Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Interactive map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Allegheny was the first county in Pennsylvania to be given a Native American
name. It was named after the Lenape
word for the Allegheny River
. The meaning of "Allegheny" is uncertain. It is usually said to mean "fine river". Stewart says that the name may come from a Lenape account of an ancient mythical tribe called "Allegewi"
, who lived along the river before being taken over by the Lenape.
Prior to European contact, this area was settled for thousands of years by succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples. During the colonial era
, historic native groups known by the colonists to settle in the area included members of western nations of the Iroquois
, such as the Seneca; the Lenape
, who had been pushed from the East by European-American settlers; the Shawnee
, who also had territory in Ohio; and the Mingo
, a group made up of a variety of peoples from more eastern tribes.
European fur traders such as Peter Chartier
established trading posts in the region in the early eighteenth century.
Most of the towns during that era were developed along waterways
, which were the primary transportation routes, as well as providing water for domestic uses. Through the eighteenth century, both the French and the British competed for control over the local rivers in this frontier territory of North America. Native American bands and tribes allied with the colonists to differing degrees, often based on their trading relationships. The British sent Major George Washington
to expel the French from their posts, with no success. He also nearly drowned in the ice-filled Allegheny River while returning to camp.
The English tried again in 1754 to establish a post in the area. They sent 41 Virginians to build Fort Prince George
. The French learned of the plan and sent an army to capture the fort. They resumed building it and added increased defensive fortification, renaming it as Fort Duquesne
Given its strategic location at the Ohio, Fort Duquesne became an important focal point of the French and Indian War
. The first British attempt to retake the fort, the Braddock Expedition
, failed miserably.
In 1758 British forces under General John Forbes
recaptured the fort; he had it destroyed to prevent any use by the French. The British built a new, larger fort on the site, including a moat, and named it Fort Pitt
. The historic site has been preserved as Pittsburgh's Point State Park
Under their colonial charters, both Pennsylvania and Virginia
claimed the region that is now Allegheny County. Pennsylvania administered most of the region as part of its Westmoreland County
. Virginia considered everything south of the Ohio River
and east of the Allegheny River
to be part of its Yohogania County
, and governed it from Fort Dunmore
. In addition, parts of the county were located in the proposed British colony of Vandalia
and the proposed U.S. state of Westsylvania
. The overlapping boundaries, multiple governments, and confused deed claims soon proved unworkable. Near the end of the American Revolutionary War, in 1780 Pennsylvania and Virginia agreed to extend the Mason–Dixon line
westward. This region was assigned to Pennsylvania. From 1781 until 1788, much of what Virginia had claimed as part of Yohogania County was administered as a part of the newly created Washington County, Pennsylvania
Allegheny County was officially created on September 24, 1788, from parts of Washington
counties. It was formed to respond to pressure from the increase in settlers living in the area around Pittsburgh; this was designated as the county seat
in 1791. The county originally extended north to the shores of Lake Erie
; it was reduced to its current borders by 1800. As population increased in the territory, other counties were organized.
The area developed rapidly through the 1800s with industrialization. It became the nation's prime steel
producer by the late 19th century and Pittsburgh was nicknamed "Steel Capital of the World".
In 1913 the county's 125th anniversary was celebrated with a week-long series of events. The final day, September 27, was marked by a steamboat parade of 30 paddle wheelers
. They traveled from Monongahela Wharf
down the Ohio to the Davis Island Dam
. The boats in line were the Steel City
(formerly the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati packet Virginia
), the flag ship; City of Parkersburg
, Charles Brown
, Alice Brown
, Sam Brown
, Raymond Horner
, I. C. Woodward
, A. R. Budd
, J. C. Risher
, Jim Brown
, Charlie Clarke
, Robt. J. Jenkins
, Midland Sam Barnum
, and Troubadour
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of 745 square miles (1,930 km2
), of which 730 square miles (1,900 km2
) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2
) (1.9%) is water.
Major roads and highways
Law and government
Until January 1, 2000, Allegheny County's government was defined under Pennsylvania's Second Class County Code. The county government was charged with all local activities, including elections, prisons, airports, public health, and city planning. All public offices were headed by elected citizens. There were three elected county commissioners.
On January 1, 2000, the Home-Rule Charter went into effect. It replaced the three elected commissioners with an elected chief officer (the County Executive), a county council with 15 members (13 elected by district, two elected county-wide), and an appointed county manager. The changes were intended to maintain a separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches while providing greater citizen control.
