Introduction to Harrisburg

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has something for everybody. History is everywhere in Harrisburg, due to its crucial roles in United States history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. The Pennsylvania Canal and the Pennsylvania Railroad helped turn Harrisburg into one of the most industrialized cities in the country. Today, Harrisburg and the Capital Region, which includes Hershey and Carlisle, offer residents and visitors many benefits. The area boasts the world’s tallest splashdown amusement park ride. It has lots of fishing, biking, and hiking to enjoy. And its zoos, caves, theater, and sporting events offer a wide variety of fun activities for the whole family.

Harrisburg Culture

Harrisburg is one of the oldest American state capital cities in the Northeast. This is one of the reasons it enjoys such prominence as a cultural and arts-related destination. The city is relatively close to such urban centers as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., and these cities have a heavy influence on Harrisburg. The city government, the corporate sector, and the larger community all have an impact on the culture. The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts offers education, science, and performing arts to the public. The 1,700-seat Forum concert and lecture hall is located in the capital complex and is home to the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. The Pennsylvania Farm Show happens every year and is the largest event of its kind in the country.

Harrisburg Sports and Leisure

For baseball fans, Harrisburg has the Eastern League Harrisburg Senators, who play in Commerce Bank Park. The Harrisburg City Islanders play for the United Soccer League in the Skyline Sports Complex. And for ice hockey fans, there’s the AHL Hershey Bears, who play in the Giant Center. The city’s Bureau of Recreation offers residents many opportunities to participate in self-improvement activities year round. This includes educational, cultural, and sports and fitness programs. Residents have the chance to broaden their minds and improve their bodies through sports and fitness workshops, clinics, and leagues.

Harrisburg Outdoors

There is no shortage of fun outdoor activities in the Harrisburg area. Many fields and forests offer residents the chance to enjoy sunny days of boating, hiking, and biking. Swimming in lakes or playing a round of golf are both popular activities. The Fall is when the colors of the leaves explode and residents can take in the sight with a hike along the Appalachian Trail. The area has almost 20 state and national parks that offer miles and miles of trails that wind through streams, rivers, and lakes. Winter time also offers outdoor adventures like sledding, skiing, snowmobiling, and snow shoeing.

Harrisburg at Night

Dining out in Harrisburg mean great food and a wide selection of restaurants. The city’s Germanic heritage results in such regional specialties as apples and dumplings and sweet Lebanon bologna. The area has lots of agricultural fairs and farmers markets. Family restaurants serve local favorites, and the city restaurants serve a range of international cuisine. There are also many places to enjoy a cold beer, such as the Appalachian Brewing Company. This brewpub serves food that is fresh and inventive, and their ales and lagers are handcrafted.


Total Population 49,232
Male Share of the Population 47.4%
Female Share of the Population 52.6%
Senior Citizens 9.9%
Employed Population 16+ 19,307
Age of the Population 32


% of people married 27.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 18.9%
Median Earnings25+ $28,064
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,124
Median Earnings With High School Degree $23,886


Median Family Income $35,478
% Above Poverty Level 68.2%
% Below Poverty Level 31.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 2.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 10.1%
% Using Public Transportation 9.1%


People Living Alone 37.7%
Median Gross Rent $770
Median House Value $84,400


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 60.5%
US/American 0%
English 2.5%
Irish 6.4%

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

Harrisburg Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 34 miles NW of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (center to center)
Nearest Large City 68 miles N of Baltimore, Maryland
County Dauphin
Metro Area Harrisburg - Lebanon - Carlisle
Standard Zip Codes 17101, 17102, 17103, 17104, 17109, 17110, 17111, 17112, 17113, 17129
P.O. Box Zip Codes 17105, 17106, 17108
Company Zip Codes 17107, 17120, 17121, 17122, 17123, 17124, 17125, 17126, 17127, 17128, 17130, 17140, 17177
Phone Area Codes 717
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.273
Longitude -76.884

Harrisburg Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 4.3 miles
Jan Temp 23 to 38 F
Apr Temp 42 to 63 F
Jul Temp 66 to 86 F
Oct Temp 45 to 64 F
Annual Precip 41.4 inches
Distance 19.5 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 37 F
Apr Temp 38 to 63 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 64 F
Annual Precip 40.7 inches
Distance 26.2 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 38 F
Apr Temp 39 to 64 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 66 F
Annual Precip 43.4 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Harrisburg, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Bressler (17113)

Lower Paxton (17109, 17112)

Oberlin (17113)

Swatara (17111)

West End (17102)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Camp Hill 7,886 $86,525
Lemoyne 4,614 $75,508

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

Harrisburg Public Libraries

Dauphin County Library System
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
(717) 234-4961
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Harrisburg Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(717) 782-5181
Emergency Service: Yes

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Harrisburg High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

A Special Education School
Serves 7,896 students.

A Special Education School
Serves 7,896 students.

Serves 1,826 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.4

A Title I School.
Serves 1,682 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.3

Serves 1,491 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,010 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16

A Vocational School
Serves 919 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.3

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 812 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.6

Additional Details
Harrisburg Careers
Harrisburg career and employment information.
Harrisburg Colleges
Harrisburg colleges and trade schools.
Harrisburg Graduate Schools
Harrisburg Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Harrisburg
Historic Harrisburg


The Original John Harris home between 1910 and 1920

Select a photo to view (Source):

The Original John Harris home between 1910 and 1920

Island Park between 1910 and 1920

Mulberry Street bridge between 1910 and 1920

Additional Resources
Info for Harrisburg Government Officials

Are you an official in the Harrisburg 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.

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