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Columbia County, Pennsylvania
Columbia County, Pennsylvania court house.JPG
The Columbia County courthouse in Bloomsburg
Seal of Columbia County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Columbia County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 22, 1813
Named for Christopher Columbus
Seat Bloomsburg
Largest town Bloomsburg
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

490 sq mi (1,269 km²)
486 sq mi (1,259 km²)
4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.87%
 - (2010)
 - Density

138/sq mi (53.4/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Columbia County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,295.[1] Its county seat is Bloomsburg.[2] The county was created on March 22, 1813, from part of Northumberland County and named for Columbia, a poetic name for the United States that alludes to Christopher Columbus.

Columbia County is part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area and also the much larger Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area.


View of northern Columbia County, Pennsylvania from Kramer Hill Road in Fishing Creek Township. On the horizon (about 8-10 miles away) is North Mountain. The borough of Benton is in the center of the picture.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 490 square miles (1,269.1 km2), of which 486 square miles (1,258.7 km2) is land and 4 square miles (10.4 km2) (0.87%) is water.[3] The southern tip of Columbia County is part of the Coal Region. The area of the county from the Susquehanna River south to several miles south of Numidia is mostly farmland and state game lands. Around the Susquehanna River, there are several communities, such as Bloomsburg and Catawissa. From the Susquehanna River north as far as Waller, the county is mostly farmland with several patches of forest. North of Waller, the county is mostly state game lands and mountains.[4]

The major streams in Columbia County are the Susquehanna River, Fishing Creek, Briar Creek, Catawissa Creek, and Roaring Creek.[4]

Columbia County is served by Pennsylvania Route 93, Pennsylvania Route 118, Pennsylvania Route 42, U.S. Route 11, Interstate 80, and several other state highways.[4]

Adjacent counties[]

State Park[]

Part of Ricketts Glen State Park is in the northern portion of Columbia County.[5]


Note: Only mountains higher than 1,500 feet (460 m) are listed

Name Height Image
Red Rock Mountain 2,365 feet (721 m) Red rock mountain.jpg
Central Mountain 2,247 feet (685 m)
Chimneystack Rock 2,244 feet (684 m)
Buck Mountain 1,942 feet (592 m) Buck Mountain from Buck Mountain Road.JPG
Catawissa Mountain 1,873 feet (571 m) Northwestern edge of Catawissa Mountain.JPG
Big Mountain 1,811 feet (552 m)
Knob Mountain 1,752 feet (534 m) Knob Mountain from the southwest 2.JPG
Nescopeck Mountain 1,604 feet (489 m) Nescopeck Mountain 1.JPG
Lee Mountain 1,594 feet (486 m) Lee Mountain in Briar Creek Township, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.JPG
McCauley Mountain 1,571 feet (479 m) McCauley Mountain 2.JPG

Metropolitan and Combined Statistical Area[]

The United States Office of Management and Budget[8] has designated Columbia County as the Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census[9] the metropolitan area ranked 20th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 368th most populous in the United States with a population of 82,562. Columbia County is also a part of the larger Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Columbia County as well as Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties in Pennsylvania. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 8th in the State of Pennsylvania and 115th most populous in the United States with a population of 264,739.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 17,621
1830 20,059 13.8%
1840 24,267 21.0%
1850 17,710 −27.0%
1860 25,065 41.5%
1870 28,766 14.8%
1880 32,409 12.7%
1890 36,832 13.6%
1900 39,896 8.3%
1910 48,467 21.5%
1920 48,349 −0.2%
1930 48,803 0.9%
1940 51,413 5.3%
1950 53,460 4.0%
1960 53,489 0.1%
1970 55,114 3.0%
1980 61,967 12.4%
1990 63,202 2.0%
2000 64,148 1.5%
2010 67,295 4.9%
Est. 2012 66,887 4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 64,151 people, 24,915 households, and 16,568 families residing in the county. The population density was 132 people per square mile (51/km²). There were 27,733 housing units at an average density of 57 per square mile (22/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.59% White, 0.80% Black or African-American, 0.15% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 33.2% were of German, 10.0% American, 9.4% Irish, 8.1% Italian, 6.7% Polish and 6.2% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 24,915 households out of which 27.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.50% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.80% under the age of 18, 14.30% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 23.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.80 males.


