Pennsylvania State: Population, Rankings, and Facts

#29 in Overall Ranking out of 50 in 2021

Situated in the Northeastern region of the United States, Pennsylvania is also known as the Keystone state. There is much more American history hidden here that still awaits discovery. It became the 2nd state of the Union and a focal point in the early foundations of the United States. It was the foundation for the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Updated: April 15, 2021
  • Area
    46,055 sq mi
  • Capital
  • Population
  • Income
  • Home Value
  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Poverty
  • Environment
  • Infrastructure

The history of Pennsylvania and that of the United States are virtually indistinguishable. The state served as the capital of the new Union from 1776 to 1800. The Declaration of Independence was signed here, and it served as the seat of the federal government, overseeing all matters of nation-building within the period. 

The state has over 63,000 farms occupying over 8 million acres of prime farmland. The leading agricultural products are corn, mushrooms, maple syrup, potatoes, and dairy products. 

As Hershey’s chocolate’s birthplace, the province is home to some of the world’s most productive cocoa and chocolate manufacturing firms.  It is widely known as the ‘snack capital of the world due to its over 2300 food processing companies.

Apart from the weather and state parks, the Gettysburg National Military Park put tourism on the map. All the cities have tourist attractions. Others are Valley Forge National Historical Park, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, The Eisenhower farm near Gettysburg, Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Dutch region. The weather is ideal for most retirees. The territory near Lake Erie is quite snowy.

There are 67 Pennsylvania counties, and some of them are the largest in the country. For example, the new census data indicates Philadelphia has over 1,560,006 residents, whereas Pittsburg has close to 305,704 citizens. The capital city is Harrisburg.

It’s relatively easy to recognize the official flag, which has blue as the background color and a coat of arms emblazoned in the middle of the flag. The coat of arms features a shield, and resting on top of it is the bald eagle, which is the symbolic animal representing American freedom. 

Two horses’ flank both sides of the shield onto which are emblazoned the state’s core symbols of strength: a ship, a clay-red plow, three sheaves of wheat, an olive branch, and finally a corn stalk. These symbols represent vast resources, strength, fertility, and human thought. 

How We Figured Out Which Were the Best States To Live In

Several factors are considered when identifying the best states to live in in the United States. Information about geography, income and demographics, infrastructure, access to critical services is taken from trusted and reliable sources. This article mostly comes from new U.S. census data, statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, and organizations such as the FBI, United Health foundations, and others. This data is collected in adherence to the highest information-analytical methods. 


  • Population
    Data: 12,801,989

    The Pennsylvania population is in 5th place in the U.S. Its surrounding states are smaller in comparison. It has a wide surface area with an equal number of people living in it, making its density larger than big states such as Florida. Such population density provides easily accessible and cheap labor.

  • Median Income
    Income in $
    Data: $59,195

    The high reliance on manufacturing blue-collar jobs has significantly reduced the median income, which conversely explains the high poverty rate. The taxes here are somewhat high. The sales tax is 6%, which is the average rate in the country. The property tax is 1.51%, one of the highest.

  • Home Value
    Home Value
    Data: $215,939

    Most of the homes are either public infrastructure funded or privately funded through large estate corporations. This has made the prices higher than the U.S. average of $269,039. This shows that homes are reasonably priced and consist majorly of standalone houses of high value.

  • Unemployment Rate
    Data: 7.1%

    The Pennsylvania unemployment rate is very high. There is a significant brain drain to other surrounding opportunities. Industrial jobs, particularly in steel, have largely shifted away from the region, and this has caused an increase in unemployment. However, recent investments in technology and small-scale businesses are creating an upward trajectory in earnings.

  • Poverty
    Data: 12.0%

    Over the past few years, this has been an impoverished region. It's ranked at number 24 and has a poverty rate of 12%. Manufacturing has not shown the necessary opportunities, which has affected the residents' earnings. There are many blue-collar low-income earners, which is why poverty rates are high.

  • Education
    Data: 30.1%

    The most notable educational establishment is Pennsylvania State University. There are other equally resourceful institutions, which has slightly improved the number of people with Bachelor's degrees. Despite the lower than national average figures, the province remains a highly valued destination for higher education irrespective of age.

