Swarthmore : Pennsylvania


What It Is Like to Retire in Swarthmore

Home to a top and well-respected liberal arts college, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, is a quaint, small town located just east of Philadelphia. Swarthmore College was founded in 1864, by Quakers who were granted land by William Penn, but it has no religious affiliation today. During the late 1880's, passenger trains from Philadelphia made stops here, which encouraged its development in both business and residential, and the borough was incorporated in 1893. It is also the birthplace of Benjamin West, known as America’s first internationally famous artist of historical scenes during the American Revolution. His home is now on the campus of Swarthmore College, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Swarthmore has a popuation of just over 6,000 residents, with a high percentage of them college graduates, and a median household income of about $111,000.  The college, which has an enrollment of about 1,600 students, is an important part of the the community economically and culturally. It is recognized by Forbes, and US News and World Report, as one of the top liberal arts and engineering colleges in the country. picture of Swarthmore College Parrish Hall courtesy of Wikipedia and Ugen64 (public domain); picture of Painter Benjamin West Birthplace courtesy of Wikipedia and Smallbones (public domain); Picture of Swarthmore Station courtesy of Wikipedia and Coemgenus,Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/



Where to Retire in Swarthmore and Home Prices

The small town is a popular community for retirees and college professors.  Zillow reports the Home Value Index was $388,195 in mid-2022.


What Is Special about Swarthmore

Swarthmore is a small town just a few miles from Philadelphia. Residents here can attend events at Swarthmore College, enjoy several parks and green spaces, an active library, senior center, and a train station in town. Springfield Mall, a large shopping complex is just outside of the town.



What Is Not Special about Swarthmore

Swarthmore may be too small for some; high cost of living; cold winters


Who Will Like Retirement in Swarthmore

Retirees who want a small, walkable college town that is close to a large city with transportation, may enjoy living here. Swarthmore's Senior Center offers many lectures, classes, events and activities, along with help from various services. The town is also working toward making Swarthmore an Aging in Place community by forming a Task Force to help improve the quality of life for seniors.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Education and Professional Services


Climate and Physical Environment

Swarthmore experiences all four seasons with January's average temperatue 35 degrees, and July's average 75 degrees. It receives about 20 inches of snow each winter.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Swarthmore has a few restaurants and shops, but a train station located next to the college, allows easy access to downtown Philadelphia for the best cultural scene; the college hosts lectures that residents may attend, along with events at Lang Performing Arts Center; Scott Aboretum, also on the campus of Swarthmore College, covers more than 110 acres, including Crum Creek, and grows over 3,000 different kinds of plants.



Swarthmore has a very low crime rate


Medical Facilities

Riddle Memorial Hospital in Media is the closest hospital, about 5 miles away;  every type of medical facilities can be found in Philadelphia, just 10 miles away.



There is a train station in Swarthmore for trips to Philadelphia;  Amtrak is in Ardmore about 8 miles away or in Philadelphia 10 miles away; The nearest airport is in Philadelphia, 11 miles from the town; Swarthmore does have a community transit system; the small town is considered a walkable community. 


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Swarthmore, PA


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