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Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Lackawanna County
Lackawanna County Courthouse
Official seal of Lackawanna County
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Pennsylvania
Founded August 13, 1878
Named for Lackawanna River
Seat Scranton
Largest city Scranton
 • Total 465 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Land 459 sq mi (1,190 km2)
 • Water 5.8 sq mi (15 km2)  1.3%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 459/sq mi (177/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 8th

Lackawanna County ( Unami: Lèkaohane) is a U.S. county in the northeastern portion of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 215,896. Its county seat and largest city is Scranton.

The county was created on August 13, 1878, following decades of trying to gain its independence from Luzerne County. (The county's courthouses were organized in October 1878.) Lackawanna was Pennsylvania's last county to be created, and the only county to be created after the American Civil War. It is named for the Lackawanna River.

Lackawanna County is included in the Scranton–Wilkes-BarreHazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area ("Wyoming Valley"). It is the second-largest county within the metropolitan area. It lies northwest of the Pocono Mountains. Lackawanna County is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) from the New Jersey border in Montague Township, New Jersey, and also located approximately 25 miles (40 km) from upstate New York in Kirkwood, New York.


Lackawanna County is a region that was developed for iron production and anthracite coal mining in the nineteenth century, with its peak of coal production reached in the mid-20th century. Scranton, then still part of Luzerne County, became a center of mining and industry. It was the site of the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company, which later began to produce steel using the Bessemer process. In 1877 at the time of the Scranton General Strike, the company was managed by William Walker Scranton, whose father had been president until his death in 1872. Two of his cousins had been founders of the company and the city.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 465 square miles (1,200 km2), of which 459 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 5.8 square miles (15 km2) (1.3%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major Highways

  • I-81
  • I-84
  • I-380
  • I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension
  • US 6
  • US 11
  • PA 307
  • PA 407
  • PA 438


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 89,269
1890 142,088 59.2%
1900 193,831 36.4%
1910 259,570 33.9%
1920 286,311 10.3%
1930 310,397 8.4%
1940 301,243 −2.9%
1950 257,396 −14.6%
1960 234,531 −8.9%
1970 234,107 −0.2%
1980 227,908 −2.6%
1990 219,039 −3.9%
2000 213,295 −2.6%
2010 214,437 0.5%
2020 215,896 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2020 Statistics

As of the 2020 census there were 215,896 people living in Lackawanna County. 83% were Non-Hispanic White, 4% Black or African American, 3.2% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 4% some other race and 6% were multiracial. In 2020 8.5% of the county was Hispanic or Latino.

2010 Statistics

As of the 2010 census, there were 214,437 people living in the county. 92.0% were White, 2.5% Black or African American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.0% of some other race and 1.5% of two or more races. 5.0% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 20.1% identified as of Italian, 19.9% Irish, 13.0% Polish and 11.4% German ancestry.

As of the census of 2000, there were 213,295 people, 86,218 households, and 55,783 families living in the county. The population density was 465 people per square mile (180/km2). There were 95,362 housing units at an average density of 208 per square mile (80/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.65% White, 1.31% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 1.39% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.5% were of Italian, 21.2% Irish, 15.4% Polish and 10.2% German ancestry.

There were 86,218 households, out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families; 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county, 21.8% of the population was under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

Marcellus shale impact fee

Act 13 of 2012, which levied a Marcellus Shale Impact Fee, was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett on February 14, 2012. The bill provides for the imposition of an unconventional well fee by county (or alternatively municipalities compelling the imposition of an unconventional well fee). A county may impose the fee if unconventional gas wells are located within its borders and it passes an ordinance within 60 days of the effective date of Act 13. A county that did not pass an ordinance imposing a fee is prohibited from receiving funds. This prohibition remains in effect until a county passes an ordinance imposing a fee. In 2014, Lackawanna County received an impact fee disbursement of $205,082.23 even though there are no wells in the County. The top county recipient was Washington County which received $6,512,570.65 in 2014.

  • 2013 - 1 shale well, impact fee revenues to Lackawanna County - $211,525.71



Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, Municipalities and CDPs
Map of Lackawanna County with municipalities and CDPs labeled.
Scenery in Lackawanna County, PA IMG 1595
Scenery in Lackawanna County

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and one town. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Lackawanna County:




  • Benton
  • Carbondale
  • Clifton
  • Covington
  • Elmhurst
  • Fell
  • Glenburn
  • Greenfield
  • Jefferson
  • La Plume
  • Madison
  • Newton
  • North Abington
  • Ransom
  • Roaring Brook
  • Scott
  • South Abington
  • Spring Brook
  • Thornhurst
  • Waverly
  • West Abington

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

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

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Scranton City 76,089
2 Dunmore Borough 14,057
3 Carbondale City 8,891
4 Old Forge Borough 8,313
5 Archbald Borough 6,984
6 Blakely Borough 6,564
7 Taylor Borough 6,263
8 Dickson City Borough 6,070
9 Moosic Borough 5,719
10 Olyphant Borough 5,151
11 Clarks Summit Borough 5,116
12 Jessup Borough 4,676
13 Throop Borough 4,088
14 Jermyn Borough 2,169
15 Chinchilla CDP 2,098
16 Moscow Borough 2,026
17 Mayfield Borough 1,807
18 Mount Cobb CDP 1,799
19 Clarks Green Borough 1,476
20 Simpson CDP 1,275
21 Big Bass Lake (partially in Wayne County) CDP 1,270
22 Dalton Borough 1,234
23 Glenburn CDP 953
24 Vandling Borough 751
25 Waverly CDP 604
26 Eagle Lake CDP 12


