under-construction
- The Old York Road Symphony, based in Abington, is one of the oldest all-volunteer orchestras in the country, founded in 1932.
- The Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association (RMCA) is a 501(c)1 organization. Founded in 1948, RMCA is the oldest incorporated civic association in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is based in wards 1, 2, 3 and 7 in Abington Township. Many of Montgomery County's notable politicians reside in Rydal-Meadowbrook, including Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Josh Shapiro, former Congressman Joe Hoeffel and current District Attorney Risa Vetri-Ferman. Dean of Philadelphia broadcast journalists Larry Kane is served by RMCA. Federal Judges Jan Ely DuBois and Lowell A. Reed, Jr. also live in Rydal-Meadowbrook. Judge Reed is also a past president of RMCA.
- The Old York Road Historical Society was founded in 1936 and its collections are particularly strong in covering the history of the communities in Eastern Montgomery County, and as such, the Society serves as the major historical repository for the townships of Abington, Cheltenham, Lower Moreland and Upper Moreland and the boroughs of Bryn Athyn, Hatboro, Jenkintown and Rockledge.
- The Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to promoting its members and the economic health of nine municipalities in Eastern Montgomery County.
- List of municipal authorities in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- [dead link]
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
- "Montgomery County," Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association
- [dead link]
- Running for Office
- Meetings & Notices
- "The Honorable Lowell A. Reed, Jr," Inns of Court