County Medical Examiner office
The county has 130 self-governing municipalities, the most in the state.
is second with 76).
The county has one Second Class City (Pittsburgh) and three Third Class Cities (Clairton
, and McKeesport
A 2004 study found the county would be better served by consolidating the southeastern portion of the county (which includes many small communities with modest economies) into a large municipality ("Rivers City") with a combined population of approximately 250,000.
- Bethany Hallam, At-large, Democrat
- Tom Baker, District 1, Republican
- Cindy Kirk, District 2, Republican
- Anita Prizio, District 3, Democrat
- Patrick Catena, President, District 4, Democrat
- Tom Duerr, District 5, Democrat
- John F. Palmiere, District 6, Democrat
- Nicholas Futules, District 7, Democrat
- Paul Zavarella, District 8, Democrat
- Robert J. Macey, Vice President, District 9, Democrat
- DeWitt Walton, District 10, Democrat
- Paul Klein, District 11, Democrat
- Robert Palmosina, District 12, Democrat
- Olivia Bennett, District 13, Democrat
- Samuel DeMarco, III, At-large, Republican
Other elected county offices
United States presidential election results for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
As of April 27, 2020, there were 895,158 registered voters in the county; a majority were Democrats. There were 521,327 registered Democrats
, 249,831 registered Republicans
, 79,490 voters registered as No Affiliation Voters and 44,510 registered to other parties.
Chart of Voter Registration
The Republican Party had been historically dominant in county-level politics in the 19th and early 20th centuries; prior to the Great Depression
, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County had been majority Republican. Since the Great Depression on the state and national levels, the Democratic Party has been dominant in county-level politics and is the Democratic stronghold of western Pennsylvania. In 2000, Democrat Al Gore
won 56% of the vote and Republican George W. Bush
won 41%. In 2004, Democrat John Kerry
received 57% of the vote and Republican Bush received 42%. In 2006, Democrats Governor Ed Rendell
and Senator Bob Casey, Jr.
won 59% and 65% of the vote in Allegheny County, respectively. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama
received 57% of the vote, John McCain
received 41%, and each of the three state row office winners (Rob McCord
for Treasurer, Jack Wagner
for Auditor General, and Tom Corbett
for Attorney General) also carried Allegheny. In 2016, despite Donald Trump
being the first Republican to carry Pennsylvania since 1988, Hillary Clinton
did slightly better than Barack Obama's 2012 vote total while Donald Trump was the worst performing Republican
in 20 years. In the 2018 Midterms
, Democrats received an even higher percentage of the vote with Tom Wolf
and Bob Casey
receiving approximately two thirds of the county's vote.
This is an improvement over the approximately 55% each person received in the county in their last election in 2014 and 2012 respectively.
- Robert F. Matzie, Democratic, 16th district
- Jake Wheatley Jr., Democratic, 19th district
- Adam Ravenstahl, Democratic, 20th district
- Sara Innamorato, Democratic, 21st district
- Dan Frankel, Democratic, 23rd district
- Ed Gainey, Democratic, 24th district
- Joseph F. Markosek, Democratic, 25th district
- Daniel J. Deasy, Democratic, 27th district
- Mike Turzai (until 2020), Republican, 28th district
- Lori Mizgorski, Republican, 30th district
- Anthony M. DeLuca, Democratic, 32nd district
- Frank Dermody, Democratic, 33rd district
- Summer Lee, Democratic, 34th district
- Austin Davis, Democratic, 35th district
- Harry Readshaw, Democratic, 36th district
- William C. Kortz II, Democratic, 38th district
- Michael J. Puskaric, Republican, 39th district
- Natalie Mihalek, Republican, 40th district
- Dan L. Miller, Democratic, 42nd district
- Valerie Gaydos, Republican, 44th district
- Anita Astorino Kulik, Democratic, 45th district
- Jason Ortitay, Republican, 46th district
- Bob Brooks, Republican, 54th district
- Pam Iovino, Democrat, 37th district
- Lindsey Williams, Democrat, 38th district
- Wayne D. Fontana, Democrat, 42nd district
- Jay Costa, Democrat, 43rd district
- James Brewster, Democrat, 45th district
In 2010 statistics, the largest religious group in Allegheny County was the Diocese of Pittsburgh
, with 460,672 Catholics worshipping at 179 parishes, followed by 44,204 UMC
Methodists with 100 congregations, 42,838 PC-USA
Presbyterians with 145 congregations, 33,103 non-denominational
adherents with 85 congregations, 24,718 ELCA
Lutherans with 77 congregations, 17,148 ABCUSA
Baptists with 42 congregations, 12,398 AoG
Pentecostals with 30 congregations, 8,483 Reform
Jews with 6 congregations, 7,780 TEC
Episcopalians with 19 congregations, and 6,700 Hindus
with two temples
. Altogether, 60.6% of the population was claimed as members by religious congregations, although members of historically African-American denominations were underrepresented due to incomplete information.
