Lehigh County, Pennsylvania facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Seal of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Map
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the USA highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded March 6, 1812
Seat Allentown
Largest City Allentown
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

348 sq mi (901 km²)
345 sq mi (894 km²)
3.1 sq mi (8 km²), 0.9%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

360,685
1,046/sq mi (404/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.lehighcounty.org
Named for: Lehigh River

Lehigh County is a county located in the Lehigh Valley region of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 349,497. Its county seat is Allentown, the state's third largest city behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The county, which was first settled around 1730, was formed in 1812 with the division of Northampton County into two counties. It is named after the Lehigh River, whose name is derived from the Delaware Indian term Lechauweki or Lechauwekink, meaning "where there are forks".

Lehigh County is included in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New York City-Newark, New Jersey, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

It is currently the fastest growing county in Pennsylvania and among the fastest growing nationwide, ranking in the 79th percentile overall for the 2010 to 2012 time period.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (900 km2), of which 345 square miles (890 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) (0.9%) is water.

Topography

Watercourse
The Lehigh River near Slatington at the Lehigh County–Northampton County line, 2007

The Lehigh Valley, which includes all of Lehigh and Northampton counties, is bounded on the north by Blue Mountain, a ridge of the Appalachian mountain range with an altitude of 1,300 to 1,604 feet (489 m), and on the south by South Mountain, a ridge of 700 to 1,100 feet (340 m) that cuts through the southern portions of the two counties. The highest point in Lehigh County is Bake Oven Knob, a mass of Tuscarora conglomeratic rocks that rise about 100 feet (30 m) above the main ridge of the Blue Mountain in northwestern Heidelberg Township.

Lehigh County is in the Delaware River watershed. While most of the county is drained by the Lehigh River and its tributaries, the Schuylkill River also drains regions in the south of the county via the Perkiomen Creek and the northwest via the Maiden Creek.

Adjacent counties

Climate

See also: Climate of Allentown, Pennsylvania

Most of the county's climate is considered to fall in the humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Precipitation is almost uniformly distributed throughout the year.

For the city of Allentown, January lows average −6 °C (21 °F) and highs average 1.3 °C (34.3 °F). The lowest officially recorded temperature was −26.7 °C (−16.1 °F) in 1912 . July lows average 17.6 °C (63.7 °F) and highs average 29.2 °C (84.6 °F), with an average relative humidity (morning) of 82%. The highest temperature on record was 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) in 1966 . Early fall and mid winter are generally driest, with October being the driest month with only 74.7 mm of average precipitation.

Snowfall is variable, with some winters bringing light snow and others bringing numerous significant snowstorms. Average snowfall is 82.3 centimetres (32.4 in) per year, with the months of January and February receiving the highest at just over 22.86 centimetres (9.00 in) each. Rainfall is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to twelve wet days per month, at an average annual rate of 110.54 centimetres (43.52 in).

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 18,895
1830 22,256 17.8%
1840 25,787 15.9%
1850 32,479 26.0%
1860 43,753 34.7%
1870 56,796 29.8%
1880 65,969 16.2%
1890 76,631 16.2%
1900 93,893 22.5%
1910 118,832 26.6%
1920 148,101 24.6%
1930 172,893 16.7%
1940 177,533 2.7%
1950 198,207 11.6%
1960 227,536 14.8%
1970 255,304 12.2%
1980 272,349 6.7%
1990 291,130 6.9%
2000 312,090 7.2%
2010 349,497 12.0%
Est. 2015 360,685 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013
Allentown
Allentown, Pennsylvania in Lehigh County, 2010

As of the 2010 census, the county was 71.6% White Non-Hispanic, 6.1% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.9% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.9% were two or more races, and 8.6% were some other race. 18.8% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.

As of the census of 2000, there were 312,090 people, 121,906 households, and 82,164 families residing in the county. The population density was 900 people per square mile (348/km²). There were 128,910 housing units at an average density of 372 per square mile (144/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.02% White, 3.56% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.28% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. 10.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.1% were of German, 7.9% Italian, 7.7% Irish, 6.2% Pennsylvania German and 5.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 85.0% spoke English, 8.4% Spanish and 1.2% Arabic as their first language.

