The land that comprises Abington today was purchased from the native Lenape by William Penn during the 1680s.

By the next decade, a handful of European settlers built and lived in Hill Township, at the crossroads of Susquehanna Street Road and Old York Road.

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Local civic associations include Crestmont Civic Association, Glenside Gardens Civic Association, Hollywood Civic Association, Lower Huntingdon Valley Civic Association, Mc Kinley Civic Association, Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association and Tall Trees Association.

The civic associations work together on Traffic Summits in even years (2012, 2014, 2016, etc.) and Economic Summits in odd years (2013, 2015, 2017, etc.).

As of the 2010 census, the township was 79.7% White, 12.4% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 4.9% Asian, and 2.1% were two or more races. Census Bureau estimated there were 55,234 people, 21,252 occupied households, and 14,819 families residing in the township.

3.2% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. The population density was 3,563 people per square mile (1,377/km).

Their primary importance, aside from community identity, is the postal system (e.g., to send a letter to someone living in the Glenside community, you would address the letter to Glenside, Pennsylvania rather than Abington Township, Pennsylvania).

Additionally, some portions of some of these subdivisions, including Glenside, Huntingdon Valley, North Hills, Willow Grove, and Elkins Park, are actually in neighboring townships.

The school district received some notoriety in the 1960s when it became one of the key parties in the school prayer controversy, with Abington School District v. The Supreme Court case resulted in a declaration of the unconstitutionality of school-sanctioned Bible reading.

The Elementary Schools, Junior High School, and Senior High school within Abington School District have recently undergone a series of renovations and rebuilding, resulting in more up-to-date and sophisticated structures.

The Abington Presbyterian Church opened in the early years of the township, and while the original building is gone, its graveyard is still used today.

The railroad reached the township in 1855, The communities are unofficial, unincorporated subdivisions of the township, corresponding roughly to voting districts and elementary school placement.

There are several private schools located inside the township, such as Meadowbrook and Abington Friends School.