Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

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Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
County
Official seal of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Seal
Topographical map of Luzerne County
Topographical map of Luzerne County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Country  United States of America
State

 Pennsylvania


Region Northeastern Pennsylvania
Metro area Wyoming Valley
Formed September 25, 1786
Named for Chevalier de la Luzerne
County seat Wilkes-Barre
Largest city Wilkes-Barre
Government
 • Type Council–manager
 • Council
 • Council Chair Linda McClosky Houck (D)
 • Manager C. David Pedri
Area
 • Total 906 sq mi (2,350 km2)
 • Land 890 sq mi (2,300 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (40 km2)
Highest elevation 2,460 ft (750 m)
Lowest elevation 512 ft (156 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 320,918
 • Estimate (2015) 318,449
 • Density 350/sq mi (140/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 570/272
Website www.luzernecounty.org

Luzerne County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 890 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) is water. It is Northeastern Pennsylvania's second-largest county by total area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 320,918, making it the most populous county in the northeastern part of the state. The county seat and largest city is Wilkes-Barre.[1] Other populous communities include Hazleton, Kingston, Nanticoke, and Pittston. Luzerne County is included in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a total population of 558,166 (as of 2015).

On September 25, 1786, Luzerne County was formed from part of Northumberland County. It was named after Chevalier de la Luzerne, a French soldier and diplomat during the 18th century. When it was founded, Luzerne County occupied a large portion of Northeastern Pennsylvania. From 1810 to 1878, it was divided into several smaller counties. The counties of Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wyoming were all formed from parts of Luzerne County.[2][3]

The county gained prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries as an active anthracite coal mining region, drawing a large portion of its labor force from European immigrants. At its peak (in 1930), the county's population was 445,109. By the early 21st century, many factories and coal mines were closed. Like most counties in the Rust Belt, Luzerne witnessed population loss and urban decay.

History[edit]

A map of Pennsylvania in 1792. At the time, Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wyoming were still part of Luzerne County.
Photo taken just before the Lattimer massacre (1897)
Children working in Wilkes-Barre's coal industry (1906)
Child laborers at a Pittston coal mine (1911). The photo was taken by Lewis Hine.

The Luzerne County Historical Society maintains the storehouse for the collective memory of Luzerne County and its environs. It records and interprets the history, traditions, events, people and cultures that have directed and molded life within the region.[4]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

  • February 11, 1808: Jesse Fell created the first iron grate in the Wyoming Valley to successfully burn anthracite. This invention increased the popularity of coal as a fuel source. This led to the expansion of the coal industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Throughout the 1800s, canals and railroads were constructed to aid in the mining and transportation of coal.[5]
  • September 6, 1869: A mine fire killed 110 people in Avondale, an unincorporated community in Plymouth Township.
  • 1871: Wilkes-Barre, with a population of just over 10,000, was incorporated as a city.[6]
  • 1891: Hazleton, with a population of just over 11,000, was incorporated as a city.[7]
  • 1894: Pittston, with a population of just over 10,000, was incorporated as a city.
  • June 28, 1896: The Newton Coal Company's Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City caved-in and killed 58 miners.[8][9]
  • September 10, 1897: Sheriff James Martin formed a posse and fired on a group of unarmed miners in what is known today as the Lattimer massacre. Luzerne is infamous for being the last county whose sheriff legally formed a posse to restore order in a time of civil unrest.

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

  • May 21, 2000: A plane crash in Bear Creek Township, Pennsylvania, near the intersection of Bear Creek Boulevard (PA-Route 115) and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, killed the pilot as well as all 19 passengers.
  • December 1, 2006: A tornado left a path of destruction approximately 15 miles (24 km) long (this included parts of Mountain Top).
  • 2008: The Kids for Cash scandal resulted in federal convictions and sentences of juvenile court judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan.
  • 2011: The Borough of Duryea received national attention for its role in the landmark Supreme Court case Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri, in which the court stated that "a government employer's allegedly retaliatory actions against an employee do not give rise to liability under the Petition Clause unless the employee's petition relates to a matter of public concern."
  • September 2011: Luzerne County witnessed historical flooding from Tropical Storm Lee. The Susquehanna River reached a record high of 42.6 feet (13 meters) in Wilkes-Barre. The river topped the 40.9-foot (12.5 meters) level in flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The Greater Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, and Nanticoke areas were hit the hardest.[11][12][13]
  • January 2, 2012: A new county government was formed. The first members of the Luzerne County Council were sworn in. The first council chair was Jim Bobeck.[14] The following month, the council appointed the first county manager (Robert Lawton).[15]