  • Medicine
    Health Outcomes: 34

    Health insurance is common in the province. However, the rate of uninsured people is relatively high, especially compared to neighboring regions like Colorado. Healthcare is one of the most significant and fastest-growing sectors in PA. Therefore, health standards are expected to improve for some years following further adoption of the Affordable Care Act and healthcare access to veterans.

  • Crime Rate
    Violent Crime: 39,228

    The crime rate in the province mostly centers on petty crimes, mainly within the suburbs. Philadelphia has more crimes reported due to its high population. The top three safest cities are Enon Valley, Smicksburg, and Hope Bottom, whereas Chester, McKeesport, and Pottstown are the most dangerous. In comparison, neighboring New York registers slightly lower crime rates.

  • Natural Environment
    Air: 280

    There were 280 air pollution violations in the region. This is because of the manufacturing industry, which is the backbone of the area. At least one in three tests shows high water contamination in the supply system. Most of these contaminants are heavy metals, lead, acidity, bacteria, and iron. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia register a more significant number of violations.

  • Infrastructure
    Poor Roads: 7.1%

    The region has some of the worst infrastructures in the country. Rank #44 shows deficient bridges, roads, toll stations, and generally, all other critical infrastructures require repair. There are potholes and, in some places, virtually inaccessible roads showing the advanced age of infrastructure.

Pennsylvania Facts

  • The Pennsylvania abbreviation is PA.
  • The official colors are blue and gold, which are featured on the flag.
  • The official dog is the Great Dane.
  • State forests cover over 2 million acres, putting PA on the conservation map.  These have provided a very durable cover to ascertain a consistent climate for agriculture. Besides, they feed the state plus most of the country. 
  • There are 116 state parks, which bring in tourist funds to the region’s coffers for everyday utility. 
  • Erie people are Native Americans who lived near Lake Erie
  • The first daily newspaper was first published here in 1784. As the bastion of American democratic ideals, the region is a core pillar of the Union’s democratic identity.
  • Retires prefer the Keystone state for its preferable tax regime. The state income tax is the best in the country for veterans. 
  • The first presidential mansion was built in the state. In fact, the White House was previously stationed in the area before it moved to Washington.
  • The state flower is the mountain laurel, whereas its state bird is the ruffed grouse.
  • Its motto remains “Virtue, liberty, and independence.”

Pennsylvania in Photos

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Pennsylvania Map
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Pennsylvania Harrisburg
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Pennsylvania Philadelphia Downtown
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Pennsylvania Philadelphia
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Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Downtown
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Pennsylvania Pittsburgh
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Pennsylvania Rachel Carson Bridge
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Pennsylvania University
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Pennsylvania Capitol Bridge
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Pennsylvania Independence Hall

FAQ Section

  • Where Is Pennsylvania?

    On the U.S. map, it is located in the Northeastern part of the country. Though it is landlocked, it still enjoys access to the neighboring infrastructure and access to the coast. It is bordered to the Southeast by Delaware, South by Maryland, West by Ohio, and New York to the North.

  • What Time Zone Is Pennsylvania?

    It uses the Eastern Standard Time, GMT-5. This gives the location a great navigational parallel with other regions using a similar time zone, and it adjusts its time in adherence to the daylight saving rules.

    As Daylight savings time begins or ends, the time zone observed in the Eastern Daylight Time, UTC -4.

  • How Many Counties in PA?

    There are 67 counties in total. Some counties are well known, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, whereas others are less popular such as Reading, Bethlehem, and Harrisburg.

    Forest County is the poorest with a median income of $37,106, whereas Chester county is the richest with earnings of $100,000 per household. When it comes to safety, Westmoreland ranks first, while Allegheny is the least safe.

  • What Is Pennsylvania Known For?

    The region is at the center of the founding of America. However, lately, it has been known for its chocolate factories, being the birthplace of Kobe Bryant and Princess Grace of Monaco.

    Some other notable individuals who hail from the area are Betsy Ross, Andrew Wyeth, Samuel Barber, Rachel Carson, and others.

  • What to Do in PA?

    Pennsylvania has some of the most alluring historical attractions in the area. The rich American history finds its seat in the vast number of historical locations and local heritage sites.

    Tourists can visit the Liberty Bell, the Gettysburg war memorial, Valley Forge National Historical Park, the Eisenhower farm near Gettysburg.