Elk County, Pennsylvania

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Elk County
Elk County Courthouse in Ridgway, Pennsylvania
Elk County Courthouse in Ridgway, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Elk County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°25′N 78°39′W / 41.42°N 78.65°W / 41.42; -78.65
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
FoundedApril 18, 1843
Named forEastern elk
SeatRidgway
Largest citySt. Marys
Area
 • Total832 sq mi (2,150 km2)
 • Land827 sq mi (2,140 km2)
 • Water4.9 sq mi (13 km2)  0.6%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total30,990[1]
 • Density37.5/sq mi (14.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district15th
Websitewww.co.elk.pa.us

Elk County is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 United States census, the population was 30,990.[2] Its county seat is Ridgway.[3] The county was created on April 18, 1843, from parts of Jefferson, Clearfield, and McKean Counties, and is named for the eastern elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis) that historically inhabited the region.

The county is notable for having one of the highest concentrations of Roman Catholics in the United States, with 69% of the county's residents identifying as Catholic.

Geography[edit]

Elk County consists of low rolling hills, carved by frequent drainages and heavily wooded.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 832 square miles (2,150 km2), of which 827 square miles (2,140 km2) is land and 4.9 square miles (13 km2) (0.6%) is water.[4] Elk has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb) and average monthly temperatures in Ridgway range from 23.2 °F in January to 67.4 °F in July, while in Saint Marys they range from 22.6 °F in January to 66.8 °F in July. [1]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18503,531
18605,91567.5%
18708,48843.5%
188012,80050.8%
189022,23973.7%
190032,90348.0%
191035,8719.0%
192034,981−2.5%
193033,431−4.4%
194034,4433.0%
195034,5030.2%
196037,3288.2%
197037,7701.2%
198038,3381.5%
199034,878−9.0%
200035,1110.7%
201031,946−9.0%
202030,990−3.0%
[5]

As of the 2020 United States Census,[6] there were 30,990 people and 14,215 households. The population density was 38/sqmi (16/km2). There were 16,855 housing units at an average density of 20/sqmi (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.9% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.4% Asian, and 1.0% from two or more races. 0.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 41% were of German, 13% Italian, 9% American, 6% Irish, 4% Polish, 4% Swedish, 3% English.

There were 14,124 households, out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.00% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.00% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.99.

The county population contained 24.00% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.

Elk County has one of the highest concentrations of Roman Catholics in the United States. As of 2010, nearly 70% of the county's residents identified as Catholic.

2020 Census[edit]

Elk County Racial Composition[7]
Race Num. Perc.
White (NH) 30,339 97.9%
Black or African American (NH) 155 0.5%
Native American (NH) 62 0.2%
Asian (NH) 124 0.4%
Other/Mixed (NH) 310 1.0%
Hispanic or Latino 279 .9%

Politics and government[edit]

2020 Presidential Election Shaded by City and Township
Trump:     50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
United States presidential election results for Elk County, Pennsylvania[8]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 12,140 71.64% 4,522 26.68% 284 1.68%
2016 10,025 68.91% 3,853 26.49% 669 4.60%
2012 7,579 57.08% 5,463 41.14% 237 1.78%
2008 6,676 46.48% 7,290 50.76% 396 2.76%
2004 7,872 54.10% 6,602 45.37% 76 0.52%
2000 7,347 54.10% 5,754 42.37% 479 3.53%
1996 4,889 37.57% 5,749 44.18% 2,375 18.25%
1992 4,908 35.48% 5,016 36.26% 3,908 28.25%
1988 6,737 52.86% 5,879 46.13% 128 1.00%
1984 8,470 60.47% 5,486 39.17% 51 0.36%
1980 7,175 52.49% 5,898 43.15% 596 4.36%
1976 6,159 46.98% 6,713 51.21% 237 1.81%
1972 7,900 61.20% 4,710 36.49% 298 2.31%
1968 6,193 44.09% 6,886 49.02% 967 6.88%
1964 4,354 29.36% 10,455 70.51% 19 0.13%
1960 7,155 45.96% 8,398 53.95% 14 0.09%
1956 8,947 61.84% 5,498 38.00% 23 0.16%
1952 7,702 54.26% 6,448 45.42% 45 0.32%
1948 5,148 48.98% 5,363 51.02% 0 0.00%
1944 5,645 47.80% 6,097 51.63% 67 0.57%
1940 6,949 49.99% 6,920 49.78% 31 0.22%
1936 5,489 35.12% 9,035 57.80% 1,107 7.08%
1932 5,797 46.39% 6,461 51.70% 239 1.91%
1928 5,234 40.23% 7,705 59.23% 70 0.54%
1924 6,626 70.85% 1,370 14.65% 1,356 14.50%
1920 5,267 66.14% 2,093 26.28% 604 7.58%
1916 2,829 52.34% 2,186 40.44% 390 7.22%
1912 603 10.50% 2,057 35.82% 3,082 53.67%
1908 2,991 51.52% 2,531 43.60% 283 4.88%
1904 3,820 55.25% 2,857 41.32% 237 3.43%
1900 3,254 50.06% 3,105 47.77% 141 2.17%
1896 2,807 49.57% 2,717 47.98% 139 2.45%
1892 1,438 38.94% 2,126 57.57% 129 3.49%
1888 1,321 41.09% 1,824 56.73% 70 2.18%

