Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Montgomery County Courthouse

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded September 10, 1784
Seat Norristown
Largest township Lower Merion
  Total 487 sq mi (1,261 km2)
  Land 483 sq mi (1,251 km2)
  Water 4.2 sq mi (11 km2), 0.9%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 819,264
  Density 1,696/sq mi (655/km²)
Congressional districts 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Montgomery County, locally also referred to as Montco, is a county located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 799,874,[1] making it the third-most populous county in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties. The county seat is Norristown.[2] Montgomery County is very diverse, ranging from farms and open land in Upper Hanover to densely populated rowhouse streets in Cheltenham.

Montgomery County is included in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is a suburban county northwest of Philadelphia, and marks the region's northern border, with the Lehigh Valley region of the state to the north. In 2010, it was the 51st wealthiest county in the country (measured by median household income). In 2008, it was named the 9th Best Place to Raise a Family by Forbes.[3]

The county was created on September 10, 1784, out of land originally part of Philadelphia County. The first courthouse was housed in the Barley Sheaf Inn. It is believed to have been named either for Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while attempting to capture Quebec City, Canada, or for the Welsh county of Montgomeryshire (which was named after one of William the Conqueror's main counselors, Roger de Montgomerie), as it was part of the Welsh Tract, an area of Pennsylvania settled by Quakers from Wales.[4] Early histories of the county indicate the origin of the county's name as uncertain.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 487 square miles (1,260 km2), of which 483 square miles (1,250 km2) is land and 4.2 square miles (11 km2) (0.9%) is covered by water.[5] It has a humid continental climate (Dfa) and is in hardiness zones 6b and 7a.

Major highways and major roads

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2015819,264[6]2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2013[1]

As of the 2010 census, the county was 79.0% White non-Hispanic, 8.7% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American or Alaskan Native, 6.4% Asian (2.1% Indian, 1.7% Korean, 1.2% Chinese, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.3% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, 0.6% other Asian), and 0.0% native Hawaiian; 1.9% were two or more races, and 1.6% were some other race. About 4.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.

As of the census[11] of 2000, 750,097 people, 286,098 households, and 197,693 families resided in the county. The population density was 1,553 people per square mile (599/km²). The 297,434 housing units averaged 238 units/km² (616 units/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 86.46% White, 7.46% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 4.02% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. About 2.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race, 17.5% were of German, 16.7% Irish, 14.3% Italian, 6.5% English, and 5.0% Polish ancestry according to 2000 United States Census. Around 90.5% spoke English, 2.0% Spanish, 1.1% Korean, and 1.0% Italian as their first language. Historically, much of western Montgomery County is part of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, with a great many descendants of German-speaking settlers from the 18th century.

Montgomery County is home to large and growing African American, Korean American, Puerto-Rican American, Mexican American, and Indian American populations. The county has the second-largest foreign-born population in the region.[12]

Of the 286,098 households, 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.90% were not families. About 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county, the population was distributed as 24.10% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 23.40% 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 93.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,829, and for a family was $72,183 (these figures had risen to $73,701 and $89,219, respectively, as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $48,698 versus $35,089 for females. The per capita income for the county was $30,898. About 2.80% of families and 4.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.60% of those under age 18 and 5.10% of those age 65 or over.

The largest townships/boroughs in Montgomery County include:"

Township/Borough Population (2010 US Census) Density mi2
Lower Merion Township 57,825 2,526.1
Abington Township 55,310 3,630.3
Cheltenham Township 36,793 4,083.1
Municipality of Norristown 34,324 9,806.9
Upper Merion Township 28,395 1,593.3
Horsham Township 26,147 1,398.6
Upper Dublin Township 25,569 1,960.7
Lower Providence Township 25,436 1,458.8
Montgomery Township 24,790 2,067.1
Upper Moreland Township 24,015 3,202


Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2012 42.3% 169,903 56.6% 227,561
2008 39.2% 165,552 60.0% 253,393
2004 44.0% 174,741 55.6% 222,048
2000 43.8% 145,623 53.5% 177,990
1996 41.2% 121,047 48.9% 143,664
1992 39.5% 125,704 42.9% 136,572
1988 60.2% 170,294 38.8% 109,834
1984 64.2% 181,426 35.3% 99,741
1980 57.8% 156,996 31.0% 84,289
1976 56.9% 155,480 41.2% 112,644
1972 64.3% 173,662 34.1% 91,959
1968 54.3% 141,621 39.3% 102,464
1964 43.0% 102,714 56.7% 135,657
1960 60.7% 142,796 39.2% 92,212

