Lehigh County is a county located in the Lehigh Valley region of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 349,497. Its county seat is Allentown, the state's third-largest city behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The county, which was first settled around 1730, was formed in 1812 with the division of Northampton County into two counties. It is named after the Lehigh River, whose name is derived from the Delaware Indian term Lechauweki or Lechauwekink, meaning "where there are forks". Lehigh County is part of the New York City metropolitan area, but also borders the Delaware Valley and is a part of the Philadelphia media market. It is one of the fastest-growing counties in Pennsylvania.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (900 km²), of which 345 square miles (890 km²) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km²) (0.9%) is water.
As of the 2010 census, the county was 71.6% White Non-Hispanic, 6.1% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American or Alaskan Native, 2.9% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.9% were two or more races, and 8.6% were some other race. 18.8% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. As of the census of 2000, there were 312,090 people, 121,906 households, and 82,164 families residing in the county. The population density was 900 people per square mile (348/km²). There were 128,910 housing units at an average density of 372 per square mile (144/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.02% White, 3.56% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.28% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. 10.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.1% were of German, 7.9% Italian, 7.7% Irish, 6.2% Pennsylvania German and 5.6% American ancestry. 85.0% spoke English, 8.4% Spanish and 1.2% Arabic as their first language.
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