Northampton County, Pennsylvania
|Northampton County, Pennsylvania|
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 11, 1752|
|• Total||377 sq mi (976 km2)|
|• Land||370 sq mi (958 km2)|
|• Water||7.7 sq mi (20 km2), 2.0%|
|• Density||813/sq mi (314/km2)|
|Congressional districts||15th, 17th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC−5/−4|
Northampton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 297,735. Its county seat is Easton. The county was formed in 1752 from parts of Bucks County. Its namesake was Northamptonshire and the county seat of Easton is named for the country house Easton Neston.
Northampton County is included in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area. Its northern edge borders The Poconos, and its eastern section borders the Delaware River, which divides Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The county is industrially-oriented, producing anthracite coal, cement, and other industrial products. Bethlehem Steel, once one of the world's largest manufacturers of steel, was located there prior to its closing in 2003.
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.
National protected areas
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 267,066 people, 101,541 households, and 71,078 families residing in the county. The population density was 714 people per square mile (276/km²). There were 106,710 housing units at an average density of 286 per square mile (110/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.23% White, 2.77% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.37% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.06% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 6.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.0% were of German, 14.0% Italian, 8.8% Irish, 5.1% English and 5.1% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 89.3% spoke English and 5.5% Spanish as their first language.
There were 101,541 households out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.40% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 15.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.
Northampton is one of the six counties in Pennsylvania which has adopted a home rule charter. Instead of being run by a Board of Commissioners and several Row Officers, voters elect an Executive, a nine-person Council, a Controller, and a District Attorney. The Executive, Controller and District Attorney are elected by all voters in the County, as are five members of the Council. The other four Councilmen are elected by districts. The Row Officers are nominated by the county executive and approved by county council.
- County Executive:
- Lamont McClure, Democrat
- County Council:
- Ronald R. Heckman - Vice President, Democrat
- Lori Vargo Heffner, Democrat
- Margaret (Peg) Ferraro, Republican
- William B. McGee, Democrat
- Ken Kraft - President, Democrat
- Tara Zrinski, Democrat
- John Cusick, Republican
- Robert F. Werner, Democrat
- Clerk of Courts:
- Leigh Ann Fisher, Democrat
- County Controller:
- Richard Szulborski, Democrat
- District Attorney:
- John Morganelli, Democrat
- Holly Ruggiero, Democrat
- Register of Wills:
- Dorothy Cole, Democrat
- Richard Johnson
In recent decades, Northampton has been identified as one of Pennsylvania's "swing counties," with statewide winners carrying it in most cases; since 1952, it has gone to the statewide winner in the presidential election. All five statewide winners carried it in November 2004 and all four statewide Democratic candidates carried it in November 2008, with District Attorney John Morganelli doing well there despite losing statewide to incumbent Attorney General Tom Corbett. The Democratic Party has been dominant most of the time in county-level politics in recent decades. In 2016, Donald Trump ended that streak when he became the first Republican presidential candidate to win Northampton County since 1988.
|Name||Party||Term start||Term end|
|Glenn F. Reibman||Democratic||1998||2006|
County Council members
- Ken Kraft, President, Democrat, district 1
- Ronald R. Heckman, Vice President, Democrat, at large
- Lori Vargo Heffner, Democrat, at large
- Hayden Phillips, Republican, at large
- William B. McGee, Democrat, at large
- John Cusick, Republican, district 3
- Tara Zrinski, Democrat, at large
- Matthew Dietz, Democrat, district 4
- Robert Werner, Democrat, district 2
United States House of Representatives
United States Senate
Colleges and universities
Public school districts
- Bangor Area School District
- Bethlehem Area School District
- Catasauqua Area School District
- Easton Area School District
- Nazareth Area School District
- Northampton Area School District
- Pen Argyl Area School District
- Saucon Valley School District
- Wilson Area School District
Public charter schools
The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts, Bethlehem
Private high schools
Public bus service in Northampton County is available through the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, known as LANTA. A shuttle bus service, The Bethlehem Loop, also operates in Bethlehem.
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. 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 2 Pennsylvania state parks in Northampton County.
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and two towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Northampton County:
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.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Northampton County.
† 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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- "NANP-Overlay of 610 (Pennsylvania) Numbering Plan Area (NPA) with 484 NPA" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-11-26. (359 KB)
- "PA 835 Implementation for 484/610 NPA Rescinded – 835 NPA Code Reclaimed" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-11-26. (20.8 KB)
- CNMP, US Census Bureau,. "This site has been redesigned and relocated. - U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 1 May 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
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Northampton County, PA.|
- Northampton County news at Lehigh Valley Live
- Northampton County Official Web Site
- "Living in the Greater Lehigh Valley," The Allentown Morning Call
- "Famous People from the Lehigh Valley," The Baltimore Sun