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Pennsylvania Information and Facts

"Pennsylvania State Travel and Visitor Information."

Pennsylvania Information

Official Website: http://www.state.pa.us/


The population of Pennsylvania in 2002 was 12,328,827. Its rank was 6th in the nation. (The District of Columbia is included for ranking purposes.)

Per Capita Personal Income

In 2002 Pennsylvania had a per capita personal income of $31,116. This per capita personal income ranked 16th in the United States and was 101 percent of the national average, $30,906. The 2002 per capita personal income reflected an increase of 2.6 percent from 2001. The 2001-2002 national change was 1.2 percent. In 1992 the per capita personal income of Pennsylvania was $21,235 and ranked 17th in the United States. The 1992-2002 average annual growth rate of per capita personal income was 3.9 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 4.0 percent.

Total Personal Income

In 2002 Pennsylvania had a total personal income of $383,618,317. This total personal income ranked 6th in the United States. In 1992 the total personal income of Pennsylvania was $255,874,461 and ranked 6th in the United States. The 2002 total personal income reflected an increase of 2.9 percent from 2001. The 2001-2002 national change was 2.3 percent. The 1992-2002 average annual growth rate of total personal income was 4.1 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 5.2 percent.

Components of Personal Income

Total personal income includes net earnings by place of residence; dividends, interest, and rent; and total personal current transfer receipts received by the residents of Pennsylvania. In 2002 net earnings accounted for 65.6 percent of total personal income (compared with 64.9 in 1992); dividends, interest, and rent were 17.0 percent (compared with 18.5 in 1992); and personal current transfer receipts were 17.4 percent (compared with 16.6 in 1992). From 2001 to 2002 net earnings increased 2.3 percent; dividends, interest, and rent increased 0.7 percent; and personal current transfer receipts increased 7.5 percent. From 1992 to 2002 net earnings increased on average 4.2 percent each year; dividends, interest, and rent increased on average 3.2 percent; and personal current transfer receipts increased on average 4.6 percent.

Employment Earnings

Earnings of persons employed in Pennsylvania increased from $274,541,520 in 2001 to $281,286,317 in 2002, an increase of 2.5 percent. The 2001-2002 national change was 1.5 percent. The average annual growth rate from the 1992 estimate of $186,813,204 to the 2002 estimate was 4.2 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 5.3 percent.

Area - Although populous, Pennsylvania is relatively small, ranking 33rd among the states in size. It has an area of 118,515 sq km (45,759 sq mi), including 492 sq km (190 sq mi) of inland waters and the 1940 sq km (749 sq mi) of Lake Erie over which it has jurisdiction. At its maximum, Pennsylvania measures 502 km (312 mi) from east to west and 254 km (158 mi) from north to south. It is bounded on the north by New York and Lake Erie; on the east by New York and New Jersey; on the south by Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia; and on the west by West Virginia and Ohio.

Climate - Although average temperatures in the north are cooler than those in the south, altitude is particularly important in accounting for climatic variations. The state's lowland climatic region changes into the upland climatic region at an elevation of about 300 m (about 1000 ft). Lowland Pennsylvania includes the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the low- lying hills of the southeast, the valleys of the Ridge and Valley, and the river valleys converging on Pittsburgh. These areas have comparatively long summers and mild winters, with growing seasons ranging from five to seven months and mean annual temperatures ranging from about 12 C (about 54 F) at Philadelphia to about 10 C (about 50 F) in the central valleys. Upland Pennsylvania includes the higher ridges of the Ridge and Valley and most of the Allegheny Plateaus. Summers are short and winters are comparatively severe. The growing season is commonly no more than three to four months long, and the mean annual temperature ranges from about 7 to 9 C (about 44 to 49 F). A third type of climate is prevalent in a small area near Lake Erie. The climate there is influenced by the presence of the lake, which is warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the surrounding land. Consequently, the city of Erie has a growing season almost as long as that of Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania, in sharp contrast to the land between. Summers around Erie are long but relatively cool, with a July mean of 19 C (66 F). Winters are comparatively short and not nearly as severe as those farther inland. Erie's January mean is -2 C (28 F). Rainfall averages 1070 mm (42 in) a year, ranging from about 910 mm (about 36 in) in the southwest to 1270 mm (50 in) and more at higher elevations in the Allegheny and Pocono mountains. Rainfall is heaviest during spring and summer, when it is most needed for growing crops. Snowfall is fairly heavy throughout much of the Allegheny Plateaus, and snow remains on the ground for most of the winter.

