Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

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Cumberland County
Carlisle, Pennsylvania (5656229890).jpg
Old Cumberland County Courthouse
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cumberland County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania in United States.svg
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 40°10′N77°16′W / 40.17°N 77.27°W / 40.17; -77.27
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Pennsylvania.svg  Pennsylvania
FoundedJanuary 27, 1750
Named for Cumberland
Seat Carlisle
Largest boroughCarlisle
  Total550 sq mi (1,400 km2)
  Land545 sq mi (1,410 km2)
  Water4.8 sq mi (12 km2)  0.9%%
  Density470/sq mi (180/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 10th, 13th
DesignatedMay 17, 1982 [1]

Cumberland County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 259,469. [2] Its county seat is Carlisle. [3]


Cumberland County is included in the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Plaque at Middle Spring Presbyterian Church Middle Springs Pennsylvania Presbyterian Church Plaque.jpg
Plaque at Middle Spring Presbyterian Church

Cumberland County was first settled by a majority of Scots-Irish immigrants who arrived in this area about 1730. English and German settlers constituted about ten percent of the early population. The settlers originally mostly devoted the area to farming and later developed other trades. [4] These settlers built the Middle Spring Presbyterian Church, among the oldest houses of worship in central Pennsylvania, in 1738 near present-day Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

The General Assembly (legislature) of the Pennsylvania colony on January 27, 1750, created Cumberland County from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, naming it for Cumberland, England. Its county seat is Carlisle. [3] The county also lies within the Cumberland Valley adjoining the Susquehanna River at its eastern border, stretching approximately 42 miles from the borough of Shippensburg on the west to the Susquehanna River in east Cumberland County.

"Old Main" at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shipoldmain.JPG
"Old Main" at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

The oldest towns in the county are Shippensburg and Carlisle, each with its unique history. Shippensburg is home to Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, one of 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Carlisle is also home to Dickinson College, established in 1773, and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

U.S. Army War College USArmyWarCollege.gif
U.S. Army War College

The United States Army War College is a United States Army school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500 acre (2 km2) campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks, a military post dating back to the 1770s. It caters to high-level military personnel and civilians and prepares them for strategic leadership responsibilities. It is the U. S. Army's most senior military educational institution.

During the Gettysburg campaign of the American Civil War in the summer of 1863, Confederate troops marched through the Cumberland Valley, briefly occupying much of Cumberland County.

In the 20th century, the suburbs of Harrisburg, the state capital, expanded extensively into eastern Cumberland County. Carlisle also developed suburbs in adjoining townships.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 550 square miles (1,400 km2), of which 545 square miles (1,410 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (0.9%) is water. [5] The area code is 717 with an overlay of 223. Blue Mountain forms Cumberland's northern natural boundary and Yellow Breeches Creek forms part of its SE natural boundary. The Susquehanna River drains the county and forms its eastern natural boundary. A large portion of Cumberland is drained by the Conodoguinet Creek, which winds its way west-to-east across the county into the Susquehanna.


Almost all of Cumberland has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and its hardiness zone is 6b except in much of the eastern portion where it is 7a. Average monthly temperatures in Lemoyne range from 29.9° F in January to 74.9° F in July, in Carlisle they range from 29.8° F in January to 75.2° F in July, and in Shippensburg they range from 29.6° F in January to 74.6° F in July. The latest temperature averages show some low-lying eastern areas of the county to have a humid subtropical climate (Cfa.)

Climate data for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg Capital City Airport) 1991-2020 normals (Records 1939-2021)
Record high °F (°C)73
Average high °F (°C)40.3
Daily mean °F (°C)32.6
Average low °F (°C)24.9
Record low °F (°C)−9
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.64
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)991012141212111011910127
Source: NOAA [6]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

State protected areas


Historical population
1790 18,208
1800 25,38639.4%
1810 26,7575.4%
1820 23,606−11.8%
1830 29,22623.8%
1840 30,9535.9%
1850 34,32710.9%
1860 40,09816.8%
1870 43,9129.5%
1880 45,9774.7%
1890 47,2712.8%
1900 50,3446.5%
1910 54,4798.2%
1920 58,5787.5%
1930 68,23616.5%
1940 74,8069.6%
1950 94,45726.3%
1960 124,81632.1%
1970 158,17726.7%
1980 178,54112.9%
1990 195,2579.4%
2000 213,6709.4%
2010 235,40610.2%
2020 259,46910.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [7]
1790-1960 [8] 1900-1990 [9]
1990-2000 [10] 2010-2019 [11] [12]

As of the census [13] of 2000, there were 213,674 people, 83,015 households, and 56,118 families residing in the county. The population density was 388 people per square mile (150/km2). There were 86,951 housing units at an average density of 158 per square mile (61/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.40% White, 2.36% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.67% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 1.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 35.3% were of German, 10.6% American, 10.1% Irish, 7.5% English and 6.8% Italian ancestry. 94.7% spoke English and 1.4% Spanish as their first language.

