Introduction to West Chester, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania, in Chester county, is 15 miles N of Wilmington, Delaware (center to center) and 23 miles W of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

West Chester History

The community of West Chester, which was founded in the 1700s, was initially known as "Turk's Head," after an inn in the area. The borough was established by members of the Society of Friends. West Chester became the seat of Chester County in 1786 and was officially incorporated in 1799. The QVC studios, where shopping network programs are televised, is based in West Chester. Among the well known residents of the borough were civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, composer Samuel Barber, and artist Philip Jamison.

West Chester and Nearby Attractions

  • American Helicopter Museum
  • Brandywine Battlefield
  • Chester County Historical Society
  • Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
  • Elmwood Park Zoo
  • French Creek State Park

Things To Do In West Chester

West Chester is home to the Chester County Historical Society, and the American Helicopter Museum. In addition, the borough is near numerous museums and historic sites such as the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Valley Forge National Historical Park, Brandywine Battlefield, Caleb Pusey House and Landingford Plantation, Brandywine River Museum, and Wharton Esherick Museum. Bayard Rustin Park, Hoopes Park, Everhart Park, and John O. Green Memorial Park are some of the popular parks in the community. Residents of West Chester also host annual events like the Goshen Country Fair, May Day Festival of the Arts, Harvest Festival, Turks Head Music Festival, and Halloween Parade.

West Chester Transportation

Air transportation is available from Philadelphia International Airport.

West Chester Higher Education

West Chester University of Pennsylvania is located in West Chester. Among the other colleges close by are Penn State Great Valley, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, and Neumann College.


Total Population 19,181
Male Share of the Population 47.8%
Female Share of the Population 52.2%
Senior Citizens 8.5%
Employed Population 16+ 10,473
Age of the Population 24


% of people married 22.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 51.1%
Median Earnings25+ $40,719
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,984
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,594


Median Family Income $75,754
% Above Poverty Level 73.8%
% Below Poverty Level 26.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 22 minutes
% Working from Home 4%
% Walking and Biking to Work 17.6%
% Using Public Transportation 4%


People Living Alone 36.9%
Median Gross Rent $1,139
Median House Value $313,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 26.7%
US/American 0.2%
English 9.9%
Irish 25.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

West Chester Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 15 miles N of Wilmington, Delaware (center to center)
Nearest Large City 23 miles W of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
County Chester
Standard Zip Codes 19380, 19382
P.O. Box Zip Codes 19381
Company Zip Codes 19383
Phone Area Codes 610
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 39.96
Longitude -75.605

West Chester Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.5 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 40 F
Apr Temp 40 to 63 F
Jul Temp 64 to 86 F
Oct Temp 42 to 66 F
Annual Precip 47.8 inches
Distance 12.2 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 40 F
Apr Temp 39 to 64 F
Jul Temp 64 to 87 F
Oct Temp 42 to 67 F
Annual Precip 43.8 inches
Distance 14.1 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 40 F
Apr Temp 46 to 63 F
Jul Temp 70 to 88 F
Oct Temp 50 to 65 F
Annual Precip 40.6 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, West Chester, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Gay Street (19381)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Chester Heights 2,573 $86,953
Downingtown 7,930 $72,159
Kennett Square 6,117 $72,879
Malvern 3,263 $85,500

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

West Chester Public Libraries

West Chester Public Library
West Chester, Pennsylvania
(610) 696-1721

library logo

More Information for Librarians

West Chester Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(610) 431-5000
Emergency Service: Yes

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West Chester High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,961 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.9

Serves 1,729 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.1

West Chester Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Additional Details
West Chester Colleges
West Chester colleges and trade schools.
West Chester Graduate Schools
West Chester Graduate and Business Schools
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Info for West Chester Government Officials

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