Pennsylvania Geography and Economy

Pennsylvania is a federal state founded by William Penn in the eastern United States of America and one of its thirteen founding states. The official name is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Together with New York and New Jersey, Pennsylvania is assigned to the Central Atlantic States.

Gettysburg National Cemetery

The name literally means “Penn’s woodland ” (lat. Silva “forest” or Silvanus, a forest deity). Pennsylvania is nicknamed “Keystone State” (keystone state, after the central wedge-shaped stone in the middle of an arch).

Area 119,283 km²
Residents 12,784,227
Residents per km² 107.2
Capital Harrisburg
Postal Code PA
ISO-3166-2 code US PA
FIPS code 42


Abbreviated as PA by AbbreviationFinder, Pennsylvania is bordered to the east by New Jersey, to the southeast by Delaware, to the south by Maryland, to the southwest by West Virginia, to the west by Ohio and to the north by New York and Lake Erie. The state extends 274 km north-south and 455 km east-west. The total area of ​​the state is 119,283 km²; 116,075 km² of this is land area; 3,208 km² are bodies of water, of which 1,940 km² are accounted for by Lake Erie. The total area is slightly larger than Bulgaria. The highest point in the state is Mount Davis at 979 meters above sea level. The lowest point in Pennsylvania is at sea level on the Delaware River ; the average height is 336 m.

The main river through the country is called the Susquehanna River. Pennsylvania is characterized by deciduous forests and rolling hills. In the east of the country you can find the low mountain range of the Appalachians.


Pennsylvania was originally the settlement area of ​​the Susquehannock, exterminated by the Iroquois and European colonists. In 1643 the first settlers from Sweden settled. It later came under the control of England.

From 1671 onwards, William Penn traveled to many European countries and promoted the Quaker colonies in the New World. The greatest immigration of Quakers began in 1681, when Charles II of England gave the Quakers a large area of ​​land on the then western border of the populated areas and appointed Penn governor of the area later known as Pennsylvania. The “sacred experiment,” as Penn called it, was the only Quaker state ever to exist. From the beginning there was full religious freedom in him.

In 1787, the United States Constitution, still in force today, was ratified in Philadelphia during the Constitutional Convention known as the Philadelphia Convention. After Delaware, Pennsylvania was the second state to approve the constitution, making it one of the 13 founding states of the union. From 1790 to 1800 Philadelphia was the second capital of the USA after New York.

During the Civil War (1861-1865) Pennsylvania sided with the Northern states. From July 1-3, 1863, one of the most important events in American history took place on the soil of Pennsylvania. In the battle of Gettysburg, the northern states triumphed over the southern states. The battle is one of the crucial turning points of the American Civil War.

The drilling for oil that Edwin L. Drake carried out on August 27, 1859 at Oil Creek in Titusville became world famous. This triggered an oil boom in the region, similar to the gold rush. Numerous people were drawn to the region. Since then, the USA has been one of the largest oil producers in the world.


The economic output of Pennsylvania in 2016 was 724 billion USD, making it the sixth highest economic output of the states of the USA and a share of 3.93% of the total American economy. Counted as a separate country, Pennsylvania’s economic output would be roughly the same as that of the Netherlands.

The real gross domestic product per capita (GDP) in 2016 was USD 56,625 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 21). The unemployment rate was 4.6% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

Important industries are:

  • the cultivation of corn, wheat, potatoes, fruits, vegetables,
  • die iron and steel production; third in the US
  • Petroleum and iron ore
  • Coal mining (anthracite); leader in the USA
  • Livestock
  • Cement, machine, electrical appliance, metal goods and chemical industries

Also known as Keystone State, Pennsylvania is short for PA with a population of 12,281,054. According to Countryaah, the capital city of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg and the biggest city is Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Seal

Lower Delaware NWSR

The Delaware River, flowing through the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, is one of the last major rivers in America that is not interrupted by a dam or other control structure along its main course. It is considered a river with exceptional water quality, therefore it has also been declared a protected river by the state and is under the protection of the National Park Service. The river crosses an area of low wooded mountains, but also crosses a mountain ridge, where it subsequently forms the interesting area of Water Gap. The 64 km section of the Delaware River is designated for recreational purposes and thus crosses the counties of Sussex and Waren. The Appalachian Trail runs along the eastern border of the area.

The surroundings are interesting mainly because the Delaware River has created beautiful geological formations here over the millennia. However, you can also enjoy beautiful nature, rural scenery, waterfalls, and the historic Millbrook Village is definitely worth a visit. Visitors can enjoy hiking, canoeing, swimming, biking, horseback riding, or camping in the Lower Delaware area. Hunting and fishing is allowed here only in season and on the basis of a state license. The park is open to the public every day throughout the year. The road to it can only be closed due to the amount of snow, ice, or other dangerous conditions.

The Delaware Water Gap is a popular destination for tourists from all over America, in 2009 Forbes Traveler magazine listed it as the 14th most visited destination in the US. Numerous copper mines from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries are located around the Delaware River, adding to its appeal. We also find the Abraham van Carpen house from 1725, which is the oldest house in Warren County.