Geography[edit]

West-central Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, from the Mocanaqua Loop Trail in Conyngham Township
Scenery of Dallas Township
Nuremberg from the south
Boats on Harveys Lake
Photo of two red canoes on a sandy lake shore lined with trees. There are other canoes, kayaks and boats in the background, with a blue sky above.
Canoes on the shores of Lake Jean (in Ricketts Glen State Park)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 890 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2), or 1.8%, is water.[16] The highest point in the county is Cherry Ridge in Fairmount Township. The ridge is 2,460 feet (750 m) above sea level.[17] The lowest point, of about 512 feet (156 m), can be found near Shickshinny.

Luzerne County consists of 76 independently governing municipalities (which includes 4 cities, 36 boroughs, and 36 townships). Wilkes-Barre is the largest city; it has a total area of 7.2 square miles (19 km2). Pittston, with a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), is the smallest city. Harveys Lake is the largest borough; it has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16 km2). Jeddo, with a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), is the smallest borough. Bear Creek is the largest township; it has a total area of 67.8 square miles (176 km2). Wilkes-Barre Township, with a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), is the smallest.

The Wyoming Valley – also referred to as the Anthracite Valley Section of Pennsylvania – runs directly through Luzerne County. It extends from the northeastern border (with Lackawanna County) to the western border (with Columbia County). The valley is flat (at the Susquehanna Basin) and rises from 512 feet (156 m) to 2,000 feet (610 m) in some places. Bear Creek, on the eastern side of the valley, has a mean elevation of about 2,000 feet (610 m), while Shickshinny, on the Susquehanna Basin, is about 512 feet (156 m). The county is crossed by a series of east-to-west mountains (e.g., Buck Mountain, Nescopeck Mountain, Penobscot Knob, and Red Rock Mountain). They are all part of the Appalachian Mountain Range.

The Susquehanna River is the largest river in the county. There are several islands located within the river; for example, Scovell Island (near Pittston), Monocanock Island (near Wyoming), and Richard Island (near Wilkes-Barre). The Susquehanna drains most of the county (including Bowman Creek, Huntington Creek, the Lackawanna River, Nescopeck Creek, Solomon Creek, and many other streams). The Lehigh River, which forms part of Luzerne County's southeastern border, drains the easternmost region. Dozens of lakes and ponds are also scattered throughout the county (e.g., Harveys Lake, Lake Jean, Lake Louise, and Long Pond).

Luzerne County consists of several urban areas. The first is a contiguous quilt-work of former anthracite coal mining communities (including the cities of Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, and Nanticoke). It is located in the northeastern and central part of the county (in the Wyoming Valley). The second is Hazleton and it is located in the southern portion of the county. Other smaller urban areas – such as the Back Mountain and Mountain Top – are scattered throughout the region. Thick forests and small farming communities are located just outside the urban centers.

State parks and forests[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Hayfields, Ricketts Glen
Grand View Trail, Ricketts Glen
Summit of Mount Yeager, Nescopeck State Park

Climate[edit]

A beach on Lake Jean

Luzerne County has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa/Dfb) with four distinct seasons. Winters are cold with a January average of 25.8 °F (−3.4 °C).[19] The surrounding mountains have an influence on the climate (which includes both precipitation and temperature). This results in a wide array of weather conditions throughout the county.[20] On average, temperatures below 0 °F (−17.8 °C) are infrequent, occurring 3 days per year, and there are 36 days where the maximum temperature remains below 32 °F (0.0 °C).[20] In the Wilkes-Barre area, the average annual snowfall is 46.2 inches (117 cm) during the winter (in which severe snowstorms are rare).[20] However, when snowstorms do occur, they can disrupt normal routines for several days.[20] Summers are warm with a July average of 71.4 °F (21.9 °C).[19] In an average summer, temperatures exceeding 90 °F (32.2 °C) occur on 9 days and can occasionally exceed 100 °F (37.8 °C).[21] Spring and fall are unpredictable with temperatures ranging from cold to warm (although they are usually mild). On average, Wilkes-Barre receives 38.2 inches (970 mm) of precipitation each year, which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year (though the summer months receive more precipitation).[21] Extreme temperatures range from −21 °F (−29.4 °C) on January 21, 1994, to 103 °F (39.4 °C) on July 9, 1936.[21] Wilkes-Barre averages 2,303 hours of sunshine per year, ranging from a low of 96 hours in December (or 33% of possible sunshine) to 286 hours in July (or 62% of possible sunshine).[22]


