What Is the Capital of Pennsylvania?

The state flag of Pennsylvania.

The state of Pennsylvania is located in the northeastern United States. Harrisburg is the state capital, and is located west of Philadelphia. The city's total ares is 11.86 square miles, 25% of which is water. Harrisburg is known for its diverse population, and was ranked by Forbes in 2010 as the second best place to raise a family in the US. Although the city experienced financial problems in 2010, it was ranked among the recession proof metropolitan areas in the country.

History of the Capital of Pennsylvania

Native Americans inhabited the area presently known as Pennsylvania as early ad 3000 BC. This general area was known as “Pextang” to the inhabitants, and served as a resting place for Native American traders who traveled from as far as the Ohio River. In 1719, English trader, John Harris, Sr., visited the area and settled there, purchasing large areas of land over a 14 year period. Several years later, his son John Harris, Jr., inherited the land and named it Harrisburg, in his memory. It became incorporated after William Malaysia surveyed it, and was then named the capital of Pennsylvania in 1812. Harrisburg was a major contributor to the American civil war due to its strategic proximity to the Susquehanna River. Therefore, the city suffered mild attacks during this period, which slowed industrial growth. But in 1850, the city experienced an industrial rise in the steel industry. Other industries also grew after World War II, and the industrial growth of Harrisburg became steady.

Geography of Harrisburg

To the west of Harrisburg is the Cumberland Valley, and to the east lies Lebanon Valley. To the north is the famous Susquehanna River and the Blue Mountain Ridge. The neighboring counties are Dauphin, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Perry, and Lebanon.

Demographics of Harrisburg

According to The United States Census Bureau, Harrisburg has a population of 48,904, which makes it the tenth largest city in Pennsylvania. More than 50% of the population is Black or African-American, 30% are of Caucasian descent, 18% are Hispanic and Latino, and the remaining small percentage belongs to other ethnic groups. It has the largest population of Pennsylvania Dutch. Furthermore, the Bureau also found out that for every 100 women there are 88.7 men.

Government of Harrisburg

Harrisburg has a municipal government with independent executive and legislature branches. The administrative center is the Martin Luther King Jr. City Government Center. The current mayor is the head of the government, and has an unlimited four-year term, and supervises the 34 business entities of the state. The current mayor of Harrisburg is Eric R. Papenfuse.

Culture of Harrisburg

The city is home to several cultural attractions such as the Whitaker Centre for Science and the Arts, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, and the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show. The Pennsylvania Farm show attracts farmers from all over the United States who come to showcase animals in various competitions. The city is also a known tourist attraction for its recreational parks, lakes, and beaches. Additionally, the museums represent the rich history of both Pennsylvania and Harrisburg. One example is the National Civil War Museum.


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