Delaware County, Pennsylvania
|Delaware County, Pennsylvania|
A collage of notable places in Delaware County.
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
|Founded||September 26, 1789|
|• Total||191 sq mi (495 km2)|
|• Land||184 sq mi (477 km2)|
|• Water||7 sq mi (18 km2), 3.42%|
|• Density||3,035/sq mi (1,171.8/km²)|
Delaware County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 558,979, making it Pennsylvania's fifth most populous county, behind Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, and Bucks counties. Its county seat is Media.
Delaware County was created on September 26, 1789, from part of Chester County and named for the Delaware River. Chester City, prior to 1851, was the county seat of both Delaware County and, before that, of Chester County.
Delaware County consists of communities adjacent to the city-county of Philadelphia, and is included in the Delaware Valley area. Socioeconomically, Delaware County consists of mostly middle-class and upper middle class communities, with some upper-class or working class neighborhoods. Delaware County is the only county covered in its entirety by area codes 610 and 484.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Politics and government
- 4 Demographics
- 5 News media
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Municipalities
- 8 Education
- 9 Recreation
- 10 Sports
- 11 Climate and weather
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Delaware County lies in the river and bay drainage area named "Delaware" in honor of Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, Governor of the nearby English colony of Virginia. The land was "discovered" and explored by Henry Hudson in 1609, and over the next several decades it was variously claimed and settled by the Swedes, the Dutch, and the English. Its original human inhabitants were the Lenni-Lenape tribe of American Indians.
Once the Dutch were defeated and the extent of New York was determined, King Charles II of England made his grant to William Penn in order to found the colony which came to be named Pennsylvania. Penn divided his colony into three counties: Bucks, Philadelphia, and Chester. The riverfront land south of Philadelphia, being the most accessible, was quickly granted and settled. In 1789, the eastern portion of Chester County was divided from the rest. Despite that the eastern portion was the first settled and contained the town of Chester, it was named Delaware County for its river.
Delaware County is roughly diamond- or kite-shaped, with the four sides formed by the Chester County boundary to the northwest, the boundary with the state of Delaware (a portion of the "Twelve Mile Circle") to the southwest, the Delaware River (forming the border with the state of New Jersey to the southeast, and the city of Philadelphia and Montgomery County to the east and northeast.
The lowest point in the state of Pennsylvania is located on the Delaware River in Marcus Hook in Delaware County, where it flows out of Pennsylvania and into Delaware. The highest point in Delaware County is 500 feet at two points southeast of Wyola in Newtown Township .
Waterways in Delaware County generally flow in a southward direction and ultimately drain into the Delaware River. The waterways are, from west to east: the Brandywine River (forming a portion of the county's western boundary with Chester County), Chester Creek, Ridley Creek, Crum Creek, Muckinipates Creek, Darby Creek and Cobbs Creek (forming a portion of the county's eastern boundary with Philadelphia). Crum Creek was dammed in 1931 near Pennsylvania Route 252 to fill Pennsylvania (also known as Geist Reservoir), an approximately 391-acre (1.58 km2) drinking water reservoir maintained by Aqua America, the county's largest lake.
2,600 acres (11 km2) of the county are occupied by the Ridley Creek State Park.
- Gloucester County, New Jersey (southeast)
- New Castle County, Delaware (southwest)
- Chester County (west)
Delaware County is one of four counties in the United States to border a state with which it shares the same name (the other three are Nevada County, California, Texas County, Oklahoma, and Ohio County, West Virginia).
National protected area
Politics and government
|2012||38.8% 110,853||60.2% 171,792|
|2008||38.8% 115,013||60.2% 178,264|
|2004||42.3% 120,425||57.1% 162,601|
|2000||42.7% 105,836||54.4% 134,861|
|1996||39.5% 92,628||49.5% 115,946|
|1992||40.8% 108,587||41.8% 111,210|
|1988||59.9% 147,656||39.0% 96,144|
|1984||61.8% 161,754||37.4% 98,027|
|1980||55.8% 143,282||34.4% 88,314|
|1976||54.9% 148,679||43.3% 117,252|
|1972||63.9% 175,414||34.3% 94,144|
|1968||50.2% 133,777||40.0% 106,695|
|1964||42.9% 111,189||56.8% 147,189|
|1960||52.0% 135,672||47.8% 124,629|
As of November 2008, there are 406,352 registered voters in Delaware County .
