Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Delaware County, colloquially referred to as Delco, is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania that borders Philadelphia. With a population of 562,960, it is the fifth most populous county in Pennsylvania, and the third smallest in area. The county was created on September 26, 1789, from part of Chester County, and named for the Delaware River.
|County of Delaware, Pennsylvania|
A collage of notable places in Delaware County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 39°55′N 75°24′W|
|Founded||September 26, 1789|
|Named for||Delaware River|
|• Total||191 sq mi (490 km2)|
|• Land||184 sq mi (480 km2)|
|• Water||6.8 sq mi (18 km2) 3.5%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,065/sq mi (1,183/km2)|
|Designated||October 3, 1982|
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.
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 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 southeastern portion of Chester County was divided from the rest and named Delaware County for the Delaware 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. 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 .
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), Naaman's Creek, Stoney Creek, 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) drinking water reservoir maintained by Aqua America, the county's largest lake.
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (north)
- Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (northeast)
- Gloucester County, New Jersey (southeast)
- New Castle County, Delaware (southwest)
- Chester County, Pennsylvania (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
State protected area
2,600 acres (11 km2) of the county are occupied by the Ridley Creek State Park.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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 the 2000 census, 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.
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.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Delaware County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|7||Ardmore (partially in Montgomery County)||CDP||12,455|
|16||Village Green-Green Ridge||CDP||7,822|
|39||Haverford College (partially in Montgomery County)||CDP||1,331|
|41||Cheyney University (mostly in Chester County)||CDP||988|
Politics and government
It has operated under a home-rule charter with five at-large councilmembers since 1972. Republicans remain in control of many county council seats and row offices, despite the larger number of registered Democrats in the county. In the 2017 municipal election, Delaware County elected the first Democratic Council members and row officers since home-rule began. They took office in January 2018.
As of June 2017, there were 391,683 registered voters in Delaware County.
- Democratic: 178,788 (45.65%)
- Republican: 164,106 (41.88%)
- No Affiliation: 25,892 (6.61%)
- Other Parties: 22,897 (5.85%)
Until recent years, Delaware County was regarded as a strongly Republican county. The Delaware County Republican party political machine was controlled by William McClure and his son John J. McClure from 1875 to 1965. Delaware County voted for the Republican candidate in nearly every election from 1854 through 1988, with exceptions including the 1964 presidential election. In recent elections, however, Delaware County has voted for Democratic candidates in every presidential election since 1992, including voting for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Delaware County has been trending Democratic, and the longstanding Republican registration edge has been erased. The Democrats now have over twice as many voters in the county as they 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 2008 presidential election, Democratic Senator Barack Obama defeated Republican Senator John McCain resoundingly, by over 21 points.
At the state and local level, however, Republicans still remain competitive with Democrats. Most Republicans from the county tend to be fiscally conservative and socially moderate, as is the case with Republicans from most suburban Philadelphia counties. 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. All three Democratic state row office candidates carried it in 2008. The Democrats presently hold all but one row office, though the Republicans currently have a majority on the county commission.
All of Delaware County is located in the state's 5th congressional district, represented by Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon. Prior to 2019, most of Delaware County had been in the 7th congressional district. 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 Republican Pat Meehan, who defeated Lentz, the Democratic candidate. Lentz was replaced in the State House by Joe Hackett, a Republican. Meehan represented the 7th district until his resignation on April 27, 2018. Before it was thrown out by a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in 2018, the 7th Congressional District had been regarded one of the most irregularly drawn districts in the nation.
In the 2019 elections for the Delaware County Council, Republicans John McBlain and Colleen Morrone had served two terms and were not eligible for a third. Michael Culp, the council's third Republican, chose not to run. After a campaign described as having a good share of mud-throwing, Democrats swept the board and elected Monica Taylor, Elaine P. Schaefer, and Christine Reuther. This was the first time in history that the county had an all-Democratic county council.
|County Councilman (chairman)||John P. McBlain||Republican|
|County Councilwoman (vice-chair)||Colleen P. Morrone||Republican|
|County Councilman||Michael F. Culp||Republican|
|County Councilman||Kevin M. Madden||Democratic|
|County Councilman||Brian P. Zidek||Democratic|
County row officers
As of the November 2019 election:
|Controller||Joanne Phillips, Esquire||Democratic|
|District Attorney||Jack Stollsteimer||Democratic|
|Register of Wills||Mary J. Walk, Esquire||Democratic|
|8||Anthony Hardy Williams||Democratic|
State House of Representatives
The George W. Hill Correctional Facility (Delaware County Prison) is located in Thornbury Township. The jail houses pre-trial inmates and convicted persons who serve county sentences of two years less one day. It is operated by the for-profit prison corporation GEO Group, of Boca Raton, Florida.
Public school districts
- Chester Upland School District
- Chichester School District
- Delaware County Technical High School, Aston
- 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
- Wallingford-Swarthmore School District
- William Penn School District
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.
