Lancaster County was formed on May 10, 1729 making it the fourth county in Pennsylvania. It is located in south central Pennsylvania and is home to approximately 523,594 people. It is the sixth most populous county in the state, trailing only Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties.
Manufacturing is the dominant segment of the local economy with hundreds of manufacturers producing widely diverse products. The County has many firms that have existed here for at least 50 years and some for more than 100 years. Lancaster is home to many national and international businesses and new companies contribute vitality and additional opportunity. Its close proximity to major metropolitan markets and the Ports of Baltimore, Philadelphia and Wilmington makes it perfect for getting products to market.
Located within 500 miles of more than half the buying power of the nation, Lancaster County has access to growing markets which offer numerous possibilities. The County is the third largest industrial area in Pennsylvania, trailing only the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Innovation and entrepreneurial spirit have helped Lancaster County’s business and industrial communities thrive as they continue to adapt to ever changing markets.
Since colonial days, Lancaster’s fertile soil and hard working farmers have been hailed for exceptional agricultural productivity. Agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry that contributes to the economic well-being of the county. Every dollar of agriculture-related products that leave Lancaster County’s farms, boosts our economy by $6.00; a value of $6 billion per year. With the most productive non-irrigated farmland in the United States, Lancaster County is one of the nation’s top food producers. The County is also home to many agribusinesses which provide the infrastructure necessary for a prosperous agriculture.
Lancaster County has a strong agricultural preservation effort in place to help ensure that farm families have the opportunity to continue to keep the rich and valuable farmland in production for generations to come. Preservation in the County is spearheaded by the Lancaster County Agricultural Preservation Board and the Lancaster Farmland Trust resulting in Lancaster County being first in the nation in number of acres of preserved farmland, with approximately 90,175 acres preserved on more than 1,150 individual farms.