Demographics[edit]

Average household income by county in Pennsylvania. Data shown is from the 2014 American Community Survey (a 5-year estimate). Luzerne County can be seen in the northeast.
Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 4,892
1800 12,839 162.4%
1810 18,109 41.0%
1820 20,027 10.6%
1830 27,379 36.7%
1840 44,006 60.7%
1850 56,072 27.4%
1860 90,244 60.9%
1870 160,915 78.3%
1880 133,065 −17.3%
1890 201,203 51.2%
1900 257,121 27.8%
1910 343,186 33.5%
1920 390,991 13.9%
1930 445,109 13.8%
1940 441,518 −0.8%
1950 392,241 −11.2%
1960 346,972 −11.5%
1970 342,301 −1.3%
1980 343,079 0.2%
1990 328,149 −4.4%
2000 319,255 −2.7%
2010 320,918 0.5%
Est. 2016 316,383 [24] −1.4%
Sources:[25][26][27][28]

As of the 2010 census, the county was 90.7% White, 3.4% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 3.3% other race, and 1.5% were of two or more races. 6.7% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.[29]

According to the census of 2000, there were 319,250 people, 130,687 households, and 84,293 families residing in the county. The population density was 358 people per square mile (138/km2). There were 144,686 housing units at an average density of 162 per square mile (63/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.63% White, 1.69% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.43% other race, and 0.57% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino. 22.2% were of Polish ancestry, 15.6% of Italian ancestry, 13.8% of Irish ancestry, 12.1% of German ancestry, and 5.3% of Slovak ancestry according to the 2000 census. Luzerne County is the only county in the United States with a plurality of citizens reporting Polish as their primary ancestry;[30] the plurality of Pennsylvanians report German or Pennsylvania Dutch.

There were 130,687 households, out of which 48.80% were married couples living together. 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present. 35.50% were non-families. 31.30% of all households were made up of individuals. 16% of those age 65 years and older lived alone. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county, the population consisted of 21% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 24% from 45 to 64, and 19.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 93 males. For every 100 females (age 18 and over), there were 89.50 males.

The median household income (in 2015 dollars) was $45,897. 15.1% of the population lives in poverty. 60.4% of those 16 years of age or older are in the civilian labor force. There are more white collar jobs in Luzerne County than blue collar jobs. In total, there are 91,801 white collar jobs and 62,813 blue collar jobs.[31] The mean travel time to work (for those 16 years of age or older) was 22.1 minutes. In terms of education, 88.9% (of those 25 years of age or older) are high school graduates or higher. 21.4% (of those 25 years of age or older) have a bachelor's degree or higher. In terms of healthcare, 10.8% (for those under the age of 65) are living with a disability. As of 2015, 25,317 veterans are living in Luzerne County.[32]

Languages[edit]

The two major languages spoken in Luzerne County are English and Spanish. 5.8% of the population speaks Spanish at home. Most of the Spanish speaking population can be found in and around the City of Hazleton.[33]

Religion[edit]

59.27% of the people in Luzerne County are religious, meaning they affiliate with a religion. 43.77% are Catholic; 0.28% are LDS (or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); 0.51% are Baptist; 0.55% are Episcopalian; 1.05% are Pentecostal; 3.11% are Lutheran; 4.40% are Methodist; 1.95% are Presbyterian; 2.33% are of some other Christian faith; 0.78% are Jewish; 0.00% are of an eastern faith; and 0.51% practice Islam.[34]

Government[edit]

Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre
The courthouse dome amid the Wilkes-Barre skyline

Background[edit]

Luzerne County voters rejected home rule proposals in the past (once in 1974 and again in 2003). However, from 2008 to 2010, corruption plagued the county government. Three county judges, a county commissioner, a clerk of courts, a deputy chief clerk, and a director of human resources faced criminal charges. These events persuaded the voters of Luzerne County to adopt a new form of government. On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, a home rule charter was adopted by a margin of 49,343 to 40,394.[35]

