Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

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Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Carlisle, Pennsylvania (5656229890).jpg
Cumberland County Courthouse
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cumberland County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded January 27, 1750
Seat Carlisle
Largest borough Carlisle
 • Total 550 sq mi (1,424 km2)
 • Land 545 sq mi (1,412 km2)
 • Water 4.8 sq mi (12 km2), 0.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 246,338
 • Density 452/sq mi (175/km²)
Congressional districts 4th, 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Designated May 17, 1982[1]

Cumberland County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 235,406.[2] Its county seat is Carlisle.[3]

Cumberland County is included in the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Plaque at Middle Spring Presbyterian Church

Cumberland County was first settled by a majority of Scots-Irish immigrants who arrived in this area about 1730. English and German settlers constituted about ten percent of the early population. The settlers originally mostly devoted the area to farming and later developed other trades.[4] These settlers built the Middle Spring Presbyterian Church, among the oldest houses of worship in central Pennsylvania, in 1738 near present-day Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

The General Assembly (legislature) of the Pennsylvania colony on January 27, 1750, created Cumberland County from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, naming it for Cumberland, England. Its county seat is Carlisle.[3] The county also lies within the Cumberland Valley adjoining the Susquehanna River at its eastern border, stretching approximately 42 miles from the borough of Shippensburg on the west to the Susquehanna River in east Cumberland County.

"Old Main" at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

The oldest towns in the county are Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, each with its unique history. Shippensburg is home to Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, one of 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Carlisle is also home to Dickinson College, established in 1773, and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

U.S. Army War College

The United States Army War College is a United States Army school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500 acre (2 km²) campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks, a military post dating back to the 1770s. It caters to high-level military personnel and civilians and prepares them for strategic leadership responsibilities. It is the U. S. Army's most senior military educational institution.

During the Gettysburg campaign of the American Civil War in the summer of 1863, Confederate troops marched through the Cumberland Valley, briefly occupying much of Cumberland County.

In the 20th century, the suburbs of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the state capital, expanded extensively into eastern Cumberland County. Carlisle also developed suburbs in adjoining townships.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 550 square miles (1,400 km2), of which 545 square miles (1,410 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (0.9%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

State protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 18,208
1800 25,386 39.4%
1810 26,757 5.4%
1820 23,606 −11.8%
1830 29,226 23.8%
1840 30,953 5.9%
1850 34,327 10.9%
1860 40,098 16.8%
1870 43,912 9.5%
1880 45,977 4.7%
1890 47,271 2.8%
1900 50,344 6.5%
1910 54,479 8.2%
1920 58,578 7.5%
1930 68,236 16.5%
1940 74,806 9.6%
1950 94,457 26.3%
1960 124,816 32.1%
1970 158,177 26.7%
1980 178,541 12.9%
1990 195,257 9.4%
2000 213,670 9.4%
2010 235,406 10.2%
Est. 2015 246,338 [6] 4.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 213,674 people, 83,015 households, and 56,118 families residing in the county. The population density was 388 people per square mile (150/km²). There were 86,951 housing units at an average density of 158 per square mile (61/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.40% White, 2.36% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.67% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 1.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 35.3% were of German, 10.6% American, 10.1% Irish, 7.5% English and 6.8% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.7% spoke English and 1.4% Spanish as their first language.

There were 83,015 households out of which 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.50% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 26.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.00% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 24.10% 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 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

Its per capita income is $31,627, making it the wealthiest Pennsylvania county outside greater Philadelphia, and fifth wealthiest overall.

Metropolitan Statistical Area[edit]

The United States Office of Management and Budget[12] has designated Cumberland County as the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census[13] the metropolitan area ranked 6th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 96th most populous in the United States with a population of 549,475. Cumberland County is also a part of the larger Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Cumberland County as well as Adams, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry and York Counties in Pennsylvania. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 5th in the State of Pennsylvania and 43rd most populous in the United States with a population of 1,219,422.

Government and politics[edit]

As of November 2008, there are 152,408 registered voters in Cumberland County.[14]

The Republican Party has been dominant in Cumberland County politics since before the American Civil War, with the victories of Robert P. Casey for Governor in 1990 and Bob Casey Jr. for state treasurer in 2004 being among the few times where a statewide Democrat carried the county. The county commissioner majority, all row offices, and all legislative seats serving Cumberland are held by Republicans.

County commissioners[edit]

  • Barbara Cross, Chairman, Republican
  • Jim Hertzler, Vice-chairman, Democrat
  • Gary Eichelberger, Secretary, Republican

Other county offices[edit]

  • Clerk of Courts, Dennis Lebo, Republican
  • Controller, Alfred Whitcomb, Republican
  • Coroner Charles Hall, Republican
  • District Attorney, David Freed, Republican
  • Prothonotary, David D. Buell, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds, Tammy L. Shearer, Republican
  • Register of Wills, Lisa M. Grayson, Esq., Republican
  • Sheriff, R. Ron Anderson, Republican
  • Treasurer, John Gross, Republican

State Representatives[edit]

State Senator[edit]

US Representatives[edit]


Colleges and universities[edit]

Community, junior and technical colleges[edit]

Public school districts[edit]

Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public charter schools[edit]

Technical school[edit]

Head Start preschool programs[edit]

Head Start is a federally and state funded preschool program for low income children. The programs serve 3 and 4 year olds. In order to participate the family income must be below federal poverty guidelines.[17]

  • Capital Area Head Start
  • Shippensburg Head Start Program

PreK Counts schools[edit]

PreK Counts is a state funded preschool program for low income and middle class children aged 3–4 years old. Low income children attend for free. Middle class children receive a partial taxpayer funded subsidy, on a sliding scale which maxes out at $66,000. In accepting these grant dollars, the provider agrees to abide by state mandates. PreK Counts is run by the Pennsylvania Office of Early Learning and Child Development.

  • Mechanicsburg Area School District
  • Carlisle Early Education Center
  • Knowledge Learning Corporation

Private schools[edit]

As reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics[18]

Public libraries[edit]


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

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




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 Cumberland County.[19]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Carlisle Borough 18,682
2 Mechanicsburg Borough 8,981
3 Camp Hill Borough 7,888
4 New Cumberland Borough 7,277
5 Lower Allen CDP 6,694
6 Enola CDP 6,111
7 Shippensburg (partially in Franklin County) Borough 5,492
8 Schlusser CDP 5,265
9 Lemoyne Borough 4,553
10 Boiling Springs CDP 3,225
11 Wormleysburg Borough 3,070
12 Shippensburg University CDP 2,625
13 Messiah College CDP 2,215
14 Mount Holly Springs Borough 2,030
15 Shiremanstown Borough 1,569
16 Newville Borough 1,326
17 West Fairview CDP 1,282
18 New Kingstown CDP 495
19 Plainfield CDP 399
20 Newburg Borough 336

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. ^ a b "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania; University of North Carolina Press, 1944, p. 60.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 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. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-21. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  14. ^ Running for Office. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  15. ^ Palleschi, Amanda. Enrollment in cyber charter schools booming in Pennsylvania despite friction with school districts, The Patriot News, November 30, 2009
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education - Operating Charter Schools in Pennsylvania Report. September 2009.
  17. ^ 2009-Cumberland County Report Card Early Childhood Education. United Way of Carlisle and Cumberland County. June 2009
  18. ^ ies, National Center for Education Statistics, US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Private School Universe Survey 2008
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-21. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°10′N 77°16′W / 40.17°N 77.27°W / 40.17; -77.27