Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area

Coordinates: 40°16′N 76°52′W / 40.27°N 76.87°W / 40.27; -76.87
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harrisburg–Carlisle, Pennsylvania MSA
Susquehanna Valley
Clockwise from top left: Harrisburg, Carlisle, and Hershey
The Harrisburg–Carlisle MSA in Pennsylvania is highlighted in red.
The Harrisburg–Carlisle MSA in Pennsylvania is highlighted in red.
Coordinates: 40°16′N 76°52′W / 40.27°N 76.87°W / 40.27; -76.87
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Principal citiesHarrisburg
 (2010 est.)
 • Urban
444,474 (87th)[1]
 • MSA
549,475 (98th)[2]
 • CSA
1,271,801 (46th)[2]
Time zoneUTC-5 (ET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)

The Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area, officially the Harrisburg–Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and also referred to as the Susquehanna Valley, is defined by the Office of Management and Budget as an area consisting of three counties in South Central Pennsylvania, anchored by the cities of Harrisburg and Carlisle.

As of the 2020 census,[3] the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had a population of 591,712, making it the fourth-most-populous metropolitan area in Pennsylvania, after the Delaware Valley, Greater Pittsburgh, and the Lehigh Valley.

Since 2012, it has been defined as part of the Harrisburg–York–Lebanon combined statistical area, which also includes York, Lebanon, and Adams counties.[4]


The Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Area consists of three counties, located entirely within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The following three counties are designated as being part of the greater Harrisburg–Carlisle area:[4]

Officially, Lebanon County is not part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area, and has nt been since 2003. It is rather part of combined statistical area, but it is culturally considered to be part of Greater Harrisburg, with Harrisburg suburbs extending into the county.

Combined statistical area[edit]

Additionally, three more counties are included as part of the Harrisburg–York–Lebanon, PA combined statistical area.[4] Collectively, they have a population of 1,271,801 people, making it the 46th-most-populous combined statistical area (CSA) in the United States, and the 3rd-most-populous CSA in the state of Pennsylvania.[2]

Statistical history[edit]

  • 1950: The Harrisburg standard metropolitan area (SMA), consisting of Cumberland and Dauphin counties, was first defined.[5]
  • 1959: Following a term change by the Bureau of the Budget (present-day Office of Management and Budget), the Harrisburg SMA became the Harrisburg standard metropolitan statistical area (SMSA).[6]
  • 1963: Perry County added to the Harrisburg SMSA.[7]
  • 1983: Harrisburg SMSA renamed the Harrisburg–Lebanon–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area (MSA);[6] Lebanon County added to the MSA.[8]
  • 2003: MSA split into two separate metropolitan areas – Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area (Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry counties) and the Lebanon metropolitan statistical area (Lebanon County);[9] Both MSAs together form the Harrisburg–Carlisle–Lebanon combined statistical area.
  • 2010: The Harrisburg–York–Lebanon urban agglomeration area is defined for the first time, linking York County to the CSA.[10]
  • 2012: The Harrisburg–York–Lebanon combined statistical area was formally defined and includes the counties of York and Adams.[11]

Geography and climate[edit]


Harrisburg–Carlisle is located in the Susquehanna River's valley, which makes the terrain rolling, with occasional flat land and tall hills. The metropolitan area is underlain with limestone, which makes the land ideal for farming. Much of the region is within the piedmont region of the United States.


The Harrisburg metropolitan area has a humid continental climate, experiencing four mild seasons: summer, autumn, winter, and spring. The average high temperature is 62 °F, while the average low is 44 °F. Harrisburg receives about 41 inches of rainfall annually.[12]



Historical population
US Decennial Census

As of the 2000 census,[13] there were 509,074 people, 202,380 households, and 134,557 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 86.20% White, 9.39% African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.68% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.67% of the population.

The median income for a household in the MSA was $43,374, and the median income for a family was $51,792. Males had a median income of $36,368 versus $26,793 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $21,432.