The following year (in 2011), the first election for the new government was held. On Monday, January 2, 2012, the previous government (the board of county commissioners) was abolished and replaced with the new form of government (council–manager government). The first members of the Luzerne County Council were sworn in that same day. The first council chairperson was Jim Bobeck.[14] The assembly consists of eleven elected members. They appoint and work alongside a full-time manager. The manager runs an executive branch of county government. The first manager was Robert Lawton.[15]

County Council[edit]

The Luzerne County Council is the governing body of the county. The council meets at the Luzerne County Courthouse. There are eleven members on the assembly. The Democrats control a majority of seats (with seven members). The council also consists of three Republicans and one Independent. The chairperson is the highest-ranking officer on the council. When the group is not in session, the officer's duties often include acting as its head, its representative to the outside world, and its spokesperson. The chairperson is appointed by his or her fellow council members. He or she sets the agenda for the council and administers the meetings. The current chairperson is Linda McClosky Houck.[36] The following members have been duly elected to the county council by the voters of Luzerne County:[37]

Council member Time in office Party Notes
Linda McClosky Houck 2012–present Democratic Chairperson
Tim McGinley 2012–present Democratic Vice Chairperson
Edd Brominski 2012–present Democratic
Kathy Dobash 2014–present Republican
Harry Haas 2012–present Republican
Eugene Kelleher 2012–present Republican
Robert Schnee 2016–present Democratic
Eileen Sorokas 2014–present Democratic
Stephen A. Urban 2012–present Democratic
Jane Walsh Waitkus 2016–present Democratic
Rick Williams 2012–present Independent

The following is a list of former and current chairpersons:

List of chairpersons Time in office Party Notes
1 Jim Bobeck 2012 Democratic
2 Tim McGinley 2012–2014 Democratic
3 Rick Morelli 2014–2015 Republican
4 Linda McClosky Houck 2015–present Democratic First female chair

County Manager[edit]

The executive branch is headed by the Luzerne County Manager. He or she is appointed by the Luzerne County Council. The manager directs the county's organizational, operational, management, budget, and administrative operations and activities. The current manager is David Pedri.[38][39]

Other county officials[edit]

  • Controller: Michelle Bednar
  • Director of Human Resources: Angela Gavlick
  • District Attorney: Stefanie J. Salavantis
  • Chief Public Defender: Steven M. Greenwald
  • Sheriff: Brian M. Szumski
Luzerne County Courthouse
Luzerne County Courthouse (October 2009)
The Wilkes-Barre skyline with the courthouse in the background

Politics[edit]

Presidential Election Results[40]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 57.9% 78,688 38.6% 52,451 3.5% 4,762
2012 46.7% 58,325 51.5% 64,307 1.8% 2,213
2008 45.0% 61,127 53.3% 72,492 1.7% 2,349
2004 47.8% 64,953 51.2% 69,573 1.1% 1,502
2000 43.8% 52,328 52.0% 62,199 4.2% 5,059
1996 37.3% 43,577 51.5% 60,174 11.2% 13,066
1992 38.8% 49,285 44.5% 56,623 16.7% 21,238
1988 50.0% 59,059 49.6% 58,553 0.4% 480
1984 53.5% 69,169 45.2% 58,482 1.3% 1,640
1980 50.2% 67,822 44.4% 59,976 5.4% 7,282
1976 44.2% 60,058 54.9% 74,655 1.0% 1,296
1972 60.9% 81,358 38.3% 51,128 0.8% 1,120
1968 39.8% 57,044 55.1% 79,040 5.1% 7,296
1964 28.9% 43,895 70.0% 106,397 1.2% 1,779
1960 40.6% 70,711 59.1% 102,998 0.3% 562
1956 58.2% 92,458 41.0% 65,155 0.8% 1,207
1952 54.8% 88,967 44.7% 72,579 0.4% 715
1948 52.9% 71,674 45.6% 61,869 1.5% 2,068
1944 47.8% 67,984 51.8% 73,674 0.4% 541
1940 43.8% 79,685 55.9% 101,577 0.3% 622
1936 43.3% 81,572 55.7% 105,008 1.1% 1,997
1932 45.4% 52,672 52.6% 60,975 2.0% 2,281
1928 48.0% 67,872 51.9% 73,319 0.2% 220
1924 53.2% 46,475 23.4% 20,472 23.4% 20,449
1920 65.4% 49,419 31.1% 23,473 3.6% 2,683
1916 53.7% 25,348 42.4% 19,999 3.9% 1,832
1912 12.0% 4,970 32.6% 13,461 55.4% 22,907
1908 56.2% 24,594 39.7% 17,379 4.0% 1,760
1904 64.8% 27,809 31.5% 13,518 3.7% 1,568
1900 54.9% 21,793 41.5% 16,470 3.7% 1,454
1896 55.1% 22,718 42.0% 17,305 3.0% 1,225
1892 45.2% 14,118 50.4% 15,734 4.4% 1,377
1888 49.3% 15,543 48.2% 15,218 2.5% 797