As of January 2010, there are 577,378 registered voters in Montgomery County.[13]

Historically, Montgomery County was a stronghold for the Republican Party. The county was the only one carried by Barbara Hafer in the 1990 gubernatorial election over the incumbent governor, Bob Casey. However, the Democratic Party has made substantial gains in the county over the last quarter-century and gained the registration edge early in 2008. As the national parties have polarized, the county's voters have increasingly supported Democrats at the national level. After voting for the Republican Presidential nominee in all but one election from 1952 to 1988, County residents have voted for the Democratic Presidential nominee for the past six consecutive elections, with the margins progressively increasing between 1992 and 2008. However, the Democratic victory margin decreased in 2012.

Most county-level offices were held by Republicans until after the 2007 election, when Democrats picked up control of five row offices. Democrats have also won several elections in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in recent years, including two GOP-leaning State House districts in 2004, the 148th with Mike Gerber and the 153rd with Josh Shapiro. Today, although the county is very Democratic at the national level, at the state and local level, it is more of a tossup.

In the 2004 United States Senate election, Republican Arlen Specter won the county over Montco resident Joe Hoeffel, but Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. out-polled Rick Santorum in the 2006 Senate election. In 2006, Democrat Rick Taylor unseated incumbent Republican Eugene McGill in the 151st (although Taylor lost in 2010 to Republican Todd Stephens) and, in 2008, Democrat Matthew Bradford unseated incumbent Republican Jay Moyer in the 70th. Six of the county's 12 state house seats and four of the county's eight senate seats are now held by Democrats. All four statewide Democratic candidates carried Montgomery in 2008, with Barack Obama receiving 60% of the county's vote.

Barack Obama won Montgomery County in 2008 and 2012, but Republicans hold many local offices in the county.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Montgomery County over Donald J. Trump with 58.87% of the vote, however Trump won the state of Pennsylvania. In the 2016 U.S. Senate elections as well as the Pennsylvania Attorney General elections, Montgomery County elected Katie McGinty and Josh Shapiro, both Democrats.[14]


Montgomery County is governed by a three-person County Commission. The current composition is two Democrats and one Republican. By law, the County Commission must have one member of a minority party represented.

County Commissioners

Holder Party Position
Josh Shapiro Democratic Vice Chair
Valerie Arkoosh Democratic Chair
Joseph Gale Republican

County Row Offices

Office Holder Party
Clerk of Courts Ann Thornburg Weiss Democratic
Controller Karen Geld Sanchez Democratic
Coroner Walter Hofman Democratic
District Attorney Kevin R. Steele Democratic
Prothonotary Mark Levy Democratic
Recorder of Deeds Jeanne Sorg Democratic
Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes Democratic
Sheriff Sean Kilkenny Democratic
Treasurer Jason Salus Democratic
Jury Commissioner Joanne Cisco Olszewski Democratic
Jury Commissioner Merry Woods Republican

Same-sex marriage

On July 24, 2013, Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, a Democrat, announced he would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, flouting Pennsylvania law banning such unions. Hanes called the commonwealth's ban "arbitrary and suspect", saying he believes it violates the Pennsylvania Constitution and the United States Constitution. The Republican administration of Governor Tom Corbett filed suit in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in an attempt to block Hanes from licensing same-sex marriage, although Hanes has asked that the case be heard by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court instead.[15]

United States Senate

Senator Party
Bob Casey Democrat
Pat Toomey Republican

United States House of Representatives

District Representative Party
2 Dwight Evans Democratic
6 Ryan Costello Republican
7 Pat Meehan Republican
8 Mike Fitzpatrick Republican
13 Brendan F. Boyle Democratic

State Senate

District Representative Party
4 Art Haywood Democratic
7 Vincent Hughes Democratic
12 Stewart Greenleaf Republican
17 Daylin Leach Democratic
24 Bob Mensch Republican
44 John C. Rafferty, Jr. Republican

State House of Representatives

District Representative Party
26 Tim Hennessey Republican
53 Robert Godshall Republican
61 Kate Harper Republican
70 Matthew Bradford Democratic
74 Harry Lewis Republican
131 Justin Simmons Republican
146 Tom Quigley Republican
147 Marcy Toepel Republican
148 Mary Jo Daley Democratic
149 Tim Briggs Democratic
150 Mike Vereb Republican
151 Todd Stephens Republican
152 Tom Murt Republican
153 Madeleine Dean Democratic
154 Steve McCarter Democratic
157 Warren Kampf Republican
166 Greg Vitali Democratic
172 Kevin J. Boyle Democratic
194 Pamela DeLissio Democratic


Montgomery County ranges from the densely populated rowhouse streets of Cheltenham Township to the forests and open land around the Perkiomen Creek in the northern part of the county.