In 2009, the urban population of the MSA increased to 383,008 from 362,782 in 2000, a change of 20,226 people.[14]

County 2022 estimate 2020 Census Change Area Density
Cumberland County 268,579 259,469 +3.51% 550 sq mi (1,400 km2) 488/sq mi (189/km2)
Dauphin County 288,800 286,401 +0.84% 558 sq mi (1,450 km2) 518/sq mi (200/km2)
Perry County 46,114 45,842 +0.59% 556 sq mi (1,440 km2) 83/sq mi (32/km2)
Total 603,493 591,712 +1.99% 1,664 sq mi (4,310 km2) 518/sq mi (200/km2)


Roads and highways[edit]

The Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan area is served by a number of interstates, US routes, and state highways that help facilitate the movement of people and goods throughout the region. Major routes in the region include:[15]


Harrisburg International Airport (MDT) is the primary airport for the Harrisburg–Carlisle area. Located in Middletown, the airport serviced 1.137 million passengers in 2017. It is Pennsylvania's 3rd-busiest airport.[16][17] It is owned and operated by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, which also operates several other airports throughout South Central Pennsylvania.[18]

Some residents use Baltimore/Washington, Ronald Reagan Washington, and Philadelphia airports for a wider selection of destinations and airlines.


Harrisburg–Carlisle is served by Amtrak's Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian. Amtrak's Keystone Service, which terminates at Harrisburg Transportation Center, allows for rail trips to points east, including Philadelphia and New York City. The Pennsylvanian connects Harrisburg–Carlisle with Pittsburgh and New York City (by way of Philadelphia).[19][20]

Currently, the Harrisburg–Carlisle region is not served by any commuter rail; however, there were plans to bring it to the metropolitan and combined statistical areas. Plans included a commuter rail line, called the Capital Red Rose Corridor, running from Lancaster to Harrisburg, with a possible extension to Carlisle.[21]


The region is interconnected by bus services, which offer service for local and regional trips, as well as for intercity trips. The primary bus service provider for the region is Capital Area Transit (CAT). CAT provides local and commuter bus service in eastern Cumberland and southern Dauphin counties. Its services are used by about 8,000 daily riders.[22] Intercity bus service is primarily provided by Greyhound Lines and Fullington Trailways.[23][24]

Colleges and universities[edit]

The Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan area is home to several universities. The following is a list of non-profit colleges and universities within Harrisburg–Carlisle:

Cumberland County[edit]

Dauphin County[edit]


The Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan area is located entirely within the Harrisburg–York–Lebanon media market. It is the 42nd largest in the United States, with 772,810 households as of 2021.[25][26]



The Harrisburg TV market is served by:


The Harrisburg area's radio market is ranked 78th in the nation.[27]

This is a list of FM stations in the Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan area:

Callsign MHz Band "Name", format, owner City of license
WDCV 88.3 FM Indie/College Rock, Dickinson College Carlisle
WXPH 88.7 FM WXPN relay, University of Pennsylvania Harrisburg
WSYC 88.7 FM Alternative, Shippensburg University Shippensburg
WITF-FM 89.5 FM NPR Harrisburg
WVMM 90.7 FM Indie/College Rock, Messiah College Grantham
WJAZ 91.7 FM WRTI relay, Classical/Jazz, Temple University Harrisburg
WKHL 92.1 FM "K-Love" Contemporary Christian Palmyra
WPPY 92.7 FM "Happy 92.7" Adult Contemporary Starview
WTPA-FM 93.5 FM "93.5 WTPA" Classic Rock Mechanicsburg
WRBT 94.9 FM "Bob" Country Harrisburg
WLAN 96.9 FM "FM 97" CHR Lancaster
WRVV 97.3 FM "The River" Classic Hits and the Best of Today's Rock Harrisburg
WYCR 98.5 FM "98.5 The Peak" Classic Hits York
WQLV 98.9 FM 98.9 WQLV Millersburg
WHKF 99.3 FM "Kiss-FM" CHR Harrisburg
WFVY 100.1 FM Adult Contemporary Lebanon
WROZ 101.3 FM "101 The Rose" Hot AC Lancaster
WARM 103.3 FM "Warm 103" Hot AC York
WNNK 104.1 FM "Wink 104" Hot AC Harrisburg
WQXA 105.7 FM "105.7 The X" Active Rock York
WWKL 106.7 FM "Hot 106.7" CHR Hershey
WGTY 107.7 FM "Great Country" York

