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Pennsylvania (; Pennsylvania German: Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state spanning the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, Appalachian, and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Pennsylvania borders Delaware to its southeast, Maryland to its south, West Virginia to its southwest, Ohio to its west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to its northwest, New York state to its north, and the Delaware River and New Jersey to its east.
Pennsylvania is the fifth-most populous state in the nation with over 13 million residents as of 2020, its highest decennial count ever. The state is the 33rd-largest by area and ranks ninth among all states in population density. The southeastern Delaware Valley metropolitan area comprises and surrounds Philadelphia, the state’s largest and nation’s sixth-most populous city. Another 2.37 million reside in Greater Pittsburgh in the southwest, centered in and around Pittsburgh, the state’s second-largest and Western Pennsylvania’s largest city. The state’s subsequent five most populous cities are: Allentown, Reading, Erie, Scranton, and Bethlehem. The state capital is Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania’s geography is highly diverse: the Appalachian Mountains run through the center of the state; the Allegheny and Pocono mountains span much of Northeastern Pennsylvania; close to 60% of the state is forested. While it has only 140 miles (225 km) of waterfront along Lake Erie and the Delaware River, Pennsylvania has more navigable rivers than any other state in the nation, including the Delaware, Ohio, and Pine Creek rivers.
Pennsylvania was founded in 1681 through a royal land grant to William Penn, son of the state’s namesake; a southeast portion of the state was once part of the colony of New Sweden. Established as a haven for religious and political tolerance, the Province of Pennsylvania was known for its relatively peaceful relations with native tribes, innovative government system, and religious pluralism. Pennsylvania was one of thirteen British colonies from which the nation was formed.