Understanding Our County's Challenges

Delaware County is a suburb of Philadelphia with 49 municipalities and a population of 560,000. It is a county of towns, suburbs and countryside immediately adjacent to — and intimately connected with — the nation’s sixth largest city, Philadelphia.

A County of Contrasts

The county is densely settled, the fifth most populous in the Commonwealth, yet the third smallest in land area. The area has significant resources, an engaged business community and talented nonprofits, several institutions of higher learning and excellent health care facilities, and its residents have a strong sense of community pride. However, Delaware County faces challenges.

Even though the county ranks fourth highest in the Commonwealth in per capita income, it is home to more than 50,000 people living in poverty. Furthermore, in several areas, multi-generational poverty is endemic. While 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. These include certain crimes, teen pregnancy, low birth weight, death from HIV, heart disease and stroke.

Measures of Delaware County Challenges:

Here are some of the key Delaware County statistics that have been guiding the foundation’s priorities. We’re here to help generous residents of Delaware County, nonprofits, and other philanthropists and funders address the needs of the county.

  • 10%

    of Delaware County lives in poverty

  • 5.2%

    live in deep poverty

  • 18,756

    children live in poverty

  • 11.1%

    are foreign born

  • 32.6%

    are non-white persons of color

  • 12.5%

    speak a language other than English at home

  • 15.9%

    of children are food insecure

  • 51,730

    residents are food insecure

  • 31.3%

    of housing units are occupied by renters

  • 31.9%

    of households make less than $50,000/year

  • 17th

    Delaware County ranks 17 out of 67 counties for quality of life

  • 3.5x

    The Black infant mortality rate is 3.5 times higher than that of white infants

  • 16%

    of Delco households experience at least 1 of 4 housing problems (5th highest rate of Pennsylvania counties)

  • 1st

    highest rate of residential segregation among Pennsylvania counties

  • 61.3%

    of all renter households with household incomes under $35,000 pay 50% or more of their income for rent

You Can Help

Please join us in driving Delaware County forward.