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Montgomery County, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Montgomery County
County of Montgomery
Montgomery County Courthouse
Montgomery County Courthouse
Flag of Montgomery County
Flag
Nickname(s): 
Montco
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Pennsylvania
Founded September 10, 1784
Named for Richard Montgomery or Montgomeryshire
Seat Norristown
Largest municipality Lower Merion Township
Area
 • Total 487 sq mi (1,260 km2)
 • Land 483 sq mi (1,250 km2)
 • Water 4.2 sq mi (11 km2)  0.9%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 856,553
 • Density 1,773/sq mi (685/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 4th, 5th

Montgomery County is the third-most populous county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the 73rd-most populous in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the county was 856,553, representing a 7.1% increase from the 799,884 residents enumerated in the 2010 census. Montgomery County is located adjacent to and northwest of Philadelphia. The county seat and largest city is Norristown. Montgomery County is geographically diverse, ranging from farms and open land in the extreme north of the county to densely populated suburban neighborhoods in the southern and central portions of the county.

Montgomery County is included in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD metropolitan statistical area, sometimes expansively known as the Delaware Valley. The county marks part of the Delaware Valley's northern border with the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. In 2010, Montgomery County was the 51st-wealthiest county in the country by median household income. In 2008, the county was named the 9th Best Place to Raise a Family by Forbes.

The county was created on September 10, 1784, out of land originally part of Philadelphia County. The first courthouse was housed in the Barley Sheaf Inn. It is believed to have been named either for Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while attempting to capture Quebec City, or for the Welsh county of Montgomeryshire (which was named after one of William the Conqueror's main counselors, Roger de Montgomerie), as it was part of the Welsh Tract, an area of Pennsylvania settled by Quakers from Wales. Early histories of the county indicate the origin of the county's name as uncertain.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 487 square miles (1,260 km2), of which 483 square miles (1,250 km2) is land and 4.2 square miles (11 km2) (0.9%) is covered by water. It has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and is in hardiness zones 6b and 7a.

Major highways

  • I-76
  • I-276 / Penna Turnpike
  • I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension
  • I-476
  • US 1
  • US 30
  • US 202
  • US 422
  • PA 23
  • PA 29
  • PA 63
  • PA 73
  • PA 100
  • PA 113
  • PA 152
  • PA 232
  • PA 252
  • PA 263
  • PA 309
  • PA 320
  • PA 332
  • PA 363
  • PA 463
  • PA 563
  • PA 611
  • PA 663

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 22,918
1800 24,150 5.4%
1810 29,703 23.0%
1820 35,793 20.5%
1830 39,406 10.1%
1840 47,241 19.9%
1850 58,291 23.4%
1860 70,500 20.9%
1870 81,612 15.8%
1880 96,494 18.2%
1890 123,290 27.8%
1900 138,995 12.7%
1910 169,590 22.0%
1920 199,310 17.5%
1930 265,804 33.4%
1940 289,247 8.8%
1950 353,068 22.1%
1960 516,682 46.3%
1970 623,799 20.7%
1980 643,621 3.2%
1990 678,111 5.4%
2000 750,097 10.6%
2010 799,884 6.6%
2020 856,553 7.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2019

As of the 2020 census, the county was 73.27% White (72.18% White, non-Hispanic), 9.55% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American or Alaskan Native, 7.94% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, and 2.87% some other race; 6.13% were two or more races. 6.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the 2010 census, the county was 79.0% White non-Hispanic, 8.7% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American or Alaskan Native, and 6.4% Asian (2.1% Indian, 1.7% Korean, 1.2% Chinese, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.3% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, 0.6% other Asian); 1.9% were two or more races, and 1.6% were some other race. About 4.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.