This is a list of AM stations in the Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan area:

Callsign kHz Band Format City of license
WHP (AM) 580 AM Conservative News/Talk Harrisburg
WHYF 720 AM EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network Shiremanstown
WSBA (AM) 910 AM News/Talk York
WADV 940 AM Gospel Lebanon
WHYL 960 AM Adult Standards Carlisle
WIOO 1000 AM Classic Country Carlisle
WKBO 1230 AM Christian Contemporary Harrisburg
WQXA 1250 AM Country York
WLBR 1270 AM Talk Lebanon
WHGB 1400 AM ESPN Radio (Formerly Adult R&B: The Touch) Harrisburg
WTKT 1460 AM sports: "The Ticket" Harrisburg
WRDD 1480 AM Country Shippensburg
WRKY 1490 AM Classic rock Lancaster
WPDC 1600 AM Sport Elizabethtown
Penndot 1670 AM NOAA Weather and Travel Several

Area codes[edit]

The entire Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan area is served by two area codes:[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census Urban Area List". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Totals: 2010-2019". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  3. ^ "2010 Census". census.gov. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "0MB BULLETIN NO. 20-01" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  5. ^ "Standard Metropolitan Areas (SMAs) and Components" (TXT). Standard Metropolitan Areas defined by the Bureau of the Budget, October 13, 1950. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. December 14, 2000. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "About Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  7. ^ "Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) and Components, 1963" (TXT). Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, October 18, 1963. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. October 25, 2000. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  8. ^ "Metropolitan Areas and Components, 1983" (TXT). Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, June 27, 1983. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 1, 2001. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  9. ^ "Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Components, 2003" (TXT). Metropolitan statistical areas defined by Office of Management and Budget, June 6, 2003. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. July 10, 2003. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  10. ^ America's Urban Agglomerations 2010 Proximity, Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  11. ^ Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area United States Census Bureau, Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "Weather averages Harrisburg, Pennsylvania". www.usclimatedata.com. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ America's Urban Population: Patterns & Characteristics 2000-2009 Proximity, 2009 data, Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  15. ^ "Harrisburg and Vicinity Transportation Map" (PDF). PennDOT. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  16. ^ "HAI Airport Passenger and Operational Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  17. ^ "Commercial Service Airports by State and Type of Carrier" (PDF). Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  18. ^ "History of the Airport". Harrisburg International Airport. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  19. ^ "Keystone Service Train | Amtrak". www.amtrak.com. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  20. ^ "Pennsylvanian Train | Amtrak". www.amtrak.com. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  21. ^ "Corridor One in the Harrisburg Region". Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. 2006. Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
  22. ^ "General Information". Capital Area Transit. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  23. ^ "Harrisburg Bus Station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | Greyhound". www.greyhound.com. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Fullington Tours, Clearfield, Pennsylvania - Tours, Cruises and Travel Packages". www.fullingtontours.com. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  25. ^ "Designated Regional Market List by State". www.truckads.com. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  26. ^ AdeptPlus. "Nielsen DMA 2021 Rankings". MediaTracks Communications. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  27. ^ "Audio | Nielsen". Arbitron.com. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  28. ^ "NANPA : Number Resources - NPA (Area) Codes". www.nationalnanpa.com. Retrieved March 2, 2021.

External links[edit]