As of November 2008, there are 187,849 registered voters in Luzerne County.[41]

During presidential elections, the county is considered a bellwether of the state. It voted for the presidential candidate who carried Pennsylvania in every election since 1936. While the Democratic Party has been historically dominant in county-level politics, on the statewide and national levels, Luzerne County leans toward the Democratic Party only slightly. During the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Democrat Al Gore won 52% of the vote to Republican George W. Bush's 44%. In 2004, it was much closer, with Democrat John Kerry winning 51% to Republican George Bush's 48%. Democrat Barack Obama carried the county twice (once in 2008, and again in 2012). During the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump won the county with 58% of the vote, the largest margin since President Richard Nixon in 1972. It was the first time a Republican presidential candidate carried the county since 1988.

In recent years, Luzerne County has witnessed mixed results in U.S. senate elections. In 2000, 2004, and 2016, the Republican candidates for U.S. senate won the county. However, Democratic candidates for U.S. senate carried the county in 2006 (with 60.6% of the vote), 2010, and 2012.

Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor won Luzerne County in 2002, 2006 (with 67.5% of the vote), and 2014. In recent years, the county voted for a Republican gubernatorial candidate only once (in 2010).

United States Senate[edit]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

State Senate[edit]

State House of Representatives[edit]

Public safety[edit]

A volunteer fire department in Mocanaqua

There are many fire and police departments scattered throughout Luzerne County.[42] Each individual community (city, borough, and township) determines the boundaries of each department. The firefighters provide fire protection for its citizens. Most fire departments are headed by a fire chief and are staffed by a combination of career and volunteer firefighters.

The police provide full-time protection to its citizens, visitors, businesses, and public property. Most departments are headed by a chief of police and operate out of their local municipal building. The Luzerne County Sheriff's Office operates out of Wilkes-Barre's Luzerne County Courthouse. The sheriff is an official who is responsible for keeping the peace and enforcing the law throughout the county.[43] After Luzerne County adopted a home rule charter, the office of sheriff became an appointed position (and was no longer an elected one). The Pennsylvania State Police also have a presence in the county. Troop P operates out of the northern half of Luzerne County and is headquartered in Wyoming. Troop N operates out of the southern portion of the county and is headquartered in Hazleton.

Healthcare[edit]

Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre (during the early 20th century)

Hospitals[edit]

  • First Hospital in Kingston, an affiliate of Commonwealth Health
  • Geisinger South Wilkes Barre Hospital (GSWB), formerly Mercy Hospital
  • Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV) in Plains Township
  • Hazleton General Hospital (Lehigh Valley Hospital)
  • Nanticoke Special Care Hospital, an affiliate of Commonwealth Health
  • VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre
  • Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, an affiliate of Commonwealth Health

Education[edit]

Map of Luzerne County School Districts
Carpenter Hall, Wyoming Seminary
Administration Building, King's College
Hazleton Area Public Library

Public school districts[edit]

Charter schools[edit]

Public vocational technical schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

Libraries[edit]

The Luzerne County Library System includes the following locations:

  • Back Mountain Memorial Library, Back Mountain
  • Hazleton Area Public Library, Hazleton
  • Hoyt Library, Kingston
  • Marian Sutherland Kirby Library, Mountaintop
  • Mill Memorial Library, Nanticoke
  • Osterhout Free Library, Wilkes-Barre
  • Pittston Memorial Library, Pittston
  • Plymouth Public Library, Plymouth
  • West Pittston Library, West Pittston
  • Wyoming Free Library, Wyoming

Culture[edit]

Wilkes-Barre's Public Square

Local attractions[edit]

Media[edit]

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is the 55th-largest U.S. television market.[50] Local television stations[51] include: WNEP-TV (ABC affiliate), WBRE-TV (NBC affiliate), WYOU-TV (CBS affiliate), WVIA-TV (PBS affiliate), WOLF-TV (FOX affiliate), WQMY (MyNetworkTV affiliate), WSWB (CW affiliate), WQPX (Ion Television affiliate), and WYLN-LP (Youtoo TV affiliate).

