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Swissvale, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Swissvale, Pennsylvania
Longfellow School (1902)National Register of Historic Places
Longfellow School (1902)
National Register of Historic Places
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
 • Total 1.24 sq mi (3.22 km2)
 • Land 1.20 sq mi (3.11 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
 • Total 8,983
 • Estimate 
 • Density 7,193.84/sq mi (2,777.35/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
FIPS code 42-75816
Brick street in Swissvale
Neighborhood street in western Swissvale

Swissvale is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 9 miles (14 km) east of downtown Pittsburgh. Named for a farmstead owned by James Swisshelm, during the industrial age it was the site of the Union Switch and Signal Company of George Westinghouse. The population was 8,983 at the 2010 census. In 1940, 15,919 people lived there.


Swissvale is located at 40°25′20″N 79°53′10″W / 40.42222°N 79.88611°W / 40.42222; -79.88611 (40.422304, -79.886185).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), of which 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 4.76%, is water.

Surrounding communities

Swissvale is bordered by Edgewood to the north, Braddock Hills to the east, North Braddock to the southeast, Rankin to the south, and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Regent Square and Swisshelm Park to the west. (The area known as Regent Square encompasses portions of Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg, Edgewood, and Swissvale.) Directly across the Monongahela River to the southwest is the borough of Munhall.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,716
1910 7,381 330.1%
1920 10,908 47.8%
1930 16,029 46.9%
1940 15,919 −0.7%
1950 16,488 3.6%
1960 15,089 −8.5%
1970 13,819 −8.4%
1980 11,345 −17.9%
1990 10,637 −6.2%
2000 9,653 −9.3%
2010 8,983 −6.9%
2019 (est.) 8,647 −3.7%

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,653 people, 4,679 households, and 2,390 families residing in the borough. The population density was 8,052.0 people per square mile (3,105.9/km2). There were 5,097 housing units at an average density of 4,251.6 per square mile (1,640.0/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 74.45% White, 22.14% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.91% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population.

There were 4,679 households, out of which 21.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.0% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.9% were non-families. 42.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 20.0% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.0 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $31,523, and the median income for a family was $35,929. Males had a median income of $29,333 versus $25,184 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,216. About 14.1% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.


Swissvale is named after the Swisshelm family. John Swisshelm (1752–1838), who owned a farm where the town is located. John Swisshelm served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War, and camped at Valley Forge. John Swisshelm married Mary Elizabeth Miller, and they had many children. Their son, James Swisshelm, married Jane Grey Cannon, noted abolitionist and political activist, Jane Swisshelm Named The Town Swissvale; The Swiss From Their Family Surname & The Vale As The Town Overlooked The Monongahela River Valley. The Pittsburgh neighborhood of Swisshelm Park, adjacent to Swissvale, is named after John Swisshelm 1752 - 1838 A Pensioned Veteran Soldier Of The American Revolutionary War.

Since 1874 The Allegheny Car & Transportation Shops Had Provided Well Paying Jobs To Local Citizens & Were Later Purchased By George Westinghouse. George Westinghouse, the President of Westinghouse Air Brake Company, formed the Union Switch & Signal company and maintained that facility in Swissvale. Vladimir K. Zworykin, a principal inventor of television, worked for Westinghouse as a fresh immigrant from Russia and lived in Swissvale with his wife and daughter.


Swissvale is served by the Woodland Hills School District.


Swissvale is served by the Roslyn and Swissvale stations on the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway.

Notable people

  • Shirley Burkovich, woman's professional baseball player in AAGPBL, birthplace (1933-2022)
  • Billy Gardell, actor
  • David Conrad, actor
  • Frank Conrad, creator of KDKA Radio; lived In Swissvale borough 1910-15 conducting transmission experiments
  • William B. Dickson, steel industry executive and labor policy reformer
  • Michael F. Doyle, congressman
  • Dick Groat, baseball player for Pittsburgh Pirates and All-American college basketball player
  • Agnes Christine Johnston, screenwriter
  • Esther Silveus, radiologist
  • Vladimir K. Zworykin, television inventor
  • Bobby Epps, NFL player for the New York Giants
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