Lackawanna County Workforce investment Board - Scranton

Colleges and universities

Map of Lackawanna County Pennsylvania School Districts
Map of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania School Districts
  • Clarks Summit University
  • Johnson College
  • Keystone College (also in Wyoming County)
  • Lackawanna College
  • Marywood University
  • Penn State Scranton
  • Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
  • University of Scranton

Public school districts

  • Abington Heights School District
  • Carbondale Area School District
  • Dunmore School District
  • Forest City Regional School District (also in Susquehanna and Wayne Counties)
  • Lackawanna Trail School District (also in Wyoming County)
  • Lakeland School District
  • Mid Valley School District
  • North Pocono School District (also in Wayne County)
  • Old Forge School District
  • Riverside School District
  • Scranton School District
  • Valley View School District

Charter schools

  • Fell Charter Elementary School, Simpson, GR K-8
  • Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School, Scranton, GR PreK-8
  • Scranton School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children – public charter school offering pre-K through 12th-grade education to eligible deaf and hard-of-hearing children located in South Abington Township, Pennsylvania

Public vocational technology schools

  • Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County

Intermediate unit

Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit #19 (NEIU19) provides a wide variety of specialized services to public and private schools. It serves the school communities of Lackawanna County, Wayne County, and Susquehanna County. NEIU19 is governed by a board of appointed officials one from the elected school board of each member public school district. Among the serves are: professional development programs for school employees, background/criminal screening of public school employment applicants, technology support to the schools, and special education services. The Intermediate Unit coordinates and supervises the Special Education transportation.

Diocesan schools

The county is also served by the Diocese of Scranton. The Diocese of Scranton operates four regional systems of diocesan schools, which were established after the area received hundreds of thousands of Catholic immigrants. The Holy Cross School System serves Lackawanna County, and is currently composed of seven elementary centers and one secondary center. The Holy Cross System is the second-largest of the four systems, and Holy Cross High School is the only diocesan high school operating a capacity. The Holy Cross System is the result of diocese-wide consolidations made in 2007 in response to decades of declining enrollment as population declined in the area.

As recently as 2000, Lackawanna County was home to four Catholic high schools and nearly fifteen elementary schools. While the current configuration of sites and schools educates a fraction of the students once enrolled in Catholic schools in Lackawanna County, vast improvements have been made to the curriculum. Millions of dollars of capital gains have been invested in the buildings and technologies of the schools. As part of the ongoing effort to stabilize enrollment and offer a sustainable school system which is "spiritually sound and academically excellent", the Holy Cross System is embarking on a more aggressive advertising campaign to promote Catholic education and establish stronger and more diverse programs at the elementary level.

Sacred Heart Elementary in Carbondale and Marian Catholic Elementary in Scranton were closed in 2011 and were incorporated into LaSalle Academy and All Saint's Academy, respectively. This cut the costs of sustaining two faculties and buildings which collectively operated at less than 50% capacity. It bolstered the enrollments of the hubs of elementary education.

  • Holy Cross High School, Dunmore
  • Our Lady of Peace Elementary, Clarks Green
  • St. Mary of Mount Carmel Elementary, Dunmore
  • LaSalle Academy, Dickson City and Jessup
  • All Saints Academy, Scranton
  • St. Clare/St. Paul Elementary, Scranton

Private schools

As reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education:

  • Abington Christian School, Clarks Green, GR PreK-8 (Affiliated with the Assemblies of God)
  • Bais Yaakov of Scranton, GR 9-12 (All girls Jewish school)
  • DePaul School for Dyslexia, Scranton
  • Friendship House
  • Geneva Christian School, Olyphant, GR PreK-8
  • Giant Steps Child Development Center – Carbondale
  • Kinder Kampus Preparatory Preschool, Archbald, PreK
  • Little People Daycare School, Scranton, GR PreK-KG
  • Lourdesmont School, Scranton, Special Education (Roman Catholic)
  • Lutheran Academy – Scranton, GR PreK-6
  • Marywood – Tony Damiano Early Childhood Center, Scranton, GR PreK-KG
  • Milton Eisner Yeshiva High School, Scranton, GR 9-12 (All boys Jewish school)
  • Montessori Kindergarten, Scranton, GR PreK-KG
  • New Story, Throop, Special Education
  • NHS Autism School, Scranton, Special Education
  • Northeast Child Care Services – Archbald
  • Pocono Mountain Bible Conference – Gouldsboro
  • Revival Baptist Christian School, Scranton, GR K-12
  • Scranton Hebrew Day School, Scranton, GR K-8
  • Scranton Preparatory School, Scranton, GR 9-12 (Affiliated with the Society of Jesus)
  • St. Gregory's Early Childhood Center, Clarks Green, GR PreK-KG
  • St. Stanislaus Elementary School, Scranton, GR K-8 (Polish National Catholic Church)
  • Summit Christian Academy, South Abington Township, PreK-12
  • Triboro Christian Academy, Old Forge, K-12, It participates in the state's Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) annual testing


Abingtons Community Library Clarks Summit PA
Abington Community Library
  • Abington Community Library – Clarks Summit
  • Carbondale Public Library – Carbondale
  • Children's Library – Scranton
  • Dalton Community Library – Dalton
  • Nancy Kay Holmes Branch – Scranton
  • North Pocono Public Library – Moscow
  • Scranton Public Library – Scranton
  • Taylor Community Library – Taylor
  • Valley Community Library – Peckville
  • Waverly Memorial Library – Waverly

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Lackawanna para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Inventors:
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Patricia Bath
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