Politically, Delaware County has traditionally been a Republican stronghold. It voted for the Republican candidate in nearly every election since 1854 through 1988. As was the case in most of the Philadelphia suburbs, however, the brand of Republicanism that prevailed in the area was traditionally a moderate one. It has operated under a home-rule charter with five at-large councilmembers since 1972. Republicans remain in control of all county council seats and row offices.
In recent elections, however, Delaware County has been trending Democratic and the Republican registration edge has declined rapidly from over twice as many voters as Democrats had in 2002. It narrowly voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, but has gone Democratic in every Presidential election since then by 10 points or more by progressively-increasing margins. In the 2004 election Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry won the county by 14 points. In the 2004 US Senate election, Republican Arlen Specter defeated Joe Hoeffel but Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. defeated Rick Santorum in the 2006 Senate election. In the 2008 presidential election, Democratic Senator Barack Obama defeated Republican Senator John McCain resoundingly, by over 21 points. All three Democratic state row office candidates also carried it in 2008.
Most of Delaware County is located in the state's 7th congressional district, represented by Republican Pat Meehan. The district had been held for 20 years by Republican Curt Weldon until he was ousted by Joe Sestak, a retired admiral, in the 2006 U.S. House of Representatives election. Also in the 2006 election, Democrat Bryan Lentz unseated Republican incumbent State Representative Tom Gannon in the 161st House district. In 2010 Sestak ran for the senate seat vacated by Arlen Specter and was replaced by Meehan, defeating Lentz, who ran as the Democrat. Lentz was replaced in the State House by Joe Hackett, a Republican. A small portion of the county, mostly consisting of the areas around Chester, Yeadon and Darby, is in the Philadelphia-based 1st district, represented by Democrat Bob Brady.
Members of Delaware County Council
|County Councilman (chairman)||Tom McGarrigle||Republican|
|County Councilman (vice-chair)||Mario Civera||Republican|
|County Councilman||Colleen P. Morrone||Republican|
|County Councilman||John P. McBlain||Republican|
|County Councilman||David J. White||Republican|
Other elected officials
|Controller||Edward E. O'Lone||Republican|
|District Attorney||John J. Whelan||Republican|
|Register of Wills||Hugh Donahue||Republican|
United States House of Representatives
United States Senate
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Pennsylvania State Senate
|8||Anthony Hardy Williams||Democratic|
|9||Dominic F. Pileggi||Republican|
The George W. Hill Correctional Facility (Delaware County Prison) Delaware County Prison is located in Thornbury Township. The jail houses pre-trial inmates and convicted persons who serve county sentences of one years less one day.
As of the 2010 census, the county was 71.1% White non-Hispanic, 19.7% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American or Alaskan Native, 4.7% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian, 2.0% were two or more races, and 0.9% were some other race. 3.0% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
As of 2000[update], there were 550,864 people, 206,320 households, and 139,472 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,990 people per square mile (1,155/km²). There were 216,978 housing units at an average density of 1,178 per square mile (455/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.32% White, 14.52% African American, 0.11% Native American, 3.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 1.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.6% were of Irish, 17.5% Italian, 10.1% German and 6.7% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 206,320 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.80% were married couples living together, 12.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.40% were non-families. 27.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.80% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $50,092, and the median income for a family was $61,590. Males had a median income of $44,155 versus $31,831 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,040. About 5.80% of families and 8.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.00% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or over.
The county itself is serviced by several newspapers, most notably the News of Delaware County, the Delaware County Daily Times, and The Suburban and Wayne Times. The Philadelphia Inquirer also has a significant presence, reflecting Philadelphia's influence on Delaware County and the rest of the metro.
On Nov. 26, 2010, the Haverford-Havertown Patch was launched. The news Web site covers Haverford Township and provides hyperlocal news. Patch is owned by AOL.
Delaware County is bisected north to south by Blue Route Interstate 476, which connects I-76 in the extreme northern corner of the county to I-95, which parallels the Delaware River along the southeastern edge of the county.
Delaware County is home to SEPTA's 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, and is served by the Norristown High Speed Line (P&W), two Red Arrow trolley lines (Routes 101 and 102), four Regional Rail Lines (the Airport Line, Wilmington/Newark Line, Media/Elwyn Line, and Paoli/Thorndale Line), and a host of bus routes.