There were 83,015 households, out of which 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.50% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 26.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.00% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

Its per capita income is $31,627, making it the wealthiest Pennsylvania county outside greater Philadelphia, and fifth wealthiest overall.

2020 Census

Cumberland County Racial Composition [14]
White (NH)211,99081.7%
Black or African American (NH)10,5814.1%
Native American (NH)3180.12%
Asian (NH)13,8365.33%
Pacific Islander (NH)1130.04%
Other/Mixed (NH)10,6564.1%
Hispanic or Latino 11,9754.62%

Metropolitan Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget [15] has designated Cumberland County as the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census [16] the metropolitan area ranked 6th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 96th most populous in the United States with a population of 549,475. Cumberland County is also a part of the larger Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Cumberland County as well as Adams, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry and York Counties in Pennsylvania. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 5th in the State of Pennsylvania and 43rd most populous in the United States with a population of 1,219,422.

Government and politics

For most of its history, Cumberland County has been a Republican Party stronghold in presidential elections, with only seven Democratic Party candidates having managed to win the county from 1888 to the present day. The most recent Democrat to win the county in a presidential election was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 as he won in a landslide statewide & nationally. As a testament to the county's status as a Republican Party stronghold, Barack Obama in 2008 and Joe Biden in 2020 are the lone Democrats to win forty percent of the county's votes since Johnson's 1964 win.

United States presidential election results for Cumberland County, Pennsylvania [17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
2020 77,21254.30%62,24543.78%2,7301.92%
2016 69,07655.94%47,08538.13%7,3255.93%
2012 64,80958.29%44,36739.90%2,0151.81%
2008 63,73956.00%48,30642.44%1,7801.56%
2004 67,64863.77%37,92835.75%5060.48%
2000 54,80262.17%31,05335.23%2,2892.60%
1996 43,94355.63%28,74936.40%6,2937.97%
1992 43,44751.37%26,63531.49%14,49117.13%
1988 47,29265.29%24,61333.98%5280.73%
1984 49,28269.29%21,37430.05%4670.66%
1980 41,15261.18%19,78929.42%6,3199.39%
1976 39,95062.16%23,00835.80%1,3122.04%
1972 42,09972.87%14,56225.20%1,1141.93%
1968 32,90861.54%15,46728.93%5,0979.53%
1964 23,68546.88%26,63352.71%2070.41%
1960 35,63668.79%15,96830.83%1970.38%
1956 29,46868.10%13,65131.55%1530.35%
1952 26,30267.17%12,76232.59%910.23%
1948 18,02860.71%11,42138.46%2460.83%
1944 17,78259.30%12,06840.25%1340.45%
1940 15,29749.15%15,75850.63%680.22%
1936 14,91243.83%18,85055.41%2590.76%
1932 13,09850.86%12,08646.93%5672.20%
1928 19,17078.08%5,18921.14%1920.78%
1924 10,19653.22%7,64339.89%1,3216.89%
1920 8,57954.73%6,45541.18%6404.08%
1916 5,29642.96%6,43252.17%6014.87%
1912 2,56621.91%5,02342.89%4,12335.20%
1908 6,26151.35%5,40344.32%5284.33%
1904 7,13856.74%5,03840.05%4043.21%
1900 5,58749.06%5,42847.66%3743.28%
1896 6,17852.30%5,20244.04%4323.66%
1892 4,52044.06%5,44653.09%2932.86%
1888 4,69345.36%5,38652.05%2682.59%
1884 4,65945.74%5,37552.77%1511.48%
1880 4,43144.17%5,46254.45%1381.38%

As of November 7, 2022, there are 186,483 registered voters in Cumberland County. [18]

The Republican Party has been dominant in Cumberland County politics since before the American Civil War, with the victories of Robert P. Casey for governor in 1990, Bob Casey Jr. for state treasurer in 2004, Tom Wolf for governor in 2018, and Josh Shapiro for governor in 2022 being among the few times where a statewide Democrat carried the county. The county commissioner majority, all row offices, and all legislative seats serving Cumberland are held by Republicans.