Montgomery County is a suburb of Philadelphia and consequently, many of its residents work in the city. However, Montco is also a major employment center with large business parks in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Fort Washington, Horsham, and King of Prussia which attract thousands of workers from all over the region. The strong job base and taxes generated by those jobs have resulted in Montgomery County receiving the highest credit rating of 'AAA' from Standard & Poor's, one of fewer than 30 counties in the United States with such a rating.[16]

Major employers include:[17]


Colleges and universities

Public school districts

Map of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts

Private secondary schools

Night schools/adult education


Map of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, five types of incorporated municipalities are listed: cities, boroughs, townships, home rule municipalities (which can include communities that bear the name "Borough" or "Township") and, in at most two cases, towns. These boroughs, townships, and home rule municipalities are located in Montgomery County:

Home rule municipalities



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 Montgomery County.[20]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)

1 Norristown Municipality 34,324
2 Pottstown Borough 22,377
3 King of Prussia CDP 19,936
4 Lansdale Borough 16,269
5 Willow Grove CDP 15,726
6 Horsham CDP 14,842
7 Montgomeryville CDP 12,624
8 Ardmore (partially in Delaware County) CDP 12,455
9 Harleysville CDP 9,286
10 Audubon CDP 8,433
11 Glenside CDP 8,384
12 Sanatoga CDP 8,378
13 Kulpsville CDP 8,194
14 Conshohocken Borough 7,833
15 Hatboro Borough 7,360
16 Maple Glen CDP 6,742
17 Souderton Borough 6,618
18 Ambler Borough 6,417
19 Plymouth Meeting CDP 6,177
20 Blue Bell CDP 6,067
21 Trooper CDP 5,744
22 Penn Wynne CDP 5,697
23 Oreland CDP 5,678
24 Wyndmoor CDP 5,498
25 Fort Washington CDP 5,446
26 Collegeville Borough 5,089
27 Telford (partially in Bucks County) Borough 4,872
28 Gilbertsville CDP 4,832
29 Eagleville CDP 4,800
30 Royersford Borough 4,752
31 Bridgeport Borough 4,554
32 Flourtown CDP 4,538
33 Jenkintown Borough 4,422
34 Narberth Borough 4,282
35 Pennsburg Borough 3,843
36 Spring House CDP 3,804
37 Bryn Mawr CDP 3,779
38 Skippack CDP 3,758
39 Stowe CDP 3,695
40 Trappe Borough 3,509
41 Pottsgrove CDP 3,469
42 Hatfield Borough 3,290
43 North Wales Borough 3,229
44 Wyncote CDP 3,044
45 East Greenville Borough 2,951
46 Halfway House CDP 2,881
47 Rockledge Borough 2,543
48 Red Hill Borough 2,383
49 Spring Mount CDP 2,259
50 Evansburg CDP 2,129
51 Schwenksville Borough 1,385
52 Bryn Athyn Municipality 1,375
53 Haverford College (mostly in Delaware County) CDP 1,331
54 West Conshohocken Borough 1,320
55 Woxhall CDP 1,318
56 Arcadia University CDP 595
57 Green Lane Borough 508


See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. Zack O'Malley Greenburg (30 June 2008). "America's Best Places To Raise A Family". Forbes Magazine, online edition. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26.
  4. "Montgomery County, Pennsylvania". Family Search. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  6. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  9. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. Running for Office
  13. "Montgomery County Election Results". Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  14. "Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Law Deemed 'Suspect' By County Official". The Huffington Post. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  15. "Montgomery County," Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association
  16. Top 50 Employers by County – Montgomery
  17. Meetings & Notices
  18. Upper Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

External links

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Montgomery County (Pennsylvania).

Coordinates: 40°13′N 75°22′W / 40.21°N 75.37°W / 40.21; -75.37

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