The Times Leader and The Citizens' Voice are the two largest daily newspapers in the Wilkes-Barre area. Wilkes-Barre's radio market is ranked No. 69 by Arbitron's ranking system. There are news, adult alternative, and music radio stations which are receivable in the area.

Sports[edit]

Team name League Sport Venue
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL Ice Hockey Mohegan Sun Arena
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders IL Baseball PNC Field

Transportation[edit]

A train travels underneath the Firefighters' Memorial Bridge in Pittston

Highways[edit]

Railroads[edit]

Airports[edit]

Interstate 80, Luzerne County
Fort Jenkins Bridge (U.S. Route 11), Luzerne County
PA 309 as the North Cross Valley Expressway, Luzerne County

Communities[edit]

Wilkes-Barre, the county seat and largest city of Luzerne County
Hazleton, the second largest city in Luzerne County
Nanticoke, the third largest city
Pittston, the fourth largest city
Map of Luzerne County (with municipal labels) showing cities/boroughs (red), townships (white), and census-designated places/regions (blue).

Luzerne County contains the second highest number of independently governing municipalities in the state of Pennsylvania, with 76; only Allegheny County has more.[52] Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in the case of Bloomsburg, towns. The following cities, boroughs, and townships are located in Luzerne County:

Cities[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 places[edit]

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Luzerne County.[53]

county seat

Rank City/Borough/Township Municipal type Population (2010 census)
1 Wilkes-Barre City 41,498
2 Hazleton City 25,340
3 Kingston Borough 13,182
4 Hanover Township Township 11,076
5 Nanticoke City 10,465
6 Plains Township Township 9,961
7 Hazle Township Township 9,549
8 Butler Township Township 9,221
9 Dallas Township Township 8,994
10 Pittston City 7,739
11 Kingston Township Township 6,999
12 Plymouth Borough 5,951
13 Exeter Borough 5,652
14 Wright Township Township 5,651
15 Newport Township Township 5,374
16 Swoyersville Borough 5,062
17 Duryea Borough 4,917
18 West Pittston Borough 4,868
19 Edwardsville Borough 4,816
20 Jackson Township Township 4,646
21 West Hazleton Borough 4,594
22 Fairview Township Township 4,520
23 Larksville Borough 4,480
24 Jenkins Township Township 4,442
25 Salem Township Township 4,254
26 Forty Fort Borough 4,214
27 Sugarloaf Township Township 4,211
28 Freeland Borough 3,531
29 Lehman Township Township 3,508
30 Foster Township Township 3,467
31 Pittston Township Township 3,368
32 Rice Township Township 3,335
33 Wyoming Borough 3,073
34 Wilkes-Barre Township Township 2,967
35 Ross Township Township 2,937
36 Luzerne Borough 2,845
37 Dallas Borough 2,804
38 Harveys Lake Borough 2,791
39 Ashley Borough 2,790
40 Bear Creek Township Township 2,774
41 West Wyoming Borough 2,725
42 Dupont Borough 2,711
43 Avoca Borough 2,661
44 Hunlock Township Township 2,443
45 Exeter Township Township 2,378
46 Huntington Township Township 2,244
47 Dorrance Township Township 2,188
48 Lake Township Township 2,049
49 Union Township Township 2,042
50 Black Creek Township Township 2,016
51 Conyngham Borough 1,914
52 Plymouth Township Township 1,812
53 Franklin Township Township 1,757
54 Nescopeck Borough 1,583
55 Laflin Borough 1,487
56 Conyngham Township Township 1,453
57 Hughestown Borough 1,392
58 Fairmount Township Township 1,276
59 Hollenback Township Township 1,196
60 Nescopeck Township Township 1,155
61 Dennison Township Township 1,125
62 Slocum Township Township 1,115
63 White Haven Borough 1,097
64 Sugar Notch Borough 989
65 Pringle Borough 979
66 Shickshinny Borough 838
67 Courtdale Borough 732
68 Nuangola Borough 679
69 Yatesville Borough 607
70 Warrior Run Borough 584
71 Laurel Run Borough 500
72 Buck Township Township 435
73 Penn Lake Park Borough 308
74 Bear Creek Village Borough 257
75 New Columbus Borough 227
76 Jeddo Borough 98

