25 Interesting Facts About Pennsylvania

Author: Jason Coles

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Updated On:

Situated on the Northeastern side of the United States, in an area classified as the Middle Atlantic region, you will find the Keystone state. Commonly known as Pennsylvania, but given this nickname due to its central location on the Eastern Seaboard, and being neighbors to many different states all sharing high levels of importance.

Pennsylvania borders a total of 6 other states, New York from the north, New Jersey from the east, Delaware from the southeast, Maryland from the south, West Virginia from the southwest, and finally Ohio from the west! Being the center state to all of these coastal states really does justify Pennsylvania’s nickname adoption.

There is a lot to take in and see when either visiting or moving to Pennsylvania. The state is surrounded by a luscious, green landscape, with a plethora of national and state parks to explore and take in some of the awesome scenery. Not only is Pennsylvania home to some incredibly beautiful places to visit, but it is also home to one of the most iconic cities in the US, Philadelphia!

With all of this going on in the Keystone State, it comes as no surprise that interesting facts about Pennsylvania are in abundance, so, let’s check them out.

Interesting facts about Pennsylvania

We are excited to share with you our 25 interesting facts about Pennsylvania

1. Pennsylvania, and more specifically Clarion, PA is home to the nation’s oldest golf course.

2. The first-ever US department store was located in Pennsylvania, it was named Wanamaker’s.

3. Pennsylvania was not named after the famous politician, William Penn, it was, in fact, named after his father, who was also named William Penn!

4. The most iconic burger to originate from the famous McDonald’s franchise has got to be the Big Mac, which, was invented by Jim Delligatti. Jim owned several McDonald’s restaurants near the Pittsburgh area, the Big Mac was first served in Uniontown during 1967.

5. Until the 1800s, Pennsylvania was home to the largest fishing port in North America!

6. Pittsburgh, PA is home to the first-ever drive-in gas station, a Gulf Station that opened in 1913.

7. Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania, despite being extremely small in size and population. Harrisburg has the 13th largest population out of all the cities within the state, with a population of just over 49,000 people. It is difficult to comprehend this when the city of Philadelphia has a population of over 1.5 million!

8. The iconic and unique city of Philadelphia can be found on the southeastern corner of the state and is home to some pretty notable achievements, and discoveries, with famous actors, and celebrities all hailing from this awesome city. Nothing, however, is more iconic than the mouthwatering Philly Cheesesteak sub! Philadelphia prides itself on this unbelievable sub, which changed the sandwich game back in 1930, when Pat Olivieri, a local hotdog vendor, and the self-proclaimed “King of Steaks” created the work of art.

Facts about Pennsylvania

9. The maximum speed limit when driving in Pennsylvania is 70 MPH.

10. Pennsylvania is one of the 13 original founding states of the USA! With the full list being:

  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Georgia
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • South Carolina
  • New Hampshire
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island

11. Speaking of the 13 founding states, Pennsylvania is the only one that does not border the Atlantic Ocean!

12. Beaver Stadium, located at Penn State University is the 4th largest stadium in the entire world, with an astonishingly large max capacity of 106,572! When the stadium is full, there are more people inside the stadium than there are in all but 3 of Pennsylvania’s cities!

13. The 2 letter postal abbreviation for Pennsylvania is PA, and the 4 letter abbreviation is Penn.

14. The only president to Originate from Pennsylvania is James Buchanan, who was elected in 1834, and served 11 years in office.

15. The famous Pennsylvania-based football teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers merged to form a team named the Steagles in a bizarre turn of events, which occurred for one season and one season only back in 1943.

Economic Facts About Pennsylvania

There is a lot to talk about and consider when looking into the economic and business-related highlights and on Pennsylvania. The state has been observed by many over the years as having a healthy economy, a great business climate, and the perfect environment for growth and development.

If you would like to learn how to register a business in Pennsylvania so you can start your entrepreneurial journey, we have created a checklist walking you through the process.

