Old Union County Courthouse in New Berlin
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 22, 1813|
|o Total||318 sq mi (820 km2)|
|o Land||316 sq mi (820 km2)|
|o Water||1.8 sq mi (5 km2) 0.6%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||142/sq mi (55/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,947. Its county seat is Lewisburg. The county was created on March 22, 1813, from part of Northumberland County. Its name is an allusion to the federal Union.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 318 square miles (820 km2), of which 316 square miles (820 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (0.6%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Pennsylvania by area. Union has a humid continental climate (Dfa/Dfb) and average temperatures in Lewisburg range from 27.2° F in January to 72.7° F in July, while in Hartleton they range from 26.4° F in January to 72.1° F in July. 
As of the census of 2000, there were 41,624 people, 13,178 households, and 9,211 families residing in the county. The population density was 131 people per square mile (51/km²). There were 14,684 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.08% White, 6.91% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.06% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. 3.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 41.2% were of German, 13.9% American, 6.5% Irish, 5.9% English and 5.3% Italian ancestry. 90.4% spoke English, 3.7% Spanish, 2.0% Pennsylvania Dutch and 1.2% German as their first language.
There were 13,178 households out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.90% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county, the population was spread out with 20.10% under the age of 18, 13.90% from 18 to 24, 30.90% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 123.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 128.50 males.
Union County's live birth rate was 414 births in 1990. Union County's live birth rate in 2000 declined to 395 births, while in 2011 it was 396 live births of babies. Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old.
According to research by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, which is a legislative agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the poverty rate for Union County was 13.4% in 2014. The statewide poverty rate was 13.6% in 2014. The 2012 childhood poverty rate by public school district was: Mifflinburg Area School District - 40.1% living at 185% or less than the Federal Poverty Level, Lewisburg Area School District - 22.4%, Milton Area School District - 51.9% and Warrior Run School District - 32.2%.
According to the US Census Bureau, from 2009 to 2014 Union County saw a 68% increase in the number of families in the federal food assistance program called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The number of people or families receiving monthly SNAP dollars rose from 977 in 2009 to 1,641 people in 2014.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports the annual birth rate by teens aged 15-19. From 2011 to 2015, Union County experienced a 9% decline in teen pregnancies. In Pennsylvania, the majority of pupils graduate from high school at age 18. Union County is home to a large Amish population where pregnancies at age 17-19 are common.
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Union County as the Lewisburg, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA). As of the 2010 census the micropolitan area ranked 12th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 263rd most populous in the United States with a population of 44,947. Union County is also a part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick-Sunbury, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Union County, as well as Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder Counties in Pennsylvania. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 8th in the State of Pennsylvania and 115th most populous in the United States with a population of 264,739.
Union County levies several taxes and receives funding from both the state and federal government. The County is mandated by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to provide many social services to residents.
In 2015, the Union Commissioners approved a $20 million budget which did not require raising property taxes. In 2016, Union County Commissioners set their annual budget at 20.6 million. To cover the costs they raised county property taxes by 0.25 mills. This was the first increase of property taxes in eight years.
Former Lewisburg Mayor, Mike Molesevich, unsuccessfully ran for US Congress in PA's 10th Congressional District against incumbent Tom Marino. Molesevich attributed his loss to advantages the incumbent has and redistricting issues.
In presidential elections, Union County has voted for Democratic candidate less than almost any county in the nation. Andrew Jackson was the last Democratic Party candidate to win the county. The county has been solidly Republican in Presidential elections since John C. Frémont's win there. The only exception was William Howard Taft's loss to Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. The county has also voted for Republican Senators, State Treasurers, and State Auditors for decades. Robert P. Casey is the only Democratic gubernatorial candidate to win the county in the last fifty years.
According to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning of the Pennsylvania Department of Education's June 2007 report, Union County is rated low to moderate risk level for children who are "at risk" and therefore might benefit from more taxpayer funded services. Union County was rated 1.86 ARL, in the lowest 25% of counties for average risk level. Lewisburg Area School District operates a preschool limited to high needs children. The district receives a state grant to fund the program.
Head Start is a federally and state funded preschool program for low income children. The program serves 3- and 4-year-olds. In order to participate a family's income must be below federal poverty guidelines.
Efforts to establish a science focused, public charter school in the borough of New Berlin were rejected by Mifflinburg Area School Board, Lewisburg Area School District, Selinsgrove Area School Board and Midd-West School Board.
In 2014, 238 child abuse reports were made to the Union Children and Youth Agency. In 2015, reported cases increased to 309, a 30% increase in reports over 2014. The increase in cases was attributed to a new state law specifying more professions as mandated reporters, including teachers, college professors, coaches, advisors of youth organizations and public school employees.
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.
+ county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)
A basic program for recycling is available throughout the county including once-monthly curbside pick up and drop off facilities that are open for a couple hours a week. Aluminum, glass, newspaper, #1 and #2 plastics, and magazines are all accepted at most sites. Strict separation and cleaning of materials are required. Household hazardous waste, including fluorescent bulbs, is not recyclable in the county.