There were 121,906 households out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.90% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

Transportation

LVI-sat
Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABEICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, 2005

Air

Lehigh County's primary airport, Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABEICAO: KABE), is located three miles (5 km) northeast of Allentown in Hanover Township.

The county is also served by Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport, a two-runway general aviation facility located off of Allentown's Lehigh Street. Queen City is used predominantly by private aviation that was awarded General Aviation Airport of the year by the Eastern Region of the Federal Aviation Administration in 2006.

Bus

Public bus service in Lehigh County is available through the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, known as LANTA. Several private bus lines, including Bieber Tourways, Susquehanna Trailways and Trans-Bridge Lines, provide bus service from Allentown to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia's Greyhound Terminal, Atlantic City's Bus Terminal, and other regional locations.

Major highways

Interstate Highway System

  • I-78
  • I-476 / Template:Infobox road/PA/abbrev PANE

U.S. Highway System

  • US 22
  • US 222

Pennsylvania Highway System

  • PA 29
  • PA 100
  • PA 143
  • PA 145
  • PA 222
  • PA 309
  • PA 329
  • PA 378
  • PA 863
  • PA 873
  • PA 987

Other major roads

  • Cedar Crest Boulevard
  • Lehigh Street
  • Tilghman Street

Telecommunications

Lehigh County was once served only by the 215 area code from 1947 (when the North American Numbering Plan of the Bell System went into effect) until 1994. With the county's growing population, however, Lehigh County areas were afforded area code 610 in 1994. Today, Lehigh County is covered by 610. An overlay area code, 484, was added to the 610 service area in 1999. A plan to introduce area code 835 as an additional overlay was rescinded in 2001.

Recreation

Dorney Park Steel Force Thunderhawk
Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom's Steel Force and Thunderhawk roller coasters, just outside Allentown. Steel Force opened in 1997 as the tallest and fastest roller coaster on the East Coast of the United States, with a first drop of 205 feet (62 m) and a top speed of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h).
Cokepark allentown
Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs
See also: List of sites of interest in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Most municipalities in the county have set aside at least some land for public recreation, from neighborhood parks and playgrounds to the more expansive parkways developed by the county, city and several townships. Following are the public parks within the county of more than of 25 acres (100,000 m2), including listings of their primary activities:

