Community Assessment Data
A Guide to Understanding the Well-Being of Children & Families in Erie County, Pennsylvania
Erie County, containing Pennsylvania/’s only Great Lake port, is the northwestern most county in the Commonwealth. It is bounded on the north by Lake Erie, an international border with Canada; on the east by New York State (Chautauqua County); and on the west by the State of Ohio (Ashtabula County). Only on the southeastern border adjoining Warren County and the southern border adjoining Crawford County does Erie County connect with the remainder of Pennsylvania. The county is 812.6 square miles and had a budget, including special funds, of approximately $235.2 million for 2002.
Erie County is comprised of 39 municipalities. These have separate governing bodies and include two cities. The City of Erie on Lake Erie is in the north central part of the county and is the fourth largest city in the state (2000 population: 103,717), while the City of Corry (2000 population: 6,834) sits in the extreme southeastern part of the county. In addition, there are 14 boroughs and 22 townships. The total 2000 census population was 280,843, retaining Erie County’s rank as the 13th most populous county in Pennsylvania.
Erie County was tied for the 5th youngest median age of county residents in 2000 in Pennsylvania with a median age of 36.2 years. Children under age 18 represent a significant portion of Erie County residents. Knowing the number of children in our community helps determine the demand for schools, health care, and other services and facilities that serve children and their families.
Over the decades, there has been a trend towards more children growing up in single parent households. Children growing up in these households are less likely to have the financial and human resources available to them compared to children living in two parent households.