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Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Lebanon's Skyline
Lebanon's Skyline
Location of Lebanon in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
Location of Lebanon in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
Lebanon, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Lebanon, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Lebanon
Settled 1720
Incorporated 1821
Charter 1885
 • Total 4.17 sq mi (10.79 km2)
 • Land 4.17 sq mi (10.79 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total 25,477
 • Estimate 
 • Density 6,210.46/sq mi (2,397.69/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
17042, 17046
Area code(s) 717 and 223
FIPS code 42-42168

Lebanon is a city in and the county seat of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 25,477 at the 2010 census, a 4.2% increase from the 2000 count of 24,461. Lebanon is located in the central part of the Lebanon Valley, 26 miles (42 km) east of Harrisburg and 29 miles (47 km) west of Reading.

Lebanon was founded by George Steitz in 1740 and was originally named Steitztown.


Native tribes in the area of what is now Lebanon included the Shawnee, Susquehannock, Gawanese, Lenape (or Delaware), and Nanticoke peoples.

Central Square in Lebanon, Pennsylvania (1895)
Central Square in Lebanon, 1895

Lebanon was settled by European colonists in 1720, many with the family names of "Steitz" and "Light", along a creek that was then named "Steitz Creek". The Light patriarchs built a fort to protect against Indians and named it "Light's Fort". The town was laid out in 1753, incorporated as a borough on February 20, 1821, and became a city on November 25, 1885. It adopted the commission form of government, consisting of four councilmen and a mayor.

Lebanon bologna was first made here. Lebanon was formerly home to a major steel mill operated by Bethlehem Steel.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11 km2), all of it land.

Lebanon is bordered to the north and east by North Lebanon Township (4.5 mi), to the south and east by South Lebanon Township (3.22 mi), to the west by West Lebanon Township (1.07 mi), and to the south and west by North Cornwall Township (4.38 mi). The Quittapahilla Creek drains the city westward into the Susquehanna River via the Swatara Creek.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 960
1800 1,439 49.9%
1810 1,434 −0.3%
1820 1,437 0.2%
1830 1,826 27.1%
1840 1,860 1.9%
1850 2,184 17.4%
1860 4,449 103.7%
1870 6,727 51.2%
1880 8,778 30.5%
1890 14,664 67.1%
1900 17,628 20.2%
1910 19,240 9.1%
1920 24,643 28.1%
1930 25,561 3.7%
1940 27,206 6.4%
1950 28,156 3.5%
1960 30,045 6.7%
1970 28,572 −4.9%
1980 25,711 −10.0%
1990 24,800 −3.5%
2000 24,461 −1.4%
2010 25,477 4.2%
2019 (est.) 25,879 1.6%

As of the 2010 census, the city was 74.1% White, 5.9% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.1% Asian, and 3.2% were two or more races. 32.1% of the population were of Hispanic of Latino ancestry [1].

As of the census of 2000, there were 24,461 people, 10,266 households, and 6,056 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,844.8 people per square mile (2,254.0/km2). There were 11,220 housing units at an average density of 2,681.0 per square mile (1,033.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.50% White, 3.23% African American, 0.28% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 8.11% from other races, and 1.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.43% of the population.

There were 10,266 households, out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,259, and the median income for a family was $34,045. Males had a median income of $26,957 versus $20,162 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,584. About 12.8% of families and 16.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.7% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.


Lebanon's 12 ft, 150 pound New Year's Eve bologna

Lebanon, Pennsylvania, is named after the ancient Middle Eastern nation of Lebanon, ("Leb-a-nin") and many shorten it to two syllables—"Leb-nin" or even "Lep-nin." The latter is particularly identified with Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.

At one point in history the Lebanon County courthouse and jail became the home of the popular Lebanon Farmers Market. However, the market returned to the original 30,000 square foot Market House on South 8th street in 2003.

Lebanon is one of several Pennsylvania towns to drop or raise a unique item at midnight on New Year's Eve. Godshall's Quality Meats, owners of Weaver's Famous Lebanon Bologna, donates a 150-pound (68 kg) Lebanon bologna for the annual festivity. It is encased in a metal frame and suspended from a fire department ladder truck, and donated to a local rescue mission after the celebration.

In December 2008, the TV show Dirty Jobs, hosted by Mike Rowe, visited the Seltzer's Smokehouse Meats to film production of Lebanon bologna. In 2008 the show featured the Wertz Candy Shop.

In 2010, an independent film drama Lebanon, PA was made. While the movie was set in Lebanon, all filming was done in other parts of Pennsylvania.

Points of interest

Salem Evang LebCo PA
Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church
Lebanon Reading RR Station
Reading Railroad station on Eighth Street

Local points of interest listed on the National Register of Historic Places include:


Public education is provided by the Lebanon School District and Cornwall-Lebanon School District. Private institutions include Blue Mountain Christian School, New Covenant Christian School and Lebanon Christian Academy. All three private institutions have a varsity sports department and an elementary, junior high, and senior high. Students in Lebanon School District also may attend the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center (LCCTC). The city is home to Harrisburg Area Community College's Lebanon Campus.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Lebanon (Pensilvania) para niños

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