Swarthmore was originally named Westdale in honor of noted painter Benjamin West, who was one of the early residents of the town. The name was changed to Swarthmore after the establishment of Swarthmore College. The student population is about 1400.
As of the census of 2000, there are 6,170 people, 1,993 households, and 1,347 families residing in the borough. The population density is 1,726.3/km² (4,460.4/mi²). There are 2,064 housing units at an average density of 577.5/km² (1,492.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the borough is 85.87% White, 4.72% African American, 0.24% Native American, 5.49% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.07% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. 3.37% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,993 households out of which 32.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% are married couples living together, 6.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% are non-families. 27.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.47 and the average family size is 3.04.
In the borough the population is spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 24.4% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.9 males.
The median income for a household in the borough is $82,653, and the median income for a family is $105,874. Males have a median income of $71,750 versus $51,117 for females. The per capita income for the borough is $40,482. 2.1% of the population and 0.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 0.0% are under the age of 18 and 1.7% are 65 or older.