Pennsylvania Facts

William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1681

Pennsylvania is one of the 13 original States

It’s the birthplace of America liberty and has a rich history in industry.

Pennsylvania has the second-largest population in the United States.

Its spread out over 42,474 square miles (16,1138 square kilometers).

The city of Philadelphia is the 3rd largest city in the United States.

Philadelphia is on the Delaware River and was an early center for steamboats. Later, it became a major hub for the railroad.

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Pennsylvania Facts for Kids

  • Population: 12.79 million people
  • Land area: 44,775 sq miles
  • Capital City: Harrisburg
  • Largest city: Philadelphia
  • Major cities: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie
  • Counties: 67
  • State flower: Mountain Laurel flower

Things to Know about Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

On December 12, 1787, the Pennsylvania convention ratified the constitution. Nine other states joined.

The nine states were

  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Georgia
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina

The articles of the constitution were to be in effect after April 10, 1788.

On September 28 1788 Pennsylvania voted yes on the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It was the second state to do so after Delaware.

Some Pennsylvania Dutch people still speak German as a first language.

The Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch) a group of people that live in Pennsylvania.

They are descendants of settlers from the German-speaking regions of Europe. They speak English as a second language.

The colonists called it German Pennsylvania

German and Swiss people from the region are sometime called “Pennsylvania Dutch”

The language spoken in the region is German, Swiss-French, Latin, and Slavic languages.

The word “Dutch” is an abbreviation for Deutsch (German). A nickname given during the immigration phase into the United States of America.

George Washington said Pennsylvania was “the most populous and flourishing colony in America.”

The state of Pennsylvania has made significant contributions to American history.

In 1871, Pennsylvania became a state that prohibited slavery.

The Philadelphia Constitution Hall the site of Americans’ declaration of independence.

The Liberty Bell is in Philadelphia.

You can see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Assembly commissioned Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, England in 1751.

It commemorated the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges. Pennsylvania’s original Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution was written in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified on May 29, 1790.

Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the constitution.

The state’s nickname “The Keystone State.” is because Pennsylvania played a vital role in the growth of the United States

The Pennsylvania State House

The Pennsylvania State House is the oldest surviving state capitol in the US.

It has been one of the most iconic structures in Harrisburg for more than two centuries.

They laid the first cornerstone on October 2, 1772, and capped with a lightning rod on August 11, 1802.

The Declaration of Independence was written in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania State House was the site of the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution of the United States is one hundred and eighty-seven years old. This was signed on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House.

The Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) voted for independence.

Washington, DC is in Pennsylvania

Washington, DC is a city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

It’s located on the east coast of the country, with Virginia to its north and east, Maryland is to the south and west.

The Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is in Londonderry Township, Pennsylvania.

It closed down after it suffered a partial meltdown on March 28, 1979.

It’s called three mile island because it’s 3 miles downriver from Middletown, Pennsylvania.

Chocolate Capital of The World

Hershey is a city in the state of Pennsylvania, in the United States.

It’s 65 miles from Harrisburg and 200 miles from Philadelphia.

It’s at the heart of Pennsylvania’s famous Amish Country.

The Hershey Company have their headquarters and manufacturing facilities in the community.

They make the famous Hershey Bar and Hershey’s Kisses.

Pennsylvania’s state symbols

Pennsylvania’s State Butterfly

The Pennsylvania state butterfly is a swallowtail butterfly. The Swallowtail possesses the qualities of beauty, intelligence, and patriotism. The Swallowtail is one of the most renowned insects in North America and the world.

They have distinctive markings on their wings that are noticeable during metamorphosis.

State Amphibian Of Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania state amphibian is Eastern Hellbender.

Also known as the eastern or Allegheny giant salamander.

It’s a species of salamander native to the east-central and southeastern United States.

It is one of the largest salamanders in the world, attaining lengths of 28 inches (71 cm).

State Bird Of Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania state bird is the ruffed grouse.

The ruffed grouse is best known for its aggressive display of tail fanning and wing beating.

The males also have a rough, loud call. You can hear it from more than 200 feet away.

Pennsylvania’s State Animal

Pennsylvania’s state animal is the deer. The deer is one of the largest mammals in the state.

They have been in Pennsylvania for thousands of years. It has an important impact on forest, field, and swampland horticulture.

They play a vital role in regulating plant populations and food webs.

State Motto Of Pennsylvania

“Liberty and Justice for All.” The state motto of Pennsylvania is “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.”

This motto was adopted in 1776 and revised in 1791.

Pennsylvania’s State Song

Pennsylvania’s state song is “Pennsylvania.” This song was adopted in 1937.

The lyrics of this song are by James W. Tate, and the music was composed by Samuel Ward.

Pennsylvania’s State Insect

Pennsylvania’s State Insect is the firefly.

The males can be identified by their translucent, emerald-green heads and thorax.

The females emit light from the underside of their abdomen. They also have a single stripe along each side of the abdomen.

Pennsylvania State Tree

The Pennsylvania State Tree is the Eastern Hemlock.

The Eastern Hemlock is a coniferous tree that can reach heights of up to 75 feet tall. Their needles are 2-3 inches long and arranged in bundles of five.

They have a distinctive bark that’s a brown color with black scars from old branches. Bears will also leave marks on them when feeding.

The Eastern Hemlocks also have flat cones, 3-8 inches long and 2-3 inches wide.

Pennsylvania’s State Fruit

There is no official state fruit. But, it should be the apple.

The apple is native to Asia and Europe,

It’s grown in many countries due to its favorable climate conditions. This fruit has a hard skin that covers white flesh with a variety of textures.

Counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has 67 counties, Bucks County being the oldest (established in 1682).

With a population of 1,526,006, Philadelphia County is the most populated. Lackawanna County is the youngest (established in 1878).

Lycoming County is the largest county by land area, and Montour County is the smallest. 

All Pennsylvania counties are below


Learn More

Pennsylvania was the first colony that allowed people to elect their representatives.

The religious freedom in Pennsylvania (complete religious freedom for everyone). They brought Quakers to the colony from England and Wales. People also traveled from Germany and the Netherlands.

Pennsylvania is the only state with two western mountain ranges. (The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians and the Appalachian Mountains.)

Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania.

The original Pennsylvania Hotel is in Philadelphia. It is now a museum.

The first mayor of Philadelphia was William Penn, founder of the city.

Philadelphia is the second-largest city in the U.S.

The Delaware River separates Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Pennsylvania is a large producer of coal.

Pocono is the Native American word for “pleasant valley.” It refers to the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Pocono Mountains are the part of Pennsylvania closest to New York.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a 443-mile toll road. It goes from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. It is the longest toll road in the U.S.

Morris Arboretum is in western Pennsylvania. It is the largest arboretum in the U.S.