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Centre County, Pennsylvania

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Founded  February 13, 1800
Congressional district  5th
Area  2,883 km²
County seat  Bellefonte
Largest borough  State College
Time zone  Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Designated  May 10, 1982
Population  155,403 (2013)
Unemployment rate  3.1% (Apr 2015)
Centre County, Pennsylvania httpswwwcentrefoundationorgassetscentreco
Destinations  State College, Centre Hall, Bellefonte
Colleges and Universities  Pennsylvania State University, South Hills School of Business, Penn State World Campus, Central Pennsylvania Institute o, Penn State College of Education
Points of interest  Palmer Museum of Art, Medlar Field at Lubrano, Pennsylvania Military Museum, Tussey Mountain Ski Area, Mount Nittany

Centre County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 153,990. Its county seat is Bellefonte. Centre County comprises the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Map of Centre County, PA, USA


The lands of the future Centre County were first recorded by James Potter in 1764. Having reached the top of Nittany Mountain, and "....seeing the prairies and noble forest beneath him, cried out to his attendant, 'By heavens, Thompson, I have discovered an empire!'" Centre County was created on February 13, 1800, from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties and named for its central location in the state.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,113 square miles (2,880 km2), of which 1,110 square miles (2,900 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in Pennsylvania by area.


  • Bald Eagle Valley
  • Bald Eagle Mountain
  • Nittany Valley
  • Mount Nittany
  • Penns Valley
  • Tussey Mountain
  • Adjacent counties

  • Clinton County (north)
  • Union County (east)
  • Mifflin County (southeast)
  • Huntingdon County (south)
  • Blair County (south)
  • Clearfield County (west)
  • Demographics

    As of the census of 2010, there were 153,990 people, 57,573 households, and 31,256 families residing in the county. The population density was 139 people per square mile (54/km²). There were 63,297 housing units at an average density of 57 per square mile (22/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.4% White, 3.0% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 5.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. 2.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

    There were 57,573 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% 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 2.91.

    In the county, the population was spread out with 15.9% under the age of 18, 28.9% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 107.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.1 males.

    Metropolitan Statistical Area

    The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Centre County as the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census the metropolitan area ranked 13th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 259th most populous in the United States with a population of 155,403. Centre County is also a part of the larger State College-DuBois, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Centre County as well as Clearfield County to the west. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 9th in the State of Pennsylvania and 123rd most populous in the United States with a population of 236,577.

    County Commissioners

  • Michael Pipe, Chairman (Democrat)
  • Mark Higgins, Vice-Chair (Democrat)
  • Steven G. Dershem, Commissioner (Republican)
  • Other county offices

  • Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary, Debra Immel, Democrat
  • Controller, Charles Witmer, Republican
  • Coroner, Scott Sayers, Democrat
  • District Attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, Democrat
  • Recorder of Deeds, Joe Davidson, Republican
  • Register of Wills, Christine Millinder, Republican
  • Sheriff, Bryan Sampsel, Republican
  • Treasurer, Rich Fornicola, Republican
  • State Senate

  • Jake Corman, Republican, Pennsylvania's 34th Senatorial District
  • John N. Wozniak, Democrat, Pennsylvania's 35th Senatorial District
  • State House of Representatives

  • Michael K. Hanna, Sr., Democrat, Pennsylvania's 76th Representative District
  • Scott Conklin, Democrat, Pennsylvania's 77th Representative District
  • Kerry Benninghoff, Republican, Pennsylvania's 171st Representative District
  • United States House of Representatives

  • Glenn "G.T." Thompson, Republican, Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district
  • United States Senate

  • Pat Toomey, Republican
  • Bob Casey, Jr., Democrat
  • Politics

    As of November 2014, there were 108,316 registered voters in Centre County.

  • Democratic: 44,051 (40.67%)
  • Republican: 41,771 (38.56%)
  • Libertarian: 685 (0.63%)
  • No party affiliation: 19,162 (17.69%)
  • Other: 2,647 (2.44%)
  • Centre County had for many years been a strongly Republican county like most of rural Pennsylvania. In recent years, however, it has been becoming more competitive. In 2000 George W. Bush defeated Al Gore with 52% of the vote to Gore's 43%. In 2004 Bush won the county by a much smaller margin. Bush won 51% to Kerry's 47%, a margin of only 4%. In 2006, Governor Ed Rendell and Bob Casey Jr. both carried Centre and Democrat Scott Conklin decisively won the State House seat left open by the retirement of Republican Lynn Herman in the 77th district. In 2008, the Democrats captured the countywide registration edge, Barack Obama carried the county with 55% of the vote to McCain's 44%, and the other three statewide winners (Rob McCord for Treasurer, Jack Wagner for Auditor General, and Tom Corbett for Attorney General) also carried Centre. Perhaps the reason for the competitiveness of the Democrats is the fact that the main campus of Penn State is located in State College in the southern half of the county. In 2012, Barack Obama won the county in his reelection campaign by a very narrow margin, 48.90% to 48.65%. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton, beat eventual President-elect Republican Donald Trump 47.76% to 45.86%. However, in that same election, Republican Senator Pat Toomey beat Democratic opponent Katie McGinty 47.91% to 46.2% in the county

    Colleges and universities

  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Community, junior, and technical colleges

  • South Hills School of Business & Technology
  • Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, public Vo Tech located in Pleasant Gap
  • Public school districts

  • Bald Eagle Area School District
  • Bellefonte Area School District
  • Keystone Central School District (also in Clinton County)
  • Penns Valley Area School District
  • Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District (also in Clearfield County)
  • State College Area School District
  • Tyrone Area School District (also in Blair County and Huntingdon County)
  • Public charter schools

  • Young Scholars of Central PA Charter School
  • Centre Learning Community Charter School
  • Nittany Valley Charter School
  • Wonderland Charter School
  • There are 13 public cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania that are available for free statewide, to children K-12. See: Education in Pennsylvania.
  • Private schools

    As reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education 2010.

