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Economy's history as a community began in 1827 when a new township was formed from the southern part of New Sewickley Township. Economy village had been founded just two years earlier, and the increase in population within the area warranted the change.

Economy village would soon have its own township (Harmony, erected from Economy Township in 1851). The energetic Harmonists worked together to develop intensive Cultivation and various manufacturing activities on their lands.

The balance of Economy Township remained as it had been, a sparsely populated rural community. The area was settled in the 1790 's by the Ullrich, Barto, and Davis families, followed by many others, who were mostly Germans from Alsace, Wittenburg, and Bavaria. The area where John UIIrich made his home became known as Wall Rose, a crossroads village remaining today. Other villages developed along the rivers, and these eventually incorporated as the boroughs of Baden and Conway

The discovery of the Economy oil field in the 1890's brought major changes to the township. Wallace City, just north of the township line in New Sewickley, became the center of the booming oil industry. More than one hundred wells were drilled in the field, which extended from the Pfaff farm in Economy north to Big Knob in New Sewickley. The twelve square mile oil field produced as much as 45,000 barrels of oil a day during peak production years. The oil was under great pressure, and many of the wells produced without pumping. The boom brought construction of boarding houses, livery stables, shops and stores, in addition to drilling rigs, tanks and all sorts of shacks and buildings. Some evidence of the oil industry remains in Tevebaugh Hollow. By 1910, the oil boom had reached its peak, and then quickly declined.

Economy's population began to increase with the post war period. In the late 1950's, construction began on Northern Lights, the first large shopping center in Beaver County, located in Economy between Conway and Baden. In 1957, the residents of Economy Township petitioned for borough status, and the new form of government was adopted on January 1, 1958.

In recent years, the borough's growth has been remarkable as rural areas are quickly converted to suburban housing developments. Economy's children attend schools in the Ambridge Area School District, in 1976 the largest (in school-age population) in the county. In 1967, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh opened Quigley High School within the borough. Old Economy County Park, a popular recreation area with a recently completed swimming pool, is largely within Economy Borough.