World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Luzerne County Courthouse
Seal of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded September 25, 1786
Named for Chevalier de la Luzerne
Seat Wilkes-Barre
Largest city Wilkes-Barre
 • Total 906 sq mi (2,347 km2)
 • Land 890 sq mi (2,305 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (41 km2), 1.8%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 320,103
 • Density 360/sq mi (139/km²)
Congressional district 17th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .org.luzernecountywww
Luzerne County Head of State
Topographical map of Luzerne County
Topographical map of Luzerne County
 • Chairperson Tim McGinley (D)

Luzerne County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 320,918.[1] Its county seat is Wilkes-Barre.[2]

Luzerne County is included in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the northern anthracite area called The Coal Region in Northeastern Pennsylvania.


  • History 1
    • 18th century 1.1
    • 19th century 1.2
    • 20th century 1.3
    • 21st century 1.4
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Politics 4
    • County Council 4.1
    • List of chairpersons 4.2
    • Other county officials 4.3
    • United States Senate 4.4
    • United States House of Representatives 4.5
    • State Senate 4.6
    • State House of Representatives 4.7
  • Education 5
    • Public school districts 5.1
    • Charter schools 5.2
    • Public vocational technical schools 5.3
    • Private schools 5.4
    • Colleges and universities 5.5
    • Libraries 5.6
  • Recreation 6
    • Other recreation 6.1
  • Communities 7
    • Cities 7.1
    • Boroughs 7.2
    • Townships 7.3
    • Census-designated places 7.4
    • Other places 7.5
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The Luzerne County Historical Society maintains the storehouse for the collective memory of Luzerne County and its environs. It records and interprets the history, traditions, events, people and cultures that have directed and molded life within the region.[3]

18th century

19th century

Mine workers began their protest march near Harwood and many were eventually killed by the Luzerne County sheriff in Lattimer in 1897.

20th century

Remnants of Agnes over Pennsylvania. This resulted in major flooding

21st century


West-central Luzerne County, Pennsylvania from the Mocanaqua Loop Trail in Conyngham Township.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 890 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (1.8%) is water.[9] The Wyoming Valley in the North and Mid part of the county is flat at the Susquehanna Basin and rises from 700 feet (210 m) to 2,000 feet (610 m) in some places. Bear Creek, on the eastern side of the valley, has a mean elevation of about 2,000 feet (610 m), while Pittston, on the Susquehanna Basin, is about 700 feet (210 m). The Valley goes as north as Exeter Township-Dallas Township to as on the west side from Plymouth Township-Bear Creek Township and as on the east side from Duryea to Bear Creek Township; South as Hanover Township to Bear Creek Township. The county is crossed by a series of east-to-west mountains. The Susquehanna River drains most of the county while the Lehigh River drains some eastern and southeastern portions and forms part of its southeast boundary.

Adjacent counties


As of the 2010 census, the county was 90.7% White, 3.4% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 3.3% were of some other race, and 1.5% were two or more races. 6.7% of the population was of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.[15]

According to the census of 2000, there were 319,250 people, 130,687 households, and 84,293 families residing in the county. The population density was 358 people per square mile (138/km²). There were 144,686 housing units at an average density of 162 per square mile (63/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.63% White, 1.69% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.2% were of Polish, 15.6% Italian, 13.8% Irish, 12.1% German and 5.3% Slovak ancestry according to the 2000 census.

There were 130,687 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.80% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.50% were non-families. 31.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.00% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 19.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.

Luzerne County is the only county in the United States with a plurality of citizens reporting Polish as their primary ancestry;[16] the majority of Pennsylvanians report German or Pennsylvania Dutch.


Luzerne County Courthouse

As of November 2008, there are 187,849 registered voters in Luzerne County.[17]

While the Democratic Party has been historically dominant in county-level politics, on the statewide and national levels Luzerne County leans toward the Democratic Party only slightly. In 2000 Democrat Ed Rendell and now Senator Bob Casey Jr. won 67.5% and 60.6% of the vote in Luzerne County, respectively. In 2008 all four statewide winners carried it, with Barack Obama receiving 53.6% of the county vote to 45.2% for John McCain.

The Luzerne County Council is the governing body of the county. It was established on November 2, 2010 when voters adopted a home rule charter by a margin of 49,343 to 40,394.[18] This move abolished the previous county board of commissioners.

County Council

The following members have been duly elected to the county council by the voters of Luzerne County.

Council Member Time in Office Party Notes
Chair Rick Morelli 2012–present Republican
Vice Chair Edward A. Brominski 2012–present Democratic
Jim Bobeck 2012–present Democratic
Harry Haas 2012–present Republican
Eileen Sorokas 2014–present Democratic
Linda McClosky Houck 2012–present Democratic
Tim McGinley 2012–present Democratic
Kathy Dobash 2014–present Republican
Stephen A. Urban 2012–present Democratic
Stephen J. Urban 2012–present Republican
Rick Williams 2012–present Independent

List of chairpersons

List of Chairpersons Time in Office Party Notes
Rick Morelli 2014–present Republican
Tim McGinley 2012–2014 Democratic

Other county officials

  • Controller, Michelle Bednar Democrat
  • District Attorney, Stefanie J. Salavantis, Republican
  • Director of Elections, Vacant

United States Senate

United States House of Representatives

State Senate

State House of Representatives


Public school districts

Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Charter schools

  • Bear Creek Community Charter School

Public vocational technical schools

Private schools

Colleges and universities


The Luzerne County Library System includes the following locations:


There are four Pennsylvania state parks in Luzerne County:

Other recreation


Wilkes-Barre, the county seat and largest city of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Hazleton, the second largest city in Luzerne County
Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in the case of Bloomsburg, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Luzerne County:




Census-designated places

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 places

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Luzerne County Historical Society
  4. ^ "Twin Shaft Disaster Marker". August 19, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ Pittston, PA Twin Shaft Mine Cave In, June 1896
  6. ^ Mandatory Evacuation of Wyoming Valley by 4 p.m., Times-Leader, September 8, 2011
  7. ^ Eckert, Paul (September 9, 2011). "UPDATE 3-Pennsylvania hit by huge flooding, towns submerged". Reuters. 
  8. ^ Luzerne officials issue mandatory evacuation in footprint of Agnes flood, Times Tribune, September 8, 2011
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  13. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  15. ^ Census data, USA Today
  16. ^ US Census Bureau. "2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates." American FactFinder .
  17. ^ Current voter statistics, Website of Pennsylvania Department of State
  18. ^ Voters say 'yes' to home rule - News. Standard Speaker (2010-11-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Licensed, Private Academic Schools in Pennsylvania". 
  20. ^ Susquehanna Warrior Trail, PA - Google Maps. (1970-01-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  21. ^

External links

  • websiteLuzerne CountyOfficial
  • "Luzerne County Library System.". Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. 
  • Luzerne County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • The Luzerne Foundation — the county's Community Foundation.
  • Luzerne County Community College website

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.