Adams County, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Adams County, Pennsylvania
Seal of Adams County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Adams County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the USA highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded January 22, 1800
Seat Gettysburg
Largest borough Gettysburg
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

522 sq mi (1,352 km²)
519 sq mi (1,344 km²)
3.1 sq mi (8 km²), 0.6%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

102,295
197/sq mi (76/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.adamscounty.us
Named for: John Adams
Pennsylvania Historical Marker
Type: City
Designated: November 06, 1982

Adams County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 101,407. Its county seat is Gettysburg. The county was created on January 22, 1800, from part of York County and named in honor of the second President of the United States, John Adams. On 1–3 July 1863, Gettysburg and its vicinity was the site of the pivotal battle of the American Civil War, and as a result is a center for Civil War tourism.

Adams County comprises the Gettysburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area.

Geography

Gettysburg ELPMemorial
Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Gettysburg Battlefield

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 522 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 519 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) (0.6%) is water. The Borough of Gettysburg is located at the center of Adams County. This county seat community is surrounded on three sides by the Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP). The Eisenhower National Historic Site adjoins GNMP on its southwest edge. Most of Adams County's rural landscapes and its mid-19th century roadway pattern remain intact today. Thirteen historic roadways converge at or near Gettysburg Borough. Two circular rings of towns surround Gettysburg; the first ring is typically found at a distance of about 7 miles (11 km) from Gettysburg. The second ring is found at a distance of 12 to 15 miles (24 km) from the County Seat. This "spokes and wheel" pattern represents one of the few examples of Central Place Theory in the Eastern United States.

The county is in the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay and is drained by the Susquehanna River and Potomac River.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Eisenhower National Historic Site
  • Gettysburg National Military Park

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 13,172
1810 15,152 15.0%
1820 19,370 27.8%
1830 21,379 10.4%
1840 23,044 7.8%
1850 25,981 12.7%
1860 28,006 7.8%
1870 30,315 8.2%
1880 32,455 7.1%
1890 33,486 3.2%
1900 34,496 3.0%
1910 34,319 −0.5%
1920 34,583 0.8%
1930 37,128 7.4%
1940 39,435 6.2%
1950 44,197 12.1%
1960 51,906 17.4%
1970 56,937 9.7%
1980 68,292 19.9%
1990 78,274 14.6%
2000 91,292 16.6%
2010 101,407 11.1%
Est. 2015 102,295 12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2013

As of the census of 2010, there were 101,407 people, 33,652 households, and 24,767 families residing in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km²). There were 35,831 housing units at an average density of 69 per square mile (27/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.39% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.71% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 3.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 42.7% were of German, 14.1% American, 8.5% Irish and 7.1% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.0% spoke English and 3.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 33,652 households out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.10% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 21.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males. Adams County is one of two counties in Pennsylvania where Latter-Day Saints make up 1% of the population.

Birth rate

Per the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Adams County's live birth rate was 1,132 births in 1990. The County's live birth rate in 2000 was 1,048 births, while in 2011 it had declined to 1,039 babies. Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Teen pregnancy rate

Adams County had a 29 babies born to teens (age15-19) in 2011. In 2014, the number of teen births in Adams County was 27.

County poverty demographics

According to research by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, which is a legislative Agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the poverty rate for Adams County was 10.8% in 2014. The statewide poverty rate was 13.6% in 2014. The 2012 childhood poverty rate by school district was: Bermudian Springs School District - 32.4% living at 185% or below than the Federal Poverty Level, Conewago Valley School District - 37.3%, Fairfield Area School District - 19.5%, Gettysburg Area School District - 42.3%, Littlestown Area School District - 32.1%, and Upper Adams School District - 45.5%.

Metropolitan and Combined Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Adams County as the Gettysburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census the metropolitan area ranked 19th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 349th most populous in the United States with a population of 101,407. Adams County is also a part of the larger Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Adams County as well as Cumberland, 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.

Transportation

Air

There are currently no scheduled commercial flights into Adams County, and travel is limited to general aviation airfields. The nearest airports with regular commercial service are in Hagerstown, Maryland (Hagerstown Regional Airport), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg International Airport), and Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Lancaster Airport).

Bus

Public bus service in Adams County is available through the Adams County Transit Authority.

Major Highways

  • US 15

  • US 15 Bus.
  • US 30
  • PA 34
  • PA 94
  • PA 97
  • PA 116
  • PA 134
  • PA 194
  • PA 234

Recreation

There is one Pennsylvania state park in Adams County.

  • Caledonia State Park is named for an iron furnace that was owned by Thaddeus Stevens. Most of this park is in neighboring Franklin County, but a portion of it extends into Adams. It is just off U.S. Route 30 between Chambersburg and Gettysburg.

Communities

Map of Adams County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Adams 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 Adams County:

Boroughs

Townships

  • Berwick
  • Butler
  • Conewago
  • Cumberland
  • Franklin
  • Freedom
  • Germany
  • Hamilton
  • Hamiltonban
  • Highland
  • Huntington
  • Latimore
  • Liberty
  • Menallen
  • Mount Joy
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Oxford
  • Reading
  • Straban
  • Tyrone
  • Union

Census-designated places

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data, but are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Adams County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Population (2010 Census) Municipal type Incorporated
1 Gettysburg 7,620 Borough 1806
2 Littlestown 4,434 Borough 1864
3 Carroll Valley 3,876 Borough 1974
4 McSherrystown 3,038 Borough 1882
5 Lake Meade 2,563 CDP
6 Midway 2,125 CDP
7 Bonneauville 1,800 Borough 1961
8 New Oxford 1,783 Borough 1874
9 East Berlin 1,521 Borough 1879
10 Lake Heritage 1,333 CDP
11 Biglerville 1,200 Borough 1903
12 Abbottstown 1,011 Borough 1835
13 Arendtsville 952 Borough 1896
14 York Springs 833 Borough 1868
15 Heidlersburg 707 CDP
16 Bendersville 641 Borough 1866
17 Hampton 632 CDP
18 Hunterstown 547 CDP
19 Fairfield 507 Borough 1896
20 Cashtown 459 CDP
21 Aspers 350 CDP
22 McKnightstown 226 CDP
23 Idaville 177 CDP
24 Orrtanna 173 CDP
25 Gardners 150 CDP
26 Table Rock 62 CDP
27 Floradale 38 CDP

Images for kids


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