Allegheny County, Pennsylvania facts for kids
|Allegheny County, Pennsylvania|
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
|Founded||September 24, 1788|
745 sq mi (1,930 km²)
730 sq mi (1,891 km²)
14 sq mi (36 km²), 1.9%
1,686/sq mi (651/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
|Named for: Allegheny River|
|Designated:||December 30, 1982|
Allegheny County (//) is a county in the southwestern quarter of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of 2014 the population was 1,231,225, making it the second-most populous county in Pennsylvania, following Philadelphia County. The county seat is Pittsburgh. Allegheny County is included in the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is in the Pittsburgh Designated Market Area.
Allegheny County was the first in Pennsylvania to be given a Native American name, being named after the Allegheny River. The word "Allegheny" is of Lenape origin, with uncertain meaning. It is usually said to mean "fine river", but sometimes said to refer to an ancient mythical tribe called "Allegewi" that lived along the river long ago before being destroyed by the Lenape.
Not a great deal is known about the native inhabitants of the region prior to European contact. During the colonial era various native groups claimed or settled in the area, resulting in a multi-ethnic mix that included Iroquois, Lenape, Shawnee, and Mingo. European fur traders such as Peter Chartier established trading posts in the region in the early eighteenth century.
In 1749 Captain Pierre Joseph Céloron de Blainville, claimed the Ohio Valley and all of western Pennsylvania for Louis XV of France. The captain traveled along the Ohio and Allegheny rivers inserting lead plates in the ground to mark the land for France.
Since most of the towns during that era were developed along waterways, both the French and the British desired control over the local rivers. Therefore, the British sent Major George Washington to try to compel the French to leave their posts, with no success. Having failed in his mission, he returned and nearly drowned crossing the ice-filled Allegheny River. In 1754, the English tried again to enter the area. This time, they sent 41 Virginians to build Fort Prince George. The French got news of the plan and sent an army to take over the fort, which they then resumed building with increased fortification, renaming it Fort Duquesne.
The loss of the fort cost the English dearly because Fort Duquesne became one of the focal points of the French and Indian War. The first attempt to retake the fort, the Braddock Expedition, failed miserably. It was not until General John Forbes attacked in 1758, four years after they had lost the original fort, that they recaptured and destroyed it. They subsequently built a new fort on the site, including a moat, and named it Fort Pitt. The site is now Pittsburgh's Point State Park.
Both Pennsylvania and Virginia claimed the region that is now Allegheny County. Pennsylvania administered most of the region as part of its Westmoreland County. Virginia considered everything south of the Ohio River and east of the Allegheny River to be part of its Yohogania County and governed it from Fort Dunmore. In addition, parts of the county were located in the proposed British colony of Vandalia and the proposed U.S. state of Westsylvania. The overlapping boundaries, multiple governments, and confused deed claims soon proved unworkable. In 1780 Pennsylvania and Virginia agreed to extend the Mason–Dixon line westward, and the region became part of Pennsylvania. From 1781 until 1788, much of what had been claimed as part of Yohogania County, Virginia, was administered as a part of the newly created Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Allegheny County was officially created on September 24, 1788, from parts of Washington and Westmoreland counties. It was formed due to pressure from settlers living in the area around Pittsburgh, which became the county seat in 1791. The county originally extended all the way north to the shores of Lake Erie and became the "mother county" for most of what is now northwestern Pennsylvania. By 1800, the county's current borders were set.
In the 1790s, a whiskey excise tax was imposed by the United States federal government. This started the so-called Whiskey Rebellion when the farmers who depended on whiskey income refused to pay and drove off tax collector John Neville. After a series of demonstrations by farmers, President George Washington sent troops to stop the rebellion.
The area developed rapidly throughout the 19th century to become the center of steel production in the nation. Pittsburgh would later be labeled the "Steel Capital of the World".
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 745 square miles (1,930 km2), of which 730 square miles (1,900 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.9%) is water.
Allegheny County is known for the three major rivers that flow through it: the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River converge at Downtown Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River. The Youghiogheny River flows into the Monongahela River at McKeesport, 10 miles (16 km) southeast. Several islands are located within the riverine systems. Water from these rivers eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Although the county's industrial growth caused the clearcutting of forests, a significant woodland remains.
- Butler County (north)
- Armstrong County (tangent to the northeast)
- Westmoreland County (east)
- Washington County (southwest)
- Beaver County (northwest)
- I-76 / Penna Turnpike
- I‑376 Bus.
- US 19
US 19 Truck
US 19 Byp.
- US 22
US 22 Bus.
- US 30
US 30 Truck
- PA 8
- PA 28
- PA 51
- PA 65
- PA 130
- PA 380
- Toll PA 576
- PA 837
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,223,348 people residing in the county. The population density was 1676 people per square mile (647/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.87% White, 14.39% Black or African American, 2.94% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. About 1.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
At the census of 2000, there were 1,281,666 people, 537,150 households, and 332,495 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,755 people per square mile (678/km²). There were 583,646 housing units at an average density of 799 per square mile (309/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.33% White, 12.41% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.69% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. About 0.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.0% were of German, 15.0% Italian, 12.7% Irish, 7.5% Polish and 5.1% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 93.5% spoke English and 1.3% Spanish as their first language.
There were 537,150 households out of which 26.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.10% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.10% were non-families. Some 32.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.96.
The age distribution of the population shows 21.90% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 17.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40. For every 100 females, there were 90.00 males; for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.20 males.
- East Hills
- North Hills
- South Hills
- West Hills
- City of Pittsburgh
Allegheny County's public transportation provider is the Port Authority of Allegheny County. The Allegheny County Department of Public Works oversees infrastructure, maintenance and engineering services in the county.
