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Erie County, Pennsylvania
ErieCtyCourthouse EriePA.JPG
Erie County Courthouse
Flag of Erie County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 12, 1800 (1800-03-12)
Seat Erie
Largest city Erie
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,558 sq mi (4,035 km²)
798.9 sq mi (2,069 km²)
759.1 sq mi (1,966 km²), 48.7%
 - (2010)
 - Density

351.2/sq mi (136/km²)

Erie County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of 2010, the population was 280,566. Its county seat is the City of Erie.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,558 square miles (4,035.2 km2), of which 798.9 square miles (2,069 km2) is land and 759.1 square miles (1,966 km2) (48.7%) is water. There are only two cities in Erie County: the City of Erie and the City of Corry.

Erie County is bordered on the northeast by Chautauqua County, New York, on the east by Warren County, on the south by Crawford County, and on the west by Ashtabula County, Ohio. Directly north of the county is Lake Erie, with the nearest landmass beyond it being the province of Ontario, Canada.

It is the only county in the state north of the 42nd parallel.

History[edit | edit source]

Erie County was established on March 12, 1800 from part of Allegheny County, which absorbed the lands of the disputed Erie Triangle in 1792. Prior to 1792, the region was claimed by both New York and Pennsylvania, so no county demarcations were made until the federal government intervened. See interactive Pennsylvania County Formation Maps

Since Erie County and its newly-established neighboring counties of Crawford, Mercer, Venango, and Warren were initially unable to sustain themselves, a five-county administrative organization was established at Crawford County's Meadville to temporarily manage government affairs in the region. Erie elected its own county officials in 1803.[1]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 1,468
1810 3,758 156.0%
1820 8,553 127.6%
1830 17,041 99.2%
1840 31,344 83.9%
1850 38,742 23.6%
1860 49,432 27.6%
1870 65,973 33.5%
1880 74,688 13.2%
1890 86,074 15.2%
1900 98,473 14.4%
1910 115,517 17.3%
1920 153,536 32.9%
1930 175,277 14.2%
1940 180,889 3.2%
1950 219,388 21.3%
1960 250,682 14.3%
1970 263,654 5.2%
1980 279,780 6.1%
1990 275,572 −1.5%
2000 280,845 1.9%
2010 280,566 −0.1%
United States Census Bureau

According to the 2010 United States Census, there were 280,566 people, 110,413 households, and 70,196 families residing in the county. The population density was 351.2 inhabitants per square mile (135.6 /km2). There were 119,138 housing units at an average density of 149.1 per square mile (57.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.2 percent White, 7.2 percent Black or African American, 0.2 percent Native American, 1.1 percent Asian, 0.03 percent Pacific Islander, 1.2 percent from other races, and 2.1 percent from two or more races. A further 3.4 percent of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.4% were of German, 12.5% Polish, 12.3% Italian, 10.1% Irish, 6.5% English and 6.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

Of the total number of household, 27.2 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4 percent were married couples living together, 13.2 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4 percent were non-families. 29.3 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.5 percent under the age of 20. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 96.73 males.

Government and politics[edit | edit source]

The county seat of government is in Erie, Pennsylvania. The county has a home-rule charter and is run by a county executive. The current County Executive is Barry Grossman. Grossman assumed the office in January 2010 after ousting incumbent Mark DiVecchio in the 2009 Democratic primary and narrowly defeating Republican Mike Kerner. The remaining elected officials of the executive branch are the Erie County Controller, Erie County Coroner, Erie County District Attorney, Erie County Sheriff, and Erie County Clerk. see latest list

The County Executive appoints a chief public defender to the Erie County Public Defender's Office [2] and members of a Criminal Justice Advisory Board.[3]

Erie County Department of Public Safety and the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) relocated to a new public safety building located near the Erie County Vocational Technical School in Summit Township in January 2008. 9-1-1 dispatcher and HAZMAT operations will be based at the new facility. Seven new communications towers and backup power generation will be features of the new reinforced concrete building, which will be able to withstand a Category F3 tornado. Erie County Department of Corrections operates the Erie County Prison, which is located on Ash Street between East 18th Street and the railroad tracks in Erie.