As of the census of 2000, 750,097 people, 286,098 households, and 197,693 families resided in the county. The population density was 1,553 people per square mile (599/km2). The 297,434 housing units averaged 238 units/km2 (616 units/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 86.46% White, 7.46% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 4.02% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. About 2.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race, 17.5% were of German, 16.7% Irish, 14.3% Italian, 6.5% English, and 5.0% Polish ancestry according to 2000 United States Census. Around 90.5% spoke English, 2.0% Spanish, 1.1% Korean, and 1.0% Italian as their first language. Historically, much of western Montgomery County is part of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, with a great many descendants of German-speaking settlers from the 18th century.

Montgomery County is home to large and growing African American, Korean American, Puerto-Rican American, Mexican American, and Indian American populations. The county has the second-largest foreign-born population in the region, after Philadelphia County.

Of the 286,098 households, 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.90% were not families. About 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county, the age distribution was 24.10% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,829, and for a family was $72,183 (these figures had risen to $73,701 and $89,219, respectively, as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $48,698 versus $35,089 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,898. About 2.80% of families and 4.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.60% of those under age 18 and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.

The largest townships/boroughs in Montgomery County include:"

Township/borough Population (2010 US Census) Density mi2
Lower Merion Township 57,825 2,526.1
Abington Township 55,310 3,630.3
Cheltenham Township 36,793 4,083.1
Municipality of Norristown 34,324 9,806.9
Upper Merion Township 28,395 1,593.3
Horsham Township 26,147 1,398.6
Upper Dublin Township 25,569 1,960.7
Lower Providence Township 25,436 1,458.8
Montgomery Township 24,790 2,067.1
Upper Moreland Township 24,015 3,202

Communities

Map of Montgomery County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, five types of incorporated municipalities are listed: cities, boroughs, townships, home rule municipalities (which can include communities that bear the name "Borough" or "Township") and, in at most two cases, towns. These boroughs, townships, and home rule municipalities are located in Montgomery County:

Home rule municipalities

Boroughs

Townships

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 Montgomery County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Norristown Municipality 34,324
2 Pottstown Borough 22,377
3 King of Prussia CDP 19,936
4 Lansdale Borough 16,269
5 Willow Grove CDP 15,726
6 Horsham CDP 14,842
7 Montgomeryville CDP 12,624
8 Ardmore (partially in Delaware County) CDP 12,455
9 Harleysville CDP 9,286
10 Audubon CDP 8,433
11 Glenside CDP 8,384
12 Sanatoga CDP 8,378
13 Kulpsville CDP 8,194
14 Conshohocken Borough 7,833
15 Hatboro Borough 7,360
16 Maple Glen CDP 6,742
17 Souderton Borough 6,618
18 Ambler Borough 6,417
19 Plymouth Meeting CDP 6,177
20 Blue Bell CDP 6,067
21 Trooper CDP 5,744
22 Penn Wynne CDP 5,697
23 Oreland CDP 5,678
24 Wyndmoor CDP 5,498
25 Fort Washington CDP 5,446
26 Collegeville Borough 5,089
27 Telford (partially in Bucks County) Borough 4,872
28 Gilbertsville CDP 4,832
29 Eagleville CDP 4,800
30 Royersford Borough 4,752
31 Bridgeport Borough 4,554
32 Flourtown CDP 4,538
33 Jenkintown Borough 4,422
34 Narberth Borough 4,282
35 Pennsburg Borough 3,843
36 Spring House CDP 3,804
37 Bryn Mawr CDP 3,779
38 Skippack CDP 3,758
39 Stowe CDP 3,695
40 Trappe Borough 3,509
41 Pottsgrove CDP 3,469
42 Hatfield Borough 3,290
43 North Wales Borough 3,229
44 Wyncote CDP 3,044
45 East Greenville Borough 2,951
46 Halfway House CDP 2,881
47 Rockledge Borough 2,543
48 Red Hill Borough 2,383
49 Spring Mount CDP 2,259
50 Evansburg CDP 2,129
51 Schwenksville Borough 1,385
52 Bryn Athyn Municipality 1,375
53 Haverford College (mostly in Delaware County) CDP 1,331
54 West Conshohocken Borough 1,320
55 Woxhall CDP 1,318
56 Arcadia University CDP 595
57 Green Lane Borough 508

Culture

  • The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP), a nonprofit organization founded by Glenn Doman, was established in Wyndmoor in 1955. The IAHP is an educational organization that teaches parents about child brain development, and is a treatment center for brain-injured children.
  • The Old York Road Symphony, based in Abington, is one of the oldest all-volunteer orchestras in the country, founded in 1932.

