Lancaster County local //, sometimes nicknamed the Garden Spot of America or Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is a county located in the south central part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States. The City of Lancaster is the county seat. As of 2010 the population of the county was 519,445. Lancaster County forms the Lancaster Metropolitan Statistical Area, the 99th largest of 361 MSAs in the United States.
The County of Lancaster is a popular tourist destination. The term Pennsylvania Dutch comes from Pennsylvania German language, derived from the German Deutsch ('German'), Dutch Duits ('German'), Diets ('Dutch'): they are the descendants of Germans (Deutsche) who immigrated in the 18th and 19th centuries for the freedom of religion offered by William Penn, and were attracted by the rich soil and mild climate of the area. Freedom from poverty and political uncertainty also was a major factor. Also attracted to promises of religious freedom, French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution with significant numbers of English, Welsh and Scots-Irish settled this area in 1710.