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Swarthmore, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Parrish Hall.jpg
Parrish Hall at Swarthmore College
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Delaware
Elevation 125 ft (38.1 m)
Area 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km²)
 - land 1.4 sq mi (4 km²)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km²), 0%
Population 6,194 (2010)
Density 4,424.6 /sq mi (1,708.3 /km²)
Mayor Tim Kearney (D)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19081
Area code 610 and 484
FIPS code 42-75648
GNIS feature ID 1189142

Swarthmore (pronounced /ˈswɑːθ.mɔːr/ SWAHTH-mor locally, or /ˈswɔːrθ.mɔːr/ SWAWRTH-mor) is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Swarthmore was originally named "Westdale" in honor of noted painter Benjamin West, who was one of the early residents of the town. The name was changed to "Swarthmore" after the establishment of Swarthmore College. "Swarthmore" can be pronounced with the first "r" either vocalized or dropped due to differences in rhotic and non-rhotic accents. The borough population was 6,194 as of the 2010 census.


The borough was originally part of Springfield Township, and grew up around Swarthmore College, which was founded in 1864. The advent of passenger rail service from Philadelphia in the 1880s greatly enhanced the desirability of the borough as a commuter suburb, and the borough was incorporated in 1893.

The Ogden House and Benjamin West Birthplace are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Swarthmore is located in east-central Delaware County at 39°54′6″N 75°20′49″W / 39.90167°N 75.34694°W / 39.90167; -75.34694 (39.901788, -75.347083). It is bordered to the north, east, and southwest by Springfield Township, to the southeast by Ridley Township, and to the west by Nether Providence Township. Crum Creek, a south-flowing tributary of the Delaware River, forms the western boundary of the borough.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Swarthmore borough has a total area of 1.40 square miles (3.63 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 903
1910 1,899 110.3%
1920 2,350 23.7%
1930 3,405 44.9%
1940 4,061 19.3%
1950 4,825 18.8%
1960 5,753 19.2%
1970 6,156 7.0%
1980 5,950 −3.3%
1990 6,157 3.5%
2000 6,170 0.2%
2010 6,194 0.4%
Est. 2015 6,211 0.3%

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,170 people, 1,993 households, and 1,347 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,460.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,722.2/km2). There were 2,064 housing units at an average density of 1,492.1 per square mile (576.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 85.87% White, 5.49% Asian, 4.72% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.07% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.37% of the population.

There were 1,993 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 20.5% under the age of 18, 24.4% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $138,653, and the median income for a family was $187,874. Males had a median income of $71,750 versus $51,117 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $40,482. About 0.5% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 1.7% of those age 65 or over.

Cultural institutions

The Ogden House

Scott Arboretum is located on the campus of Swarthmore College.

The Swarthmore Public Library is at 121 Park Avenue in the center of the borough.


Swarthmore Station, a SEPTA Regional Rail train station on the Media/Elwyn Line, sits between the college and the town's center.

SEPTA Route 109 bus connecting Chester with Upper Darby stops along Chester Road.

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