|Founded||March 11, 1752|
|• Total||377 sq mi (980 km2)|
|• Land||370 sq mi (1,000 km2)|
|• Water||7.7 sq mi (20 km2) 2.0%|
|• Density||830/sq mi (320/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Northampton County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 312,951. Its county seat is Easton. The county was formed in 1752 from parts of Bucks County. Its namesake was the county of Northamptonshire in England, and the county seat of Easton was named for Easton Neston, a country house in Northamptonshire.
Northampton County and Lehigh County to its west combine to form the eastern Pennsylvania region known as the Lehigh Valley; Lehigh County, with a population of 374,557 as of the 2020 U.S. census, is the more highly populated of the two counties. Both counties are part of the Philadelphia media market, the fourth-largest in the nation.
Northampton County has historically been a national leader in heavy manufacturing, especially of cement, steel, and other industrial products. Atlas Portland Cement Company, the world's largest cement manufacturer from 1895 until 1982, was based in Northampton in the county. Bethlehem Steel, the world's second-largest manufacturer of steel for most of the 20th century, was based in Bethlehem, the county's most populous city, prior to its dissolution in 2003.
Northampton County borders Carbon County and the Poconos to its north, Lehigh County to its west, Bucks County to its south, and the Delaware River and New Jersey to its east. The Lehigh River, a 109-mile-long (175 km) tributary of the Delaware River, flows through the county.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 377 square miles (980 km2), of which 370 square miles (960 km2) is land and 7.7 square miles (20 km2) (2.0%) is water. The climate is humid continental (mostly Dfa with a little Dfb in higher northern areas) and the hardiness zones are 6b and 6a. Average monthly temperatures in downtown Bethlehem average from 29.1 °F in January to 74.1 °F in July, while in Wind Gap they average from 27.0 °F in January to 71.7 °F in July.
- Monroe County (north)
- Warren County, New Jersey (east)
- Bucks County (south)
- Lehigh County (west)
- Carbon County (northwest)
National protected areas
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2020 census, the county's population was 312,951, reflecting growth of 5.1% over 2010. As of the 2010 census, the county was 81.0% White Non-Hispanic, 5.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.4% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.2% were two or more races, and 3.8% were some other race. 10.5% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
|Black or African American (NH)||17,429||5.6%|
|Native American (NH)||251||0.08%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||75||0.02%|
|Hispanic or Latino||44,597||14.25%|
Northampton is one of the seven counties in Pennsylvania which has adopted a home rule charter. Voters elect a county executive, a nine-person county council, a county controller, and a county district attorney. The executive, controller, district attorney, and five of the nine council members are elected at large by all voters in the county. The other four members of the county council are elected from single-member districts, which they represent. This weighted structure of county government favors the majority of voters. The county's row officers are nominated by the county executive and approved by county council.
As of November 7, 2022 there were 225,050 registered voters in Northampton County
- Democratic: 99,453 (44.19%)
- Republican: 81,711 (36.31%)
- No affiliation: 32,461 (14.42%)
- Other parties: 11,425 (5.08%)
Northampton County is considered one of Pennsylvania's "swing counties," with statewide winners carrying it in most cases.
Voting machine problems
In November 2019, municipal elections were in Pennsylvania in November 2019, and the county's result tabulations were plagued with problems caused by newly purchased voting machines, known as ExpressVoteXL, which were manufactured and sold to the county by Election Systems & Software (ES&S), an Omaha, Nebraska-based company, as representing a luxury one-stop voting system. According to The New York Times and other publications, few minutes after polls closed in the county in 2019, panic began to spread through the county's election offices as it became evident that vote totals in one judge's race showed one candidate, Abe Kassis, a Democrat, had received just 164 votes out of 55,000 ballots across more than the 100 precincts in the county; Some precinct machines reported zero votes for him.
