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Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

Northumberland County, Pennsylvania
Northumberland County Courthouse
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northumberland County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 21, 1772
Named for Northumberland
Seat Sunbury
Largest city Sunbury
 • Total 478 sq mi (1,238 km2)
 • Land 458 sq mi (1,186 km2)
 • Water 19 sq mi (49 km2), 4.0%
 • (2010) 94,528
 • Density 206/sq mi (80/km²)
Congressional districts 10th, 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .org.northumberlandcowww

Northumberland County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 94,528.[1] Its county seat is Sunbury.[2] The county was formed in 1772 from parts of Lancaster, Berks, Bedford, Cumberland, and Northampton Counties and named for the county of Northumberland in northern England. Northumberland County is a fifth class county according to the Pennsylvania's County Code.[3]

Northumberland County comprises the Sunbury, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area.

Among its famous residents, Joseph Priestley, the enlightenment chemist and theologian, left England in 1796 due to religious persecution and settled on the Susquehanna River. His former house (originally purchased by chemists from Pennsylvania State University after a colloquium that founded the American Chemical Society[4]) is a historical museum.[5]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Mountains 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
    • Adjacent counties 2.3
  • Demographics 3
  • Micropolitan Statistical Area 4
  • Politics and government 5
    • County commissioners 5.1
    • Other county offices 5.2
    • State Representatives 5.3
    • State Senator 5.4
    • U.S. Representative 5.5
  • Education 6
    • Early child education 6.1
    • Public school districts 6.2
    • Charter school 6.3
    • Intermediate Unit 6.4
    • Independent schools 6.5
  • Communities 7
    • Cities 7.1
    • Boroughs 7.2
    • Townships 7.3
    • Census-designated places 7.4
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


By 1813 the area once comprising the sprawling county of Northumberland had been divided over time and allotted to other counties such that lands once occupied by Old Northumberland at its greatest extent are now found in Centre, Columbia, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Union, Clearfield, Clinton, Montour, Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Tioga, Potter, McKean, Warren, Venango, Snyder, and Schuylkill Counties.


Susquehanna River from the Shikellamy State Park overlook, looking upriver. The West Branch Susquehanna River is in the foreground.
View looking northeast from the Shikellamy State Park overlook

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 478 square miles (1,240 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (4.0%) is water.[6]

The main river in Northumberland County is the Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna River's tributaries in the county include the West Branch Susquehanna River, Chillisquaque Creek, Shamokin Creek, and Mahanoy Creek. The county has mountains in the south and north, with the rest being mostly rolling hills.


Name Height
Mahanoy Mountain 433 meters
Big Mountain 402 meters

Major highways

Adjacent counties


As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 94,556 people, 38,835 households, and 25,592 families residing in the county. The population density was 206 people per square mile (79/km²). There were 43,164 housing units at an average density of 94 per square mile (36/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.09% White, 1.52% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 1.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.5% were of German, 12.9% Polish, 9.9% American, 8.2% Italian, 8.1% Irish and 5.8% Dutch ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.8% spoke English and 1.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 38,835 households out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.40% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.10% were non-families. 30.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.90% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 19.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.

Micropolitan Statistical Area

Map of the Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), composed of the following parts:
  Sunbury, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (μSA)

The United States Office of Management and Budget[13] has designated Northumberland County as the Sunbury, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census[14] the micropolitan area ranked 2nd most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 37th most populous in the United States with a population of 94,528. Northumberland County is also a part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the population of Northumberland County as well as the Columbia, Montour, Snyder and Union County areas. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 8th in the State of Pennsylvania and 115th most populous in the United States with a population of 264,739.

Politics and government

As of November 2008, there are 53,983 registered voters in Northumberland County.[15]

While county-level politics tend to be competitive, Northumberland is a Republican county in most statewide elections. The margins of victory in the county for the Republican Presidential candidate in 2000, 2004, and 2008 have been 13, 21, and 14 percentage points, respectively. Governor Ed Rendell narrowly carried it against Lynn Swann while Republican Rick Santorum narrowly carried it against Bob Casey in 2006. The only Democratic statewide candidate to carry the county in 2008 was incumbent Auditor General Jack Wagner. In 2011, the election of Stephen Bridy resulted in a three-way split among the county commissioners.

County commissioners

  • Stephen Bridy, Independent
  • Vinny Clausi, Democrat
  • Rick Shoch, Republican

Other county offices

  • Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary, Justin Dunkelberger, Republican
  • Controller, Christopher L. Grayson, Democrat
  • District Attorney, Ann Targonski, Democrat
  • Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills, Mary Zimmerman, Republican
  • Sheriff, Robert Wolfe, Democrat
  • Treasurer, Kevin P. Gilroy, Republican
  • Coroner, James F. Kelley, Democrat

State Representatives

State Senator

U.S. Representative


Map of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Early child education

According to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning of the Pennsylvania Department of Education June 2007 report, Northumberland County is rated at a high risk level for children who are “at risk” and therefore might benefit from more taxpayer funded services. Northumberland County was rated 3.14 ARL, in the highest 25% of counties for average risk level.[16]

Public school districts

Charter school

SusQ Cyber Charter School – provided by Intermediate Unit 16 Grades 9–12th

Intermediate Unit

Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16 – The primary service area consists of: Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties in central Pennsylvania. Provides a wide variety of education related services to school districts, private and parochial schools and hame schooled students. Funded by: state and federal grants; state contracts and service contracts. Intermediate units do not have the power to levy taxes. The IU's board is made up of representatives from the schools districts it serves.

Independent schools

  • Bethesda Alternative School, Milton 7–12th grade
  • Keefertown Parochial School 1–8th grade
  • Maranatha Mennonite Christian School K-12th grade
  • Meadowbrook Christian Academy PreK-12th grade
  • Meadowview Christian Academy PreK-10th grade
  • Northumberland Christian School PreK-12th grade
  • Northwestern Academy 5–12th grade
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School 9–12th grade [6]
  • Schwaben Creek School 1–8th grade
  • Spring View Parochial School, Watsontown 1–9th grade
  • St Louis De Monfort Academy, Herdon 7–12 grade [7]
  • Sunbury Christian Academy, Northumberland K-12th grade [8]
  • Sunny Slope Amish Parochial School 1–8th grade
  • Transfiguration Elementary School, Shamokin PreK-8th grade
  • Watsontown Christian Academy, Watontown PreK-12th grade [9]

data from ies – National Center For Education Statistics – PSS Private School Universe Survey data for the 2007–2008 school year, U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences[17]

CSIU16 School Directory 2014 [18]

Additionally there are nearly 1000 children attending Mennonite and Amish schools per the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16.[19]

The St Monica School PreK-8th grade which was located in Sunbury Pennsylvania was closed by the Bishop in June 2013.[20]


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

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




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.

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "PA County Code Newspaper Handbook". Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. Retrieved April 2011. 
  4. ^ [10] Archived March 23, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Joseph Priestley House. Joseph Priestley House. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ "Office of Management and Budget". The White House. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Center for New Media and Promotions(C2PO). "2010 Census". Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Running for Office. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  16. ^ "Pennsylvania Department of Education". Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Search for Private Schools - Search Results". Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "CSIU16 School Directory 2014" (PDF). Jan 20, 2014. 
  19. ^ School Choice Topic of Meeting tonight, Joseph Deinlein, The Daily Item, April 5, 2011
  20. ^ Nikki Krize (May 31, 2012). "Celebrating Saint Monica School". WNEP TV News. 

External links

  • Welcome to Northumberland County

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