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The borough of Media is the county seat of Delaware County, Pennsylvania and is located 12 miles (19 km) west of Philadelphia. Media was incorporated in 1850 at the same time that it was named the county seat. The population was 5,533 at the 2000 census. Its school district is the Rose Tree Media School District with Penncrest High School and Springton Lake Middle School. In June 2006, it became the first fair trade town in America.
The history of the town goes back to William Penn, but the area remained predominantly rural until the twentieth century, and is suburban today. The Delaware County Institute of Science was founded in Media in 1833, while the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, a two-year technical college, Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades a three-year technical college, and Delaware County Community College, a two-year liberal arts college, are located nearby. Media promotes itself as “Everybody’s Hometown”.
Since the borough of Media is only 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2) and the “Media ZIP code” 19063 covers a much larger area, the geographic term “Media” is often used in a sense that includes not only the borough of Media, but other contiguous areas that are part of other municipalities but that share the ZIP code. These include the entire Upper Providence Township, and in Nether Providence Township, the neighborhoods of South Media, Bowling Green, Pine Ridge and Ridgewood most of Middletown Township including the entire Elwyn, Bortondale, Riddlewood, Lima, Glen Riddle, and Lenni neighborhoods. Even some parts of Marple Township have the zip code 19063.
Media is located at 39°55′8″N 75°23′17″W (39.918761, -75.388127).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) is land and 1.33% is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,533 people, 2,782 households, and 1,112 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,399.0 people per square mile (2,848.4/km²). There were 2,966 housing units at an average density of 3,966.3 per square mile (1,526.9/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 81.02% White, 14.22% African American, 0.14% Native American, 2.01% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.88% of the population.
There were 2,782 households out of which 14.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.0% were non-families. 49.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.85 and the average family size was 2.73.
In the borough the population was spread out with 13.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $42,703, and the median income for a family was $58,065. Males had a median income of $42,121 versus $31,904 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,188. About 6.1% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.
The population in 1900 consisted of 3,075 people, whose numbers grew to 3,562 in 1910, and to 5,351 in 1940.
Media is connected to Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, by the 101 trolley and is the only suburban town in the United States to have a trolley line end on its main street. The trolley terminates just after the Delaware County Courthouse, at a station known as Orange Street. Media also has a stop on the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line at the corner of Orange Street and Station Road.
U.S. 1 formerly ran through the borough until the “Media bypass” was completed in 1960. The bypass has an unusual “volleyball” or three-level diamond interchange with Interstate 476. The road, formerly known as Route 1, is also known by its even older name, Baltimore Pike.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), the 11th busiest airport in the world in 2007, is 10.2 miles (16.4 km) driving distance (about 15 minutes) from downtown Media, following Baltimore Pike east, then Interstate 476 south and Interstate 95 northeast.
Media is home to many churches, including Cambell A.M.E, Christ Church (Episcopalian), First Baptist, First United Methodist, Media Presbyterian, Nativity B.V.M. (Roman Catholic), St. George (Greek Orthodox), the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County and two Quaker meetinghouses, Media Friends Meeting and Providence Friends Meeting. Congregation Beth Israel, a Reconstructionist synagogue formed in 1925, is west of town in Middletown Township and is the oldest Reconstructionist congregation in the Delaware Valley.
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