Background Materials — Forces Shaping our Future
How we Live

Residential land consumption decreases

From 1990 to 2000, each person added to the county correlated to 15,000 square feet of new residential land area. By 2015, that ratio was less than 6,000 square feet per additional person, reflecting a shift toward more apartments, townhouses, and smaller lots.

The county's population is aging, with those 65 and older anticipated to nearly double between 2015 and 2045 (65,000 to 129,000 residents). School aged children will increase slightly.

At a median cost of $310,000 in 2015, homes are expensive in the county. To afford a median priced home, a family needs to earn $91,450.

30% population growth

146,000 new residents are anticipated in Chester County by 2045.

The number of volunteer fire fighters has been declining as the population has been growing.
1992: 1 volunteer per 210 residents
2016: 1 volunteer per 387 residents

Regionally-significant land uses include non-residential developments with over a million square feet (such as Great Valley Corporate Center and Eagleview), residential developments with over a thousand units (such as Chesterbrook and Marchwood), and attractions with over a million visitors per year (such as Longwood Gardens and Valley Forge National Historical Park).

Although Chester County is the healthiest county in Pennsylvania, childhood obesity remains a challenge. In 2015, approximately 23% of all children ages six to 17 were overweight and obese.

Between 2005 and 2015, land categorized as developed increased from 158,470 acres to 171,066 acres.

Existing Land Use

35% Agricultural

29% Wooded or undeveloped

27% Residential

8% Non-residential

1% Water

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