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Chester, Pennsylvania

From Academic Kids

Chester is a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, population 36,854 at the 2000 census.

Chester's most famous son may well be John Morton, who cast the deciding vote on the Declaration of Independence, but Ethel Waters of jazz fame was born here on October 31, 1896, and Martin Luther King Jr. obtained his Bachelor of Divinity here in 1951 from Crozer Theological Seminary.

Contents

History

The colonial settlement that became Chester was first known as "Finlandia," then "Upton". William Penn first landed on the soil of the Province of Pennsylvania in Upton on October 27, 1682, via the ship Welcome. Penn renamed the settlement, then the province's most populous town, after the English city of Chester.

Chester's naval shipyard supplied the Union during the Civil War, and the United States in subsequent wars until the shipyard at Philadelphia became dominant after World War II. Two ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Chester in honor of the city.

The 1950 census counted more than 65,000 residents, but subsequent decades saw decline. The naval shipyard and automobile manufacturing plants that had contributed to the war effort started pulling out of the city in the 1960s.

The site Penn's Landing, which marks Penn's first landing in the Province, had to sell their naming rights to the waterfront maintenance corporation in Philadelphia, whose memorial marks Penn's first landing in that city.

A CityTeam Ministries center was established in the city in 1988, with the financial assistance of Kimberly-Clark, in order to combat the growing poverty through drug addiction recovery houses, churchplanting efforts, workforce development, and vocational training.

Poverty made the city eligible for Pennsylvania's Keystone Opportunity Zones [1] (http://koz.inventpa.com/) program, which offers local and state tax breaks for firms that invest in a designated area. In 2005, the program brought a wharf, a racetrack, and some 5,000 jobs to the town. Few were filled by Chester residents, a phenomenon some blamed on the city's poor schools.

The city had several years earlier placed last in a ranking of the state's 501 districts. In 2001, the poor condition of the city's schools led the state of Pennsylvania to hire the for-profit Edison Schools [2] (http://www.edisonschools.com/home/home.cfm) to run the city's school district for three years. By 2005, local charter schools had been closed, afterschool programs had diminished drastically in number and quality, and public schools were overcrowded, understaffed, and undersupplied. [3] (http://interversity.org/lists/arn-l/archives/Jan2003/msg00857.html)

Geography

Chester is located at 39°50'50" North, 75°22'22" West (39.847112, -75.372672)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.6 km² (6.0 mi²). 12.6 km² (4.8 mi²) of it is land and 3.0 km² (1.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 19.47% water.

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 36,854 people, 12,814 households, and 8,124 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,933.9/km² (7,605.4/mi²). There are 14,976 housing units at an average density of 1,192.2/km² (3,090.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 18.94% White, 75.70% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.03% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. 5.39% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 12,814 households out of which 32.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.8% are married couples living together, 32.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% are non-families. 31.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.64 and the average family size is 3.34.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $25,703, and the median income for a family is $30,336. Males have a median income of $29,528 versus $23,705 for females. The per capita income for the city is $13,052. 27.2% of the population and 22.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 36.9% of those under the age of 18 and 21.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Transportation

Commodore Barry Bridge

Education

Widener University

External links


Regions of Pennsylvania Flag of Pennsylvania
Coal Region | Lehigh Valley | Northern Tier | Northwest Region | Pennsylvania Dutch Country | Laurel Highlands | The Poconos | Susquehanna Valley
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