West Chester is a charming borough in Pennsylvania. Originally a center for clockmaking in the 18th century, West Chester is now known for its historic architecture, growing economy, and busy college campus. West Chester is close to Philadelphia, making it a great place to live for commuters. As such, West Chester is a good place to live.
Are you wondering whether or not moving to West Chester is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about living in West Chester, PA.
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Where Is West Chester?
Where is West Chester, Pennsylvania? West Chester is in Chester County and is also the county seat of the area. West Chester is also located within the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The borough is bordered by West Goshen Township to the north, south, and east. East Bradford Township borders West Chester to the west.
It is 36 miles from West Chester PA to Philadelphia PA and 16 miles from West Chester PA to Wilmington DE. West Chester is also close to many wonderful outdoor attractions, such as Longwood Gardens and East Goshen Township Park.
The best way to navigate West Chester is by car, but you can utilize the bus service from the West Chester Transportation Center.
West Chester PA Population & Demographics
The West Chester population is 18,671, which gives the borough a population density of 10,114 people per square mile. West Chester is also included in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, which has a population of 6.2 million. There are many notable people from West Chester, including professional golfer Sean O’Hair, actor Graham Rogers, and actress Amy Steel.
West Chester Demographics:
- Sex ratio: 52.4% female, 47.6% male
- Median age: 24.9
- Racial and ethnic composition: 71.5% White, 12.7% Black or African American, 12.4% Hispanic or Latino, 3.1% two or more races, 1.7% Asian
- Median household income: $65,027 (compared to the Pennsylvania average of $67,587)
- Educational attainment: 92.5% high school degree (or higher), 54.3% bachelor’s degree (or higher)
- Foreign-born population: 4.9%
Is West Chester a safe place to live? The West Chester crime rate is 1,705 crimes per 100,000 people. This is 27% lower than the national average and 16% lower than the Pennsylvania average. The violent crime rate in West Chester is 182 per 100,000 people, which is 53% lower than the national average. The property crime rate in West Chester is 1,522 per 100,000 people, which is 22% lower than the national average. As such, West Chester is a very safe place to live.
When living in West Chester, you will be served by the West Chester Police Department. The WCPD is led by Chief of Police James Morehead.
Cost of Living in West Chester PA
How much does it cost to live in West Chester? The West Chester PA Cost of Living Index is 124.3. This means that living in West Chester is 24.3% more expensive than the national average of 100. Although the cost of living is higher than the national average, it is quite affordable for being outside of a big city such as Philadelphia.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $109,074 per year to live in West Chester. This is about $9,089 per month.
Typical West Chester living expenses
- Average West Chester utilities per month: $131.53
- Gallon of gas: $3.65
- Gallon of milk: $3.75
- Movie ticket: $14.00
- Beer (1 bottle): $7.00
- Childcare (monthly): $1,000
Are you thinking about buying West Chester, PA homes for sale? The West Chester real estate market is booming, but it is less competitive than previous years. The average home price in West Chester is $660,000. This is higher than the national average of $425,674. West Chester, PA real estate prices are up 13.4% compared to last year, although homes are sitting on the market for much longer. Real estate is staying on the market for an average of 27 days this year, compared to 7 last year.
Do you want to find apartments or homes for rent in West Chester? According to RentCafe, the average rent in West Chester is $1,921. This is slightly higher than Philadelphia, where the average rent is $1,896.
West Chester Neighborhoods | Where to Live in West Chester
Are you on the hunt for the best places to live in West Chester? Some of the most popular areas in West Chester include Price Street, Downtown West Chester, and The Reserve at Glen Loch.
Price Street | Busy Area on College Campus
If you are a young adult or have older children, then the area around Price Street could be a great option for you. Price street is just a few blocks away from West Chester University, making it one of the best areas to live in West Chester for those who need access to the campus.
Downtown West Chester | Bustling Neighborhood Great for Young Professionals
Downtown is one of the best neighborhoods in West Chester. North High Street runs directly through the downtown area and contains many hip shops and restaurants for residents to enjoy. There are many apartment living options in Downtown West Chester.