The ES&S voting system, which is used in other Pennsylvania jurisdictions, features a touch screen with a paper ballot backup. County officials ultimately calculated results by counting paper ballots, which showed Kassis actually won the election by 1,054 votes, according to unofficial results that were announced on November 6. The election results were later certified following a canvass and audit, and no challenges to the results were filed.
On November 7, 2023, ExpressVoteXL machines again malfunctioned in calculating votes for Superior Court of Pennsylvania judges with the machines switching "yes" and "no" votes on the summary display of votes on whether the judges should be retained. The county's director of administration, Charles Dertinger, attributed the problem to the summary display and not the actual ballots.
|Name||Party||Term start||Term end|
|Glenn F. Reibman||Democratic||1998||2006|
- Milou Mackenzie, Republican, 131st district
- Steve Samuelson, Democrat, 135th district
- Robert L. Freeman, Democrat, 136th district
- Joe Emrick, Republican, 137th district
- Ann Flood, Republican, 138th district
- Zach Mako, Republican, 183rd district
United States House of Representatives
- Susan Wild, Democrat, 7th district
United States Senate
Colleges and universities
- Lafayette College, Easton
- Lehigh University, Bethlehem
- Moravian University, Bethlehem
- Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem Township
- Respect Graduate School, Bethlehem
Public school districts
- Wilson Area High School, Easton
Public charter schools
Private high schools
- Bethlehem Catholic High School, Bethlehem
- Moravian Academy, Bethlehem
- Notre Dame High School, Easton
Air transport to and from Northampton County is available through Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, which is locatedapproximately 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Bethlehem and 11 miles (18 km) west-southwest of Easton.
Public bus service in Northampton County is available through LANta. A shuttle bus service called the Bethlehem Loop provides public transportation services in Bethlehem. NJ Transit provides service from Easton's Centre Square to the Phillipsburg area.
Northampton County was once served only by the 215 area code from 1947 (when the North American Numbering Plan of the Bell System went into effect) until 1994. With the county's growing population, however, Northampton County was afforded area code 610 in 1994. Today, Northampton County is covered by 610 except for the Portland exchange which uses 570. An overlay area code, 484, was added to the 610 service area in 1999. A plan to introduce area code 835 as an additional overlay was rescinded in 2001.
There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Northampton County:
- Delaware Canal State Park follows the course of the old Delaware Canal along the Delaware River from Easton in Northampton County to Bristol in Bucks County.
- Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Other unincorporated places
† county seat
|Rank||City/borough/township/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|1||Bethlehem (partially in Lehigh County)||City||74,982|
|7||Lower Saucon Township||Township||10,772|
|14||Upper Mount Bethel Township||Township||6,706|
|15||Upper Nazareth Township||Township||6,231|
|20||Lower Nazareth Township||Township||5,674|
|23||East Allen Township||Township||4,930|
|28||Lower Mount Bethel Township||Township||3,101|
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- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
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- "PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University".
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- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Northampton County, Pennsylvania".
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018.
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- "A Pennsylvania County’s Election Day Nightmare Underscores Voting Machine Concerns," The New York Times, November 30, 2019.
- "Pennsylvania says election went well but Republicans disagree; both following Northampton County problems," The Morning Call, November 6, 2019
- "Pennsylvania county promises accurate tally after clerical error appears to flip votes for judges" The Associated Press, November 7, 2023
- Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Archived from the original on April 22, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "NANP-Overlay of 610 (Pennsylvania) Numbering Plan Area (NPA) with 484 NPA" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 26, 2010. (359 KB)
- "PA 835 Implementation for 484/610 NPA Rescinded – 835 NPA Code Reclaimed" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on November 26, 2010. (20.8 KB)
- CNMP, US Census Bureau. "This site has been redesigned and relocated. - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Frances S. Fox, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Ordeal of the American Revolution in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000
- William J. Heller, History of Northampton County (Pennsylvania) and the Grand Valley of the Lehigh. In Three Volumes. New York: American Historical Society, 1920 Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3
- Official website
- Northampton County news at Lehigh Valley Live
- "Famous People from the Lehigh Valley," The Morning Call, August 18, 2006