  • Cedar Creek Parkway, Allentown, 127 acres (0.51 km2). City-owned park along Cedar Creek that includes Lake Muhlenberg and Malcolm W. Gross Rose Gardens. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, basketball, fishing, swimming and picnicking. Mayfair, an annual arts festival, is held in the Parkway each May.
  • Cedar Creek Parkway East, South Whitehall Township, 37.5 acres (152,000 m2). County-owned park along Cedar Creek that includes Haines Mill Museum. Activities: hiking/walking, soccer, fishing, nature study and picnicking.
  • Cedar Creek Parkway West, South Whitehall Township, 261 acres (1.06 km2). County-owned park along Cedar Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming, nature study and picnicking.
  • Covered Bridge Park, South Whitehall Township, 165 acres (0.67 km2). Township-owned park along Jordan Creek that includes two historic covered bridges. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, football, soccer fields, volleyball, handball, fishing, disc golf, playground and nature study.
  • Jordan Creek Parkway, Whitehall & South Whitehall Townships, 296.1 acres (1.198 km2). County-owned park along Jordan Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, bicycling, softball, baseball, soccer, tennis, fishing, cross country skiing and nature study.
Jordan Creek Parkway
Jordan Creek Greenway in Lehigh County
  • Leaser Lake, Lynn Township, 540.5 acres (2.187 km2). County-owned park (227.6 acres (0.921 km2)) and Pennsylvania Fish Commission-owned (312.9 acres (1.266 km2)) recreation area that includes a 117-acre (0.47 km2) lake. Activities: hiking/walking, fishing, hunting, boating (sail, other non-motor and small electric motor), cross country skiing, ice-skating, nature study and picnicking.
  • Lehigh Canal Park, Allentown, 55 acres (220,000 m2). City-owned park along the Lehigh River. Activities: hiking/walking, fishing and non-motor boating.
  • Lehigh Parkway, Allentown, 999 acres (4.04 km2). City-owned park along Little Lehigh Creek that also includes the Lil-Le-Hi Trout Nursery. Activities: hiking/walking, bicycling, fishing, disc golf, nature study and picnicking.
Lehigh Parkway
Lehigh Parkway in Lehigh County
  • Lock Ridge Park, Alburtis, 59.2 acres (240,000 m2). County-owned park along Swabia Creek that includes the Lock Ridge Furnace Museum. Activities: hiking/walking, baseball, bicycling, fishing, cross country skiing, nature study and picnicking.
  • Lower Macungie Township Community Park, Lower Macungie township, 56 acres (230,000 m2). Township-owned park along Spring Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging, soccer and picnicking.
  • Bob Rodale Cycling and Fitness Park, Upper Macungie Township, 103.4 acres (0.418 km2). County-owned bicycle track and fitness area. Activities: Hiking/walking, bicycling, softball, cricket, soccer, basketball, cross country skiing, roller blading, jogging, nature study, playground and picnicking.
  • South Mountain Big Rock Park, Upper Saucon and Salisbury Townships, 57.1 acres (231,000 m2). County-owned park. Activities: hiking/walking, picnicking and nature study.
  • Trexler Memorial Park, Allentown, 134 acres (0.54 km2). City-owned park along Cedar Creek. Activities: hiking/walking, jogging and nature study.
  • Trexler Nature Preserve, North Whitehall Township, 1,108 acres (4.48 km2). County-owned park along Jordan Creek, formerly Trexler-Lehigh County Game Preserve, which includes the Lehigh Valley Zoo and is adding 18 miles (29 km) of trails in 2010. Activities: hiking/walking, mountain biking, jogging, fishing, hunting, nature study and picnicking.
  • Upper Macungie Park, Upper Macungie Township, 156.2 acres (0.632 km2). Township-owned park with nature trail. Activities: hiking/walking, baseball, softball, sand volleyball, horse shoes, playground, jogging, nature study and picnicking.
  • Whitehall Parkway, Whitehall Township, 110 acres (0.45 km2). Township-owned park connected to the nine-mile (14 km) Ironton Rail-Trail. Activities: hiking/walking, bicycling, jogging and nature study.

Communities

Map of Lehigh County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue)
2007 - Ninteenth Street Theatre District
Young people gather on 19th Street, in Allentown's West End, 2007
Lynn Township farm
A farm in Lynn Township in Lehigh County, 2008

.

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in only one case, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Lehigh County:

Cities

See also: List of Allentown neighborhoods

Boroughs

Townships

  • Hanover Township
  • Heidelberg Township
  • Lower Macungie Township
  • Lower Milford Township
  • Lowhill Township
  • Lynn Township
  • North Whitehall Township
  • Salisbury Township
  • South Whitehall Township
  • Upper Macungie Township
  • Upper Milford Township
  • Upper Saucon Township
  • Washington Township
  • Weisenberg Township
  • Whitehall Township

Census-designated places

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.

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

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

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Allentown City 118,032
2 Bethlehem (mostly in Northampton County) City 74,982
4 Emmaus Borough 11,211
5 Ancient Oaks CDP 6,661
6 Catasauqua Borough 6,436
7 Wescosville CDP 5,872
8 Fountain Hill Borough 4,597
9 Dorneyville CDP 4,406
10 Slatington Borough 4,232
11 Breinigsville CDP 4,138
13 Coplay Borough 3,192
14 Macungie Borough 3,074
15 Schnecksville CDP 2,935
17 Coopersburg Borough 2,386
18 Alburtis Borough 2,361
19 Cetronia CDP 2,115
20 Trexlertown CDP 1,988
22 Laurys Station CDP 1,243
24 DeSales University CDP 953
25 New Tripoli CDP 898
26 Slatedale CDP 455

Images for kids


Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.