List of cities and boroughs in Pennsylvania by population

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Rank City Population (2010 Census) County Motto Image Description
1 Philadelphia 1,526,006 Philadelphia "Philadelphia maneto" ("Let brotherly love endure") Philadelphia Skyline.jpg The largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia was founded on October 27, 1682, by William Penn. It is known as the "City of Brotherly Love" because "Philadelphia" is Greek for "brotherly love". It is home to such major league sports teams as the 76ers, Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles. Philadelphia is also home to the monumental Liberty Bell.
2 Pittsburgh 305,704 Allegheny "Benigno Numine" ("With the Benevolent Deity" also translated as "By the favor of heaven") Pittsburgh view-from-incline sm.jpg Known as the steel city, due to the steel factories of the late 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th century. Pittsburgh was a huge contributor of steel during World War II, producing 95 million tons of steel. The city is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers, where they meet to form the Ohio River. While the city is historically known for its steel industry, today it is largely based on healthcare, education, and technology. Pittsburgh is also home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have won an NFL-record six Super Bowls, as well as the Penguins.
3 Allentown 118,032 Lehigh "Sic Semper Tyrannis" Allentown.jpg Located on the Lehigh River, Allentown is the largest of three adjacent cities that make up a region of eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey known as the Lehigh Valley, with the cities of Bethlehem and Easton nearby. Allentown is 60 miles (97 km) north of Philadelphia, 80 miles (130 km) east of Harrisburg, the state capital, and 90 miles (140 km) west of New York City, the nation's largest city.
4 Erie 101,786 Erie n/a Eriesky2.jpg Named after the Great Lake of the same name, Erie is known as the flagship city because of the presence of Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship Niagara. Erie has also been called the Gem City because of the sparkling lake. Erie is home of the Erie SeaWolves of the Double A Eastern League. The SeaWolves are the Double A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
5 Reading 88,082 Berks n/a Reading Urban.jpg The city lent its name to the now-defunct Reading Railroad, which brought anthracite coal from the Pennsylvania Coal Region to cities along the Schuylkill River. The railroad is one of the four railroad properties in the classic English-language version of the Monopoly board game. During the general decline of heavy manufacturing, Reading was one of the first localities where outlet shopping became a tourist industry. It has been known as "The Pretzel City" because of numerous local pretzel bakeries. It is also known as "Baseballtown," after the Reading Phillies trademarked this moniker to market Reading's rich baseball history.
6 Scranton 76,089 Lackawanna "Embracing Our People, Our Traditions, and Our Future" DowntownScranton2003.jpg Scranton is the geographic and cultural center of the Lackawanna River valley. It is the largest city located in a contiguous quilt-work of former anthracite coal mining communities including the smaller cities of Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, and Carbondale. Scranton was incorporated as a borough on February 14, 1856 and as a city on April 23, 1866.
7 Bethlehem 74,982 Lehigh & Northampton n/a Bethlehem Pennsylvania downtown.jpg Bethlehem lies in the center of the Lehigh Valley, a region of 731 square miles (1,893 km²) that is home to more than 750,000 people. The Valley embraces a trio of cities (Bethlehem, Allentown and Easton) within two counties (Lehigh and Northampton), making it Pennsylvania's third-largest metropolitan area. Smaller than Allentown but larger than Easton, Bethlehem is the Lehigh Valley's second most populous city.
8 Lancaster 59,322 Lancaster n/a Lancaster, Pennsylvania downtown.jpg Originally called Hickory Town, the city was renamed after the English city of Lancaster by native John Wright. Its symbol, the red rose, is from the House of Lancaster. Lancaster was part of the 1681 Penn's Woods Charter of William Penn, and was laid out by James Hamilton in 1734. It was incorporated as a borough in 1742 and incorporated as a city in 1818. During the American Revolution, it was briefly the capital of the colonies on September 27, 1777, when the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia, which had been captured by the British. After meeting one day, they moved still farther away, to York, Pennsylvania. Lancaster was capital of Pennsylvania from 1799 to 1812, after which the capital was moved to Harrisburg.
9 Harrisburg 49,528 Dauphin n/a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State Capitol Building.jpg The capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg played a notable role in American history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. During part of the 19th century, the building of the Pennsylvania Canal and later the Pennsylvania Railroad allowed Harrisburg to become one of the most industrialized cities in the Northeastern United States.