Economic Facts About Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania’s GDP is around $808 billion.
  • Pennsylvania has a progressive income tax rate starting at 3.07%.
  • The sales tax rate in Pennsylvania is 6%.
  • Pennsylvania has been ranked 13th for business and economic opportunity (US News & World Report).
  • According to the US News & World Report, over 40% of Pennsylvania’s population are College educated.
  • Pennsylvania also ranks 10th for affordability (US News & World Report).
  • The Pennsylvania minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour.
  • Pennsylvania’s poverty rate is around 12.5%, which is lower than the average US poverty rate of over 13.5%.
  • WalletHub has ranked Pennsylvania 19th for economic innovation out of all 50 states.
  • WalletHub also gave Pennsylvania the 21st spot for economic activity.
  • The average house price in Pennsylvania is $$208,774, however, this number is seasonally adjusted, to keep updated, take a look at Zillow’s website.
  • There are over 1.1 million small businesses operating out of Pennsylvania.
  • Over 99% of businesses in Pennsylvania are small businesses.
  • Pennsylvania is home to over 2.5 million small business employees.
  • Over 46% of the state’s employees are working for small businesses.
  • Healthcare and social assistance is the leading small business employer industry in the state, closely followed by accommodation and food services.
  • There are over 146,000 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services firms in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania has a flat corporate income tax rate of 9.99%.

All of these economic facts about Pennsylvania highlight the reasons people move to the state for business and work opportunities, and it’s hard to argue why!

Cool Facts About Pennsylvania

More facts, including some pretty cool facts about Pennsylvania, are as follows

16. Each US state will have at least one strange law that should really be revisited, however, one of the weirdest laws has to be in Pennsylvania. Did you know that it is totally illegal to sing in the bathtub when in the Keystone state, yes, you read that correctly! So, next time you decide to put on some music and sing along to it in the bathtub, think twice!

17. Pennsylvania has the largest Amish population in the world, the Amish are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German and Alsatian Anabaptist origins.

18. The little town of Kennet Square, PA has been described as the mushroom capital of the world, and it sure does live up to its reputation! Producing one million pounds of mushrooms each year, and hosting an annual mushroom festival too.

19. Cogeleier House on Ridge St. Pittsburgh, PA has been considered to be the most haunted house in the country!

20. You can find the first complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton in Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, PA.

21. Pennsylvania, and more specifically Philadelphia is the home to the invention and creation of the world’s first-ever computer (1946)!

22. Pennsylvania has over 200 covered bridges, which is the most any state has in the entire nation, with the state boasting over 140 miles of waterfront spanning along Lake Erie and the Delaware River.

Interesting Facts About Pennsylvania

23. The worst nuclear accident in the US occurred on Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, PA. Stemming from a series of system malfunctions and human errors the incident happened on March 28, 1979, and to this day is the worst nuclear accident the United States has ever seen.

24. It is hard to fit in all of the incredible, and revolutionary inventions that have stemmed from the state, however, one that deserves an honorable mention is the Ferris Wheel! The first Ferris Wheel was invented by Pittsburgh bridge builder, George Ferris, in 1892 specifically for the Chicago World’s Fair.

25. When considering the cool facts about Pennsylvania, it’s hard to ignore the accomplishments and facts to come from the city of Philadelphia. Here are some quick facts about Philadelphia that you probably didn’t know about!

  • Philadelphia is the 6th most populous city in the United States.
  • Philadelphia is home to 5 fortune 1,000 companies!
  • The Comcast Technology Center is the largest building in Philadelphia and the 10th largest in the US.
  • The first terrace houses in the country were developed in Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia has been named America’s First World Heritage City.

Thanks for taking a look at our 25 interesting, weird, and wonderful facts about Pennsylvania! If you have some facts and interesting information regarding Pennsylvania’s past and present that we have not covered, make sure to add a comment below.

Interesting US State Facts


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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,365 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.