Lehigh County, Pennsylvania facts for kids
|Lehigh County, Pennsylvania|
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 6, 1812|
348 sq mi (901 km²)
345 sq mi (894 km²)
3.1 sq mi (8 km²), 0.9%
1,046/sq mi (404/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
|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.
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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.
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.
- Berks County (west)
- Bucks County (southeast)
- Carbon County (north)
- Montgomery County (south)
- Northampton County (northeast)
- Schuylkill County (northwest)
- 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).
|Climate data for Allentown, Pennsylvania (Lehigh Valley Int'l), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1922–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||72
|Average high °F (°C)||36.0
|Average low °F (°C)||19.5
|Record low °F (°C)||−15
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.03
|Snowfall inches (cm)||10.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||11.1||9.8||11.0||12.1||12.1||11.4||10.9||9.5||9.1||9.1||9.8||10.9||126.8|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||5.6||4.8||2.5||0.4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.6||3.5||17.4|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1961–1990)|
|U.S. Decennial Census
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.
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.
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.
Interstate Highway System
- I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- See also: List of Allentown neighborhoods
- 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 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.
- Center Valley
- East Texas
- Evergreen Park
- Gauff Hill
- Locust Valley
- New Smithville
- Old Zionsville
- Pleasant Corners
- Powder Valley
- Summit Lawn
- Vera Cruz
- Werleys Corner
- West Catasauqua
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)|
|2||Bethlehem (mostly in Northampton County)||City||74,982|
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Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.