Facts About Chester County

General
  • Chester County is located in southeast Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area.
  • The County was created by William Penn in 1682 as one of the three original counties of Pennsylvania. There are now 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
  • Chester County is 759 square miles or approximately 485,600 acres in size.
  • The highest elevation is 1071 ft. in the Welsh Mountains in Honey Brook Township. The lowest elevation is 70 feet above sea level along the Schuylkill River at the Montgomery County line.
  • The County is a 3rd Class County with a three member Board of County Commissioners.
  • There are 73 municipalities, consisting of 1 city, 15 boroughs, and 57 townships. All of the townships are Townships of the 2nd Class except Caln, which is a Township of the 1st Class. The Class of a township is determined by the State based on established criteria.
  • 14 school districts provide K-12 public education in the County.
  • There are six County parks (Hibernia, Nottingham, Warwick, Springton Manor, Black Rock Sanctuary, and Wolf’s Hollow). There are also many Federal, State, and municipal parks.
Population and Housing
  • The population of the county in the 2010 census was 498,886 people. The population estimate for 2014 is 512,784. (2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates)
  • Chester County is the 7th most populated county in Pennsylvania (2010 Census)
  • Of the population 25 years or older, 92.3% are high school graduates, 49.3% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 20.2% have a graduate or professional degree. (2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates)
  • There were 195,657 housing units in the county as of 2014, an increase from 192,462 in the 2010 Census. (2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates)
  • The median sales price of all homes sold in the county in 2014 was $315,000. (CCPC, 2014 Housing Cost Profile, July 2015)
Economic
  • The County Median Household Income in 2014 was $85,373. (2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates Survey)
  • The annual average unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for Chester County in 2014 was 4.1% compared to 5.8% for Pennsylvania. (PA Department of Labor and Industry, 2015)
  • The industries with the most employment are “educational services, and health care and social assistance” and “professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services.” (2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates Survey)
  • There were 164,495 acres of farmland and 1,730 farms in Chester County according to the 2012 U. S. Census of Agriculture. Chester County is a national leader in the production of mushrooms.
Transportation
  • The Pennsylvania Turnpike has two access points in Chester County. The Downingtown Interchange and the Route 29 Slip Ramp (E-Z pass only)
  • Chester County has 10 railway stations served by SEPTA regional rail service to Philadelphia.
  • Amtrak provides service to 5 railway stations with trains to Harrisburg, Philadelphia and the northeast rail corridor.
  • There are over 280 miles of existing surfaced trails, including three major County trails (Struble, Schuylkill River, and Chester Valley).

Updated December, 2015