Pennsylvania State Flag
State Flag
Pennsylvania State Flower
State Flower - Mountain Laurel

State Capitol - Harrisburg
Pennsylvania is one of four states in the nation officially designated commonwealths (the others are Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Virginia). Pennsylvania has had four constitutions. The present one, which became effective in 1874, was substantially revised during 1967 and 1968. An amendment to the constitution may be proposed by the state legislature. After a majority of the legislature approves the proposal in two consecutive sessions, it is submitted to the people for ratification in a general election.

Famous People

Alexander Calder sculptor, Philadelphia
Alexander Haig secretary of state, Bala-Cynwyd
Andrew Mellon financier, Pittsburgh
Andrew Wyeth painter, Chadds Ford
Anthony Wayne military officer, Waynesboro
Arnold Palmer golfer, Youngstown
B. F. Skinner psychologist, Susquehanna
Betsy Griscom Ross flagmaker, Philadelphia
Bill Cosby actor, Philadelphia
Daniel Boone frontiersman, Reading
Donald Barthelme author, Philadelphia
Edward Goodrich Acheson inventor, Washington
Ethel Waters singer, actress, Chester
Fred Waring band leader, Tyrone
Gelsey Kirkland ballerina, Bethlehem
Gene Kelly dancer, actor, Pittsburgh
George C. Marshall five-star general, Uniontown
George Catlin indian expert, poet, Wilkes-Barre
George McClellan general, Philadelphia
George R. Stibitz inventor, York
Gertrude Stein author, Allegheny
Henry George economist, Philadelphia
Henry Steele Commager historian, Pittsburgh
Hezekiah Niles journalist, Jeffers Ford
Honus Wagner baseball player, Carnegie
James Buchanan U.S. president, Mercersburg
James Stewart actor, Indiana
Jim Kelly football player, East Brady
Jimmy Dorsey band leader, Shenandoah
John Barrymore actor, Philadelphia
John Sloan painter, Loch Haven
John Updike author, Shillington
Lee Iacocca auto executive, Allentown
Louisa May Alcott author, Germantown
Man Ray painter, photographer, Philadelphia
Margaret Mead anthropologist, Philadelphia
Marilyn Horne mezzo-soprano, Bradford
Mario Lanza actor, singer, Philadelphia
Martha Graham choreographer, Pittsburgh
Mary Cassatt painter, Allegheny
Mary Roberts Rinehart author, Pittsburgh
Maxwell Anderson playwright, Atlantic
Oliver Evans inventor, Philadelphia
Rachel Carson biologist, author, Springdale
Reggie Jackson baseball player, Wyncote
Robert E. Peary explorer, Cresson
Robert Fulton inventor, Lancaster County
Robinson Jeffers poet, Pittsburgh
S. S. Kresge merchant, Bald Mount
Samuel Barber composer, West Chester
Stephanie Louise Kwolek inventor, New Kensington
Stephen Foster composer, Pittsburgh
Stephen Vincent Benet poet, story writer, Bethlehem
Stuart Davis painter, Philadelphia
Tara Lipinski figure skater, Philadelphia
Tommy Dorsey band leader, Mahanoy Plane
W. C. Fields comedian, Philadelphia
Walter E. Diemer inventor, Philadelphia
William Edward Hanford inventor, Bristol

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