In 2014, Allegheny County had 794 religious organizations, the 11th most out of all US counties.
At the census
of 2000, there were 1,281,666 people, 537,150 households, and 332,495 families living in the county. The population density was 1,755 people per square mile (678/km2
). There were 583,646 housing units at an average density of 799 per square mile (309/km2
). The racial makeup of the county was 84.33% White
, 12.41% Black
or African American
, 0.12% Native American
, 1.69% Asian
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 0.34% from other races
, and 1.07% from two or more races. About 0.87% of the population were Hispanic
of any race. 20.0% were of German
, 15.0% Italian
, 12.7% Irish
, 7.5% Polish
and 5.1% English ancestry according to Census 2000
. 93.5% spoke English and 1.3% Spanish as their first language.
There were 537,150 households, out of which 26.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.10% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.10% were non-families. Some 32.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.96.
The age distribution of the population shows 21.90% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 17.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40. For every 100 females, there were 90.00 males; for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.20 males.
In the late 18th century farming
played a critical role in the growth of the area. There was a surplus of grain due to transportation difficulties in linking with the eastern portion of the state. As a result, the farmers distilled the grain into whiskey
, which significantly helped the farmers financially.
Employment by occupation in Allegheny County
The area quickly became a key manufacturing area in the young nation. Coupled with deposits of iron and coal, and the easy access to waterways for barge
traffic, the city quickly became one of the most important steel producing areas in the world. Based on 2007 data from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh is the second (after Laredo, Texas
) busiest inland port in the nation.
US steel production declined late in the 20th century, and Allegheny County's economy began a shift to other industries. It is presently known for its hospitals, universities, and industrial centers. Despite the decline of heavy industry
, Pittsburgh is home to a number of major companies and is ranked in the top ten
among US cities hosting headquarters of Fortune 500 corporations, including U.S. Steel
Corporation, PNC Financial Services
Group, PPG Industries
, and H. J. Heinz Company
Colleges and universities Community, junior and technical colleges
Public school districts
Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts
Approved private schools
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has 36 Approved Private Schools including the Charter Schools for the Blind and Deaf. The private schools are licensed by the State Board of Private Academic Schools. They provide a free appropriate special education for students with severe disabilities. The cost of tuition for these schools is paid 60% by the state and 40% by the local school district where the student is a resident. Pennsylvania currently has four PA chartered and 30 non-charter APSs for which the Department approves funding. These schools provide a program of special education for over 4,000 day and residential students. Parents are not charged for the services at the school.
In 2009, the Pennsylvania Department of Education budgeted $98 million for the tuition of children in approved private schools and $36.8 million for students attending the charter schools for the deaf and blind.
The majority of these schools are located in the southeastern region and southwestern region of Pennsylvania.
- ACLD Tillotson School, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate $38,804
- The Day School at The Children's Institute, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate $55,217
- DePaul School for Hearing and Speech, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate $36,892
- Easter Seal Society of Western Pennsylvania – Tuition rate $60,891.97
- The Education Center at the Watson Institute, Sewickley – Tuition rate $42,242
- Pace School, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate – $37,635
- Pressley Ridge Day School, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate – $51,177
- Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate – $66,022, residential $128,376
- The Watson Institute Friendship Academy, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate – $38,211
- Wesley Spectrum Highland Services, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate – $39,031
- Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate – $82,500, residential $120,100
- Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Pittsburgh – Tuition rate – $61,051, residential – $99,919
Private high schools
21st Century Community Learning Centers
These are state-designated before- and after-school program providers. They receive state funding through grants. CCLCs provide academic, artistic and cultural enhancement activities to students and their families when school is not in session.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA – 2010 Grant – $261,748
- Cornell School District – 2010 Grant – $526,800
- Human Services Center Corporation – 2010 Grant- $550,000
- McKeesport Area School District – 2010 Grant – $468,000
- Penn Hills School District – 2010 Grant – $360,000
- The Hill House/One Small Step −2010 Grant – $675,000
- Wireless Neighborhoods – 2010 Grant – $612,000
The Allegheny County Airport
is the original airport for Pittsburgh and houses a number of flight schools, charter flight operations, and medevac operations.
