Pennsylvania Birth Records Search

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is the government agency devoted to recording birth records and issuing birth certificates for the state. The state has PA birth records dating back to 1906.

Pennsylvania birth records are private and carry restricted access rules. Therefore, only the following people can obtain a copy of yours until you are 18 years old: your parents, legal representative, your spouse, children, siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, stepchildren or someone who has your power of attorney.

You will also have to prove your identity when requesting a Pennsylvania birth records search and certificate. You can do so with one of the following forms of photo ID: driver’s license, government-issued ID, passport, military, school or work photo ID.

You must also specify the reason for your request and prove your relationship to the person on record if it is not you.

Along with your information, you will also need to provide the following:

  • Full name of the person on the record.
  • Father’s full name.
  • Mother’s maiden name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Gender.
  • Place of birth.
  • Current age.

Types of PA Birth Records

The state offers only a single type of birth certificate for you to purchase and that is a certified copy. A certified copy is a legal document you can use to prove your identity for purposes of personal identification, sports enrollment, social security, getting a passport or driver’s license, entering the military, or employment.

You can request amendments to existing birth records or get a copy of a foreign birth certificate.

State Population

Although relatively small, the state has a dense population of 12.82 million people making it the 42nd regarding growth with an annual rate of 0.24%.

Ranking 9th overall in the country concerning population density, It has 283.9 people per square mile covering its total mass of 46,055.24 square feet.

Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 States.

State Population
1 birth every 227 seconds

1 death every 341 seconds

Population change from 2010-2016

Population by Gender

There are more women than men in Pennsylvania. The total population of Pennsylvania is estimated at 12,787,085 people with 6,260,405 male and 6,526,680 female. There are 266,275 more more women than men in the state, which is 51.04% of the total population.

The Pennsylvania Gender Ratio is 96 men to 100 women (99:100) or 0.96. State’s gender ratio is lower than the national average of 97 men to 100 women (97:100) or 0.97.

Gender ratio in 2016


Total population in 2016


Timeline of male/female population from 2010-2016

Pennsylvania Birth Statistics

The state's birth rate decreased to 10.51 births per 1,000 population in 2016 with 139,409 total births — the lowest in Pennsylvania history, and lower than the national birth rate - 11.95 births per 1000 women. The total number of births for 2016 was 139,409, 3.53% of the number of nationwide registered births.

State Birth Rate

Top 5 States with Lower/Higher Birth Rates than Pennsylvania

Top 5 states with a lower birth rate than Pennsylvania Top 5 states with a higher birth rate than Pennsylvania
New Hampshire - 9.11Minnesota - 12.68
Massachusetts - 9.74North Dakota - 15.04
Connecticut - 9.29Texas - 14.03
Vermont - 9.35New Mexico - 11.82
Maine - 9.84Tennessee - 12.07

Top 5 Counties in Pennsylvania with the lowest/highest Birth Rate

Top 5 counties in Pennsylvania with the lowest birth rate Top 5 counties in Pennsylvania with the highest birth rate
Centre County - 7.48Philadelphia County - 13.72
Westmoreland County - 8.27Lancaster County - 13.00
Monroe County - 8.89Dauphin County - 12.56
Adams County - 9.02Franklin County - 12.19
Northampton County - 9.37Lehigh County - 11.71

Fertility Rate in PA

In Pennsylvania the fertility rate based on historical data went from 57.75 to 58.29 from 2010-2016, and currently is lower than the crude fertility rate of the US - 58.49 births per 1000 women. The state reproductive age of the mother has seen an increase during the last 6 years, going from 27.90 to 28.68.

State fertility rate timeline with the average age of mother

Fertility Rate By County

The top reproductive counties of Pennsylvania are Lancaster County - 69.35, Franklin County - 68.68 and Dauphin County - 66.44. For the fertility rates of the rest of the counties, please see the table below:

County Fertility rate
Lebanon County64.92
Fayette County62.01
York County61.93
Berks County61.71
Mercer County61.53
Lehigh County61.05
Cambria County60.65
Schuylkill County60.51
Beaver County60.38
Delaware County59.85
Blair County59.49
Philadelphia County59.23
Lycoming County58.88
Erie County58.8
Lackawanna County58.45
Luzerne County57.95
Washington County57.91
Montgomery County57.88
Cumberland County57.85
Butler County56.51
Chester County56.27
Allegheny County55.67
Bucks County55.41
Adams County52.46
Westmoreland County52.03
Northampton County51.58
Monroe County48.48
Centre County32.18

State Average Birth Weight and LMP Gestational Age

Where to Obtain a Pennsylvania Birth Certificate

The State allows you to request a Pennsylvania birth record search online, as well ass through the mail and by phone. It charges $20 per Pennsylvania birth record lookup and certificate. The fee may be waived for homeless individuals and members of the armed forces or their immediate family.

You must pay with a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS. Credit cards are not accepted unless you use the VitalChek system online.

Mail orders generally take between 24-26 weeks for processing. VitalChek orders will be much faster, and you will get your copy within three weeks. You may mail your paperwork, photo ID and fee to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103.

If you visit a public health office in person, the wait times will vary. Check with your local office for exact processing times. You can visit weekdays Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You may also place an order 24 hours per day by calling 866-712-8238. You can pay via credit card and request expedited service.

Pennsylvania Department of Public Health

Cost of copy: $20.00
Organization: Division of Vital Records; ATTN: Birth Unit
Address:101 South Mercer Street; Central Building, Room 401; P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103
Remarks: State office has records since January 1906. All requests must be submitted on an application form, which requires the signature of individual requesting the certificate and a legible copy of his/her valid government issued photo ID that verifies name and mailing address of the individual requesting the certificate. Application forms, eligibility requirements, fees, and additional information, including how to apply online with a credit card for an additional fee are available via the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Vital Records website. The telephone number is (724) 656-3100. Personal check or money order should be made payable to Vital Records. Pennsylvania birth certificates prior to 1906 can be accessed through the courthouse in the county where the person was born. A list of court houses is available via the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Vital Records website..