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Darby is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States, along Darby Creek 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Center City, Philadelphia. Darby was settled about 1654 and inhabited by Quakers early in the colonial era. Incorporated on May 3, 1853, it had 3,429 residents in 1900, 6,305 in 1910, 10,334 in 1940, and 10,687 at the 2010 census.
The name Darby is derived from the English city of Derby (pronounced "Darby"), the county town of Derbyshire (pronounced "Darbyshire"), the origin of many early settlers.
Comedian and actor W.C. Fields was born in 1880 at the Arlington Hotel, then located at 832 Main Street.
Darby is home to the fifth-oldest all-volunteer Fire Department and the Darby Free Library, one of the oldest libraries in the United States, founded in 1743. One of its cemeteries is more than 300 years old.
Darby Borough is distinct from the nearby municipality of Darby Township.
Darby has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,299 people, 3,405 households and 2,393 families residing in the borough. The population density was 12,624.5 people per square mile (4,849.3/km²). There were 3,999 housing units at an average density of 4,902.0 per square mile (1,883.0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 36.37% White, 60.00% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 2.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.95% of the population.
There were 3,405 households, out of which 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 30.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 33.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $26,938, and the median income for a family was $30,065. Males had a median income of $35,507 versus $22,451 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $16,990. About 35.5% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.
Darby is a relatively urban place, with almost twice the population density of nearby Darby Township. The Pennsylvania State Police reported that the crime rate (per capita)in 2011 compared to the per-capita rate for Delaware County as a whole was six times for violent crimes (murder, robbery and assault, not including sex crimes), 24 times for property crimes (including arson), but only two times for drug offenses (not including alcohol offenses).
William Penn School District serves Darby.
The city is also home to Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM), a parochial school affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
Darby is served by the SEPTA Subway–Surface Trolley Lines number 11 and 13 at the Darby Transportation Center and the SEPTA Wilmington/Newark Line at the Darby station.
Darby once had two other railroad stations. One, owned by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (now the Philadelphia Subdivision of CSX), sat at Main and Sixth Streets, where the SEPTA Route 11 trolley crosses today. The other, owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad, stood where the current station stands, and later across the tracks.
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