Parks and recreation
Map of Allegheny 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
, and (in one case) a town
. The following municipalities are in Allegheny County:
are geographical areas designated by the US 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.
Many political subdivisions of Allegheny County have come and gone through subdivision or annexation through the years. These include:
- Allegheny City – the area that is now the North Shore (or North Side) of the City of Pittsburgh, north of the Allegheny River.
- Allentown Borough – now the neighborhood of Allentown in Pittsburgh.
- Birmingham Borough – what is now Pittsburgh's South Side.
- Brushton Borough
- Carrick Borough – now the neighborhood of Carrick. Formed out of Baldwin Township in 1904, this borough existed until it was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1927. It was named for Carrick-on-Suir, Ireland. Some of the area's manhole covers still bear the Carrick Borough name.
- Chartier Township – existed at the time of the 1860 U.S. Federal Census.
- Collins Township – in what is now the northeast part of the City of Pittsburgh, east of Lawrenceville and north of Penn Avenue.
- Embreeville - an historical unincorporated place in Newlin Township.
- Knoxville Borough
- Lawrenceville Borough
- McClure Township – McClure was formed in 1858 from the section of Ross Township adjacent to Allegheny City. In 1867 McClure, along with sections of Reserve Township, was incorporated into Allegheny City. The McClure section of this annexation became Wards 9 (Woods Run Area) and 11 (present-day Brighton Heights) in the City of Pittsburgh.
- Mifflin Township- comprised the modern day communities of Whitaker, West Mifflin, West Homestead, West Elizabeth, Pleasant Hills, Munhall, Lincoln Place, Jefferson Hills, Homestead, Hays, Duquesne, Dravosburg, Clairton and part of Baldwin.
- Patton Township – was in the east-central part of the county, north of North Versailles Township, east of Wilkins and Penn Townships, and south of Plum Township. In the U.S. census for 1860–1880. In 1951 it became incorporated as the borough of Monroeville.
- Northern Liberties Borough – in what is now the Strip District of Pittsburgh. The borough was annexed to Pittsburgh in 1837 as the first addition to the city's original territory.
- Peebles Township – included most of what is now the eastern part of the city of Pittsburgh from the Monongahela River in the south (today's Hazelwood) to the Allegheny River in the north. It was subdivided into Collins and Liberty townships, all of which were incorporated into Pittsburgh in 1868.
- Pitt Township
- St. Clair Township – stretched from the Monongahela River south to the Washington County line. It divided into Lower St. Clair, which eventually became part of the City of Pittsburgh, Dormont, Mount Lebanon, and Upper St. Clair.
- Snowden – now known as South Park Township.
- Sterrett Township
- Temperanceville – what is now Pittsburgh's West End.
- Union Borough – the area surrounding Temperanceville.
- West Liberty Borough – now the neighborhoods of Brookline and Beechview in Pittsburgh.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census
of Allegheny County.
† county seat
- ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
- ^ Records kept January 1871 to June 1935 at the Weather Bureau Office across the Allegheny River from downtown, at Allegheny County Airport from July 1935 to 14 September 1952, and at Pittsburgh Int'l (KPIT) since 15 September 1952. Due to its river valley and urban location as well as elevation, many of the summertime warm minima temperature records set at the WBO have not even come close to being matched at KPIT, which is at-elevation and located in the western suburbs. For more information, see Threadex
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- ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- ^ "Automatic defense cuts would affect some contractors in Pittsburgh region". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 3, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- ^ Approved Private Schools and Chartered Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, Pennsylvania Department of Education website, accessed April 2010.
- ^ Tommasini, John, Assistant Secretary of Education, Testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee Hearing on SB982 of 2010. given April 14, 2010.
- ^ Pennsylvania Awards $29.9 Million to Support 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Pennsylvania Department of Education Press Release, April 7, 2010,
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Last edited on 6 May 2021, at 12:31
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