Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

Derry Township is a township in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 24,679 at the 2010 census,[4] up from 21,273 at the 2000 census. Hershey, the site of the well-known Hershey's chocolate factory and its affiliated amusement park, are located within the township. Pennsylvania State University's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital are also located on a large tract of land in the township.

Derry Township,
Dauphin County,
Overview of Hersheypark
Overview of Hersheypark
"Where It's Just Sweeter"[1]
Location in Dauphin County and state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Dauphin County and state of Pennsylvania.
CountryUnited States
 • TypeBoard of Commissioners
 • Total27.40 sq mi (70.96 km2)
 • Land27.20 sq mi (70.45 km2)
 • Water0.20 sq mi (0.50 km2)
 • Total24,679
 • Estimate 
 • Density919.94/sq mi (355.19/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)717
FIPS code42-043-18936


The Township of Derry was incorporated on August 1, 1729, when Lancaster County partitioned its territory for tax purposes. At that time, the boundaries of Derry Township were much larger and included what are currently three other townships within Lancaster and Dauphin counties.

The first official government in Derry Township was established in 1759. Five officials were elected for one-year terms. The number of elected officials in Derry remains five, although the terms are now six years.

In 1767 the court ordered the division of Derry Township, the eastern section to remain Derry and the western to be Londonderry Township.[5]

Derry and Londonderry became a part of Dauphin County when it was established in 1785. In 1787, the township's population was 198. Conewago Township was created in 1850 from southern parts of Derry Township and eastern parts of Londonderry Township.

The Derry Session House and Enclosure and Quarries of the Hummelstown Brownstone Company are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]


Derry Township is located in southeastern Dauphin County, bordered to the east by Lebanon County. Swatara Creek forms the northwest border of the township, except where the border is with the borough of Hummelstown. The unincorporated community of Hershey occupies the center, northern, and much of the eastern part of the township, and Palmdale is in the northeastern part of the township. Both Hershey and Palmdale are census-designated places (CDPs). Swatara and Hockersville are unincorporated communities within the western and southern parts, respectively, of the Hershey CDP. Waltonville is in the southern part of the township, and Clifton is partially in the southwest corner.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Derry Township has a total area of 27.4 square miles (71.0 km2), of which 27.2 square miles (70.5 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2), or 0.71%, is water.[4] Derry has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and the hardiness zones are 6b and 7a. Average monthly temperatures in Hershey range from 30.1 °F in January to 74.8 °F in July. [1]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2016 (est.)25,025[3]1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7][8][9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 21,273 people, 8,861 households, and 5,688 families residing in the township. The population density was 784.0 people per square mile (302.7/km2). There were 9,481 housing units at an average density of 349.4/sq mi (134.9/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 92.65% White, 1.67% African American, 0.07% Native American, 3.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.40% of the population.

There were 8,861 households, out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the township the population was spread out, with 22.9% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $52,290, and the median income for a family was $68,838. Males had a median income of $48,510 versus $32,430 for females. The per capita income for the township was $31,365. About 2.8% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.


Derry Township has its own public works department; public library, the Hershey Public Library; and its own police force, the Derry Township Police Department. Derry Township is also home to Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (HERCO) and Hersheypark.


Map of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Residents of Derry Township may attend the local, public schools operated by Derry Township School District. The district serves approximately 3,400 students.[11] The District provides full day kindergarten. The 2019 U.S. News Best High Schools Rankings ranks Hershey High School as 14th within Pennsylvania.[12] In 2015, Derry Township School District was ranked 34th out of 496 public school districts for academic achievement of its pupils, by the Pittsburgh Business Times.[13]

Derry Township high school aged students and adults can attend the publicly funded Dauphin County Technical School. DCTS provides students training in the: construction and mechanical trades, culinary arts, health aids, computer technical careers and other fields. Students may also attend Capital Area Online Learning Association (CAOLA) online education programs. The service is operated by the Capital Area Intermediate Unit 15. School aged residents may also attend the Capital Area School for the Arts which is an arts charter school located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Infinity Charter School is a public, charter school, located in Penbrook and accepting children K-12. There are five public charter schools operating in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

Derry Township residents may also apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 14 public cyber charter schools (in 2013) at no additional cost to the parents. The resident's public school district is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools.[14][15] By Commonwealth law, if the District provides transportation for its own students, then the District must provide transportation to any school that lies within 10 miles of its borders. Residents may also seek admission for their school aged child to any other public school district. When accepted for admission, the student's parents are responsible for paying an annual tuition fee set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2014, the tuition fees for Derry Township School District were: Elementary School – $10,125.84, High School - $10,097.91.[16]

Community members have access to the William H. & Marion C. Alexander Family Library in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, and to the statewide PA Power Library [2] which is an online library funded with tax dollars through the state's annual education budget.

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ "Welcome to Derry Township". Derry Township. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 13, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Derry township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2013-05-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ "Discover DTSD / Overview".
  12. ^
  13. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 11, 2014). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide School District Ranking 2014".
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Charter Schools".
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "What is a Charter School?".
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2013). "Pennsylvania Public School District Tuition Rates 2013–14".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°16′00″N 76°37′59″W / 40.26667°N 76.63306°W / 40.26667; -76.63306