Interesting facts about Pennsylvania

pennsylvania flag

Pennsylvania is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

Its official name is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

It is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

As of November 2018, the population of Pennsylvania was estimated to be about 12.8 million people. It is the 5th most populous state in the United States.

Pennsylvania is the 33rd largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 119,283 square kilometers (46,055 square miles).

Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the largest city of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous US city.


The state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Forbes rated Harrisburg as the second best place in the U.S. to raise a family.

Pennsylvania is 274 kilometers (170 miles) north to south and 455 kilometers (283 miles) east to west.

The state’s terrain is almost totally covered by mountains, there is also a series of rolling hills, plateaus and ridges, punctuated by valleys.

The Appalachian Mountains slice through the center of Pennsylvania, with the Allegheny and Pocano Mountains, the state’s most significant subranges. The highest point in the state is Mt. Davis, at 979 meters (3,213 feet) above sea level.

appalachian mountains

Over 50% of the state’s land is still covered by forest land and the only lowlands are in the southeast.

Pennsylvania has 19 national park and 111 state parks.

Independence National Historical Park is a United States National Park in Philadelphia that preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution and the nation’s founding history. Administered by the National Park Service, the 22 hectare (55-acre) park comprises much of Philadelphia’s most-visited historic district. The park has been nicknamed “America’s most historic square mile” because of its abundance of historic landmarks, and the park sites are located within the Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

independence national historical park

The centerpiece of the park is Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted in the late 18th century. Independence Hall was the principal meetinghouse of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787.

independence hall

Across the street from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, is displayed in the Liberty Bell Center. The bell was commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from the London firm of Lester and Pack (known subsequently as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry), and was cast with the lettering “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof”, a Biblical reference from the Book of Leviticus.

liberty bell

The Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg is the site of Gettysburg Battlefield, where in 1863 this Civil War battle took the life of some 51,000 people over a three-day period. Hundreds of markers and monuments now grace the park. Key highlights are Seminary Ridge, which was the primary Confederate position west of Gettysburg for days two and three of the battles; Cemetery Ridge, the site of Union Lines for the final two days of battle; and Oak Ridge, the site of the opening day battle of the Civil War.

gettysburg national military park

Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence is a house built between 1936 and 1939 over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania. Fallingwater was a weekend house for the Edgar J. Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, owners of Kaufmann’s Department Store. Designed in 1935 by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). The main house constructed 1936-38, followed by the guest house construction in 1939.


Longwood Gardens is an American botanical garden. It consists of over 436 hectares (1,077 acres) of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States in the Brandywine Creek Valley. It is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States and is open to visitors year-round to enjoy exotic plants and horticulture (both indoor and outdoor), events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as educational lectures, courses, and workshops.

longwood gardens

Hersheypark is a family theme park situated in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1906 by Milton S. Hershey, as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company, it is wholly and privately owned by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company as of 2016. It has won several awards, including the IAAPA Applause Award.


The History of Pennsylvania begins in 1681 when William Penn received a royal charter from King Charles II of England, although human activity in the region precedes that date.

The area was home to the Lenape, Susquehannock, Iroquois, Erie, Shawnee, Arandiqiouia, and other American Indian tribes.

The state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States.

It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787.

pennsylvania map

Named by Governor William Penn, Philadelphia combined the Greek words for love (phileo) and brother (adelphos), engendering its nickname of “the city of brotherly love.”

Pennsylvania’s nickname, the Keystone State, derives from the fact that the state forms a geographic bridge both between the Northeastern states and the Southern states, and between the Atlantic seaboard and the Midwest.

Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Zoo, the first public zoo in the United States.

Pennsylvania is the first state of the fifty United States to list their web site URL on a license plate.

In 1909 the first baseball stadium was built in Pittsburgh.

Hershey is considered the Chocolate Capital of the United States.

Indiana County is the Christmas Tree capital of the world.