From EDNA, Educational Entity Search Results, 2011
- Academy of Notre Dame, Villanova
- Agnes Irwin School, Rosemont
- Annunciation BVM School, Havertown
- Archbishop John Carroll HS, Radnor
- Archbishop Ryan School Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
- Aston Presbyterian DC Learning Center, Aston
- Blessed Virgin Mary School, Darby
- Cardinal O'Hara High School, Springfield
- Center for Self Development, Chester
- Cheder Chabad Philadelphia, Broomall
- Christ Haven Christian Academy, Darby
- Christ Memorial Classical Academy, Collingdale
- Christian Academy, Brookhaven
- Country Day Sacred Heart, Bryn Mawr
- Creative Minds Christian Academy, Darby
- Davidson School, Elwyn (State Approved Private School )
- Delaware County Christian School, Newtown Square
- Drexel Neumann Academy, Chester
- Easter Seals of Southeastern Pa, Media (State Approved Private School)
- Episcopal Academy, Newtown Square
- Faith Temple Christian School, Chester
- Frederick Douglass Christian School, Chester
- Friends School Haverford
- George Crothers Memorial School, Swarthmore (State Approved Private School)
- Haven Kindergarten Academy, Chester
- Holy Child Academy, Drexel Hill
- Holy Cross School, Springfield
Holy Family Regional School, Aston
- Huntington Learning Center, Springfield
- Institute of Islamic Studies, Chester
- Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Bryn Mawr
- KEEP Kindergarten, Havertown
- Lane Good Council Montessori School, Broomall
- Lansdowne Friends School, Lansdowne
- Media Providence Friends School, Media
- Monsignor Bonner Archbishop, Drexel Hill
- Mother of Providence Regional Catholic School
- Melmark Inc, Berwyn (State Approved Private School)
- Neumann College Child Dev Center, Aston
- New Beginnings Academy, Chester
- Notre Dame Delourdes School, Swarthmore
- Our Lady of Fatima School, Secane
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton
- Robinson Christian Academy, Middletown
- Rose Tree Day School, Media
- Sacred Heart School, Havertown
- School in Rose Valley, Rose Valley
- Shiloh Development Academy, Chester
- St. Aloysius Academy, Bryn Mawr
- St. Anastasia School, Newtown Square
- St. Andrew School, Drexel HIll
- St. Bernadette School, Drexel HIll
- St. Cornelius School, Chadds Ford
- St. Cyril Alexandria School, EaSt. Lansdowne
- St. Denis School (Now called Cardinal Foley School), Havertown
- St. Dorothy School, Drexel Hill
- St. Eugene School, Primos
- St. Francis of Assisi School, Springfield
- St. James Regional Catholic School, Ridley Park
- St. Katharine of Siena, Wayne
- St. Laurence School, Upper Darby
- St. Mary Magdelen School, Media
- St. Pius X School, Broomall
- St. Thomas Apostle School, Glen Mills
- Sterling East – Philadelphia Campus, Folcroft
- Stratford Friends School, Newtown Square
- Valley Forge Military Academy, Wayne
- Walden School, Media
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 College of the Trades
- Aston Free Library
- Collingdale Public Library
- Darby Free Library
- Delaware County Francis J. Catania Law Library
- Delaware County Library System (government agency)
- Folcroft Public Library
- Glenolden Library
- Helen Kate Furness Library (Wallingford)
- Haverford Township Free Library
- J. Lewis Crozer Library (Chester)
- 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
- Rachel Kohl Community Library (Glen Mills)
- 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 is bisected north to south by Blue Route Interstate 476, which connects I-76 just north of 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.
There is one Pennsylvania state park in Delaware County.
County parks include:
- Clayton Park & Golf Course
- Glen Providence Park
- Kent Park/Dog Park
- Rose Tree Park
- Smedley Park
- Upland Park
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.
The county itself is serviced by several newspapers, most notably the News of Delaware County, the Delaware County Daily Times, The Suburban and Wayne Times, and The Spirit, the only minority owned newspaper serving Delaware County. The Philadelphia Inquirer also has a significant presence, reflecting Philadelphia's influence on Delaware County and the rest of the metro. Delaware County Magazine is the news magazine with the largest circulation in Delaware County, reaching over 186,000 homes.
Delaware County has two regions: the Piedmont with a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and the Atlantic Coastal Plain with a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). The line approximates U.S. Route 1. The hardiness zones are 7a and 7b.
|Climate data for Newtown Square (Elevation: 456 ft (139 m)) 1981–2010 Averages|
|Average high °F (°C)||38.6
|Daily mean °F (°C)||30.4
|Average low °F (°C)||22.2
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.36
|Average relative humidity (%)||68.3||65.0||60.5||59.4||63.2||68.2||68.2||70.5||71.7||70.5||69.7||70.8||67.2|
|Average dew point °F (°C)||21.2
|Climate data for Chester (Elevation: 10 ft (3 m)) 1981–2010 Averages|
|Average high °F (°C)||40.5
|Daily mean °F (°C)||33.7
|Average low °F (°C)||26.8
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.15
|Average relative humidity (%)||65.3||60.7||57.6||57.2||60.8||62.7||64.4||65.8||67.8||67.3||65.3||65.1||63.4|
|Average dew point °F (°C)||23.3
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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