Major roads and highways
- US 1
- US 13
- US 30
- US 202
- US 322
- PA 3
- PA 252
- PA 352
- PA 452
- PA 320
- PA 420
- PA 291
- PA 491
- PA 261
There are 49 municipalities in Delaware County. Under Pennsylvania law, there are five types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, Home Rule Municipalities (which can include communities that bear the name "Borough", "Township" or "City") and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Delaware County:
Home Rule Municipalities
- Chester Township
- Haverford Township
- Middletown Township
- Radnor Township
- Upper Darby Township
- Upper Providence Township
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.
Public school districts
- Chester Upland School District
- Chichester School District
- Garnet Valley School District
- Haverford Township School District
- Interboro School District
- Marple Newtown School District
- Penn-Delco School District
- Radnor Township School District
- Ridley School District
- Rose Tree Media School District
- Southeast Delco School District
- Springfield School District
- Upper Darby School District
- Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
- Wallingford-Swarthmore School District
- West Chester Area School District
- William Penn School District
Delaware County Technical High School, Aston
In Pennsylvania, charter schools are public schools. They receive a per pupil funding from the state along with federal funding. They are eligible to apply for many competitive grants offered by the state and federal governments. There are two charter schools in 2011. They are located within the attendance borders of the Chester Upland School District. Charter schools may accept students from neighboring school districts.
- Chester Community Charter School
- Widener Partnership Charter School
- Chester Charter School for the Arts, (K-6) approved by PA Charter Appeal Board July 2012
From EDNA, Educational Entity Search Results, 2011
Colleges and universities
- Cabrini College
- Cheyney University
- Eastern University
- Delaware County Community College (locations in Marple Township, Upper Darby and Sharon Hill)
- Haverford College
- Neumann University
- Pendle Hill Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation
- Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
- Penn State Brandywine
- Rosemont College
- Swarthmore College
- Villanova University
- Widener University
- Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades
- Haverford Adult School
- Main Line School Night
- Upper Darby Adult Evening Program
- Senior Community Services Lifelong Learning
- Delaware County Library System (government agency)
- Aston Free Library
- Collingdale Public Library
- J. Lewis Crozer Library (Chester)
- Darby Free Library
- Folcroft Public Library
- Helen Kate Furness Library (Wallingford)
- Glenolden Library
- Haverford Township Free Library
- Rachel Kohl Community Library (Glen Mills)
- Lansdowne Public Library
- Marple Public Library
- Mary M. Campbell Library (Marcus Hook)
- Media-Upper Providence Free Library
- Middletown Free Library
- Newtown Square Public Library
- Norwood Public Library
- Prospect Park Public Library
- Memorial Library of Radnor Township
- Ridley Park Public Library
- Ridley Township Public Library
- Sharon Hill Public Library
- Springfield Township Library
- Swarthmore Public Library
- Tinicum Memorial Public Library
- Upper Darby & Sellers Memorial Library (main)
- Upper Darby Library-Municipal Branch
- Upper Darby Library-Primos Branch
- Yeadon Public Library
- Delaware County Francis J. Catania Law Library
There is one Pennsylvania state park in Delaware County.
County parks Include:
Delaware County is the traditional home of women's professional soccer in the Philadelphia area. The former Philadelphia Charge of the defunct Women's United Soccer Association played at Villanova Stadium, which is located on the campus of Villanova University. The Philadelphia Independence of Women's Professional Soccer succeeds the Charge and will begin playing at PPL Park in 2011.
Delaware County is the home of one of oldest baseball leagues in the country, the Delco League, which at one time was known for featuring future, former, and even current major league players who were offered more money than their current teams would pay them.  
Every summer, Delaware County is home to the Delco Pro-Am, a basketball league consisting of current, future, and former NBA players as well as local standout players. 
Climate and weather
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Chester - Ridley - Crum Watersheds Association
- "Chapter 7 7-11." Comprehensive Zoning Plan. Thornbury Township. Retrieved on September 6, 2011. "The three major institutions found in the Township, the Delaware County Prison, Glen Mills Schools and Cheyney University[...]"
- "Delaware County Prison." Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Retrieved on September 6, 2011. "George W. Hill Correctional Facility (Delaware County Prison), which is located on 500 Cheyney Road in Thornbury Township[...]"
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Monthly Averages for Media, Pennsylvania". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Delaware County, Pennsylvania.|
- Delaware County official website
- History of Townships in Delaware County, PA
- Ashmead's History of Delaware County, 1884.
- Delaware County Library System
- Delaware County Home Rule Charter
- Delaware County Calendar of Events
- Delaware County History and Genealogy Archive