Pennsylvania Counties
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Pennsylvania Counties

There are sixty-seven counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America. The city of Philadelphia is coterminous with Philadelphia County, and governmental functions have been consolidated since 1854.

Blair County, Pennsylvania

Blair County Education, Geography, and History

Blair County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Blair County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 127,089. Its county seat is Hollidaysburg. The county was created on February 26, 1846, from parts of Huntingdon and Bedford Counties.

Blair County comprises the Altoona, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Blair County Name

Named for John Blair, a prominent citizen.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Blair County History

Created on February 26, 1846 from parts of Huntingdon and Bedford Counties, and named for John Blair, a prominent citizen. Hollidaysburg, the county seat, was incorporated as a borough on August 10, 1836, and named for Adam and William Holliday, early settlers.

Before the county's formation the area was located on the Frankstown Path and was dangerous to settle because of threats from Indians. It was visited by the Catholic priest Prince Demetrius Gallitzin. The Blair family appeared after the Revolution and led the movement to form the county. In 1831 Hollidaysburg became the terminal of the Portage Railroad that carried canal boats over the mountains to Johnstown. Altoona arose because of the Pennsylvania Railroad's yards founded there in 1846; this was the main employer in the county until the 1970s. Iron production diminished after 1865, but Blair has produced much bituminous coal, paper, and printing products, as well as the lumber used by the canal and the railroad. Its mountainous terrain is unfavorable for cultivation, but Blair ranks twenty-fourth among Pennsylvania's sixty-seven counties in income from livestock. One-fourth of the land is held in farms. Originally settled by German and Scotch-Irish groups, Altoona's railroad employment brought about a much wider ethnic mix.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 527 square miles (1,365 km2), of which, 526 square miles (1,362 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (3 km2) of it (0.25%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Centre County (north)
  • Huntingdon County (east)
  • Bedford County (south)
  • Cambria County (west)
  • Clearfield County (northwest)


Colleges and universities

Penn State Altoona

Community, junior and technical colleges

South Hills School of Business and Technology
YTI Career Institute
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

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