According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.2 km²), of which, 4.7 square miles (12.2 km²) of it is land and 0.21% is water.
By the time William Penn arrived in Chester, there were several small settlements in the area, which became known as Providence Township. Providence Township comprised today’s Nether Providence, Rose Valley, Media, and Upper Providence. On October 17, 1683, the residents of Providence Township petitioned the Court of Chester County, of which they were then a part, to establish a road from Providence to Chester. The court approved the creation of Providence Great Road (now Route 252).
Nether Providence went through four distinct phases from farming, to manufacturing, to resort, and finally, to residential community. By 1729, the area was producing sufficient crops to allow exporting to New England, Canada, and Europe.
Fourteen major mill complexes were built in Nether Providence – six on Crum Creek and eight on Ridley Creek. The first, a cotton mill along Crum Creek, was started by Thomas Allen in 1763. He named his mill for his hometown, Wallingford, England The mills played an essential part in the growth of Nether Providence. Millhands lived in the self-contained villages that grew up around the mills.
After the Civil War, wealthy Philadelphians built summer residences and vacation resorts in the area.
The first train came through in 1854. It used a single track with a sidetrack at Wallingford. The first post office in Nether Providence was established at Hinkson’s Corner in 1873. Trolleys also contributed to the area’s development. The first independent trolley was the Chester and Media Electric Railway, chartered in 1892. The last trolley through the township closed in 1938. The Nether Providence Police Department was established in 1935 and automobile parking was regulated in 1947 and speed in 1949.
There were 5,007 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the township the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $86,059, and the median income for a family was $93,491. Males had a median income of $72,370 versus $49,048 for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,946. About 3.1% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.
School-age children within the public education system attend the Kids' Place for kindergarten, Nether Providence Elementary School (NPE), Swarthmore Rutledge Elementary School (SRS) or Wallingford Elementary School (WES) for grades 1 through 5. Strath Haven Middle School (SHMS), housed in the old Nether Providence High School, for grades 6th through 8th, and Strath Haven High School (SHHS), directly across Providence Road from the Middle School, for grades 9th through 12th. Students from the neighboring boroughs of Rose Valley and Rutledge sometimes attend the district schools.
The small community of Garden City is located in the southernmost part of Nether Providence. It borders Chester city to the south, where it is cut off by Ridley Creek. It lies southwest of the intersection where Route 252 (South Providence Road) and Route 320 (Chester Road) meet, and it is cut off by Route 252 (or sometimes Harvey Road) at the east. The north and west borders of the community are disputed. Moore Road is loosely used as a northern border for Garden City. West Brookhaven Road (or in some cases Putnam Village) is often used as the western border of Garden City.
Garden City is home to the Garden City Fire Co., the Garden City Chapel, and the Creekside Swim Club. Nether Providence Elementary School is the elementary school for the Garden City Community and is often considered within Garden City.