The western US state of Pennsylvania is home to about 12.7 million people. The capital is Harrisburg, founded in 1791.

About 12.7 million people live in Pennsylvania, the state in the northeast of the United States. This makes the region, which extends over 119,000 km², one of the five most populous US states. The so-called Keystone State, whose name means something like “Woodland of Penn”, is one of the Thirteen Colonies, the founding states of the USA. Pennsylvania’s neighboring states include New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio. The capital is Harrisburg, founded in 1791.

Pennsylvania – Keystone State Historical Background

Before European settlers came to North America, native American residents of the Clovis culture and later the Delaware, Erie, Susquehannock and various Iroquois tribes (Seneca, Onondaga and Co.) lived in the region of what is now Pennsylvania. The Swedes are considered to be the first European settlers in what is now Pennsylvania. In the mid-17th century, the New Sweden colony was founded on the banks of the Delaware River. William Penn founded a state in which the Quakers played a central role in the late 17th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Pennsylvania was the scene of great political upheavals, with the Declaration of Independence signed in Philadelphia in 1776. Pennsylvania was also the second state after Delaware to ratify the US Constitution. A central battle of the Civil War took place in Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg in 1863. While other states – especially on the west coast – were affected by the gold rush, the discovery of Oil Creek in 1859 caused an oil boom in the region, which boosted the economy of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania major cities and landmarks

The largest and most important city in Pennsylvania is Philadelphia, a metropolis with over 1.5 million people. The city’s metropolitan region is home to as many as 6 million people. This is followed by cities like Pittsburgh (302,000 residents), Allentown (120,000 residents) and Erie. The historical significance of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia for the formation of the United States makes landmarks such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell national and international noted attractions.

Pennsylvania State Bird and Flower

Largest Counties in Pennsylvania by Area

According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Pennsylvania are listed as below:

Ranking County Area
1 Lycoming County 3,222 km2
2 Bradford County 3,007 km2
3 Clearfield County 2,989 km2
4 Tioga County 2,945 km2
5 Centre County 2,880 km2
6 Potter County 2,800 km2
7 Somerset County 2,800 km2
8 Crawford County 2,688 km2
9 Westmoreland County 2,683 km2
10 Bedford County 2,629 km2
11 Lancaster County 2,549 km2
12 McKean County 2,549 km2
13 York County 2,357 km2
14 Luzerne County 2,349 km2
15 Clinton County 2,326 km2
16 Warren County 2,326 km2
17 Huntingdon County 2,302 km2
18 Berks County 2,243 km2
19 Washington County 2,230 km2
20 Indiana County 2,160 km2
21 Elk County 2,155 km2
22 Susquehanna County 2,155 km2
23 Erie County 2,069 km2
24 Fayette County 2,067 km2
25 Butler County 2,059 km2
26 Schuylkill County 2,015 km2
27 Franklin County 1,997 km2
28 Chester County 1,968 km2
29 Wayne County 1,945 km2
30 Allegheny County 1,930 km2
31 Cambria County 1,795 km2
32 Mercer County 1,769 km2
33 Venango County 1,769 km2
34 Armstrong County 1,720 km2
35 Jefferson County 1,702 km2
36 Bucks County 1,611 km2
37 Monroe County 1,598 km2
38 Clarion County 1,577 km2
39 Greene County 1,497 km2
40 Pike County 1,469 km2
41 Dauphin County 1,445 km2
42 Perry County 1,440 km2
43 Cumberland County 1,427 km2
44 Blair County 1,365 km2
45 Adams County 1,352 km2
46 Columbia County 1,269 km2
47 Montgomery County 1,261 km2
48 Northumberland County 1,235 km2
49 Lackawanna County 1,204 km2
50 Sullivan County 1,171 km2
51 Beaver County 1,150 km2
52 Fulton County 1,134 km2
53 Forest County 1,116 km2
54 Mifflin County 1,075 km2
55 Wyoming County 1,049 km2
56 Cameron County 1,033 km2
57 Juniata County 1,020 km2
58 Carbon County 1,002 km2
59 Northampton County 976 km2
60 Lawrence County 940 km2
61 Lebanon County 940 km2
62 Lehigh County 904 km2
63 Snyder County 860 km2
64 Union County 821 km2
65 Delaware County 495 km2
66 Philadelphia County 370 km2
67 Montour County 342 km2


The city on the 595 km long Delaware River is one of the most historic and oldest cities in America. Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800 and the largest city outside of England to speak English at the time. Philadelphia is of particular historical importance because on July 4, 1776, the United States’ Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson, was sealed and the American Constitution was passed on July 17, 1787. Benjamin Franklin, who was also very committed to the citizens of Philadelphia, was instrumental in both memorable events. It was he who promoted the establishment of the voluntary fire brigade (Union Fire Company) and also ensured that America’s first lending library was brought into being.

Today Philly, as Philadelphia is also affectionately known, is home to almost 1.5 million people in the city center and almost 6 million people in the immediate vicinity. With its population, Philly is the fifth largest city in America. Among other things, the oldest post office in the United States can be found here and the country’s first two banks were also opened there. Philadelphia is divided into twelve boroughs, at least two of which, Germantown and Frankford, are clearly of German origin.

If you are thirsty for sights in Philadelphia or if you are looking for cultural institutions, you will not miss out here. Tourists or newcomers cannot miss Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center, the National Constitution Center or the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Another cultural achievement is the zoo. It is home to around 1,300 animals on approximately 17 acres and is America’s oldest zoo.

So much culture in one fell swoop is of course exhausting and exhausting. So it is time for the culinary delights. An absolute hit in Philly is the cheesesteak – a kind of sliced ​​baguette, peppered with lots of juicy strips of beef fillet, CheezWhiz or processed cheese and garnished with a choice of cucumber, paprika or lettuce.

Strengthened by the food, you can now go on a shopping tour. If you want to buy something to wear or shoes, you can even get away with it tax-free. You can spend the nice money in downtown. From 8th through 18th streets, Market Street, Chestnut Street, and Walnut Street. A popular meeting point is in front of the Lord & Taylor Department Store. So if you get to know someone who says “Meet me at the eagle” to you, then the department store with the multi-storey organ is meant.

Do you know any other sights, excursion destinations or the like? Then please include them in the form below.

Location: Northeast USA; State of Pennsylvania

Population: 1,548,000

Area: 347.3 km 2

Nicknames: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, The City that Loves you Back, Cradle of Liberty, The Quaker City, The Birthplace of America, Illadelph

Foundation: 1682

Famous People: Marc Lamont Hill (activist, cultural critic, professor), Cecilia Beaux (painter), Kevin Bacon (actor), Blythe Danner (actress, mother of Gwyneth Paltrow), Dick Clark (presenter, producer), Bill Cosby (comedian, Actor), Richard Gere (actor), Grace Kelly (actress, Princess of Monaco), David Lynch (film director), Will Smith (actor, hip-hop artist), Michael Connelly (author), Bloodhound Gang (music group), Pink (R&B / rock singer)