McKean County, Pennsylvania

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McKean County, Pennsylvania
McKean County Courthouse.jpg
McKean County Courthouse
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting McKean County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded September 1, 1826
Named for Thomas McKean
Seat Smethport
Largest city Bradford
 • Total 984 sq mi (2,549 km2)
 • Land 979 sq mi (2,536 km2)
 • Water 5.0 sq mi (13 km2), 0.5%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 42,554
 • Density 44/sq mi (17/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

McKean County is a rural county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,450.[1] Its county seat is Smethport.[2] The county was created in 1804 and later organized in 1826.[3] It was named in honor of former Pennsylvania Governor and Declaration of Independence signer Thomas McKean.[4]

McKean County comprises the Bradford, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in a sparsely populated region known as the "Pennsylvania Wilds", including the Allegheny National Forest and borders New York. McKean County is home of "The Zippo Lighter" and boasts of being "The Black Cherry Capital of the World."

McKean County was founded because of its natural resources of oil and timber, both of which continue to provide a significant input to the economy. Today, a university, rural medical center, and a number of manufacturing companies balance the economy of this area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 984 square miles (2,550 km2), of which 979 square miles (2,540 km2) is land and 5.0 square miles (13 km2) (0.5%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 142
1820 728 412.7%
1830 1,439 97.7%
1840 2,975 106.7%
1850 5,254 76.6%
1860 8,859 68.6%
1870 8,825 −0.4%
1880 42,565 382.3%
1890 46,863 10.1%
1900 51,343 9.6%
1910 47,868 −6.8%
1920 48,934 2.2%
1930 55,167 12.7%
1940 56,673 2.7%
1950 56,607 −0.1%
1960 54,517 −3.7%
1970 51,915 −4.8%
1980 50,653 −2.4%
1990 47,131 −7.0%
2000 45,963 −2.5%
2010 43,450 −5.5%
Est. 2014 42,554 [6] −2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2000 census,[11] there were 45,936 people, 18,024 households, and 12,094 families residing in the county. The population density was 47 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 21,644 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.46% White, 1.87% Black, 0.32% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. 1.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.9% were of German], 13.3% Irish, 12.6% Italian, 11.2% American, 8.7% Swedish and 8.6% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 18,024 households out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.90% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 23.70% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 100.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.70 males.

Micropolitan Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget[12] has designated McKean County as the Bradford, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA).[13] As of the 2010 U.S. Census[14] the micropolitan area ranked 13th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 277th most populous in the United States with a population of 43,450.


Map of McKean County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public school districts

The 500 school districts of Pennsylvania were ranked for student academic achievement by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2008.

  • Bradford Area School District - 403rd
  • Kane Area School District - 342nd
  • Otto-Eldred School District - 408th
  • Port Allegany School District - 446th
  • Smethport Area School District - 415th
  • Oswayo Valley School District - 458th

Private schools

As reported by EdNA, Pennsylvania Department of Education, June 2010.

  • Bradford Area Christian Academy, Bradford
  • Chestnut Street Christian School, Bradford
  • Custer City Private School
  • St. Bernard School, Bradford
  • Learning Center Inc, Bradford
  • United Christian Academy, Smethport


  • Bradford Area Public Library
  • Friends Memorial Public Library - Kane
  • Hamlin Memorial Library - Smethport
  • Mount Jewett Memorial Library
  • Samuel W Smith Memorial Public Library - Port Allegany

Other education entities

  • Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems - Custer City
  • Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center - Port Allegany
  • Seneca Highlands IU 9 - Smethport
  • University of Pittsburgh at Bradford


There is one Pennsylvania state park in McKean County. Kinzua Bridge State Park is between U.S. Route 6 and Pennsylvania Route 59, just east of the Allegheny National Forest near Mount Jewett. When it was built, it was the highest and longest railroad bridge in the world. It was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and its Bureau of Parks as one of "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks" and is a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. A tornado destroyed much of the bridge in 2003.


Map of McKean County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red) and Townships (white).

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 McKean County:




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 20, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Pennsylvania: Individual County Chronologies". Pennsylvania Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 194.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 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 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 9, 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 9, 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 9, 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>

External links

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