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Delaware County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvaniamarker. As of 2000, the population was 550,864, making it Pennsylvania's fifth most populous county, behind Philadelphiamarker, Alleghenymarker, Montgomerymarker, and Bucksmarker counties.

Delaware County was created on September 26, 1789, from part of Chester Countymarker and named for the Delaware River. Its county seat, since 1851, is Mediamarker . Chester Citymarker, prior to 1851, was the county seat of both Delaware County and, before that, of Chester County.

Delaware County consists of suburbs of the adjacent city of Philadelphiamarker. Socioeconomically, Delaware County ranges from economically depressed and working class communities such as the City of Chestermarker and the Borough of Darbymarker to the prosperous suburban neighborhoods of Radnor Townshipmarker within the wealthy Main Line to the north.

 of the county are occupied by the Ridley Creek State Parkmarker.

The county, immediately adjacent to and west of Philadelphiamarker, is part of the Delaware Valley area. Delaware County is only one of two counties covered in its entirety by area code 610marker (the other one being Chester Countymarker).


Delaware County is roughly diamond- or kite-shaped, with the four sides formed by the Chester Countymarker boundary to the northwest, the boundary with the state of Delawaremarker (a portion of the "Twelve Mile Circle") to the southwest, the Delaware River (forming the border with the state of New Jerseymarker to the southeast, and the city of Philadelphiamarker and Montgomery Countymarker to the east and northeast.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 191 square miles (494 km²), of which, 184 square miles (477 km²) of it is land and 7 square miles (17 km²) of it (3.42%) is water. The lowest point in the state of Pennsylvania is located on the Delaware River in Marcus Hookmarker in Delaware County, where it flows out of Pennsylvania and into Delawaremarker.

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 Creekmarker, Ridley Creek, Crum 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 drinking water reservoir maintained by Aqua America, the county's largest lake.

Adjacent counties

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

National protected area

Politics and government

Presidential elections results
Year GOP Dems
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 [13829].

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 Democrat Joe Sestak. The district had been held for 20 years by Republican Curt Weldon until he was ousted by Sestak, a retired admiral, in the 2006 U.S. House of Representatives election. 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. Also in the 2006 election, Democrat Bryan Lentz unseated Republican incumbent State Representative Tom Gannon in the 161st House district.

Members of Delaware County Council

Office Holder Party
County Councilwoman (chairwoman) Linda Cartisano Republican
County Councilman (vice-chair) John J. Whelan Republican
County Councilwoman Christine Fizzano Cannon Republican
County Councilman Andrew Lewis Republican
County Councilman Tom McGarrigle Republican

Other elected officials

Office Holder Party
Controller Cynthia Felzer Leitzell Republican
District Attorney G. Michael Green Republican
Register of Wills Hugh Donahue Republican
Sheriff Joseph McGinn Republican

United States House of Representatives

District Representative Party
1 Bob Brady Democratic
7 Joe Sestak Democratic

United States Senate

Senator Party
Arlen Specter Democrat
Bob Casey Democrat

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

District Representative Party
158 Chris Ross Republican
159 Thaddeus Kirkland Democratic
160 Stephen Barrar Republican
161 Bryan Lentz Democratic
162 Nicholas Miccarelli III Republican
163 Nicholas Micozzie Republican
164 Mario Civera, Jr. Republican
165 Bill Adolph Republican
166 Greg Vitali Democratic
168 Tom Killion Republican
185 Robert C. Donatucci Democratic
191 Ronald G. Waters Democratic

Pennsylvania State Senate

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


, 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 media

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.


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 Terminalmarker in Upper Darbymarker, and is served by the Norristown High Speed Line(P&W), two Red Arrow trolley lines,four Regional Rail Lines (the R1, R2, R3 and R5), and a host of bus routes.

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


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 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.


300 px

Public school districts

Colleges and universities

Adult education

Public libraries

  • 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)


There is one Pennsylvania state park in Delaware County.


The Delaware County city of Chester is the future home of Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer team. Beginning in 2010, Union will play at Union Field at Chestermarker, a venue located at the base of the Commodore Barry Bridgemarker.

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 Stadiummarker, on the campus of Villanova Universitymarker. The Philadelphia Independence will succeed the Charge, also beginning play in 2010 at Union Field.

See also


  1. Chester - Ridley - Crum Watersheds Association

External links

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