Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

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Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Dauphin County Courthouse.jpg
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 4, 1785
Named for Louis Joseph, Dauphin of France
Seat Harrisburg
Largest city Harrisburg
 • Total 558 sq mi (1,445 km2)
 • Land 525 sq mi (1,360 km2)
 • Water 33 sq mi (85 km2), 5.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 271,453
 • Density 518/sq mi (200/km²)
Congressional districts 4th, 11th, 15th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.dauphincounty.org
Designated December 9, 1982[1]

Dauphin County /ˈdɔːfɪn/ is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 268,100.[2] The county seat and the largest city is Harrisburg,[3] Pennsylvania's state capital and tenth largest city. The county was created/"erected" on March 4, 1785, from part of Lancaster County and was named after Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France,[4] the first son of Louis XVI.

Dauphin County is included in the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Located within the county is Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, site of the 1979 nuclear core meltdown.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 558 square miles (1,450 km2), of which 525 square miles (1,360 km2) is land and 33 square miles (85 km2) (5.9%) is water.[5] The county is bound to its western border by the Susquehanna River.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 18,155
1800 22,270 22.7%
1810 31,883 43.2%
1820 21,653 −32.1%
1830 25,243 16.6%
1840 30,118 19.3%
1850 35,754 18.7%
1860 46,756 30.8%
1870 60,740 29.9%
1880 76,148 25.4%
1890 96,977 27.4%
1900 114,443 18.0%
1910 136,152 19.0%
1920 153,116 12.5%
1930 165,231 7.9%
1940 177,410 7.4%
1950 197,784 11.5%
1960 220,255 11.4%
1970 223,834 1.6%
1980 232,317 3.8%
1990 237,813 2.4%
2000 251,805 5.9%
2010 268,100 6.5%
Est. 2014 271,453 [6] 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[2]

As of the 2010 census, the county was 72.7% White, 18.0% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 3.2% Asian, and 3.1% were two or more races. 7.0% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry [1].

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 251,798 people, 102,670 households, and 66,119 families residing in the county. The population density was 479 people per square mile (185/km²). There were 111,133 housing units at an average density of 212 per square mile (82/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 77.11% White, 16.91% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.96% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.97% from other races, and 1.85% from two or more races. 4.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 29.2% were of German, 7.5% Irish, 7.3% American and 7.2% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 91.8% spoke English and 3.9% Spanish as their first language.

According to 2005 estimates, 73.9% of the county's population was non-Hispanic whites. 17.8% of the population was African-Americans. 2.5% were Asians. Latinos now were 5.0% of the population.[12]

In 2000 there were 102,670 households out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.60% were married couples living together, 12.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.60% were non-families. 30.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 30.10% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.80 males.

County poverty demographics

According to research by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, which is a legislative Agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the poverty rate for Dauphin County was 13.4% in 2014.[13] The statewide poverty rate was 13.6% in 2014. The 2012 childhood poverty rate by school district was: Central Dauphin School District - 39.3% living at 185% or below than the Federal Poverty Level; Derry Township School District - 14.3, Halifax Area School District - 30.8, Harrisburg City School District - 89.7%, Lower Dauphin School District - 20.0%, Middletown Area School District - 38.9, Millersburg Area School District - 38.9%, Steelton-Highspire School District - 74.8%, Susquehanna Township School District - 35.5% and Millersburg Area School District - 33.8%.[14]

Live Birth rate

Dauphin County's live birth rate was 3,688 births in 1990. The County's live birth rate in 2000 was 3,137 births, while in 2011 it was 3,439 babies.[15] Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Metropolitan Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget[16] has designated Dauphin County as the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census[17] the metropolitan area ranked 6th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 96th most populous in the United States with a population of 549,475. Dauphin County is also a part of the larger Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Dauphin County as well as Adams, Cumberland, Lebanon, Perry and York Counties in Pennsylvania. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 5th in the State of Pennsylvania and 43rd most populous in the United States with a population of 1,219,422.

Politics and government

As of November 2008, there are 192,743 registered voters in Dauphin County [2].

Like most of the rest of the Susquehanna Valley, Dauphin County was once reliably Republican, and the commissioner majority and all county row offices remain in Republican hands. However, there has been a decided shift toward the Democrats in recent years, who overtook the Republican countywide registration during the summer of 2008. Bob Casey Jr. carried the county in the 2006 Senate election when he unseated Rick Santorum. According to the Dauphin County Board of Elections, in 2008 Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Dauphin County since 1964, receiving 9.0% more of the vote than John McCain. The other three statewide winners (Rob McCord for Treasurer, Jack Wagner for Auditor General, and Tom Corbett for Attorney General) also carried Dauphin. [3]

County commissioners

  • Jeffrey Haste, Chairman, Republican
  • Michael Pries, Vice Chairman, Republican
  • George P. Hartwick III, Secretary, Democrat

In December 2015, the Commissioners adopted a new $5 per year car registration fee. The funds to be used for development programs. The County receives substantial dollars from the taxes on Gaming ($6.4 million in 2015).[18] The commissioners disperse these funds for community projects and development on an annual basis. The county also levies an annual property tax. Real estate tax levy is 6.876 millage.

