Introduction to Altoona, Pennsylvania

Altoona, Pennsylvania, in Blair county, is 84 miles E of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It's located in the Allegheny Mountains. Altoona developed around the railroad industry and was one of the nations most important rail facilities. Altoona's industries have experienced a severe decline and it's regarded as a rust belt city. A lot of the older districts include a mix of individual houses and row homes.

The Downtown is regarded as the commercial and cultural center. It has a large number of sites included in the National Registry of Historic Places. The municipality is a primary center for the Norfolk Southern Railroad's Pittsburgh Line. A vast number of trains travel through on a daily basis.

Altoona History

The city was established in 1849 by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Railroad's Altoona Works complex had a vast number of buildings and became a major employer. The Pennsylvania Railroad constructed a large number of its own locomotives at the complex. The city experienced substantial growth due to the demand of locomotives during the Civil War. After World War II ended the railroad industry significantly declined.

Altoona Attractions

  • Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament features baroque architecture.
  • Altoona Symphony Orchestra.
  • Gables Building.
  • Horseshoe Curve is a well known curved portion of railroad track and is a popular tourist attraction.
  • Leap the Dips, is one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the world.
  • Mishler Theatre.
  • Jaffa Mosque.
  • Penn Alto Building.
  • City Hall.
  • The Railroaders Memorial Museum is a popular destination.
  • Hollidaysburg National Historic District.
  • Baker Mansion Museum is a Greek Revival type mansion.
  • Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona.
  • Altoona Community Theatre.

Altoona Activities

The Del Grosso's Amusement Park and the Lakemont Amusement Park are popular with families. The nearby Canoe Creek State Park includes a forest area, a lake filled with a variety of fish and it's popular with bird watchers. Trough Creek State Park offers natural and geologic beauty and features hiking trails.

Warriors Path State Park is filled with wildlife and is used for boating, fishing and hiking. The scenic southern Allegheny Mountains attract a large number of visitors. The Blue Knob Ski Resort is enjoyed by skiing enthusiasts. The nearby Chimney Rocks Park includes trails and picnic areas. The Oak Spring Winery is popular with tourists.

Altoona Transportation

The Altoona-Blair County Airport provides air travel.

Altoona Higher Education

The Pennsylvania State University, Ivyside Park campus is located in the city.


Total Population 45,814
Male Share of the Population 49.7%
Female Share of the Population 50.3%
Senior Citizens 16.2%
Employed Population 16+ 19,340
Age of the Population 39


% of people married 44.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 17.1%
Median Earnings25+ $27,806
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $14,086
Median Earnings With High School Degree $23,125


Median Family Income $48,840
% Above Poverty Level 77.9%
% Below Poverty Level 22.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 17 minutes
% Working from Home 1.4%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4%
% Using Public Transportation 1.1%


People Living Alone 33.7%
Median Gross Rent $569
Median House Value $85,400


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 13.2%
US/American 0%
English 6.1%
Irish 19.7%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Altoona Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 84 miles E of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
County Blair
Metro Area Altoona
Standard Zip Codes 16601, 16602
P.O. Box Zip Codes 16603
Phone Area Codes 814
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.518
Longitude -78.395

Altoona Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station ALTOONA 3 W
Distance 4 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 35 F
Apr Temp 38 to 60 F
Jul Temp 60 to 82 F
Oct Temp 41 to 63 F
Annual Precip 42.6 inches
Distance 12.2 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 33 F
Apr Temp 35 to 59 F
Jul Temp 58 to 81 F
Oct Temp 37 to 62 F
Annual Precip 38.5 inches
Distance 32.5 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 31 F
Apr Temp 35 to 57 F
Jul Temp 57 to 78 F
Oct Temp 39 to 58 F
Annual Precip 41.8 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Ashville 199 $47,500
Bellwood 1,811 $56,875
Duncansville 1,283 $60,302
Gallitzin 1,495 $46,083
Hollidaysburg 5,812 $65,982

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Altoona Public Libraries

Altoona Area Public Library
Altoona, Pennsylvania
(814) 946-0417
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Altoona Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(814) 889-2011
Emergency Service: Yes

Altoona - James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center
2907 Pleasant Valley Boulevard
(814) 943-8164
Emergency Service:

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

Results:  5
Matching School Ads
  • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • BS in Business Administration - Project Management
  • MSHUS- Family and Community Services
  • AAS in Information Technology - Network Administration
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
  • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
  • Diesel Technology
  • Heavy Equipment
  • Collision Repair and Refinishing
  • Encompasses the Lincoln Tech, Lincoln Culinary Institute, and Lincoln College of New England brands.
  • Lincoln schools made more than $15 million available nationally through scholarships to qualified students in 2015.
  • Designated a Military Friendly School for the 6th year in a row by Victory Media; offers exclusive scholarship for servicemen and women and their families.
  • First Lincoln Tech campus opened in 1946; now 30 campuses in 15 states across the United States.
  • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools (ACCSC), Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), and New England Association of Schools and Colleges – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC)
camnpus icon
Request Info
  • Computer Systems Specialist - Associate
  • Medical Assistant
  • Dental Assisting - Diploma
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • A private post-secondary institution of higher education serving south-central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland since 1967.
  • Offers associate degrees in specialized business and specialized technology, as well as programs leading to professional certifications and diplomas.
  • Gives each student their own career services specialist who helps keep them focused on their goals.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
camnpus icon
Request Info

Altoona High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,898 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.1

A Charter School.
Serves 168 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

A Title I School.
Serves 101 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.3

Additional Details
Altoona Colleges
Altoona colleges and trade schools.
Altoona Graduate Schools
Altoona Graduate and Business Schools
Altoona Careers
Altoona career and employment information.
Study Online in Altoona
Additional Resources
Info for Altoona Government Officials

Are you an official in the Altoona government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

Back to Top