Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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Harrisburg is the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 48,950, making it the ninth largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton, Bethlehem and Lancaster. The Harrisburg-Carlisle-Lebanon combined statistical area contains 647,390 residents.

Harrisburg is the county seat of Dauphin County[4] and lies on the east bank of the Susquehanna River, 105 miles (169 km) west-northwest of Philadelphia. The Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry counties, had a population of 509,074 in 2000. A July 1, 2007 estimate placed the population at 528,892, making it the fifth largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (the Lehigh Valley), and Scranton-Wilkes Barre.[5] The Harrisburg-Carlisle-Lebanon Combined Statistical Area, including both the Harrisburg-Carlisle and Lebanon Metropolitan Statistical Areas, had an estimated population of 656,781 in 2007.[6]

Harrisburg played a notable role in American history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. During part of the 19th century, the building of the Pennsylvania Canal and later the Pennsylvania Railroad allowed Harrisburg to become one of the most industrialized cities in the Northeastern United States. The U.S. Navy ship USS Harrisburg, which served from 1918 to 1919 at the end of World War I, was named in honor of the city.

In the mid-to-late 20th century, the city's economic fortunes fluctuated with its major industries consisting of government, heavy manufacturing including the production of steel, agriculture (the greater Harrisburg area is at the heart of the fertile Pennsylvania Dutch Country), and food services (nearby Hershey is home of the chocolate maker, located just 10 miles east of Harrisburg). In 1981, following contractions in the steel and dairy industries, Harrisburg was declared the second most distressed city in the nation.[7] The city subsequently experienced a resurgence under its former mayor Stephen R. Reed,[8] with nearly $3 billion in new investment realized during his lengthy tenure.[8] In 2010 Forbes rated Harrisburg as the second best place to raise a family.[9] The 2009 financial crisis and resulting recession have recently taken their toll on Harrisburg municipal finances. Harrisburg has not been able to budget for $68m in debt payments due to a local $288m incinerator project. On September 1, 2010, Harrisburg announced its intention to skip a debt payment of $3.29m on the incinerator project and the City Controller has suggested possible trouble with the City's General Obligation bonds. Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy may well be in Harrisburg's future.[10] Harrisburg moved one step closer to Ch. 9 on Nov 10, 2010 after they accepted an offer from New York bankruptcy attorney Cravath, Swaine and Moore for free bankruptcy advisory services.[11]

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