Pennsylvania State Overview

State of Pennsylvania general data

  • Time zone: 6 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Harrisburg
  • Main towns: Allentown, Erie, Filadelfia, Pittsburgh, Reading.
  • Area: 119.282 km²
  • Population: Approximately 12,800,000 inhabitants.
  • Population density: 107,3 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: PA
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on December 12, 1787, it is the 2nd state to join the union.

According to, the territory of Pennsylvania is very diverse from a physical point of view. With an average altitude of 336m, some parts of the state are above sea level (in the last stretch of the Delaware River), while the terrain rises in the northwest region until it reaches 980m on Mount Davis. meters.

The territory can be divided into seven major physical regions, the coastal plain, the Piedmont lowlands, the Blue Ridge, the New England Highlands, the Appalachian Valley and Cordillera region, the Appalachian Highlands, and the plain of the Great Lakes. The coastal plain is a strip of land in the southeast of the state that extends from the Delaware River. In this area is the city of Philadelphia and its suburbs. The Piedmont region is characterized by modest reliefs, which precede the slopes of the Blue Ridge. The Cordillera Azzurra, west of the Piedmont region, extends from Virginia to Maryland. Like this, what Pennsylvania calls the ‘southern mountains’ are, in fact, the northern portion of the Blue Cordillera. North of Piedmont are the Blue Mountains (not to be confused with the Cordillera), a succession of hills of modest height that is part of the geographic unit shared by neighboring states, and called the ‘New England highlands.’ This area is surrounded by the Appalachian Valley and Range region, which includes the Bald Eagle, Blue and Tuscarora Mountains, and the Lebanon and Cumberland Valleys. This region connected with the Appalachian highlands is also called the Allegheny Plateau. This plateau which occupies almost half of the territory, it rises from west to north until it reaches about 600 meters in height, in the area known as the Pocono mountains. Finally, the Great Lakes plain region is a swathe of land surrounding Lake Erie, northwest of the state. The most important rivers in Pennsylvania are the Delaware, the Susquehanna, and the Ohio. The main tributaries of Delaware that flow into the eastern sector of the state are the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers. Large vessels can sail along the Delaware River and for this reason from the first years of colonization it became one of the main routes for the interior of the continent. The Susquehanna and its tributaries flow into the central region. The most important rivers of this system that flow into the Chesapeake Bay are the West Branch and the Juniata. This, on the other hand, is not navigable, except for a few kilometers of the final stretch. The western region of Pennsylvania is washed by the Ohio River and its tributaries. The Ohio, which was born near Pittsburgh from the union of the Allegheny and the Monongahela, has become a communication route of great importance as it is navigable and connects with the Mississippi River which allows you to reach the Gulf of Mexico. In the Pennsylvania territory there are more than three hundred lakes, many of glacial origin. In addition to Lake Erie, which it shares with the states of New York, Michigan, Ohio and Canada, the largest wholly in the Pennsylvania territory is Lake Conneaut. The rest of the great lakes of this region are the result of major engineering works on the main rivers, many of them created to control the floods of the rivers, particularly those of the Juniata, Susquehanna and Allegheny rivers, but also to provide electricity and facilitate agricultural development. The most important artificial basins are: the Pymatuning, the Wallenpaupack and the Allegheny. Many of these reservoirs have provided new incentives for the tourist development of the area.

Flora and fauna – The south-eastern and central part of the state is dominated by deciduous plants such as oak, maple, ash, elm and sycamore, while on the Appalachian plateau there are conifers typical of the northern forests. In the wooded regions the fauna consists of deer, brown bears, wild rabbits, squirrels, badgers and woodpeckers, beavers. There are also many species of wild birds.

The climate – Pennsylvania varies from region to region for factors such as longitude and altitude. The south-east of the state enjoys moderate temperatures, with annual averages of 11 ° C and an average annual rainfall between 970 mm and 1,170 mm. In this region, rainfall in the form of snow is modest. In the central and mountainous region of the state, the average annual temperatures are lowest, 7 ° C, and the most abundant rainfall, between 1,000 mm and 1,300 mm. Precipitation in the form of snow is much more abundant than in the southern region. The third major climate region, the Ohio River Basin, has more extreme temperatures and more abundant rainfall, between 1,250 mm and 1,500 mm. Average temperatures vary, depending on the area,

Harrisburg: capital of Pennsylvania

According to, Harrisburg is a city on the Susquehanna River, and the capital of Pennsylvania, in the southern part of the state. The state government employs most of its inhabitants, but the city is also an important commercial and manufacturing center, the main products include electronic devices, aircraft engines, steel, office machinery, building materials, clothing and food. transformed. The insurance sector has long been an important sector for the city. Harrisburg is served by an international airport. Of notable interest are the State Capitol (completed 1906), with a dome modeled on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Pennsylvania State Museum, the William Penn Archives and Museum, and the Dauphin County Historical Society, are housed in the John Harris Mansion (1766). The city has numerous parks, and nearby are Penn National Autodrome and Indian Echo Caverns.

According to, until 1785 the Harrisburg area was occupied by Native Americans of the Shawnee, Conoy, Tuscarora, Delaware and Susquehannock tribes. The site of the city was chosen in 1719 by the Englishman John Harris, who built a small trading post equipped with ferries. Originally the site was called ‘Ferry Harris’, and renamed Harrisburg in 1785. Harrisburg became the state capital in 1812 and subsequently hosted several important political conventions, including the Whig Party’s first national convention ( 1839), who designates William H. Harrison as a presidential candidate. The opening of the Pennsylvania Canal in 1834, the arrival of the railroad in 1836, and the completion of the Harrisburg-Pittsburgh section of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1847 helped make Harrisburg a major manufacturing center. Nearby Camp Hill was the scene of a battle of the American Civil War in 1863. After a period of decline in the mid-20th century, when a substantial portion of its population moved, Harrisburg was revitalized by a major urban regeneration program adopted. in the mid-70s.

Pennsylvania State Overview