Pennsylvania is the fifth-most populous state in the United States, with over 13 million residents as of the 2020 United States census. The state is the 33rd-largest by area and has the ninth-highest population density among all states.
David McCormick jumps into Pennsylvania Senate race
David McCormick on Thursday officially launched his campaign to unseat Sen. Bob Casey (D) in Pennsylvania, handing Republicans a key recruiting win on the 2024 map as they ...
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Pennsylvania, officially Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, constituent state of the United States of America, one of the original 13 American colonies. The state is approximately rectangular in shape and stretches about 300 miles (480 km) from east to west and 150 miles (240 km) from north to south. It is bounded to the north by Lake Erie and New York state; to the east by New York and New Jersey; to the south by Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia; and to the west by the panhandle of West Virginia and by Ohio. Harrisburg, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is the capital.
Pennsylvania is classified as a Middle Atlantic state, along with New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Its central location on the Eastern Seaboard is sometimes said to be the source of its nickname, the Keystone State. It does not, however, touch the Atlantic Ocean at any point. Water nonetheless has been nearly as crucial in the state’s growth as the wealth of its earth. The Delaware River forms the boundary between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In the northwest a small panhandle separates Ohio and New York and forms a 40-mile (65-km) waterfront on Lake Erie, giving the state access to the iron ore barges and other commerce of the Great Lakes.
The landforms of Pennsylvania had their origin about 500 million years ago, when a vast interior sea, up to several hundred miles wide, occupied the area from New England to Alabama. For about 250 million years, the rivers originating from an extensive mountain chain on the east poured sediments into the great Appalachian downwarp basin. Great swamps prevailed in southwestern Pennsylvania for millions of years and provided the vegetation that ultimately became the coal beds of the area.
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Beginning about 250 million years ago, plate-tectonic movement folded the flat-lying sediment into upwarps and downwarps. The heat created by this pressure also metamorphosed the rocks, changing the sandstone into quartzite, limestone into marble, and granite into gneiss. The pressure from the plate movement was confined to southeastern Pennsylvania, creating the Piedmont and Ridge and Valley provinces. The rocks of the Appalachian Plateau remained essentially flat-lying, and the dissection of the plateau has been created by erosion.
Pennsylvania includes parts of large physiographic regions that extend beyond its borders; those regions crossing the eastern and central parts of the state parallel one another along a sweeping northeast-southwest diagonal orientation. In the southeastern part of the state is a section of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, a narrow strip of sandy low-lying land immediately adjacent to the Delaware River. This region has played a major role in Pennsylvania history. It was the site of William Penn’s settlement and the initial city of Philadelphia. Immediately inland from the Coastal Plain is the Piedmont province, a gently rolling, well-drained plain that is rarely more than 500 feet (150 metres) above sea level; the eastern part is the Piedmont Upland. The boundary between the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain is known as the fall line, with hard rock to the west and soft rock to the east. The Piedmont Lowland parallels the Piedmont Upland to its northwest. It is made of sedimentary rocks into which volcanic rocks have been intruded. Some of these volcanic rocks make ridges. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought there, the Northern army on the high ridges having the advantage over the Southern forces on the plains. The limestone rocks have weathered into fertile lowlands such as the Conestoga Lowlands of Lancaster county. Farther to the northwest lie two segments of a larger mountain range. The southern prong, extending to the Carlisle area, is the northernmost extension of the Blue Ridge system. The northern portion, known as the Reading Prong, is a small section of the larger New England topographic region. There is a major gap between these prongs.
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Pennsylvania has three major river systems. In the east is the Delaware River, fed mainly by the Lehigh and Schuylkill rivers. In the central part of the state is the Susquehanna, draining the largest section of the state; it is a wide, shallow stream that meanders finally into Maryland and Chesapeake Bay. In the west is the Ohio River—formed by th...
Sep 19, 2023 · Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region in the northeast of the United States; the landlocked state features a 70 km (43 mi) short shoreline at Lake Erie. Pennsylvania borders New York in the north and northeast.
WORK SMART. LIVE HAPPY. The official website of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Find information and services from Pennsylvania state government agencies.
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Pennsylvania is the 33rd largest states in the United States, with a land area of 44,817 square miles. The highest point in the state is Mount Davis, at 3,213 feet above sea level. The lowest point is the Delaware River, which is at sea level.
- December 12, 1787 (2nd)
- United States
- Province of Pennsylvania