Mount Carbon, for such a small town, sure does make a lot of noise.
Mount Carbon is a tiny borough just south of the city of Pottsville. There’s not much to it, really. Two streets, a few really busy businesses, and, as of the 2018 US Census estimate, 86 people.
While the media focuses on how this Pennsylvania borough managed a year without a local government and what’s to come for Mount Carbon, a lot of people are wondering what all the fuss is about; it’s got to be the smallest town in Pennsylvania.
Turns out, it’s not really even close to earning that honor.
Smallest Town in PA
So, what is the smallest town in PA?
That’s what we wanted to know and reached out to Pennsylvania State Data Center. They broke out data on Pennsylvania municipalities according to the 2018 US Census estimates.
Included in our rankings here are boroughs and cities only. Really, it’s just boroughs. Townships are too spread out to count. Technically, there’s only one “town” in Pennsylvania and that’s Bloomsburg. But we’ll ignore that outlying fact for the purposes of this list.
Population totals are based on the the latest available data from the U.S. Census Bureau. And there are 22 boroughs in Pennsylvania with less than 100 people.
Outside of Mount Carbon, you’re going to recognize the top one on the list:
1. Centralia, PA
Contrary to popular belief and the condition in which it’s often left after a weekend of whatever-ing on Graffiti Highway, Centralia is NOT a ghost town.
The Census says 11 people lived in 2018. That makes it the smallest town in PA.
According to a report from The Shenandoah Sentinel recently, locals are expressing anger with the way looky-loos and other ignorant locals scatter trash and leave the place a mess.
2. Valley-Hi, PA
There’s not much to say about this Fulton County community. The borough consists of .58 square miles. Of that, all but .08 square miles is a reservoir.
3. S.N.P.J., PA
SNPJ is actually a recreation and banquet facility in Lawrence County that applied to become its own municipality back in 1977. The acronym SNPJ is Slovenian for Slovenska Narodna Podporna Jednota. You can call it the Slovene National Benefit Society.
And you can drink there on Sundays. SNPJ broke away from nearby North Beaver Township over a Pennsylvania Blue Laws dispute.
4. Seven Springs, PA
According to the internet, Seven Springs is the highest borough in Pennsylvania. Maybe this Somerset County town never met Saint Clair.
5. Green Hills, PA
The next smallest municipality in Pennsylvania also formed over a dispute with a dry township.
Green Hills formed when a country club owner wanted to serve booze at his business but South Franklin Township in Washington County said “nope.”
6. Callimont, PA
This small borough of Callimont, PA, is located in Somerset County. It has the distinction of being the 7th smallest municipality in Pennsylvania. During the 2017 election, there were 10 write-in votes for the office of Mayor.
7. Smicksburg, PA
The Smicksburg Settlement of Amish in Indiana County is the third largest Amish settlement in Pennsylvania. However, no Amish live within the borough of Smicksburg.
8. New Washington, PA
New Washington, PA, is another small borough in Pennsylvania that sits between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. It’s home to James W. Mott, who moved to Oregon and won a seat in Congress.
9. Ohiopyle, PA
The winner to best small town name on this list goes to …
The tiny borough in Fayette County only has 57 residents year-round but hosts outdoors enthusiast tourists visiting the Ohiopyle State Park that surrounds it.
10. Glasgow, PA
The Glasgow in Beaver County is named for the Glasgow in Scotland. You may find it being called Smith’s Ferry by some locals.
(tie) 10. Driftwood, PA
Driftwood is just one of two boroughs in Cameron County. Though Driftwood, PA, only has 59 people today, it hit a high of 628 people in 1890.
So, Where’s Mount Carbon?
We told you, even though Mount Carbon seems like it’d be the smallest town in PA, it’s not even really that close.
Here’s a look at the rest of the small towns in PA with less than 100 people.
- 12. Cherry Valley, PA (Pop.: 62)
- 13. Worthville, PA (66)
- 14. Haysville, PA (68)
- 15. St. Clairsville (74)
- 16. New Morgan (78)
- 17. Mount Carbon (86)
- 18. Birmingham (88)
- 19. Shade Gap (89)
- 20. Casselman (90)
- 21. Newburg (94)
- 22. Jeddo, PA (96)
These numbers are likely to change really soon once the 2020 Census is calculated and we get 2019 estimates from the Census Bureau. Can Centralia hang on to the top spot? Will Mount Carbon crack the Top 10?