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.

Northampton County, Pennsylvania

Northampton County Education, Geography, and History

Northampton County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Northampton County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 297,735. Its county seat is Easton. The county was formed in 1752 from parts of Bucks County. Its namesake was Northamptonshire and the county seat of Easton is named for the country house Easton Neston.

Northampton County is included in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area. Its northern edge borders The Poconos, and its eastern section borders the Delaware River, which divides Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Etymology - Origin of Northampton County Name

Named for Northamptonshire, England, where Thomas Penn's father-in-law, the Earl of Pomfret, lived.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Northampton County History

Created on March 11, 1752 from parts of Bucks County and named for Northamptonshire, England, where Thomas Penn's father-in-law, the Earl of Pomfret, lived. Easton, the county seat was named for the Earl's estate. It was incorporated as a borough on September 23, 1789 and became a city on November 2, 1886. The county adopted a home rule charter in April 1976.

Pennsylvania's Walking Purchase from the Delaware Indians in 1737 included all the present area of this county. Moravians settled in 1740 at Nazareth and in 1741 at Bethlehem. Fries' Rebellion against a federal tax on windows occurred here. Until 1800 Northampton was the entire northeastern section of Pennsylvania. In 1812 the creation of Lehigh County divided the Lehigh Valley, and Northampton continued to yield land until the formation of Carbon County in 1843. German farmers from Bucks County and Perkiomen Valley, as well as Scots-Irish from New Castle, were the first settler groups. The opening of the Lehigh Canal in 1829 triggered industrial growth. Major iron works functioned at Easton, Glendon, and South Bethlehem before 1860. Bethlehem Iron Works became Bethlehem Steel, the second largest United States' steel producer. By 1890 there were also flour mills, textile factories, slate quarries, and zinc mines. Depression was seriously felt from 1930 to 1941. Bethlehem Steel recognized the United Steelworkers in 1939, but there was a bitter strike in 1941. Lasting industrial decline began in 1955, reaching beyond the steel industry. The cement mills and the Dixie Cup Company have closed. Farms cover 36 percent of the county and Northampton is a significant grain and peaches producer.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 377 square miles (977 km2), of which, 374 square miles (968 km2) of it is land and 4 square miles (9 km2) of it (0.94%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Monroe County (north)
  • Warren County, New Jersey (east)
  • Bucks County (south)
  • Lehigh County (west)
  • Carbon County (northwest)


Colleges and universities

Lafayette College, Easton.
Lehigh University, Bethlehem.
Moravian College, Bethlehem.
Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem Township.
Respect Graduate School, Bethlehem.

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