County commissioners

Other county offices

State Representatives

State Senators

United States House of Representatives

United States Senate


Colleges and universities

Community, junior and technical colleges

Public school districts

Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania School Districts Map of Cumberland County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public charter schools

Technical school

Private schools

As reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics [23]

  • Allen Mennonite School - Dillsburg
  • Berean Christian Day School - Newville
  • Best Friends - New Cumberland
  • Bethel Christian Academy - Carlisle
  • Blue Ridge Mennonite School - Carlisle
  • Brookside Montessori School - Camp Hill
  • Chesterbrook Academy - Camp Hill
  • Chestnut Groove School - Shippensburg
  • Children's School of New Cumberland - New Cumberland
  • Dickinson College Children's Center - Carlisle
  • Emmanuel Baptist Christian Academy - Mechanicsburg
  • Faith Tabernacle School - Mechanicsburg
  • Good Shepherd Elementary School - Camp Hill
  • Harrisburg Academy - Wormleysburg
  • Hickory Lane School - Newburg
  • Hidden Valley School - Carlisle
  • Kindercare Learning Center - Mechanicsburg
  • Learning and Sharing - New Cumberland
  • Logos School - Carlisle
  • Living Faith School - Shippensburg
  • Meadow Run - Newburg
  • Mechanicsburg Learning Center - Mechanicsburg
  • Middle Run Parochial School - Shippensburg
  • Oak Grove Parochial School - Shippensburg
  • Oakwood Baptist Day School - Camp Hill
  • Otterbein School - Newburg
  • Quarry Hill School - Newville
  • Rocky View School Parochial - Newville
  • South Mountain Parochial School - Shippensburg
  • South Mountain Parochial School - Newville
  • Spring HIll Parochial School - Shipensburg
  • St. Joseph School - Mechaniscburg
  • St Patrick School - Carlisle
  • St Theresa Elementary School - New Cumberland
  • Sunset Amish School - Newburg
  • The Children's Garden of St Johns Lutheran Church - Shiremanstown
  • The Christian School of Grace Baptist Church - Carlisle
  • The Goddard School - Enola
  • The Goddard School - Mechanicsburg
  • The Learning Center - Camp Hill
  • Trinity High School (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania)
  • West Shore Christian Academy - Shiremanstown
  • Yellow Breeches Education Center - Boiling Springs

Public libraries


Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue). Map of Cumberland County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels.png
Map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing 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 boroughs and townships are located in Cumberland 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 unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Cumberland County. [16]

county seat

RankCity/Town/etc.Municipal typePopulation (2010 Census)
1Carlisle Borough18,682
2 Mechanicsburg Borough8,981
3 Camp Hill Borough7,888
4 New Cumberland Borough7,277
5 Lower Allen CDP6,694
6 Enola CDP6,111
7 Shippensburg (partially in Franklin County)Borough5,492
8 Schlusser CDP5,265
9 Lemoyne Borough4,553
10 Boiling Springs CDP3,225
11 Wormleysburg Borough3,070
12 Shippensburg University CDP2,625
13 Messiah College CDP2,215
14 Mount Holly Springs Borough2,030
15 Shiremanstown Borough1,569
16 Newville Borough1,326
17 West Fairview CDP1,282
18 New Kingstown CDP495
19 Plainfield CDP399
20 Newburg Borough336


Annual events occur in downtown Carlisle at the Carlisle Fairgrounds. The Capital City Mall in Lower Allen Township serves the West Shore, the Carlisle area, and surrounding communities. Williams Grove Speedway is a half-mile auto-racing track in the county. The Appalachian Trail crosses the central part of Cumberland, which has two state parks:

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Camp Hill, Pennsylvania</span> Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Enola, Pennsylvania</span> Census-designated place in Pennsylvania, United States

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Newville, Pennsylvania</span> Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shippensburg, Pennsylvania</span> Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Shippensburg is a borough in Cumberland and Franklin counties in the U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Settled in 1730, Shippensburg lies in the Cumberland Valley, 41 miles (66 km) southwest of Harrisburg, and is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 5,492 at the 2010 census. Of this, 4,416 were in Cumberland County, and 1,076 were in Franklin County.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Capital Area Transit (Harrisburg)</span> Public transportation agency in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pennsylvania Route 174</span> State highway in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, US

Pennsylvania Route 174 is a 28-mile-long (45 km) state highway located in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. The western terminus is at U.S. Route 11 and PA 533 in Shippensburg. The eastern terminus is at PA 641 in Monroe Township. PA 174 is a two-lane undivided road that runs through farmland in southern Cumberland County. The route heads east from Shippensburg and comes to an interchange with Interstate 81 (I-81). PA 174 continues through rural land, intersecting PA 233 in Dickinson, PA 465 in Mooredale, and PA 34 north of Mount Holly Springs before passing through Boiling Springs. From here, the route heads northeast and crosses PA 74 before coming to its end at PA 641 west of Mechanicsburg.

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Coordinates: 40°10′N77°16′W / 40.17°N 77.27°W / 40.17; -77.27