  • Bower Hollow Parochial School - Woodward
  • Centre County Christian Academy - Bellefonte
  • Elk Creek School - Rebersburg
  • Faith Christian Academy - Philipsburg
  • Grace Prep - State College
  • Hill Side School - Rebersburg
  • Hubler Ridge School - Bellefonte
  • Kramer Gap School - Spring Mills
  • Little Nittany Amish Parochial School - Howard
  • Mountain View School - Rebersburg
  • Nittany Christian School - State College
  • Our Lady of Victory School - State College
  • Peach Lane Amish School - Madisonburg
  • Penns Valley Amish Paroch School - Woodward
  • Rockville School - Rebersburg
  • Spring Bank School - Rebersburg
  • St John Evangelist School - Bellefonte
  • St. Joseph's Academy - Boalsburg
  • State College Friends School - State College
  • Sunny Meadow Parochial School - Howard
  • Sunset View School - Howard
  • Sunset View School - Rebersburg
  • Windy Poplars School - Centre Hall
  • Woodside Amish School - Spring Mills
  • Libraries

  • Centre County Libraries
  • Centre County Library - Bellefonte
  • Centre Hall Area Branch Library - Centre Hall
  • Holt Memorial Library - Philipsburg
  • Centre County Bookmobile
  • American Philatelic Research Library
  • Schlow Centre Region Library
  • Pennsylvania State University libraries

  • Pattee Library
  • Paterno Library
  • Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library
  • Earth and Mineral Sciences Library
  • Engineering Library
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library
  • Transportation

  • Interstate 80 runs east–west through the center of the county.
  • Interstate 99 runs east-southwest breaking off with I-80 near Bellefonte and runs past and through State College.
  • US Route 322 runs south–north through Potter's Mills to Philipsburg.
  • US Route 220 runs concurrently with I-80 in the eastern half of the county then splits with I-99 and runs concurrently with it in the western half of the county.
  • There are four significant state routes; PA 45, PA 192, PA 64, and PA 150 run parallel to I-80 while PA 144 runs perpendicular to it, north–south, from Potter's Mills to Snow Shoe.
  • The area is served by the University Park Airport.
  • Recreation

    There are six Pennsylvania state parks in Centre County.

  • Bald Eagle State Park is the largest state park in Centre County with 5,900-acres (2,388 ha). It is located on Pennsylvania Route 150 between Milesburg and Lock Haven.
  • Black Moshannon State Park west of State College has a bog with three species of carnivorous plants and 17 orchid varieties.
  • McCalls Dam State Park is a small park on a dirt road in the extreme eastern tip of the county.
  • Penn-Roosevelt State Park is the site of a former segregated CCC camp for African American men.
  • Poe Paddy State Park is located at the confluence of Big Poe Creek and Penns Creek.
  • Poe Valley State Park is in an isolated valley surrounding 25 acre Poe Lake.
  • Media

    Centre County's main daily newspaper is the Centre Daily Times (part of the McClatchy Company chain). Alternative newspapers include the Centre County Gazette and State College City Guide. Newspapers of Pennsylvania State University's main campus include The Forum and the student-run Daily Collegian.

    Numerous magazines are also published including Town & Gown, State College Magazine, Good Life in Happy Valley, Blue White Illustrated, Pennsylvania Business Central, and Voices of Central Pennsylvania.

    The radio market of Centre County is ranked #257 in the nation. Some of the more popular stations include WPSU, WKPS, WBUS, WQWK, WFGE, WBHV, WZWW, WRSC, WAPY, and WMAJ.

    Centre County is part of the Johnstown/Altoona/State College television market, which is currently ranked #99 in the nation. Television stations broadcasting out of State College include WPSU (PBS) and WHVL (MyNetworkTV) as well as C-NET, Centre County's Government and Education Access Television Network, which broadcasts on two channels: CGTV (Government Access TV) and CETV (Educational Access TV). Johnstown-based WJAC-TV (NBC) and Altoona-based WTAJ-TV (CBS) also maintain satellite studios and offices here.


    Under Pennsylvania law, there are five types of incorporated municipalities: cities, home rule municipalities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following municipalities, boroughs and townships are located in Centre County:

    Home rule municipalities

  • Ferguson Township
  • State College
  • 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

  • Colyer
  • Fishermans Paradise
  • Ingleby (ghost town)
  • Potter's Mills
  • Tusseyville
  • Population ranking

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

    county seat


    Centre County, Pennsylvania Wikipedia

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