Dauphin County, Pennsylvania facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Dauphin County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 4, 1785|
|Named for||Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France|
|• Total||558 sq mi (1,450 km2)|
|• Land||525 sq mi (1,360 km2)|
|• Water||33 sq mi (90 km2) 5.9%%|
| • Estimate
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Pennsylvania Historical Marker
|Designated:||December 9, 1982|
Dauphin County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 286,401. The county seat and the largest city is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's state capital and ninth largest city. The county was created ("erected") on March 4, 1785, from part of Lancaster County and was named after Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France, the first son of king Louis XVI.
Dauphin County is included in the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Located within the county is Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, site of the 1979 nuclear core meltdown. The nuclear power plant closed in 2019.
- Metropolitan Statistical Area
- Notable people
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 558 square miles (1,450 km2), of which 525 square miles (1,360 km2) is land and 33 square miles (85 km2) (5.9%) is water. The county is bound to its western border by the Susquehanna River.
- Northumberland County (north)
- Schuylkill County (northeast)
- Lebanon County (east)
- Lancaster County (south)
- York County (southwest)
- Cumberland County (west)
- Perry County (west)
- Juniata County (northwest)
- I-76 / Penna Turnpike
- US 22
- US 11 / US 15
- US 209
- US 322
- US 422
- PA 39
- PA 147
- PA 230
- PA 283
- PA 341
- PA 441
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 census, the county was 72.7% White, 18.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 3.2% Asian, and 3.1% were two or more races. 7.0% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
As of the census of 2000, there were 251,798 people, 102,670 households, and 66,119 families residing in the county. The population density was 479 people per square mile (185/km2). There were 111,133 housing units at an average density of 212 per square mile (82/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.11% White, 16.91% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.96% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.97% from other races, and 1.85% from two or more races. 4.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 29.2% were of German, 7.5% Irish, 7.3% American and 7.2% Italian ancestry. 91.8% spoke English and 3.9% Spanish as their first language.
According to 2005 estimates, 73.9% of the county's population was non-Hispanic whites. 17.8% of the population was African-Americans. 2.5% were Asians. Latinos now were 5.0% of the population.
In 2000 there were 102,670 households, out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.60% were married couples living together, 12.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.60% were non-families. 30.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.30% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 30.10% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.80 males.
A study by Echelon Insights found Dauphin County to be the most typical county in America, with its 2016 presidential vote, median income, higher education rate, and religiosity all very close to the national averages.
Dauphin County is home to an Amish community that resides in the Lykens Valley in the northern part of the county, consisting of eight church districts. The community was settled by Amish from Lancaster County seeking cheaper land.
Metropolitan Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Dauphin County as the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census the metropolitan area ranked 5th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 96th most populous in the United States with a population of 549,475. Dauphin County is also a part of the larger Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Dauphin County as well as Adams, Cumberland, 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.
There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Dauphin County.
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Dauphin County:
- East Hanover
- Lower Paxton
- Lower Swatara
- Middle Paxton
- South Hanover
- Upper Paxton
- West Hanover
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.
- Beaufort Farms
- Ellendale Forge
- Fort Hunter
- Manada Gap
- Manada Hill
- Montrose Park
- Oberlin Gardens
- Paxtang Manor
- Powells Valley
- Ritzie Village
- Sand Beach
- Windsor Farms
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Dauphin County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|1||† Harrisburg (State Capital)||City||49,528|
The largest employers in Dauphin County in 2019 were:
- Commonwealth Government
- Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
- The Hershey Company
- Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co.
- UPMC Pinnacle Hospitals
- Federal Government
- Pennsylvania State University
- PHEAA – Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
- United Parcel Service Inc
- TYCO Electronics Corp.
Colleges and universities
- Dixon University Center
- Harrisburg Area Community College
- Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
- Penn State Harrisburg
- Penn State Hershey Medical Center
- Temple University Harrisburg Campus
- Widener University School of Law
Public school districts
- Central Dauphin School District
- Derry Township School District
- Halifax Area School District
- Harrisburg School District (Pennsylvania)
- Lower Dauphin School District
- Middletown Area School District
- Millersburg School District
- Steelton-Highspire School District
- Susquehanna Township School District
- Susquenita School District (also in Perry County)
- Upper Dauphin School District
- Williams Valley School District (also in Schuylkill County)
Public charter schools
Several public charter schools are established in Dauphin County
- Infinity Charter School
- Sylvan Heights Science Charter School
- Capital Area School for the Arts
- Premier Arts and Science Charter School
The Capital Area Intermediate Unit 15 is a state approved education agency that offers: school districts, charter schools, private schools, and home school students, a variety of services including: a completely developed K–12 curriculum that is mapped and aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards (available online), shared services, a group purchasing program and a wide variety of special education and special needs services.
The Dauphin County Library System provides library service to the residents of the county through a main central library in the state capital and county seat of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and eight branch libraries. DCLS is a private, non-profit corporation. It is governed by a 17-member Board of Trustees, five appointed annually by the Dauphin County Commissioners, and twelve elected for three-year terms. The Library is a member of the Pennsylvania library system.
As reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics
- Armstrong Valley Christian School – Halifax
- Berrysburg Christian Academy – Elizabethvile
- Bishop McDevitt High School – Harrisburg
- Cathedral Consolidated School – Harrisburg
- Covenant Christian Academy – Harrisburg
- East Shore Montessori School – Harrisburg
- Emmanuel Wesleyan Academy – Gratz
- Garden Spot Amish School – Millersburg
- Garden Spot School – Millersburg
- Goddard School – Harrisburg
- Hansel and Gretel Early Learning Centers – Harrisburg
- Harrisburg Adventist School – Harrisburg
- Harrisburg Christian School – Harrisburg
- Hillside Amish School – Harrisville
- Hillside Seventh Day Adventist School – Harrisburg
- Keystone Math and Science Academy – Harrisburg
- Kinder-Care Learning Center – Harrisburg
- KinderCare Learning Center – Hershey
- Londonderry School – Harrisburg
- Mahantango School – Lykens
- Matterstown School – Millersburg
- Middletown Christian School – Middletown
- Milton Hershey School – Hershey
- North Mountain View Amish – Millersburg
- Northern Dauphin Christian School – Millersburg
- Pride of the Neighborhood Academies – Harrisburg
- Rakers Mill School – Elizabethville
- Rolling Acres School – Lykens
- Seven Sorrows of BMV School – Middletown
- Sonshine Learning Station – Middletown
- South Mountain View School – Spring Glen
- Specktown School – Lykens
- St. Catherine Laboure School – Harrisburg
- St Joan of Arc Elementary School – Hershey
- St. Margaret Mary School – Harrisburg
- St. Stephen's Episcopal School – Harrisburg
- Tender Years Inc. – Hershey
- The Nativity School of Harrisburg – Harrisburg
- Windy Knoll School – Spring Glen
- Wordsworth Academy – Harrisbrug
- Yeshiva Academy – Harrisburg
- Milton S. Hershey (1857–1945), founder of The Hershey Company and the town of Hershey
- H.B. Reese (1879–1956), inventor of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- Samuel B. Garver (1839–1911), an Illinois state representative, businessman, and farmer, was born in Dauphin County.
- Nicholas H. Heck (1882–1953), a geophysicist, seismologist, oceanographer, hydrographic surveyor, and United States Coast and Geodetic Survey officer, was born in Dauphin County in Heckton Mills, near Heckton.
- Michelle Wolf (1985–), comedian, was born and lived in Dauphin County