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail provides uninterrupted bicycle and pedestrian connections along the three rivers in the city, and the Great Allegheny Passage trail runs from downtown Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.
- Interstate 79 runs north to south from Wexford to Bridgeville
- Interstate 279 runs north to south from the North Hills to Downtown
- Interstate 579 (Crosstown Boulevard)
- Interstate 76 / PA Turnpike runs east to west from I-376 in Monroeville to the Warrendale interchange (near I-79)
- Interstate 376 runs east to west from the eastern suburbs (Monroeville, Plum, Penn Hills) across the county to Pittsburgh International Airport and beyond
- Pennsylvania Turnpike 576 (future I-576) (Findlay Connector)
- US Route 19 runs north to south from Wexford to Mt. Lebanon
- US Route 22 runs west to east and makes up US Route 30 and I-376
- US Route 30 runs west to east and joins US 22 and I-376 near Pittsburgh International Airport
For information about major state roads, see list of State Routes in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Belt System.
Parks and recreation
There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Allegheny County. Point State Park is at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Downtown Pittsburgh, and Allegheny Islands State Park is in the Allegheny River in Harmar Township and is undeveloped as of August 2010.
- Bell Acres
- Ben Avon
- Ben Avon Heights
- Bethel Park
- Braddock Hills
- Bradford Woods
- Castle Shannon
- East McKeesport
- East Pittsburgh
- Forest Hills
- Fox Chapel
- Franklin Park
- Glen Osborne
- Green Tree
- Jefferson Hills
- McDonald (mostly in Washington County)
- McKees Rocks
- Mount Oliver
- North Braddock
- Pennsbury Village
- Pleasant Hills
- Port Vue
- Rosslyn Farms
- Sewickley Heights
- Sewickley Hills
- Trafford (mostly in Westmoreland County)
- Turtle Creek
- West Elizabeth
- West Homestead
- West Mifflin
- West View
- White Oak
- East Deer
- Mount Lebanon
- North Fayette
- North Versailles
- Penn Hills
- South Fayette
- South Park
- South Versailles
- Upper Saint Clair
- West Deer
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the US 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.
Many political subdivisions of Allegheny County have come and gone through subdivision or annexation through the years. These include:
- Allegheny City – the area that is now the North Shore (or North Side) of the City of Pittsburgh, north of the Allegheny River.
- Allentown Borough – now the neighborhood of Allentown in Pittsburgh.
- Birmingham Borough – what is now Pittsburgh's South Side.
- Brushton Borough
- Carrick Borough – now the neighborhood of Carrick. Formed out of Baldwin Township in 1904, this borough existed until it was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1927. It was named for Carrick-on-Suir, Ireland. To this day, some of the manhole covers bear the Carrick Borough name.
- Collins Township – in what is now the northeast part of the City of Pittsburgh, east of Lawrenceville and north of Penn Avenue.
- Knoxville Borough
- Lawrenceville Borough
- McClure Township – McClure was formed in 1858 from the section of Ross Township adjacent to Allegheny City. In 1867 McClure, along with sections of Reserve Township, was incorporated into Allegheny City. The McClure section of this annexation became Wards 9 (Woods Run Area) and 11 (present day Brighton Heights) in the City of Pittsburgh.
- Mifflin Township- comprised the modern day communities of Whitaker, West Mifflin, West Homestead, West Elizabeth, Pleasant Hills, Munhall, Lincoln Place, Jefferson Hills, Homestead, Hays, Duquesne, Dravosburg, Clairton and part of Baldwin.
- Patton Township – was in east central part of the county, north of North Versailles Township, east of Wilkins and Penn Townships, and south of Plum Township. In U.S. census for 1860–1880. In 1951 it became incorporated as the borough of Monroeville.
- Northern Liberties Borough – in what is now the Strip District of Pittsburgh. The borough was annexed to Pittsburgh in 1837 as the first addition to the city's original territory.
- Peebles Township – included most of what is now the eastern part of the city of Pittsburgh from the Monongahela River in the south (today's Hazelwood) to the Allegheny River in the north. It was subdivided into Collins and Liberty townships, all of which were incorporated into Pittsburgh in 1868.
- Pitt Township
- St. Clair Township – stretched from the Monongahela River south to the Washington County line. It divided into Lower St. Clair, which eventually became part of the City of Pittsburgh, Dormont, Mount Lebanon, and Upper St. Clair.
- Snowden – now known as South Park Township.
- Sterrett Township
- Temperanceville – what is now Pittsburgh's West End.
- Union Borough – the area surrounding Temperanceville.
- West Liberty Borough – now the neighborhoods of Brookline and Beechview in Pittsburgh.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Allegheny County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Population (2010 Census)||Municipal type||Incorporated|
|1||† Pittsburgh||305,704||City||1794 (borough) 1816 (city)|
|2||Penn Hills||42,329||Municipality||1851 (Penn Twp.) 1958 (Penn Hills Twp.) 1976 (municipality)|
|3||Mt. Lebanon||33,137||Municipality||1912 (township) 1975 (municipality)|
|4||Bethel Park||32,313||Municipality||1949 (borough) 1978 (municipality)|
|6||Plum||27,126||Borough||1788 (township) 1956 (borough)|
|10||McKeesport||19,731||City||1842 (borough) 1891 (city)|
|11||Wilkinsburg||15,930||Borough||1871 (Sterrett Twp.) 1887 (borough)|
|26||Clairton||6,796||City||1903 (borough) 1922 (city)|
|33||Duquesne||5,565||City||1891 (borough) 1918 (city)|
|52||Trafford (mostly in Westmoreland County)||3,174||Borough||1904|
|65||McDonald (mostly in Washington County)||2,149||Borough||1889|
|105||Ben Avon Heights||371||Borough||1913|
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Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.