|Founded||October 13, 1812|
|Named for||Susquehanna River|
|Largest borough||Forest City|
|• Total||832 sq mi (2,150 km2)|
|• Land||823 sq mi (2,130 km2)|
|• Water||8.7 sq mi (23 km2) 1.0%%|
|• Density||51/sq mi (20/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Susquehanna County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 38,434 Its county seat is Montrose. The county was created on February 21, 1810, from part of Luzerne County and later organized in 1812. It is named for the Susquehanna River.
The first settlers began to move into the area from Philadelphia and Connecticut in the mid-1700s. At the time, the area was part of Luzerne County. As more and more people from Connecticut moved in, there began to be some conflict. Under Connecticut's land grant, they owned everything from present-day Connecticut to the Pacific Ocean. This meant their land grant overlapped with Pennsylvania's land grant. Soon fighting began. In the end, the government of Connecticut was asked to surrender its claim on the area, which it did.
In 1810, Susquehanna County was formed out of Luzerne County and later in 1812, Montrose was made the county seat.
After the Civil War, coal started to be mined. Following this, railways and roads were built into the county allowing for more people to come. At one point the county had nearly 50,000 people. Coal became, as with neighboring counties, the backbone of the economy. This boom in coal would allow for an age of prosperity in the county.
When the Great Depression hit, the coal industry suffered horribly. Within months, the coal industry was struggling. During World War II, the coal industry picked up again, but only for a short time. Soon after, the economy in the county failed. Many mines were closed, railways were torn apart, and the economy took a turn for the worse. Unemployment rose and population decline increased.[dubious ]
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 832 square miles (2,150 km2), of which 823 square miles (2,130 km2) is land and 8.7 square miles (23 km2) (1.0%) is water.
Susquehanna County is very mountainous, with large concentrations of mountains in the east and smaller, more hill-like mountains in the west. The highest mountain in the county is North Knob just west of Union Dale. Most people live in one of the several long and mostly narrow valleys. These valleys are good farming land.
The county has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb) and average monthly temperatures in Montrose range from 21.2 °F in January to 67.7 °F in July.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 42,238 people, 16,529 households, and 11,785 families residing in the county. The population density was 51 people per square mile (20/km2). There were 21,829 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.54% White, 0.30% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. 0.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 26% were of English, 16.1% were of German, 15.1% Irish, 8.6% Italian and 7.7% Polish ancestry.
There were 16,529 households, out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.50% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 25.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males. Susquehanna County's live birth rate was 612 births in 1990. The county's live birth rate in 2000 was 499 births, while in 2011 it had declined to 374 babies.
Susquehanna County had a 318 babies born to teens (age 15–19) in 2011. In 2015, the number of teen births in Susquehanna County was 265.
According to research by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, which is a legislative agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the poverty rate for Susquehanna County was 12.8% in 2014. The statewide poverty rate was 13.6% in 2014. The 2012 childhood poverty rate by school district was: Blue Ridge School District - 42.9% living at 185% or below than the Federal Poverty Level; Montrose Area School District - 32%; Elk Lake School District - 45.3%; Forest City Regional School District - 53.7%; Mountain View School District - 48.8% and Susquehanna Community School District - 55.8%.
As of November 1, 2021, there are 26,669 registered voters in Susquehanna County.
The economy in the county is mainly made up of retail, health care industry, public school employment, small businesses, and government officials.
Listed in order of number of employees at the end of 2018, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry May 2019 monthly report:
Since unconventional drilling for natural gas began in 2008, some say the economy has improved. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Susquehanna County was 6.1 percent in January 2008. It has since fluctuated between a high of 11.1 percent and a low of 3.1 percent. As of January 2018, the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent. After decades of population growth since the 1950s, the population in Susquehanna County has since begun to decline, concurrent with the expansion of natural gas drilling and accompanying infrastructure. Between 2010 and 2016, there was an estimated population decline of 5.8 percent. As of 2011, there were 1,079 active natural gas wells in the county which had collectively been issued 795 notices of violations by the Department of Environmental Protection of Pennsylvania.
Susquehanna County's natural environment, skiing, and small villages make it a growing tourist destination.
Northeast Intermediate Unit 19 (NEIU 19)
Susquehanna County's last mainline passenger train services, through New Milford and Hallstead, ended in January 1970. Since then, freight trains (presently Norfolk Southern) use the railroad line.
Although Susquehanna County boasts several airstrips, they are strictly recreational. The closest main airports are in Binghamton, New York and Scranton, Pennsylvania.
There is one Pennsylvania state park in Susquehanna County:
Susquehanna County is located in the Endless Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Susquehanna County is rural in nature. In 2010, it ranked 54th out of 67 Pennsylvania counties for population density per square mile at 52.7 people per square mile.
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in two cases at most, towns. The following boroughs and townships are located in Susquehanna County:
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Susquehanna County.
† county seat
|Rank||Borough/Township||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|