Delaware County, Pennsylvania

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Delaware County, Pennsylvania
A collage of notable places in Delaware County.
Delaware County pa seal
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of USA PA
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded September 26, 1789
Seat Media
Largest city Chester
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

191 sq mi (495 km²)
184 sq mi (477 km²)
7 sq mi (18 km²), 3.42%
 - (2010)
 - Density

3,035/sq mi (1,171.8/km²)

Delaware County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of 2010, the population was 558,979, making it Pennsylvania's fifth most populous county, behind Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, and Bucks counties.

Delaware County was created on September 26, 1789, from part of Chester County and named for the Delaware River. Its county seat, since 1851, is Media[1]. 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 of Philadelphia. Socioeconomically, Delaware County consists of working class, middle-class, and upper-class neighborhoods.

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

The county, immediately adjacent to and west of Philadelphia, is part of the Delaware Valley area. Delaware County is the only county covered in its entirety by area code 610.


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.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 191 square miles (494.7 km2), of which 184 square miles (476.6 km2) is land and 7 square miles (18.1 km2) (3.42%) is water. 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.

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 (1.582 km2)[2] drinking water reservoir maintained by Aqua America, the county's largest lake.

Adjacent countiesEdit

Delaware County is one of four US counties to border the state with whom it shares its name (the others are Nevada County, California, Texas County, Oklahoma, and Ohio County, West Virginia).

National protected areaEdit


John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge


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.

Politics and governmentEdit

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
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 [1].

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 CouncilEdit

Office Holder Party
County Councilman (chairman) John J. Whelan Republican
County Councilwoman (vice-chair) Christine Fizzano Cannon Republican
County Councilman Andy Lewis Republican
County Councilman Tom McGarrigle Republican
County Councilman Mario Civera Republican

Other elected officialsEdit

Office Holder Party
Controller Edward E. O'Lone Republican
District Attorney G. Michael Green Republican
Register of Wills Hugh Donahue Republican
Sheriff Joseph McGinn Republican

United States House of RepresentativesEdit

District Representative Party
1 Bob Brady Democratic
7 Pat Meehan Republican

United States SenateEdit

Senator Party
Pat Toomey Republican
Bob Casey Democratic

Pennsylvania House of RepresentativesEdit

District Representative Party
159 Thaddeus Kirkland Democratic
160 Stephen Barrar Republican
161 Joe Hackett 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 Robert C. Donatucci Democratic
191 Ronald G. Waters Democratic

Pennsylvania State SenateEdit

District Representative Party
8 Anthony Hardy Williams Democratic
9 Dominic F. Pileggi Republican
17 Daylin Leach Democratic
26 Edwin Erickson Republican


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 9,469
1800 12,809 35.3%
1810 14,734 15.0%
1820 14,810 0.5%
1830 17,323 17.0%
1840 19,791 14.2%
1850 24,679 24.7%
1860 30,597 24.0%
1870 39,403 28.8%
1880 56,101 42.4%
1890 74,683 33.1%
1900 94,762 26.9%
1910 117,906 24.4%
1920 173,084 46.8%
1930 280,264 61.9%
1940 310,756 10.9%
1950 414,234 33.3%
1960 553,154 33.5%
1970 600,035 8.5%
1980 555,007 −7.5%
1990 547,651 −1.3%
2000 550,864 0.6%
2010 558,979 1.5%

As of the 2010 census, the county was 72.5% White, 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 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.

News mediaEdit

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 Delaware County's status as a suburb of Philadelphia.

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.

Transportation Edit

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.


Map of Delaware County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels

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, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Delaware County:




Census-Designated PlacesEdit

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.


Map of Delaware County Pennsylvania School Districts

Map of Delaware County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public school districtsEdit

Colleges and universitiesEdit

1909 Cheyney Library

Library at Cheyney University


Benjamin West Birthplace on the campus of Swarthmore College


Old Main at Widener University

Adult educationEdit

Public librariesEdit

  • 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 Library System (government agency)



Dam on Ridley Creek in Ridley Creek State Park

There is one Pennsylvania state park in Delaware County.

There is also

  • Hienz national wildlife refuge in Tinicum
  • Morton homestead state park

Edgmont Country Club is privately owned and just west of the North entrance of the Ridley Creek State Park on West Chester Pike (State Route 3.


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 succeeds the Charge and will begin playing at PPL Park in 2011.

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

Climate and weather Edit

Climate chart for Media, Pennsylvania
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: The Weather Channel[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Chester - Ridley - Crum Watersheds Association
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Monthly Averages for Media, Pennsylvania". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 39°55′N 75°24′W / 39.92, -75.40

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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