West Chester, PA
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Living in West Chester


West Chester is a medium-sized borough located in the state of Pennsylvania. With a population of 19,842 people and 24 constituent neighborhoods, West Chester is the 51st largest community in Pennsylvania. West Chester has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic boroughs.

West Chester home prices are not only among the most expensive in Pennsylvania, but West Chester real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in America.

West Chester is a decidedly white-collar borough, with fully 89.58% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, West Chester is a borough of service providers, sales and office workers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in West Chester who work in food service (18.25%), sales jobs (12.98%), and office and administrative support (11.21%).

Of important note, West Chester is also a borough of artists. West Chester has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape West Chester’s character.

Also of interest is that West Chester has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

West Chester is a small town with a large college student population. Because of this, there is a real youthful, hip vibe to the place, and much of the life in the town is centered on the college. This has helped West Chester to buck the trend of other small towns that have suffered declining populations over the past 20 to 30 years. Spending by students, and faculty and staff jobs, are a big part of the local economy.

The citizens of West Chester are among the most well-educated in the nation: 45.69% of adults in West Chester have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree, whereas the average US city has 21.84% holding at least a bachelor's degree.

The per capita income in West Chester in 2010 was $26,674, which is upper middle income relative to Pennsylvania and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $106,696 for a family of four. However, West Chester contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

West Chester is a somewhat ethnically-diverse borough. The people who call West Chester home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of West Chester residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. West Chester also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 13.08% of the borough’s residents. Important ancestries of people in West Chester include German, Italian, English, and Polish.

The most common language spoken in West Chester is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and German.