Economy

Montgomery County ranges from the densely populated rowhouse streets of Cheltenham Township to the forests and open land around the Perkiomen Creek in the northern part of the county.

Montgomery County is a suburb of Philadelphia and consequently, many of its residents work in the city. However, Montco is also a major employment center with large business parks in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Fort Washington, Horsham, and King of Prussia which attract thousands of workers from all over the region. The strong job base and taxes generated by those jobs have resulted in Montgomery County receiving the highest credit rating of 'AAA' from Standard & Poor's, one of fewer than 30 counties in the United States with such a rating. In 2012, Moody's downgraded the general obligation rating to Aa1, and in 2018 the rating was revised back to Aaa.

Major employers include:

  • Abington School District
  • ABM Industries
  • ACTS Retirement-Life Communities
  • Aetna
  • Arcadia University
  • Giant
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Hatfield Quality Meats
  • Hatboro-Horsham School District
  • Holy Redeemer Health System
  • Janssen
  • Jefferson Abington Hospital
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Lower Merion School District
  • King of Prussia mall
  • Main Line Health
  • McNeil Consumer Healthcare
  • Merck
  • Montgomery County Community College
  • Motorola Mobility
  • Norristown Area School District
  • North Penn School District
  • Pfizer
  • Prudential
  • Quaker Chemical
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • SEI Investments Company
  • Souderton Area School District
  • Spring-Ford Area School District

Education

Colleges and universities

Public school districts

Map of Montgomery County Pennsylvania School Districts
Map of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts
  • Abington School District
  • Boyertown Area School District
  • Cheltenham Township School District
  • Colonial School District
  • Hatboro-Horsham School District
  • Jenkintown School District
  • Lower Merion School District
  • Lower Moreland Township School District
  • Methacton School District
  • Norristown Area School District
  • North Penn School District
  • Perkiomen Valley School District
  • Pottsgrove School District
  • Pottstown School District
  • Souderton Area School District
  • Springfield Township School District
  • Spring-Ford Area School District
  • Upper Dublin School District
  • Upper Merion Area School District
  • Upper Moreland School District
  • Upper Perkiomen School District
  • Wissahickon School District
  • Bryn Athyn School District – exists as an entity, but does not operate any schools. Public school students attend class in neighboring districts.

Private secondary schools

  • Academy Of The New Church Boys School
  • Academy Of The New Church Girls School
  • Abington Friends School
  • The Baldwin School
  • AIM Academy
  • Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, formerly known as the Akiba Hebrew Academy
  • Bishop McDevitt High School
  • Calvary Baptist School
  • Coventry Christian Schools
  • Dock Mennonite Academy
  • Friends' Central School
  • Germantown Academy
  • Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School
  • Haverford School
  • The Hill School
  • Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy
  • Indian Creek Mennonite School
  • Lakeside School
  • Lansdale Catholic High School
  • La Salle College High School
  • Lincoln Academy
  • Main Line Academy
  • Martin Luther School
  • Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Catholic School
  • Meadowbrook School
  • Merion Mercy Academy
  • Mount Saint Joseph Academy
  • New Life Youth & Family Svcs
  • The Pathway School
  • The Perkiomen School
  • Pope John Paul II Catholic High School, replaced Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School and Saint Pius X High School in 2010.
  • Reformation Christian School
  • Saint Aloysius School
  • Saint Basil Academy
  • Saint Katherine Day School
  • Stowe Lighthouse Christ Academy
  • The Shipley School
  • Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia
  • Trinity Christian Academy
  • Valley Forge Baptist Academy
  • Wordsworth Academy
  • Wyncote Academy
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