Yardley is a borough in Bucks County. The small community of Yardley Borough is bordered by the Delaware River and Ewing, NJ on the east, and by Lower Makefield Township on the north, west, and south. The community of Yardley Borough occupies .92 square mile along the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The population was 2,498 at the 2000 census. Surrounding Lower Makefield Township (often colloquially called Yardley) had a population of 32,681.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²), of which, 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (9.90%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,498 people, 1,170 households, and 649 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,729.0 people per square mile (1,048.4/km²). There were 1,209 housing units at an average density of 1,320.8/sq mi (507.4/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 93.63% White, 3.44% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. 1.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The majority of Yardley is part of the Pennsbury School District.
There were 1,170 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the borough the population was spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 35.3% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $58,221, and the median income for a family was $70,938. Males had a median income of $50,816 versus $41,893 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $32,802. About 1.7% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.
A nephew, Thomas Yardley, came to America in 1704 to settle the estate and never returned to England. He opened a ferry line which started operating in 1710 from Letchworth Avenue, the lower boundary of the village, and landed in New Jersey further downstream. This was an important link between West Jersey and the three roads leading to Philadelphia by way of Falls, Langhorne and Newtown. The Yardley family occupied the land for more than 150 years.
When Yardley was founded there were already small settlements at nearby Burlington, Bristol, and Falls Ferry.
Yardley began to develop into a village about 1807, and by 1880 had a population of 820. Early industries included a spoke and handle factory, sawmill, felloe factory, plate and plaster mill, and two flour mills. The first post office, established in 1828, used the name "Yardleyville." The name became "Yardley" again at the time the Reading Railroad came through the area in 1876.
During the American Civil War, Yardley was a station for the Underground Railroad, an escape route for slaves. Known hiding places were under the eaves of the Continental Hotel (now the Continental Tavern), in bins of warehouses on the Delaware Canal (completed in 1862), and at the General Store (now Worthington Insurance). At Lakeside, the yellow house facing Lake Afton on N. Main St., one brick-walled cellar room is also thought to have been a hiding place.
The Train Collectors Association, which now boasts worldwide membership of 30,000 individuals, was founded in Yardley in 1954.