Voter Registration[edit]

As of November 4, 2022, there are 20,227 registered voters in Elk County.[9]

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Chart of Voter Registration

  Republican (54.99%)
  Democratic (33.46%)
  Third Party/Independent (11.55%)

Elk County was primarily settled by German Catholics and the county's politics have historically been defined by the county's Catholic heritage. Prior to 1896, the county was a Democratic stronghold, similar to most other German Catholic counties with populations opposed to the Civil War, and while Republicans won the county from 1896 to 1908, their margins were far narrower than their margins nationwide. In the 1910s, the county's predominantly German-American populace became opposed to the foreign policies of the Wilson Administration, and thus voted against Wilson in 1916, as well as giving Republicans Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge over 65% of the vote. In 1928, however, with Catholic Al Smith as the Democratic nominee, he won nearly 60% of the county's vote and received a higher percentage of the vote than FDR did in any of his four presidential runs, even though FDR won his four elections with landslide margins and Smith lost by a landslide.

Elk County tended to be politically competitive in statewide and national elections. The county has frequently voted with the eventual winner of national elections, from 1920 to 2008, except for 1928 when Al Smith carried the county with nearly 60% of the vote over winner Herbert Hoover (due to the county's Catholicsm), 1940 when Wendell Willkie carried the county with a very slim margin of 29 votes over incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt(due to tensions between the Roosevelt administration and Germany), and in 1968, when Hubert Humphrey won it over eventual winner Richard Nixon. The county was carried by George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and by Barack Obama in 2008

The county has recently become a solid Republican county like most of rural Pennsylvania. Mitt Romney won the county in 2012 over Obama's victorious ticket. Like most other rural counties, both in Pennsylvania and nationwide, Donald Trump strongly won the county in 2016 and 2020 -- increasing his margin in the latter, making it the strongest performance by any single candidate in the county's history (although Coolidge had carried the county by a larger margin in 1924).

County commissioners[edit]

  • Joseph Daghir, Republican
  • M. Fritz Lecker, Republican
  • Matthew G. Quesenberry, Democrat

[10]

Other county offices[edit]

  • Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary, Susanne Schneider, Republican
  • Coroner, Michelle Muccio, Republican
  • District Attorney, Shawn McMahon,
  • Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds, Lee Neureiter, Republican
  • Sheriff, Todd Caltagarone, Republican
  • Treasurer, Peggy Schneider, Democrat

State representative[11][edit]

State senator[11][edit]

U.S. representative[edit]

Education[edit]

Map of Elk County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public school districts[edit]

Private schools[edit]

  • Elk County Catholic High School
  • St Boniface School - Kersey
  • St Leo School - Ridgway
  • St Marys Catholic Elementary School = Saint Marys
  • St Marys Catholic Middle School = Saint Marys
  • North Central Workforce Investment Board - Ridgway
  • Anne Forbes Nursery School - Ridgway

Libraries[edit]

  • Elk County Library System - Saint Marys
  • Johnsonburg Public Library - Johnsonburg
  • Ridgway Free Public Library - Ridgway
  • Saint Marys Public Library - Saint Marys
  • Tri State Coll Library Co-Op - Rosemont
  • Wilcox Public Library - Wilcox

Communities[edit]

Elk County boroughs and municipalities

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 Elk County:

City[edit]

Boroughs[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Elk County.[13]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 St. Marys City 13,070
2 Ridgway Borough 4,078
3 Johnsonburg Borough 2,483
4 Kersey CDP 937
5 Weedville CDP 542
6 Byrnedale CDP 427
7 Wilcox CDP 383
8 James City CDP 287
9 Force CDP 253

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Elk County, Pennsylvania". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Census 2020".
  6. ^ "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  7. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Elk County, Pennsylvania".
  8. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  9. ^ "Voter registration statistics by county". Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  10. ^ "Meet the Commissioners".
  11. ^ a b Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  12. ^ Portland Mills PA (Google Maps - accessed 11 November 2019)
  13. ^ "2010 U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 10, 2013.

Coordinates: 41°25′N 78°39′W / 41.42°N 78.65°W / 41.42; -78.65