Delaware County, a suburb of Philadelphia with a population of 560,000, consists of 49 municipalities with residents who have a strong sense of community pride. It is a county of towns, suburbs and countryside immediately adjacent to — and intimately connected with — the nation’s sixth largest city, Philadelphia. The county is densely settled, the fifth most populous in the Commonwealth, yet the third smallest in land area.
It is also a county with residents who face serious challenges. While the county is ranked fourth-highest in the Commonwealth in per capita income, it is home to more than 50,000 people living in poverty and to neighborhoods where multigenerational poverty is endemic. Although the county compares well with peers nationally on many measures — from educational attainment to primary care access — it ranks unfavorably on a range of others, others, including certain crimes, teen pregnancy, low birth weight, death from HIV, heart disease and stroke.