Delaware County, colloquially referred to as Delco, is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. 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.
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 "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 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, 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.
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).
2,600 acres (11 km2) of the county are occupied by the Ridley Creek State Park.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|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.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|3||Ardmore (partially in Montgomery County)||CDP||12,455|
|12||Village Green-Green Ridge||CDP||7,822|
|35||Haverford College (partially in Montgomery County)||CDP||1,331|
|37||Chenyney University (mostly in Chester County)||CDP||988|
|2016||37.0% 110,667||59.3% 177,402||3.8% 11,267|
|2012||38.8% 110,853||60.2% 171,792||1.0% 2,919|
|2008||38.8% 115,273||60.1% 178,870||1.1% 3,367|
|2004||42.3% 120,425||57.2% 162,601||0.5% 1,512|
|2000||42.7% 105,836||54.4% 134,861||3.0% 7,380|
|1996||39.5% 92,628||49.4% 115,946||11.2% 26,174|
|1992||40.8% 108,587||41.8% 111,210||17.4% 46,277|
|1988||60.0% 147,656||39.0% 96,144||1.0% 2,505|
|1984||61.8% 161,754||37.5% 98,207||0.7% 1,821|
|1980||55.8% 143,282||34.4% 88,314||9.8% 25,263|
|1976||54.9% 148,679||43.3% 117,252||1.8% 4,963|
|1972||63.9% 175,414||34.3% 94,144||1.8% 4,893|
|1968||50.2% 133,777||40.1% 106,695||9.7% 25,964|
|1964||42.9% 111,189||56.8% 147,189||0.3% 717|
|1960||52.0% 135,672||47.8% 124,629||0.2% 482|
|1956||63.5% 143,663||36.3% 82,024||0.2% 523|
|1952||61.6% 129,743||38.1% 80,316||0.3% 689|
|1948||60.9% 93,412||37.3% 57,156||1.8% 2,747|
|1944||54.8% 78,533||44.7% 64,021||0.5% 755|
|1940||56.9% 80,158||42.7% 60,225||0.4% 549|
|1936||52.4% 74,899||45.5% 65,117||2.1% 2,997|
|1932||68.2% 75,291||29.4% 32,413||2.5% 2,705|
|1928||73.6% 83,092||26.0% 29,378||0.4% 471|
|1924||81.8% 41,998||12.4% 6,368||5.8% 2,979|
|1920||75.3% 34,126||21.2% 9,602||3.5% 1,565|
|1916||66.0% 16,315||31.3% 7,742||2.7% 677|
|1912||36.2% 8,418||25.8% 6,001||38.0% 8,819[a]|
|1908||70.8% 15,184||26.7% 5,727||2.6% 550|
|1904||78.2% 15,032||18.6% 3,586||3.2% 618|
|1900||75.0% 13,794||23.1% 4,249||2.0% 358|
|1896||75.3% 13,979||22.5% 4,169||2.3% 424|
|1892||60.7% 9,272||36.2% 5,520||3.1% 477|
|1888||62.0% 8,791||35.5% 5,028||2.5% 351|
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 will take 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. It 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 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.
In 2016, Delaware County elected all Democrats in national office elections except Republican Patrick Meehan (U.S. Representative).
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.
|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|
|Controller||Joanne Phillips, Esquire||Democratic|
|District Attorney||John J. Whelan||Republican|
|Register of Wills||Mary J. Walk, Esquire||Democratic|
|8||Anthony Hardy Williams||Democratic|
|26||Thomas J. McGarrigle||Republican|
|159||Brian Joseph Kirkland||Democratic|
|162||Nicholas Miccarelli III||Republican|
|191||Joanna E. McClinton||Democratic|
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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