County Classes



In 1953, the Pennsylvania state government passed a law that established nine county subgroupings, called ‘classes’, for the purpose of legislating and regulating county affairs. These classes range from First to Eighth, with two types of Second class counties, where the most populated counties are grouped into the lower classes (i.e. First, Second, Third) and the least populated in the higher classes (i.e. Sixth, Seventh, Eighth). The counties that make up each class are determined by the population figures reported by the U.S. Census.


From a dashboard perspective, the county class is available as means of filtering statistics by this population-based category. When using this statistical filter on any dashboard, it is important to consider the counties that make up each class. Volume-related dashboard metrics will typically be higher for First and Second class counties since they have a proportionally higher number of cases than other counties. In addition, statistics represented by percentage for higher class counties, such as the Seventh or Eighth class, may be skewed since they handle far fewer cases and many of those could potentially fall under the same statistical categories.


The following represents the counties that make up each class, in alphabetical order, as determined by the U.S. Census:









First Class


1,500,000 or more




Second Class


800,000 to 1,499,999




Second Class A


500,000 to 799,999

Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery


Third Class

210,000 to 499,999


Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Northampton, Westmoreland, York



Fourth Class

145,000 to 209,999


Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Centre, Fayette, Franklin, Monroe, Schuylkill, Washington



Fifth Class

90,000 to 144,999


Adams, Blair, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mercer, Northumberland



Sixth Class

45,000 to 89,999


Armstrong, Bedford, Bradford, Carbon, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Elk, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Mifflin, Perry, Pike, Somerset, Susquehanna, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Wayne



Seventh Class

20,000 to 44,999


Juniata, Snyder, Union, Wyoming



Eighth Class

Less than 20,000


Cameron, Forest, Fulton, Montour, Potter, Sullivan