  • $243 million (2016)
  • $187 million (2014)[19]
  • $193 million (2013)[20]
  • $119,417,496 (2010–11)[21]
  • $119,923,654 (2009–10)

Other county offices

  • Clerk of Courts, Dale Klein, Republican
  • Controller, Marie Rebuck, Republican
  • Coroner, Graham Hetrick, Republican
  • District Attorney, Ed Marsico, Republican
  • Prothonotary, Steve Farina, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds, Jim Zugay, Republican
  • Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court, Jean Marfizo King, Republican
  • Sheriff, Jack Lotwick, Republican
  • Treasurer, Janis Creason, Republican
  • Solicitor, Joseph A. Curcillo, III, Esquire

State Representatives

State Senate

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate

Senator Party
Pat Toomey Republican
Bob Casey Democrat


Map of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities nearby Dauphin County

Public school districts

Public charter schools

Several public charter schools are established in Dauphin County [22]

Intermediate unit

The Capital Area Intermediate Unit 15 is a state approved education agency that offers: school districts, charter schools, private schools, and home school students, a variety of services including: a completely developed K–12 curriculum that is mapped and aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards (available online), shared services, a group purchasing program and a wide variety of special education and special needs services.

Library system

The Dauphin County Library System provides library service to the residents of the county through a main central library in the state capital and county seat of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and seven branch libraries. DCLS is a private, non-profit corporation. It is governed by a 17-member Board of Trustees, five appointed annually by the Dauphin County Commissioners, and twelve elected for three-year terms. The Library is a member of the Pennsylvania library system.

Private schools

As reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics[23]

  • Armstrong Valley Christian School – Halifax
  • Berrysburg Christian Academy – Elizabethvile
  • Bishop McDevitt High School – Harrisburg
  • Cathedral Consolidated School – Harrisburg
  • Covenant Christian Academy – Harrisburg
  • East Shore Montessori School – Harrisburg
  • Emmanuel Wesleyan Academy – Gratz
  • Garden Spot Amish School – Millersburg
  • Garden Spot School – Millersburg
  • Goddard School – Harrisburg
  • Hansel and Gretel Early Learning Centers – Harrisburg
  • Harrisburg Adventist School – Harrisburg
  • Harrisburg Christian School – Harrisburg
  • Hershey Christian School – Hershey
  • Hillside Amish School – Harrisville
  • Hillside Seventh Day Adventist School – Harrisburg
  • Keystone Math and Science Academy – Harrisburg
  • Kinder-Care Learning Center – Harrisburg
  • KinderCare Learning Center – Hershey
  • Londonderry School – Harrisburg
  • Mahantango School – Lykens
  • Matterstown School – Millersburg
  • Middletown Christian School – Middletown
  • Milton Hershey School – Hershey
  • North Mountain View Amish – Millersburg
  • Northern Dauphin Christian School – Millersburg
  • Pride of the Neighborhood Academies – Harrisburg
  • Prince of Peace School – Steelton
  • Rakers Mill School – Elizabethville
  • Rolling Acres School – Lykens
  • Seven Sorrows of BMV School – Middletown
  • Sonshine Learning Station – Middletown
  • South Mountain View School – Spring Glen
  • Specktown School – Lykens
  • St. Catherine Laboure School – Harrisburg
  • St Joan of Arc Elementary School – Hershey
  • St. Margaret Mary School – Harrisburg
  • St. Stephen's Episcopal School – Harrisburg
  • Tender Years Inc. – Hershey
  • The Nativity School of Harrisburg – Harrisburg
  • Windy Knoll School – Spring Glen
  • Wordsworth Academy – Harrisbrug
  • Yeshiva Academy – Harrisburg


The largest employers in Dauphin County in 2013 were:

  • Commonwealth Government
  • Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co.
  • The Hershey Company
  • Pinnacle Health Hospitals
  • PHEAA – Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
  • Federal Government
  • TYCO Electronics Corp.
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Dauphin County government

Source – Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, April 26, 2013


There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Dauphin County.


Map of Dauphin 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 at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Dauphin 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.

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2014-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 100.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Dauphin County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  13. US Census Bureau (2015). "Poverty Rates by County Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (2012). "Student Poverty Concentration 2012".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Pennsylvania Department of Health, Birth Age County Reports 1990 and 2011, 2011
  16. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb
  17. http://www.census.gov/2010census/
  18. Barbara Miller (February 11, 2015). "Here's how Dauphin County commissioners are giving out $6.4 million in gaming grants". Pennlive.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Jeff Frantz (December 18, 2013). "Dauphin County approves $187 million 2014 budget". Pennlive.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Matt Miller (December 19, 2012). "Dauphin County commissioners approve budget without tax increase for 2013". Pennlive.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Dauphin County Budget Summary 2010-11" (PDF). 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Pennsylvania Department of Education Approved Public Charter Schools, January 2010
  23. ies, National Center for Education Statistics, US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Private School Universe Survey 2008

External links

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