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The Reserve at Glen Loch | Safe West Chester Neighborhood Perfect for Families
The Reserve at Glen Loch is one of the safest neighborhoods in West Chester and is very popular among families. This neighborhood includes 108 carriage and townhomes with large yards and sidewalk-lined streets.
West Chester Weather & Climate
According to the Köppen Classification, West Chester has a humid continental climate. This means that the West Chester climate is characterized by four distinct seasons with hot summers and cold winters. The hottest month of the year in West Chester is July, with an average high of 85ºF. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average low of 26ºF.
Does it snow in West Chester? Pack your snow shovel when moving to the area, because the average West Chester annual snowfall is 27.7 inches.
Things to Do in West Chester PA
When living in West Chester, you will have many grocery options such as Carlino’s Market and GIANT. You will find some of the best retail shopping at places like Bradford Plaza and West Goshen Shopping Center. Here are just a few of the best things to do in West Chester.
The West Chester Railroad is a tourist railroad that runs along Chester Creek Valley and is one of the most fun things to do in West Chester, PA. You can buy a ticket and hop on the train for a 90 minute round trip excursion around the city.
230 E Market St, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-430-2233
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If you aren’t sure what to do in West Chester, PA, then the American Helicopter Museum is a must. This museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of rotorcraft and is fun for kids and adults of all ages.
1220 American Blvd, West Chester, PA 19380, 610-436-9600
If you are looking for a challenge, then check out the Bates Motel Escape Rooms. See if you can successfully escape one of the 4 Victorian mansion rooms by solving fun riddles and puzzles! This is a great activity to do with older children.
540 E Union St, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-459-8065
Additional West Chester Attractions
On the hunt for more fun things to do in West Chester? The Borough of West Chester Parks and Recreation Department runs various parks around the borough. You can also check out the official calendar for upcoming events in the area.
West Chester Restaurants
There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in West Chester PA. Here are just a few of the top places to grab a bite to eat.
Take a street at this funky Cajun restaurant that serves unique dishes such as wild boar and alligator. On the weekend, you can enjoy live jazz music with your dinner.
322 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-696-7435
Teca Restaurant and Bar is one of the most popular restaurants in West Chester. Stop by and enjoy some delicious Italian tapas and handcrafted cocktails.
38 E Gay St, West Chester, PA 19380, 610-738-8244
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When searching for West Chester PA restaurants, you can’t skip out on Market Street Grill. This casual joint is open every day of the week and serves up gourmet brunch food.
6 W Market St, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-429-5328
Jobs in West Chester PA
Are you on the hunt for jobs in West Chester? Because of its close proximity to both Philadelphia and Wilmington, many residents living in West Chester choose to commute to work. However, there are an abundance of West Chester jobs to choose from. Some of the top employers in West Chester include Commodore Business Machines, Mars Drinks, and Keystone Foods. QVC also has its headquarters close to West Chester.
According to Payscale, the average salary in West Chester is $73,000. If you are looking for West Chester, PA jobs, then you can check out the borough’s job board or search for ‘jobs in West Chester’ on Indeed.
West Chester Schools
Students living in West Chester are served by the West Chester Area School District. This West Chester school district serves over 12,000 students in grades PK-12. The three West Chester high schools in the area are Henderson High School, West Chester East High School, and Rustin High School.
There are four private schools in West Chester, PA, including St. Agnes School, SS. Peter and Paul School, SS. Simon and Jude School, and St. Maximilian Kolbe School. West Chester is also home to most of West Chester University’s North Campus.
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The borough is served by the West Chester Public Library.
West Chester Statistics & Information
- County: Chester County
- West Chester area: 1.85 square miles
- West Chester PA zip code: 19380-19383, 19388
- West Chester area code: 484, 610
- West Chester time zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- Closest airport to West Chester: Wilmington Greater Wilmington Airport (ILG), 19 miles away or Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), 20 miles away.
West Chester PA Map
Explore more things to do, restaurants, and amenities with this map of West Chester.
Now that you know what it’s like living in West Chester, are you ready to make the move to this beautiful borough? Our expert team of West Chester movers are here to help you every step of the way. Give Suburban Solutions a call today at 610-314-6868 to discuss your move and receive a free quote.