|Coordinates: 40°45′N 75°19′W / 40.75°N 75.31°W|
|Founded||March 11, 1752|
|• Total||377 sq mi (980 km2)|
|• Land||370 sq mi (1,000 km2)|
|• Water||7.7 sq mi (20 km2) 2.0%%|
|• Density||830/sq mi (320/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Northampton County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 312,951. Its county seat is Easton. The county was formed in 1752 from parts of Bucks County. Its namesake was the county of Northamptonshire in England, and the county seat of Easton was named for the country house Easton Neston in Northamptonshire.
Northampton County and Lehigh County to its west combine to form the eastern Pennsylvania region known as the Lehigh Valley, and both counties are included in the Philadelphia media market, the fourth-largest in the nation. Lehigh County, with a population of 374,557 of the 2020 U.S. census, is the more highly populated of the two counties.
Northampton County is industrially oriented, producing cement and other industrial products. It was a center for global cement production with the world's then-largest cement producer Atlas Portland Cement Company operating in the county for nearly a century from 1895 until 1982. Bethlehem Steel, one of the world's largest manufacturers of steel throughout the 20th century, was located in the county prior to its dissolution in 2003.
The Lehigh River, a 109-mile-long (175 km) tributary of the Delaware River, flows through Northampton County. The county borders Carbon County and the Poconos to the north, Lehigh County to the west, Bucks County, and the Delaware Valley to the south, and the Delaware River, which divides Pennsylvania and New Jersey, to the east.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 377 square miles (980 km2), of which 370 square miles (960 km2) is land and 7.7 square miles (20 km2) (2.0%) is water. The climate is humid continental (mostly Dfa with a little Dfb in higher northern areas) and the hardiness zones are 6b and 6a. Average monthly temperatures in downtown Bethlehem average from 29.1 °F in January to 74.1 °F in July, while in Wind Gap they average from 27.0 °F in January to 71.7 °F in July.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2020 census, the county's population was 312,951, reflecting growth of 5.1% over 2010.As of the 2010 census, the county was 81.0% White Non-Hispanic, 5.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.4% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.2% were two or more races, and 3.8% were some other race. 10.5% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
|Black or African American (NH)||17,429||5.6%|
|Native American (NH)||251||0.08%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||75||0.02%|
|Hispanic or Latino||44,597||14.25%|
Northampton is one of the seven counties in Pennsylvania which has adopted a home rule charter. Voters elect an Executive, a nine-person Council, a Controller, and a District Attorney. The Executive, Controller and District Attorney are elected at large by all voters in the County. Five members of the council are also elected at large. The other four members of the council are elected from single-member districts. This weighted structure of government favors the majority of voters, but it does allow for representation of minority groups, if they live within a compact voting district. The Row Officers are nominated by the county executive and approved by county council.
The following currently serve as elected officials in Northampton County government offices:
Clerk of Courts
Register of Wills
As of November 7, 2022 there were 225,050 registered voters in Northampton County
In recent decades, Northampton has been identified as one of Pennsylvania's "swing counties," with statewide winners carrying it in most cases; since 1952, it has gone to the statewide winner in the presidential election. All five statewide winners carried it in November 2004 and all four statewide Democratic candidates carried it in November 2008, with District Attorney John Morganelli doing well there despite losing statewide to incumbent Attorney General Tom Corbett. The Democratic Party has been dominant most of the time in county-level politics in recent decades. In 2014, John Brown bucked that trend when he became the only Republican in the 21st Century to be elected Northampton County executive, a harbinger of Donald Trump winning the county and the state at the presidential level in 2016. Lamont McClure retook the county executive position for the Democrats in 2018; Joe Biden won Northampton County and Pennsylvania in 2020.
Municipal elections were held across Pennsylvania in November 2019, and results in Northampton County were plagued with problems caused by newly purchased machines, The ExpressVoteXL, sold by the manufacturer Election Systems & Software (ES&S) as a luxury one-stop voting system. According to The New York Times and other publications, it was a few minutes after the polls closed on Election Day when panic began to spread through the Northampton county election offices. Vote totals in one judge’s race showed one candidate, Abe Kassis, a Democrat, had just 164 votes out of 55,000 ballots across more than 100 precincts. Some machines reported zero votes for him.
The voting system, used in numerous Pennsylvania jurisdictions, combines a touch screen with a paper ballot backup. County officials determined the results by counting the paper ballots, which showed Mr. Kassis had won by 1,054 votes. Unofficial results were announced at 6AM on November 6. The election results were certified following a canvass and audit. No challenges to the election results were filed.
|Name||Party||Term start||Term end|
|Glenn F. Reibman||Democratic||1998||2006|
Bangor Area School District
Bethlehem Area School District
Catasauqua Area School District
Easton Area School District
Nazareth Area School District
Northampton Area School District
Pen Argyl Area School District
Saucon Valley School District
Wilson Area School District
Air transport to and from Northampton County is available through Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, which is locatedapproximately 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Bethlehem and 11 miles (18 km) west-southwest of Easton.
Public bus service in Northampton County is available through LANta. A shuttle bus service, the Bethlehem Loop, also operates in Bethlehem. NJ Transit provides service from Easton's Centre Square to the Phillipsburg area.
Main article: Area codes 610, 484, and 835
Northampton 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, Northampton County was afforded area code 610 in 1994. Today, Northampton County is covered by 610 except for the Portland exchange which uses 570. 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.
There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Northampton County:
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and two towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Northampton County:
Census-designated places are unincorporated communities designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Northampton County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/borough/township/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|1||Bethlehem (partially in Lehigh County)||City||74,982|
|7||Lower Saucon Township||Township||10,772|
|14||Upper Mount Bethel Township||Township||6,706|
|15||Upper Nazareth Township||Township||6,231|
|20||Lower Nazareth Township||Township||5,674|
|23||East Allen Township||Township||4,930|
|28||Lower Mount Bethel Township||Township||3,101|
Main article: List of people from the Lehigh Valley