10 Altoona 46,320 Blair n/a Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.jpg Having grown around the railroad industry, the city is currently working to recover against industrial decline and urban decentralization over the past several decades. The city is home to the Altoona Curve baseball team of the Double A Eastern League, which is the Double A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
11 York 43,718 York n/a York was founded in 1741 by settlers from the Philadelphia region, and named for the English city of the same name. By 1777, most of the area residents were of either German or Scotch-Irish descent. York was incorporated as a borough on September 24, 1787, and as a city on January 11, 1887. During the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), York served as the temporary capital of the Continental Congress. The Articles of Confederation were drafted and adopted in York, though they would not be ratified until March 1781.
12 State College 42,034 Centre n/a Arte 018.jpg State College is the first town listed that is not a city. The borough is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of the main campus of the Pennsylvania State University, often referred to as Penn State. Happy Valley is an often-used term to refer to the State College area, including the borough and the townships of College, Harris, Patton, and Ferguson. It should also be noted that during most football Saturdays, Beaver Stadium itself qualifies State College as the fourth largest city in Pennsylvania with an official capacity of 106,572, and a highest attendance number all-time of 110,753.
13 Wilkes-Barre 41,498 Luzerne "Pattern After Us" Wilkes Barre Downtown.jpg Founded in 1769, Wilkes-Barre is the county seat of Luzerne County and is at the center of the Wyoming Valley area. It is surrounded by the Pocono Mountains to the east, the Lehigh Valley to the south, and the Endless Mountains to the west. The Susquehanna River flows through the northwestern portion of the city.
14 Chester 33,972 Delaware n/a Chester-pa-avenue-of-the-states-june-2010.jpg Seated between the much larger cities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, Chester borders the Delaware River. Its population was upward of 66,000 at the 1950 census, but has dropped in every census since due to a loss of jobs. Chester also has Pennsylvania's highest murder rate of 64.3 per 100,000.
15 Williamsport 29,381 Lycoming "The Will is in us." Downtown-Williamsport.jpg Known internationally as the birthplace of Little League Baseball, Williamsport hosts the Little League World Series every summer. Their high school mascot is the "Millionaires" because at one point, Williamsport had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else on the planet.
16 Easton 26,800 Northampton n/a Easton Skyline.jpg The smallest and easternmost of the three Lehigh Valley cities, Easton is situated on the confluence of the Delaware River and the Lehigh River. It is the county seat of Northampton County. Crayola has its headquarters in Easton and the Crayola Factory is a big attraction in the city.
17 Lebanon 25,477 Lebanon n/a Cedar Crest High School Lebanon Pennsylvania.JPG Formerly known as Steitztown, Lebanon was chartered as a city in 1885 and is the county seat of Lebanon County. It is the home of Lebanon bologna and drops a 150-pound bologna at midnight on New Year's Eve.
18 Hazleton 25,340 Luzerne n/a Downtown Hazleton From The South.JPG Hazleton was a popular spot to find labor in the 1840s and 1850s because of the discovery of coal in the area. In 1880, just 30 years later, America's oldest person ever Sarah Knauss started her 119-year life in Hazleton.
19 New Castle 23,273 Lawrence n/a Kennedy Square.jpg New Castle, situated near the Pennsylvania–Ohio border, was first incorporated as a city in 1869. Like Chester, its population has dropped in every census since 1950 from almost 49,000 to its population today.
20 Johnstown 20,978 Cambria n/a Johnstownview.jpg Johnstown, founded in 1770, has been dubbed "Flood City" because of three major floods occurring in the city: The "Great Flood" in 1889 and two smaller floods occurring in 1936 and 1977. For this reason, it is no surprise that Johnstown's population is at its lowest level since the 1880 census.
21 Chambersburg 20,268 Franklin n/a Memorial Square Chambersburg.jpg The borough of Chambersburg was founded in 1734 by European, mostly Irish, settlers. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad in 1859. The city played a minor role in the Civil War, as well.
22 McKeesport 19,731 Allegheny n/a McKeesportNationalBank.jpg Situated at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers, McKeesport is the second-largest city in Allegheny County behind Pittsburgh. Like most other Pennsylvania cities of its size, McKeesport's population has greatly decreased since the mid-1900s.
23 Carlisle 19,262 Cumberland n/a Carlisle, Pennsylvania.jpg The county seat of Cumberland County, Carlisle is the smaller principal city of the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's name is pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable, though most people pronounce it with emphasis on the first syllable.
24 West Chester 18,461 Chester n/a Westchester.jpg The home of West Chester University and the county seat of Chester County, Pennsylvania, West Chester serves as the western anchor of the Delaware Valley metropolitan area. The borough is known for its rich nightlife; the headquarters of the QVC home shopping multinational lie just outside town.

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