Centre County, Pennsylvania
|Founded||February 13, 1800|
|Named for||Centre Furnace, the first industrial facility in the area|
|Largest borough||State College|
|• Total||1,113 sq mi (2,880 km2)|
|• Land||1,110 sq mi (2,900 km2)|
|• Water||3.0 sq mi (8 km2) 0.3%|
|• Density||147/sq mi (57/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||12th, 15th|
|Designated||May 10, 1982|
Centre County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 158,172. Its county seat is Bellefonte. Centre County comprises the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The lands of the future Centre County were first recorded by James Potter in 1764. Potter, having reached the top of Nittany Mountain, and "....seeing the prairies and noble forest beneath him, cried out to his attendant, 'By heavens, Thompson, I have discovered an empire!'"  After the American Revolutionary War, Centre County was created on February 13, 1800, from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties; it was named for its central location in the state.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,113 square miles (2,880 km2), of which 1,110 square miles (2,900 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in Pennsylvania by area and uses area code 814.
Centre has a humid continental climate which is warm-summer (Dfb) except near the Bald Eagle Creek from Wingate downstream where it is hot-summer (Dfa). Average temperatures in downtown State College range from 26.0 °F (−3.3 °C) in January to 70.7 °F (21.5 °C) in July, while in Milesburg they range from 26.4 °F (−3.1 °C) in January to 71.7 °F (22.1 °C) in July and in Snow Shoe they range from 23.8 °F (−4.6 °C) in January to 68.0 °F (20.0 °C) in July.
- Clinton County (north)
- Union County (east)
- Mifflin County (southeast)
- Huntingdon County (south)
- Blair County (south)
- Clearfield County (west)
As of the census of 2010, there were 153,990 people, 57,573 households, and 31,256 families residing in the county. The population density was 139 people per square mile (54/km2). There were 63,297 housing units at an average density of 57 per square mile (22/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.4% White, 3.0% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 5.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. 2.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 57,573 households, out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 15.9% under the age of 18, 28.9% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 107.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.1 males.
|Black or African American (NH)||5,306||3.35%|
|Native American (NH)||120||0.08%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||39||0.02%|
|Hispanic or Latino||5,651||3.6%|
Metropolitan Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Centre County as the State College, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census the metropolitan area ranked 13th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 259th most populous in the United States with a population of 155,403. Centre County is also a part of the larger State College-DuBois, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Centre County as well as Clearfield County to the west. The Combined Statistical Area ranked ninth in the State of Pennsylvania and 123rd most populous in the United States with a population of 236,577.
Law and government
- Michael Pipe, Chairman (Democrat)
- Mark Higgins, Vice-chair (Democrat)
- Steven G. Dershem, Commissioner (Republican) 
Other county offices
- Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary, Jeremy Breon, Democrat
- Controller, Jason Moser, Democrat
- Coroner, Scott Sayers, Democrat
- District Attorney, Bernie Cantorna, Democrat
- Recorder of Deeds, Joe Davidson, Republican
- Register of Wills, Christine Millinder, Republican
- Sheriff, Bryan Sampsel, Republican
- Treasurer, Colleen Kennedy, Democrat
- Jury Commissioner, Laura Shadle, Democrat
State House of Representatives
- Stephanie Borowicz, Republican, Pennsylvania's 76th Representative District
- Scott Conklin, Democrat, Pennsylvania's 77th Representative District
- Rich Irvin, Republican, Pennsylvania's 81st Representative District
- Kerry Benninghoff, Republican, Pennsylvania's 171st Representative District
United States House of Representatives
- Fred Keller, Republican, Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district
- Glenn "G.T." Thompson, Republican, Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district
United States Senate
As of August 29 2022, there were 105,240 registered voters in Centre County.
- Democratic: 44,034 (41.84%)
- Republican: 42,325 (40.22%)
- No party affiliation: 14,289 (13.58%)
- Other: 4,592 (4.36%)
Centre County had for many years been a strongly Republican county, like most of rural Pennsylvania. In the early 21st century, however, it has been more competitive. In 2000 George W. Bush defeated Al Gore with 52% of the vote to Gore's 43%. In 2004 Bush won the county by a much smaller margin. Bush won 51% to Kerry's 47%, a margin of only 4%. In 2006, Governor Ed Rendell and Bob Casey Jr. both carried Centre, and Democrat Scott Conklin decisively won the State House seat left open by the retirement of Republican Lynn Herman in the 77th district. In 2008, Democrats captured the countywide registration edge, Barack Obama carried the county with 55% of the vote to McCain's 44%, and Democratic statewide winners (Rob McCord for Treasurer and Jack Wagner for Auditor General also carried Centre).
In 2012, Barack Obama won the county in his reelection campaign by a very narrow margin, 48.9% to 48.65%, a difference of just 175 votes. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton beat Republican nominee Donald Trump 47.76% to 45.86%. In that same election, incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey beat Democratic opponent Katie McGinty 47.91% to 46.2% in the county.
Colleges and universities
Community, junior, and technical colleges
- South Hills School of Business & Technology
- Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, public Vo Tech in Pleasant Gap
Public school districts
- Bald Eagle Area School District
- Bellefonte Area School District
- Keystone Central School District (also in Clinton County)
- Penns Valley Area School District
- Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District (also in Clearfield County)
- State College Area School District
- Tyrone Area School District (also in Blair County and Huntingdon County)
Public charter schools
- Young Scholars of Central PA Charter School
- Centre Learning Community Charter School
- Nittany Valley Charter School
- There are 13 public cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania that are available for free statewide, to children K-12. See: Education in Pennsylvania.
As reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Education 2010.
- Bower Hollow Parochial School - Woodward
- Centre County Christian Academy - Bellefonte
- Elk Creek School - Rebersburg
- Faith Christian Academy - Philipsburg
- Grace Prep - State College
- Hill Side School - Rebersburg
- Hubler Ridge School - Bellefonte
- Kramer Gap School - Spring Mills
- Little Nittany Amish Parochial School - Howard
- Mountain View School - Rebersburg
- Nittany Christian School - State College
- Our Lady of Victory School - State College
- Peach Lane Amish School - Madisonburg
- Penns Valley Amish Paroch School - Woodward
- Rockville School - Rebersburg
- Spring Bank School - Rebersburg
- St John Evangelist School - Bellefonte
- St. Joseph's Academy - Boalsburg
- State College Friends School - State College
- Sunny Meadow Parochial School - Howard
- Sunset View School - Howard
- Sunset View School - Rebersburg
- Windy Poplars School - Centre Hall
- Woodside Amish School - Spring Mills
- Centre County Libraries
- Centre County Library & Historical Museum - Bellefonte
- Centre Hall Area Branch Library - Centre Hall
- Holt Memorial Library - Philipsburg
- Centre County Bookmobile
- American Philatelic Research Library
- Schlow Centre Region Library
Pennsylvania State University libraries
- Pattee Library
- Paterno Library
- Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library
- Earth and Mineral Sciences Library
- Engineering Library
- Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library
University Park Airport operates daily commercial and general aviation flights.
There are six Pennsylvania state parks in Centre County.
- Bald Eagle State Park is the largest state park in Centre County with 5,900-acres (2,388 ha). It is on Pennsylvania Route 150 between Milesburg and Lock Haven.
- Black Moshannon State Park west of State College has a bog with three species of carnivorous plants and 17 orchid varieties.
- McCalls Dam State Park is a small park on a dirt road in the extreme eastern tip of the county.
- Penn-Roosevelt State Park is the site of a former segregated CCC camp for African American men.
- Poe Paddy State Park is at the confluence of Big Poe Creek and Penns Creek.
- Poe Valley State Park is in an isolated valley surrounding 25 acre Poe Lake.
Centre County's main daily newspaper is the Centre Daily Times (part of the McClatchy Company chain). Alternative newspapers include the Centre County Gazette and State College City Guide. Newspapers of Pennsylvania State University's main campus include the student-run Daily Collegian.
Numerous magazines are also published including Town & Gown, State College Magazine, Good Life in Happy Valley, Blue White Illustrated, Pennsylvania Business Central, and Voices of Central Pennsylvania.
Centre County is part of the Johnstown/Altoona/State College television market, which is currently ranked #99 in the nation. Television stations broadcasting out of State College include WPSU (PBS) and WHVL-LD (MyNetworkTV) as well as C-NET, Centre County's Government and Education Access Television Network, which broadcasts on two channels: CGTV (Government Access TV) and CETV (Educational Access TV). Johnstown-based WJAC-TV (NBC) and Altoona-based WTAJ-TV (CBS) also maintain satellite studios and offices here.
Under Pennsylvania law, there are five types of incorporated municipalities: cities, home rule municipalities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following municipalities, boroughs and townships are in Centre County:
Home rule municipalities
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.
- Continental Courts
- Eagle Creek
- Holters Crossing
- Moose Run
- Mount Eagle
- North Philipsburg
- Park Forest Village
- Pine Glen
- Pine Grove Mills
- Pleasant Gap
- Potters Mills
- Sandy Ridge
- South Philipsburg
- Spring Mills
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|2||Park Forest Village||CDP||9,660|
|12||Pine Grove Mills||CDP||1,502|
- "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
- "Census - Geography Profile: Centre County, Pennsylvania". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Centre County Pennsylvania: 15 Historical Sketches of Our 200 Years". Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
- "PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University".
- "Census 2020".
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Centre County, Pennsylvania".
- "Office of Management and Budget". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- "2010 U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "Centre County Government - Welcome Page". Centre County Government. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- Voter Registration Statistics Archived 2014-11-05 at the Wayback Machine. Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved on 2014-11-04.
- http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=2012&fips=42&f=0&off=0&elect=0[bare URL]
- "Centre County, PA - Official Website - Election Results". centrecountypa.gov. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- "Pennsylvania Newspapers". NewsLink. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
- Town & Gown Magazine Town & Gown Magazine
- State College Magazine, Pennsylvania Archived January 2, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. State College Magazine (2011-03-01). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
- Good Life in Happy Valley | Centre Daily Times – State College, PA | Penn State, Nittany Lions, weather, news, jobs, homes, apartments, real estate Archived 2012-05-31 at the Wayback Machine. Centredaily.com (2009-06-19). Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
- "Voices of Central Pa - Central Pennsylvania's Independent Community Newspaper". www.voicesweb.org. Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- Official site
- Centre Daily Times Local Newspaper
- Interactive Web Mapping Application for Centre County
- Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) Historical Marker Search
- Open Access edition of The History of Centre and Clinton counties, Pennsylvania (1883) by John Blair Linn at the Penn State University Library website