Delaware County is a
county located in the
U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of 2000, the population was 550,864,
making it Pennsylvania's fifth most populous county, behind
Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, and Bucks counties.
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 . Chester City, prior to 1851, was the county seat of both
Delaware County and, before that, of Chester County.
County consists of suburbs of the adjacent
city of Philadelphia. Socioeconomically, Delaware
County ranges from economically depressed and working
class communities such as the City of Chester and the Borough of Darby to the prosperous suburban neighborhoods of
Township within the wealthy Main Line to the north.
of the county are occupied by the Ridley Creek State Park.
county, immediately adjacent to and west of Philadelphia, is part of the Delaware
Valley area. Delaware County is only one of two counties
covered in its entirety by area code 610 (the other one being Chester
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.
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.
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.
waterways are, from west to east: the Brandywine River (forming
a portion of the county's western boundary with Chester County),
Creek, 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
known as Geist Reservoir), an approximately drinking water
reservoir maintained by Aqua America
the county's largest lake.
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 area
Politics and government
Presidential elections results
As of November 2008
, there are 406,352
registered voters in Delaware County 
Politically, Delaware County has traditionally been a Republican
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
In recent elections, however, Delaware County has been trending
Republican registration edge has declined rapidly from over twice
as many voters as Democrats had in 2002. It narrowly voted for
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
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
, Democratic Senator Barack Obama
defeated Republican Senator
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
, represented by Democrat Joe
. The district had been held for 20 years by Republican
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
Members of Delaware County Council
|County Councilwoman (chairwoman)
|County Councilman (vice-chair)
||John J. Whelan
||Christine Fizzano Cannon
Other elected officials
United States House of Representatives
United States Senate
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Pennsylvania State Senate
, 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
10.00% of those under age 18 and 7.10% of those age 65 or
The county itself is serviced by several newspapers, most notably
the News of Delaware County
, the Delaware County Daily
, and The Suburban and Wayne Times
also has a significant presence,
reflecting Delaware County's status as a suburb of
Delaware County is bisected north to south by Blue Route
Interstate 476, which connects
in the extreme northern corner of
the county to I-95
which parallels the Delaware River
along the southeastern edge of the county.
County is home to SEPTA's
Terminal in Upper Darby, and is served by the Norristown High Speed
Line(P&W), two Red Arrow trolley lines
,four Regional Rail Lines
), and a host
of bus routes.
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 Labels showing
Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated
There are 49 municipalities in Delaware County. Under Pennsylvania
law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities
, and, in
at most two cases, towns
following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Delaware
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.
Public school districts
Colleges and universities
- 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
There is one Pennsylvania state park
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 Chester, 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, on the campus of Villanova University.
The Philadelphia Independence
succeed the Charge, also beginning play in 2010 at Union
- Ridley - Crum Watersheds Association