Erie County Executives
Name Party Term start Term end
Russell Robison Republican 1978 1982
Judith M. Lynch Democrat 1982 2002
Richard Schenker Republican 2002 2006
Mark A. DiVecchio Democrat 2006 2010
Barry Grossman Democrat 2010 Incumbent

County legislature[edit | edit source]

The legislature consists of a county council. The Erie County Council is made up of seven councilmen elected to represent seven geographical districts. see map A chairman and vice chairman are chosen among the councilmen to lead the council.

  • Phil Fatica, Democrat (District 1 - west city)
  • Joseph F. Giles, Democrat (Vice Chairman, District 2 - city lakefront)
  • Fiore Leone, Democrat (Chairman, District 3 - south central city)
  • Ronald Cleaver, Democrat (also known as Whitey Cleaver) (District 4 - southeast city)
  • Kyle W. Foust, Democrat (District 5 - northeast suburbs)
  • Ebert Beeman, Republican (District 6 - southeast suburbs)
  • Carol J. Loll, Republican (District 7 - west suburbs).

Judiciary[edit | edit source]

The judiciary is made up of nine judges serving the Erie County Court of Common Pleas and fifteen magisterial district judges serve the district courts. Court administration is managed by a district court administrator, deputy court administrator, and assistant court administrator. The Erie County Courthouse is located near Perry Square in downtown Erie.

Row officers[edit | edit source]

  • Clerk of Records, Pat Fetzner, Democrat
  • Controller, Sue Weber, Democrat
  • Coroner, Lyell Cook, Republican
  • District Attorney, Jack Daneri, Republican (Was appointed following the death of Brad Foulk in 2009)
  • Sheriff, Bob Merski, Democrat

Politics[edit | edit source]

As of November 2008, there are 185,081 registered voters in Erie County [1].

Erie County tends to be Democratic-leaning in statewide elections, with all four statewide winners carrying it in 2008. The margins of victory for the Democratic Presidential candidate in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections in Erie County were 9, 8, and 20 percentage points, respectively.

Pennsylvania State Senate[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[edit | edit source]

United States House of Representatives[edit | edit source]

Municipalities[edit | edit source]

Map of Erie 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 at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Erie County:

Cities[edit | edit source]

Boroughs[edit | edit source]

Townships[edit | edit source]

Census-designated places[edit | edit source]

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 unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Education[edit | edit source]

Public school districts[edit | edit source]

Map of Erie County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Approved private schools[edit | edit source]

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has 36 Approved Private Schools including the Charter Schools for the Blind and Deaf. Students attending these schools come from across the commonwealth. The private schools are licensed by the State Board of Private Academic Schools. They provide a free appropriate special education for students with severe disabilities. The cost of tuition for these schools is paid 60% by the state and 40% by the local school district where the student is a resident. Pennsylvania currently has four PA chartered and 30 non-charter APSs for which the Department approves funding. These schools provide a program of special education for over 4,000 day and residential students. Parents are not charged for the services at the school.[4] In 2009, the Pennsylvania Department of Education budgeted $98 million for tuition of children in approved private schools and $36.8 million for students attending the charter schools for the deaf and blind.[5]

Recreation[edit | edit source]

There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Erie County and both are on the shores of Lake Erie.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ History of Erie County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: Warner, Beers and Company, 1884. Volume I, Part II, Chapter I, pg 137
  2. ^ Erie County Public Defenders Office, Access to Justice, 2006
  3. ^ JNET
  4. ^ Approved Private Schools and Chartered Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, Pennsylvania Department of Education website, accessed April 2010.
  5. ^ Tommasini, John, Assistant Secretary of Education, Testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee Hearing on SB982 of 2010. given April 14, 2010

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 42°06′N 80°06′W / 42.10, -80.10

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