Lower Macungie Township

Lower Macungie is a township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

Lower Macungie dates from 1832, when Macungie Township (1743) was divided into Lower and Upper Macungie townships. These were the first two townships created after Lehigh County was erected in 1812. The township operated under Pennsylvania’s Second Class Township Code until 2008, when it changed to First Class with a legislative board of five commissioners replacing three supervisors.

 

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Lower Macungie Township is a township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. As of the 2010 Census, the township had a population of 30,633.[2]

Lower Macungie is one of the fastest growing areas of Pennsylvania in terms of total population growth[4] and is undergoing rapid suburbanization. Some fast-growing areas of the township include Ancient Oaks, Brandywine Village, Brandywine Village 2, Hills at Lock Ridge, Millbrook Farms, and Shepherd Hills. Its villages include Brookdale, East Texas, Minesite, New Hensingersville (also in Berks County), Weilersville, and Wescosville.

Lower Macungie Township's growth has been attributed to its proximity to major employment centers, and strategic access to major transportation corridors. At 22.5 square miles (58 km2), the township is one of the largest municipalities in the Lehigh Valley.

History

Before European settlement, the area that now includes Lower Macungie Township was inhabited by the Lenni Lenape people. They hunted here, and are known to have had a few small seasonal villages and jasper workshops close to streams and springs. Jasper from their quarries outside present-day Macungie and Vera Cruz was traded far and wide across North America.[5]

The name "Macungie" is derived from a Native American word meaning "bear swamp", or "place where bears feed". The early Pennsylvania German settlers took land that had been hunting grounds for the Lenni Lenape, adopting the Lenape name for the area. They cleared the scrub and forests, planted crops, raised livestock, and continually expanded their holdings. Most of what they produced fed their families and their hired and indentured servants, but some crops were grown for their cash value. Eventually they raised enough money to buy land warrants in Philadelphia from the proprietors, William Penn's heirs. [5] The Rodale Organic Gardening Experimental Farm was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999

Geography

Lower Macungie Township is in southern Lehigh County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58.2 km2), of which 22.4 square miles (57.9 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.40%, are water.[1] Little Lehigh Creek and Swabia Creek drain and wind through the township from sources in Berks and Lehigh counties. Swabia Creek joins Little Lehigh Creek in the township and the latter drains into the Lehigh River in Allentown. South Mountain crosses the township's southern tier, just south of the boroughs of Alburtis and Macungie. Lower Macungie has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and is in hardiness zone 6b. The average monthly temperature at Willow Lane Elementary School ranges from 29.2 °F (−1.6 °C) in January to 73.8 °F (23.2 °C) in July. [1]

Neighboring municipalities
Upper Macungie Township (northwest)
South Whitehall Township (north)
Salisbury Township (northeast)
Emmaus (east)
Upper Milford Township (southeast)
Macungie (southeast)
Alburtis (surrounded by Lower Macungie)
Hereford Township, Berks County (southwest)
Longswamp Township, Berks County (southwest)

Demographics

At the 2010 census, there were 30,633 people living in the township. The population was 84.6% Non-Hispanic White, 3.3% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American and Alaskan Native, 6.0% Asian, 1.6% from two or more race, and 1.6% from some other race. 5.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.

At the 2000 census,[9] there were 19,220 people, 7,158 households and 5,611 families living in the township. The population density was 851.5 per square mile (328.8/km²) There were 7,405 housing units at an average density of 328.1/sq mi (126.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.77% White, 0.58% African American, 0.11% Native American, 4.31% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.52% of the population.

There were 7,158 households of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.2% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.03.

Age distribution was 25.2% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

The median household income was $69,592, and the median family income was $78,695. Males had a median income of $60,325 versus $33,145 for females. The per capita income for the township was $30,202. About 1.3% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.

Education

The township is served by the East Penn School District, of which it constitutes the majority of the population. Students in grades nine through 12 attend Emmaus High School. Middle school students attend Eyer or Lower Macungie, both of are within the township. Wescosville and Willow Lane Elementary Schools are within the township. The private Hillside School, a specialized school for students with learning disabilities, is also in the township.

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