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

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following town, boroughs and townships are located in Columbia County:



  • Ashland (most of the borough, including all of its population as of 2010 census, lies in Schuylkill County)
  • Benton
  • Berwick
  • Briar Creek
  • Catawissa
  • Centralia
  • Millville
  • Orangeville
  • Stillwater
  • West Berwick


  • Beaver
  • Benton
  • Briar Creek
  • Catawissa
  • Cleveland
  • Conyngham
  • Fishing Creek
  • Franklin
  • Greenwood
  • Hemlock
  • Jackson
  • Locust
  • Madison
  • Main
  • Mifflin
  • Montour
  • Mount Pleasant
  • North Centre
  • Orange
  • Pine
  • Roaring Creek
  • Scott
  • South Centre
  • Sugarloaf

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.

  • Almedia
  • Aristes
  • Buckhorn
  • Espy
  • Eyers Grove
  • Fernville
  • Foundryville
  • Iola
  • Jamison City
  • Jerseytown
  • Jonestown
  • Lightstreet
  • Lime Ridge
  • Locustdale
  • Mainville
  • Mifflinville
  • Numidia
  • Rohrsburg
  • Rupert
  • Slabtown
  • Waller
  • Wilburton Number One
  • Wilburton Number Two

Unincorporated Communities[]

  • Elk Grove
  • Central


Map of Columbia County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Colleges and universities[]

  • Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Public school districts[]

  • Benton Area School District
  • Berwick Area School District (also in Luzerne County)
  • Bloomsburg Area School District
  • Central Columbia School District
  • Millville Area School District
  • Mount Carmel Area School District (also in Northumberland County)
  • North Schuylkill School District (also in Schuylkill County)
  • Southern Columbia Area School District (also in Northumberland County)

Public Vo-Tech schools[]

  • Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School

Charter school[]

  • SusQ Cyber Charter School - Bloomsburg

Private schools[]

  • Bald Hill School - Millville
  • Bloomsburg Christian School - Bloomsburg
  • Bloomsburg University Special Education Institute
  • Columbia Co Christian School - Bloomsburg
  • Greenwood Friends School - Millville
  • Heritage Christian Academy - Berwick
  • Holy Family Consolidate - Berwick
  • Keystone National High School - Bloomsburg
  • New Story - Berwick
  • Pennsylvania Institute For Conservation Education - Bloomsburg
  • Rainbow Hill School - Benton
  • St Columba School - Bloomsburg
  • Saint Matthews - Bloomsburg
  • Turkey Ridge School - Bloomsburg


  • Bloomsburg Public Library
  • Columbia County Traveling Library
  • McBride Memorial Library
  • Orangeville Public Library

Politics and government[]

As of November 2011, there are 41,026 registered voters in Columbia County.[12]

  • Democratic: 20,961 (44.36%)
  • Republican: 19,438 (41.14%)
  • Other Parties: 6,853 (14.50%)

While the county registration tends to be evenly matched between Democrats and Republicans, the county trends Republican in statewide elections. While John McCain received 51.6% of its vote to 47.1% for Barack Obama, this was a far-closer margin than the 20 points that George W. Bush carried it by in 2004. Each of the three row-office statewide winners carried Columbia in 2008. In 2006, Democrat Bob Casey Jr. received 51% of its vote when he unseated incumbent Republican US Senator Rick Santorum and Ed Rendell received 50.6% of the vote against Lynn Swann.

For many years Columbia County was represented in the State House by a conservative Democrat in the 109th district until John Gordner changed parties to Republican in 2001. He was elected to the State Senate in 2003 and succeeded by Republican David R. Millard. Columbia is in the 27th Senate district and 11th Congressional district.

County commissioners[]

  • David Kovach, Democrat
  • Rich Ridgway, Republican
  • Chris Young, Republican

Other county officials[]

  • Chief Clerk, Gail Kipp, Democrat
  • Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary, Tami B. Kline, Republican
  • Coroner, Lori Masteller, Republican
  • Judge, Gary Norton, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills, Beverly Michael, Democrat
  • Sheriff, Tim Chamberlain, Democrat
  • Treasurer, Shirley Turner, Republican

Pennsylvania State Senate[]

District Senator Party
27 John Gordner Republican

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[]

District Representative Party
107 Kurt Masser Republican
109 David R. Millard Republican
117 Karen Boback Republican

United States House of Representatives[]

District Representative Party
11 Lou Barletta Republican Party

United States Senate[]

Senator Party
Pat Toomey Republican
Bob Casey Democrat

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Columbia County, Pennsylvania


External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Coordinates: 41°03′N 76°24′W / 41.05, -76.40

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Columbia County, Pennsylvania. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.