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Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Upper Merion Township
Bridge in Upper Merion Township 01.JPG
Country  United States of America
State  Pennsylvania
County Montgomery
Elevation 171 ft (52.1 m)
Area 17.2 sq mi (44.5 km²)
 - land 16.9 sq mi (44 km²)
 - water 0.4 sq mi (1 km²), 2.33%
Population 28,395 (2010)
Density 1,593.3 /sq mi (615.2 /km²)
Incorporated 1713
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code 610

Upper Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 28,395 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Located 16 miles (26 km) from Philadelphia, it consists of the villages of Gulph Mills, King of Prussia, Swedeland, Swedesburg, and part of Wayne.

The westernmost part of the township comprises the largest part of the 1,300-acre (5 km2) Valley Forge National Historical Park. The township is the home of the King of Prussia Mall. King of Prussia also contains a major office park hosting firms such as Lockheed Martin and GlaxoSmithKline.

The name Merion originates with the county of Merioneth in north Wales. Merioneth is an English-language translation of the Welsh Meirionnydd, itself named after Meirchion (or Meirion), grandson of Cunedda Wledig (b. ca. 380 A.D.), King of North Wales.


The Township's incorporation dates to 1713 when the King of Prussia Inn, the Bird-In-Hand Inn in Gulph Mills, and later the Swedes Ford Inn were required to pay 6 shillings to the Pennsylvania legislature for licenses. The King of Prussia Inn, built in 1719, captures the historical flavor of the township. It was named in honor of Frederick the Great, but became known during the Revolutionary War as a center of food and drink. An alternate story says the Inn, first called Berry’s Tavern, got its name to lure in Prussian mercenaries who spent freely.

Upper Merion Township is a township of the second class under Pennsylvania state statutes. A five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for staggered six-year terms, governs it. The Board passes legislation and sets overall policy for the Township. A professional township manager runs the day-to-day operations overseeing the activities of 250 full and part-time employees.

In the late 1970s, Upper Merion was also listed as the number one drug school in the magazine "High Times".

Hanging Rock and Poplar Lane are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 17.2 square miles (44.7 km2), of which, 16.9 square miles (43.7 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (2.20%) is water.

Notable sights

Old swedes
Old Swedes Church (Christ Church) Upper Merion, Swedesburg, PA

Old Swedes Church (Christ Church) was dedicated June 25, 1760 in Swedesburg, replacing a simple log cabin dating to 1735. The original church had served as both a church and school until Christ Church was built. The stained glass windows tell the story of the history of the Swedish colony of New Sweden.

After crossing the Schuylkill River at Swedesford on December 13, 1777, General George Washington and his troops visited Old Swedes Church and encamped there before going on to Valley Forge.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 5,889
1940 6,143 4.3%
1950 6,404 4.2%
1960 17,096 167.0%
1970 23,743 38.9%
1980 26,138 10.1%
1990 25,722 −1.6%
2000 26,863 4.4%
2010 28,395 5.7%

As of the 2010 census, the township was 76.0% White, 5.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 14.7% Asian, and 2.1% were two or more races. 3.9% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry [1].

As of the census of 2000, there were 26,863 people, 11,575 households, and 7,141 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,593.3 people per square mile (615.2/km2). There were 12,151 housing units at an average density of 720.7/sq mi (278.3/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 84.75% White, 4.63% African American, 0.13% Native American, 8.45% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.79% of the population.

There were 11,575 households, out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the township the population was spread out, with 18.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $65,636, and the median income for a family was $78,690. Males had a median income of $51,247 versus $38,166 for females. The per capita income for the township was $34,961. About 1.3% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.

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