Is Pennsylvania Part Of New England?

Vintage map of the New England States

As an American, it’s easy to assume that we all know the geographical location of each state by heart. However, even the most seasoned American geography buffs can stumble when it comes to the question of whether Pennsylvania is part of New England.

In the following sections, we will dive into this topic, exploring the history and geography behind these regions to finally answer the question once and for all.

Pennsylvania: A New England State or Not?

Pennsylvania was one of the original thirteen colonies, along with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. These colonies played a pivotal role in the formation of the United States, fighting for independence from Great Britain and creating the foundation for American democracy. 

While the Keystone State is not technically part of the New England region, its cultural and historical connections to the area cannot be denied.

Although it is not located in the New England region, it shares a rich history with these northeastern states. The state was the site of multiple battles during the American Revolution and was where George Washington spent the winter with the Continental Army at Valley Forge. It was also home to influential figures such as Benjamin Franklin and William Penn, who founded the colony.

While Pennsylvania is not part of New England geographically, it does share a rich history with the region. During the early colonial period, it was a proprietary colony founded by William Penn, who was a Quaker.

Penn’s colony served as a haven of religious tolerance, much like the Puritans in New England. As mentioned, the state played a significant role in the American Revolution, with pivotal battles such as the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Germantown being fought on its soil.

Despite these shared historical connections, its unique cultural identity sets it apart from New England. It is known for its rich agricultural heritage, with the world-famous Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine being a popular attraction. The state is also home to iconic landmarks such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

So is Pennsylvania considered a New England state? The answer is no. Pennsylvania is not part of New England. It is a state located in the northeastern region of the United States. It’s often mistaken for being part of the region, but in fact, it’s not.

New England is a region located in the northeastern part of the United States and consists of six states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

In short, while Pennsylvania is not part of New England, it does share a deep and significant history with the region. Therefore, its unique contributions to our country’s history and culture should be celebrated alongside its New England neighbors, highlighting the complex and intertwined nature of America’s rich heritage.

Keystone Answers Fun Fact: 37-foot statue of Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn, stands atop Philadelphia City Hall. Alexander Milne Calder is the statue’s creator, and over 250 pieces of his work adorn the inside and outside of the building.

Why Do They Call It New England

If I were to describe the New England States in one word, it would be “charming.” These six states located in the northeastern corner of the United States have a certain magical air about them. From the picturesque cities to the rolling mountains, it has something to offer for everyone.

As you stroll along the famous cobblestoned streets in sections of Boston, you’ll feel the history surrounding you. On the other hand, Vermont, a state known for its maple syrup, has a calmness and peace that comes from being surrounded by vast expanses of green forests and mountains. And Maine, with its rugged coastline and delicious lobster rolls, has its own unique personality altogether.

Scenic drive through the New England countryside during the fall

During the fall season, the landscapes transform into a kaleidoscope of colors with vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues. It’s truly a sight to behold.

But why do they call it New England? The answer may surprise you. Long before the United States existed, the area we now call New England was inhabited by various Native American tribes. These tribes had been living off the land for centuries before Europeans arrived on the scene.

When Europeans began settling in the area in the 1600s, they saw an opportunity to establish new communities where they could practice their religion freely and build a new life. These settlers came from England and brought with them their own customs, language, and way of life. It is believed that they named this new land “New England” as a way to honor their homeland while acknowledging the fresh start they were embarking on.

The name became increasingly popular as more and more people migrated to the area. The region became known for its stunning fall foliage, charming coastal towns, and distinctive culture. From the Boston Tea Party to the Salem Witch Trials, it has played a significant role in American history and continues to do so today.

Stone with the name, date and means of death during the witch trials, Salem, Massachusetts

So, while the name may have originated as a way for English settlers to pay homage to their past while embracing the present, it is now a symbol of the rich history and unique character of this beloved region.

Geographical Conundrum

In conclusion, while Pennsylvania is not technically a New England state, its significant contributions to American history and culture cannot be ignored. From the Revolutionary War to the founding of the United States, it has played an integral role in shaping the nation as we know it today.

Despite being located outside of the region geographically, The Keystone State has formed deep cultural and historical connections with the New England states, making it a significant part of America’s rich heritage. As we contemplate the history of our country, it is important to remember and celebrate the unique stories of each state, including Pennsylvania’s.

Photo of author


I was born and raised in Pennsylvania; I love to travel, visit new destinations, explore unique locations, and meet great new people. However, sometimes, you don't need to travel far from home to find new adventures, so I decided now was the time to learn more about this great state I call home.