Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

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Parrish Hall.jpg
Parrish Hall at Swarthmore College
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Delaware
Elevation 125 ft (38.1 m)
Coordinates 39°54′06″N 75°20′49″W / 39.90167°N 75.34694°W / 39.90167; -75.34694Coordinates: 39°54′06″N 75°20′49″W / 39.90167°N 75.34694°W / 39.90167; -75.34694
Area 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2)
 - land 1.4 sq mi (4 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 6,194 (2010)
Density 4,460.4 / sq mi (1,722.2 / km2)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code 610,484,835
Location of Swarthmore in Delaware County
Location of Swarthmore in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: www.swarthmorepa.org

Swarthmore (pronounced /ˈswɑːθ.mɔr/ SWAHTH-mor locally, or /ˈswɔrθ.mɔr/ SWAWRTH-mor) is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Swarthmore was originally named Westdale in honor of noted painter Benjamin West, who was one of the early residents of the town. The name was changed to Swarthmore after the establishment of Swarthmore College. "Swarthmore" can be pronounced with the first "r" either vocalized or dropped due to differences in rhotic and non-rhotic accents. The borough population is 6,194 as of the 2010 census.


The borough was originally part of Springfield Township, and grew up around Swarthmore College, which was founded in 1864. The advent of passenger rail service from Philadelphia in the 1880s greatly enhanced the desirability of the borough as a commuter suburb, and the borough was incorporated in 1893.

The Ogden House and Benjamin West Birthplace are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]


Swarthmore is located at 39°54′6″N 75°20′49″W / 39.90167°N 75.34694°W / 39.90167; -75.34694 (39.901788, -75.347083).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 903
1910 1,899 110.3%
1920 2,350 23.7%
1930 3,405 44.9%
1940 4,061 19.3%
1950 4,825 18.8%
1960 5,753 19.2%
1970 6,156 7.0%
1980 5,950 −3.3%
1990 6,157 3.5%
2000 6,170 0.2%
2010 6,194 0.4%
Est. 2014 6,202 [3] 0.1%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 6,170 people, 1,993 households, and 1,347 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,460.4 people per square mile (1,726.3/km²). There were 2,064 housing units at an average density of 1,492.1 per square mile (577.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 85.87% White, 5.49% Asian, 4.72% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.07% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.37% of the population.

There were 1,993 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 20.5% under the age of 18, 24.4% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $138,653, and the median income for a family was $187,874. Males had a median income of $71,750 versus $51,117 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $40,482. About 0.5% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 1.7% of those age 65 or over.


Swarthmore lies within the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. According to Pennsylvania state policy, Swarthmore is considered too small a town to have its own secondary schools. Hence, in 1984 Swarthmore High School merged with adjacent Nether Providence High School to form Strath Haven High School.

Public schools[edit]

Grades School
Kindergarten - 5 Nether Providence Elementary School
Swarthmore-Rutledge Elementary School
Wallingford Elementary School
6 - 8 Strath Haven Middle School
9 - 12 Strath Haven High School

Swarthmore is also home to the Swarthmore College, on whose campus is the Benjamin West House (the home of Benjamin West), a painter who lived in what is currently known as Swarthmore, but was Springfield at the time.

Private and religious schools[edit]

  • George Crothers Memorial School at CADES

Cultural institutions[edit]

The Ogden House

Scott Arboretum is located on the campus of Swarthmore College.

The Players Club of Swarthmore Theater is located at 614 Fairview Road.[1]

The Swarthmore Public Library.[2]


Swarthmore Station, a SEPTA Regional Rail train station on the Media/Elwyn Line, sits between the college and the town's center.

SEPTA Route 109 bus connecting Chester, Pennsylvania with Upper Darby, Pennsylvania stops along Chester Road.


  1. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 

External links[edit]