Living and Working Here

This exciting region of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Luzerne County and its two major cities, Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre is vigorous, thriving, exciting, and looking forward to a future filled with new opportunities and prospects, new jobs and a refreshing new vitality. Today, any traveler passing through this region, north-bound or south-bound on I-81, quickly develops a very positive "windshield impression." Although our region looks good from the highway; it looks even better close-up. Thanks to the cooperative efforts of more than a dozen local, regional, and state organizations - public and private - the communities in this great part of Pennsylvania have remarkably recharged their batteries, and are focused on a better life for everyone that calls Luzerne County home.


Population Demographics By Race - 2017provided by 

RacePopulation% of Total
Total Population320,918100
Hispanic or Latino21,4916
Black or African American10,7673
Some Other Race10,5553
Two or More Races4,9031
Asian3,135Below 1%
American Indian558Below 1%
Three or more races315Below 1%

County Geography

According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 890 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2), or 1.8%, is water.[49] The highest point in the county is Cherry Ridge in Fairmount Township. The ridge is 2,460 feet (750 m) above sea level.[50] The lowest point, of about 512 feet (156 m), can be found near Shickshinny. Luzerne County is comprised of forests and parks, mountains, rolling plains, valley farmland and lastly streams and river. 


Because of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's unique form of local government, there are seventy-six municipal jurisdictions in Luzerne County in which you can live and work. Four are cities: Hazleton, Nanticoke, Pittston and Wilkes-Barre. Thirty-six are boroughs, and thirty-six are townships. Eleven of the townships and boroughs contain fewer than 999 residents. Jeddo Borough is the smallest municipality with just 144 residents, followed by New Columbus Borough with 215 residents.


Market Street Bridge flags

Wilkes - Barre

Wilkes-Barre is located roughly at the center of Luzerne County, on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. It's a valley community that was originally settled by Connecticut Yankees as early as 1762. It is home to Wilkes University and Kings College, the largest office buildings, and the county government buildings. The county's extraordinary court house building is located in River Common on the Susquehanna River adjacent to the river. Downtown Wilkes-Barre is the center of much of the business activity in the county.


Twenty miles to the south in southern Luzerne County, is the smaller city of Hazleton, population of 23,000. Because of its location in the mountains - it has the highest elevation of any city in Pennsylvania - Hazleton has a completely different feel than Wilkes-Barre; the vistas are longer. Hazleton feels like it is more industrial, as is evident by the two large industrial park complexes located near the city. Hazleton is hillier than Wilkes-Barre, but it is also similar to Wilkes-Barre in that it is comprised of regular residential neighborhoods with well- maintained homes in almost every price category.

Hazleton has a modest downtown with shops, banks, business and government offices. The community is filled with parks, neighborhood schools, and the other amenities that make a community livable.

Hazleton vistas


Nanticoke was named for the Nanticoke Indians from Maryland who settled in this part of the Wyoming Valley about 1750. Nanticoke is located eight miles downstream from Wilkes-Barre. Its population is about 11,000. Luzerne County Community College is located in Nanticoke.


Pittston was one of the five townships created by the Connecticut Yankees during the summer of 1769. It is located along the banks of the Susquehanna River about eight miles north of Wilkes-Barre. It has a population of about 8,000. Pittston is distinguished by a modest and relatively affluent downtown business district, with older neighborhoods that are close to the community's churches and schools.

10,000 or More Residents

Kingston Borough (14,000), Hanover Township (11,500), and Plains Township (11,000) are the only other municipalities in the county with more than 10,000 residents.

pittston art walk