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Delaware County, Pennsylvania

Delaware County, Pennsylvania
A collage of notable places in Delaware County
Seal of Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded September 26, 1789
Named for Delaware River
Seat Media
Largest city Chester
 • Total 191 sq mi (495 km2)
 • Land 184 sq mi (477 km2)
 • Water 6.8 sq mi (18 km2), 3.5%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 561,973
 • Density 3,041/sq mi (1,174/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 7th
Designated October 3, 1982[1]

Delaware County, colloquially referred to as Delco,[2][3][4][5][6][7] is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. With a 2010 census population of 558,979,[8] it is the fifth most populous county in Pennsylvania, and the third most compact. Its county seat is Media.[9] The 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 is adjacent to the city-county of Philadelphia and is included in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area. Delaware County is the only county covered in its entirety by area codes 610 and 484.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • National protected area 2.2
    • State protected area 2.3
  • Climate and weather 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Politics and government 5
    • Delaware County Council 5.1
    • Other elected officials 5.2
    • United States House of Representatives 5.3
    • United States Senate 5.4
    • State House of Representatives 5.5
    • State Senate 5.6
    • Corrections 5.7
  • Education 6
    • Public school districts 6.1
    • Charter schools 6.2
    • Private schools 6.3
    • Colleges and universities 6.4
    • Adult education 6.5
    • Libraries 6.6
  • Transportation 7
    • Major roads and highways 7.1
  • Recreation 8
  • Sports 9
  • Media 10
  • Communities 11
    • City 11.1
    • Boroughs 11.2
    • Townships 11.3
    • Census-designated places 11.4
    • Unincorporated communities 11.5
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


The old Chester Courthouse, built in 1724.

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.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 191 square miles (490 km2), of which 184 square miles (480 km2) is land and 6.8 square miles (18 km2) (3.5%) is water.[10] It is the third-smallest county in Pennsylvania by area.

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 [2].

Newlin Mill, built 1704, on the west branch of Chester Creek, near Concordville.

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 Springton Lake (also known as Geist Reservoir), an approximately 391-acre (1.58 km2)[11] drinking water reservoir maintained by Aqua America, the county's largest lake.

Adjacent counties

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

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

State protected area

2,600 acres (11 km2) of the county are occupied by the Ridley Creek State Park.

Climate and weather

Media, Pennsylvania
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[12]


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, 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.

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.

Politics and government

Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic
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.[15]

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.

Delaware County Council

Office Holder Party
County Councilman (chairman) Mario J. Civera Jr. Republican
County Councilwoman (vice-chair) Colleen P. Morrone Republican
County Councilman John P. McBlain Republican
County Councilman David J. White Republican
County Councilman Michael F. Culp Republican


Other elected officials

Office Holder Party
Controller Edward E. O'Lone Republican
District Attorney John J. Whelan Republican
Register of Wills Jennifer Holsten Maddaloni, Esquire Republican
Sheriff Mary McFall Hopper, Esquire Republican


United States House of Representatives

District Representative Party
1 Bob Brady Democratic
7 Pat Meehan Republican

United States Senate

Senator Party
Pat Toomey Republican
Bob Casey Democratic

State House of Representatives

Leanne Krueger-BranekyDemocratic
District Representative Party
159 Thaddeus Kirkland Democratic
160 Stephen Barrar Republican
162 Nicholas Miccarelli III Republican
163 Nicholas Micozzie Republican
164 Margo Davidson Democratic
165 Bill Adolph Republican
166 Greg Vitali Democratic
168 Tom Killion Republican
185 Maria Donatucci Democratic
191 Ronald G. Waters Democratic

State Senate

District Representative Party
8 Anthony Hardy Williams Democratic
9 Dominic F. Pileggi Republican
17 Daylin Leach Democratic
26 Thomas J. McGarrigle Republican


The Thornbury Township.[18][19] The jail houses pre-trial inmates and convicted persons who serve county sentences of one years less one day.[19]


Map of Delaware County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public school districts

Delaware County Technical High School, Aston

Charter schools

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.

Private schools

From EDNA, Educational Entity Search Results, 2011

Colleges and universities

Library at Cheyney University
Benjamin West Birthplace on the campus of Swarthmore College
Old Main at Widener University

Adult education

  • Haverford Adult School
  • Main Line School Night
  • 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


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.

The western portion of Philadelphia International Airport is located in Delaware County, and the county hosts some airport-related commerce such as Philadelphia's UPS terminal and airport hotels.

Major roads and highways


Dam on Ridley Creek in Ridley Creek State Park
Old Rose Tree Tavern in Rose Tree Park.

There is one Pennsylvania state park in Delaware County.

County parks Include:


The city of Chester is home to the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. The team plays at PPL Park, a venue located at the base of the Commodore Barry Bridge.

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 succeeded the Charge and played at Widener University's Leslie Quick Stadium 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.[20][21][22]

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.[23]

Delaware County is also the home of a rugby league team called the Aston Bulls, a member of the American National Rugby League.


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 and The Spirit, the only minority owned newspaper serving Delaware County. "Delaware County Magazine" is the news magazine with the largest circulation in Delaware County, reaching over 186,000 homes. The Philadelphia Inquirer also has a significant presence, reflecting Philadelphia's influence on Delaware County and the rest of the metro.

On November 26, 2010, the Haverford-Havertown Patch was launched. The news Web site covers Haverford Township and provides hyperlocal news. Patch is owned by AOL.


Map of Delaware County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

There are 49 municipalities in Delaware County. Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and exactly one town. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Delaware County:




Census-designated places

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.

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  2. ^ "Delco Sheriff: Don't fall for jury duty scam". Delco Times. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ McCrystal, Laura (June 27, 2014). "Voting Wards To Be Changed in Delco's Radnor Township". Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ McCrystal, Laura (June 30, 2014). "Roadwork in Delco to affect I-95 and I-476 this week". Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ DaGrassa, Peg (June 27, 2014). "Here’s the Scoop on Ross, Fresh Stop, KFC and Other Delco Businesses". Delco News Network. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ Kurtz, Paul (June 27, 2014). "Delco Homeless Families Get A Day of Escapist Fun". CBS Philly. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Delco's bars, taverns are really heating up". Delco Times. June 16, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  11. ^ Chester - Ridley - Crum Watersheds Association
  12. ^ "Monthly Averages for Media, Pennsylvania". The Weather Channel. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ "currentvotestats". Pennsylvania Department of State. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "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[...]"
  19. ^ a b "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[...]"
  20. ^ "Delco League". Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Delco League to honor legends of ballfields from 105 seasons". Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  22. ^ "COLTS BOLT BOROUGH: Collingdale's Delco Baseball League team is the latest loss endured by tiny town". Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Plenty of talent as Delco Pro-Am League tips off". Retrieved October 8, 2014. 

External links

  • Delaware County official website
  • History of Townships in Delaware County, PA
  • , 1884.History of Delaware CountyAshmead's

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