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
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Centre County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded February 13, 1800
Seat Bellefonte
Largest borough State College
 • Total 1,113 sq mi (2,883 km2)
 • Land 1,110 sq mi (2,875 km2)
 • Water 3.0 sq mi (8 km2), 0.3%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 160,580
 • Density 145/sq mi (56/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.centrecountypa.gov
Designated May 10, 1982[1]

Centre County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 153,990.[2] Its county seat is Bellefonte.[3] Centre County comprises the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


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!'" [4] 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.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,113 square miles (2,880 km2), of which 1,110 square miles (2,900 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.3%) is water.[5] It is the fifth-largest county in Pennsylvania by area.


Adjacent counties[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. 2016 161,464 [6] 4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census[11] 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.

Metropolitan Statistical Area[edit]

Map of the State College-DuBois, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), composed of the following parts:

The United States Office of Management and Budget[12] has designated Centre County as the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census[13] the metropolitan area ranked 13th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 259th most populous in the United States with a population of 155,403. Centre County is also a part of the larger State College-DuBois, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Centre County as well as Clearfield County to the west. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 9th in the State of Pennsylvania and 123rd most populous in the United States with a population of 236,577.

Law and government[edit]

County Commissioners[edit]

  • Michael Pipe, Chairman (Democrat)
  • Mark Higgins, Vice-Chair (Democrat)
  • Steven G. Dershem, Commissioner (Republican) [14]

Other county offices[edit]

State Senate[15][edit]

State House of Representatives[15][edit]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

United States Senate[edit]


As of November 2014, there were 108,316 registered voters in Centre County.[16]

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. In 2012, Barack Obama won the county in his reelection campaign by a very narrow margin, 48.90% to 48.65%.[17] In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton, beat eventual President-elect Republican Donald Trump 47.76% to 45.86%. [18] However, in that same election, Republican Senator Pat Toomey beat Democratic opponent Katie McGinty 47.91% to 46.2% in the county[19]


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 13 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


Pennsylvania State University libraries[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.
  • The area is served by the University Park Airport.


An apple tree and meadow at Bald Eagle State Park
Black Moshannon State Park

There are six Pennsylvania state parks in Centre County.


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.[20]

Numerous magazines are also published including Town & Gown,[21] State College Magazine,[22] Good Life in Happy Valley,[23] Blue White Illustrated, Pennsylvania Business Central, and Voices of Central Pennsylvania.[24]

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, WAPY, 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.


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]



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]

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Centre County.[13]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 State College Borough 42,034
2 Park Forest Village CDP 9,660
3 Bellefonte Borough 6,187
4 Boalsburg CDP 3,722
5 Pleasant Gap CDP 2,879
6 Philipsburg Borough 2,770
7 Stormstown CDP 2,366
8 Lemont CDP 2,270
9 Toftrees CDP 2,053
10 Zion CDP 2,030
11 Houserville CDP 1,814
12 Pine Grove Mills CDP 1,502
13 Centre Hall Borough 1,265
14 Milesburg Borough 1,123
15 Millheim Borough 904
16 Ramblewood CDP 849
17 Snow Shoe Borough 765
18 Blanchard CDP 740
19 Howard Borough 720
20 North Philipsburg CDP 660
21 Nittany CDP 658
22 Clarence CDP 626
23 Aaronsburg CDP 613
24 Port Matilda Borough 606
25 Mingoville CDP 503
26 Rebersburg CDP 494
27 Snydertown CDP 483
28 South Philipsburg CDP 410
29 Sandy Ridge CDP 407
30 Eagleville CDP 324
31 Unionville Borough 291
32 Moshannon CDP 281
33 Spring Mills CDP 268
34 Coburn CDP 236
35 Baileyville CDP 201
36 Pine Glen CDP 190
37 Madisonburg CDP 168
38 Julian CDP 152
39 Monument CDP 150
40 Woodward CDP 110
41 Hublersburg CDP 104
42 Mount Eagle CDP 103
T-43 Jacksonville CDP 95
T-43 Orviston CDP 95

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Centre County Pennsylvania: 15 Historical Sketches of Our 200 Years". Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb
  13. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-21. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  14. ^ "Centre County Government - Welcome Page". Centre County Government. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved 2017-04-20. 
  16. ^ Voter Registration Statistics. Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved on 2014-11-04.
  17. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=2012&fips=42&f=0&off=0&elect=0
  18. ^ http://centrecountypa.gov/index.aspx?NID=802
  19. ^ http://centrecountypa.gov/index.aspx?NID=802
  20. ^ "Pennsylvania Newspapers". NewsLink. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ Town & Gown Magazine Town & Gown Magazine
  22. ^ State College Magazine, Pennsylvania Archived January 2, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. State College Magazine (2011-03-01). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Voices of Central Pennsylvania

External links[edit]

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