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. ^ Official records for Avoca/Wilkes-Barre–Scranton kept at downtown Scranton from January 1901 to 17 April 1955 and at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport since 18 April 1955.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b Tice, Joyce M. "History of Bradford County PA, 1770–1878 by David Craft – Chapter 9". www.joycetice.com. 
  3. ^ a b "Wyoming County Historical Society". pawchs.org. 
  4. ^ "Home". archive.org. February 5, 2007. Archived from the original on February 5, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Luzerne County : History of Luzerne County". www.luzernecounty.org. 
  6. ^ "History of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania". u-s-history.com. 
  7. ^ Administrator. "History – Life – Life". www.hazletoncity.org. 
  8. ^ "Twin Shaft Disaster Marker". Hmdb.org. August 19, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  9. ^ "GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods – Events That Touched Our Ancestors' Lives". www.gendisasters.com. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. 
  10. ^ "history". www.nanticokecity.com. 
  11. ^ Mandatory Evacuation of Wyoming Valley by 4 p.m., Times-Leader, September 8, 2011
  12. ^ Eckert, Paul (September 9, 2011). "UPDATE 3-Pennsylvania hit by huge flooding, towns submerged". Reuters. 
  13. ^ Luzerne officials issue mandatory evacuation in footprint of Agnes flood, Times Tribune, September 8, 2011
  14. ^ a b "Luzerne County Council members sworn in – The Times Leader reports". YouTube. 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  15. ^ a b "Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton Resigns". pahomepage.com. November 26, 2015. 
  16. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Pennsylvania County High Points". Peakbagger.com. 2004-11-01. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  18. ^ Susquehanna Warrior Trail, PA – Google Maps. Maps.google.com (1970-01-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  19. ^ a b c "Station Name: PA WILKES-BARRE INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  20. ^ a b c d "Local Climatological Data–Annual Summary with Comparative Data: Wilkes–Barre/Scranton" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  22. ^ a b "NOAA". NOAA. 
  23. ^ ThreadEx
  24. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  25. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  27. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  29. ^ Census data, USA Today
  30. ^ US Census Bureau. "2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates." American FactFinder <http://factfinder2.census.gov>.
  31. ^ "Luzerne County Demographics & Statistics â€" Employment, Education, Income Averages, Crime in Luzerne County â€" Point2 Homes". Point2homes.com. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  32. ^ "Luzerne County Pennsylvania QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Census.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  33. ^ "Languages in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (County)". Statistical Atlas. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  34. ^ "Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Religion". Bestplaces.net. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  35. ^ Voters say 'yes' to home rule – News. Standard Speaker (2010-11-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  36. ^ By Michael P. Buffer (Staff Writer) (2012-07-31). "Luzerne County Council divided over next chairperson – News". Standard Speaker. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  37. ^ "Council". Luzerne County. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  38. ^ "County Manager Open Position". Luzerne County. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  39. ^ "County Manager". Luzerne County. 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  40. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
  41. ^ "Home". www.dos.state.pa.us. 
  42. ^ "Luzerne County : Police and Fire Departments". www.luzernecounty.org. 
  43. ^ "Definition of SHERIFF". www.merriam-webster.com. 
  44. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Licensed, Private Academic Schools in Pennsylvania". 
  45. ^ "Wilkes Division of Performing Arts". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  46. ^ "The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts". Kirbycenter.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  47. ^ "The Frederick Stegmaier Mansion". Stegmaiermansion.com. 2011-05-26. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre". Ltwb.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  49. ^ Luzerne County Historical Society. "Welcome to the Luzerne County Historical Society website | NEPA Luzerne County Pennsylvania history". Luzernehistory.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Nielsen Local Television Market Universe Estimates" (PDF). Nielsen. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  51. ^ "Wilkes Barre – Scranton Television Stations". Station Index. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  52. ^ "Pennsylvania Municipalities Information". Pamunicipalitiesinfo.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  53. ^ "2010 Census". Census.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°11′N 75°59′W / 41.18°N 75.99°W / 41.18; -75.99