Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the sixth-most-populous city in the United States and the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania, with a 2020 population of 1,603,797. It is also the second-most populous city in the Northeastern United States, behind New York City. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most-populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural center of the greater Delaware Valley along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill rivers within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's 2019 estimated population of 7.21 million makes it the ninth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.
Philadelphia is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew due to an influx of European immigrants, most of whom initially came from Ireland and Germany—the two largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. Later immigrant groups in the 20th century came from Italy (Italian being the third largest European ethnic ancestry currently reported in Philadelphia) and other Southern European and Eastern European countries. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War. Puerto Ricans began moving to the city in large numbers in the period between World War I and II, and in even greater numbers in the post-war period. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950.
The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. As of 2019, the Philadelphia metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $490 billion. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skylineis expanding, with a market of almost 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States. The city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has also emerged as a biotechnology hub.
Philadelphia is the home of many U.S. firsts, including the nation's first library (1731), hospital(1751), medical school (1765), national capital (1774), university (by some accounts) (1779), stock exchange (1790), zoo (1874), and business school (1881). Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall. The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States.
Philadelphia is in the Delaware Valley. The Delaware Valley is the valley through which the Delaware River flows. By extension, this toponym is commonly used to refer to Greater Philadelphia or the Philadelphia metropolitan area ("the [Lower] Delaware Valley Metropolitan Area"). The Delaware Valley is coterminous with a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and broader combined statistical area (CSA), and is composed of counties located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As of the 2010 Census, the MSA has a population of over 6 million, while the CSA has a population of over 7.1 million.
Philadelphia is by far the largest municipality in the Delaware Valley, and serves as the region's major commercial, cultural, and industrial center. Other municipalities in the MSA include Camden, New Jerseyand Wilmington, Delaware, while the larger CSA also includes municipalities such as Reading, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Delaware Valley Metropolitan Area is located in the Northeastern United States and forms part of a larger urbanized area known as the Northeast megalopolis. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia metropolitan area has a gross domestic product of $431 billion, the ninth-largest among U.S. metropolitan areas. 2016 Census Bureau estimates rank the Delaware Valley CSA as the ninth-largest CSA in the United States.
The Delaware Valley has been influential in American history and industry; its citizens have become leaders in higher education, biotechnology, medicine, tourism, and other fields. The area has hosted many people and sites significant to American culture, history, and politics. Philadelphia is sometimes known as "The Birthplace of America", as both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drafted and signed in Philadelphia. The Delaware Valley was home to many other instrumental moments in the American Revolution, and Philadelphia served as the capital of the United States for much of the 18th century. Today, the area is home to a number of nationally known universities, such as the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Villanova University, Saint Joseph's University, Temple University, La Salle University and University of Delaware.
Hispanic or Latino of any race: 14.7%
White (non-Hispanic): 34.5%
Black (non-Hispanic): 42.1%
According to the 2020 United States Census Bureau estimate, there were 1,603,797 people residing in Philadelphia, representing a 1.2% increase from the 2019 census. After the 1950 Census, when a record high of 2,071,605 was recorded, the city's population began a long decline. The population dropped to a low of 1,488,710 residents in 2006 before beginning to rise again. Between 2006 and 2017, Philadelphia added 92,153 residents.
The estimated average population density was 11,782 people per square mile (4,549/km2) in 2017. In 2010, the Census Bureau reported that 1,468,623 people (96.2% of the population) lived in households, 38,007 (2.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 19,376 (1.3%) were institutionalized. In 2013, the city reported having 668,247 total housing units, down slightly from 670,171 housing units in 2010. As of 2013, 87 percent of housing units were occupied, while 13 percent were vacant, a slight change from 2010 where 89.5 percent of units were occupied, or 599,736 and 10.5 percent were vacant, or 70,435. Of the city's residents, 32 percent reported having no vehicles available while 23 percent had two or more vehicles available, as of 2013.
In 2010, 24.9 percent of households reported having children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.3 percent were married couples living together and 22.5 percent had a female householder with no husband present, 6.0 percent had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.2 percent were non-families. The city reported 34.1 percent of all households were individuals living alone, while 10.5 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.20. In 2013, the percentage of women who gave birth in the previous 12 months who were unmarried was 56 percent. Of Philadelphia's adults, 31 percent were married or lived as a couple, 55 percent were not married, 11 percent were divorced or separated, and 3 percent were widowed.
More recently, Philadelphia has experienced a large shift toward a younger age profile. In 2000, the city's population pyramid had a largely stationary shape. In 2013, the city took on an expansive pyramid shape, with an increase in the three millennial age groups, 20 to 24, 25 to 29, and 30 to 34. The city's 25- to 29-year-old age group was the city's largest age cohort. According to the 2010 Census, 343,837 (22.5%) were under the age of 18; 203,697 (13.3%) from 18 to 24; 434,385 (28.5%) from 25 to 44; 358,778 (23.5%) from 45 to 64; and 185,309 (12.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males; while among individuals age 18 and over, for every 100 females, there were 85.7 males. The city had 22,018 births in 2013, down from a peak 23,689 births in 2008. Philadelphia's death rate was at its lowest in at least a half-century, 13,691 deaths in 2013.
Apart from economic growth, another factor contributing to the population increase is Philadelphia's rising immigration rate. Like the millennial population, Philadelphia's immigrant population is also growing rapidly. According to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the city's foreign-born population had increased by 69% between 2000 and 2016 to constitute nearly 20% of Philadelphia's work force, and had doubled between 1990 and 2017 to constitute 13.8% of the city's total population, with the top five countries of origin being China by a significant margin, followed by the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, India, and Vietnam.
Irish, Italian, German, Polish, English, Russian, Ukrainian, and French constitute the largest European ethnic groups in the city. Philadelphia has the second-largest Irish and Italian populations in the United States, after New York City. South Philadelphia remains one of the largest Italian neighborhoods in the country and is home to the Italian Market. The Pennsport neighborhood and Gray's Ferrysection of South Philadelphia, home to many Mummer clubs, are well known as Irish neighborhoods. The Kensington, Port Richmond, and Fishtown neighborhoods have historically been heavily Irish and Polish. Port Richmond is well known in particular as the center of the Polish immigrant and Polish-American community in Philadelphia, and it remains a common destination for Polish immigrants. Northeast Philadelphia, although known for its Irish and Irish-American population, is also home to a large Jewish and Russian population. Mount Airy in Northwest Philadelphia also contains a large Jewish community, while nearby Chestnut Hill is historically known as an Anglo-Saxon Protestant community.
Philadelphia has a significant gay and lesbian population. Philadelphia's Gayborhood, which is near Washington Square, is home to a large concentration of gay and lesbian friendly businesses, restaurants, and bars.
The Black American population in Philadelphia is the third-largest in the country, after New York City and Chicago. West Philadelphiaand North Philadelphia are largely African-American neighborhoods, but many are leaving those areas in favor of the Northeast and Southwest sections of Philadelphia. A higher proportion of African-American Muslims reside in Philadelphia than in most other cities in America. West Philadelphia and Southwest Philadelphia are also home to various significant Afro-Caribbean and African immigrant communities.
The Puerto Rican population in Philadelphia is the second-largest after New York City, and the second-fastest growing after Orlando. Eastern North Philadelphia, particularly Fairhill and surrounding areas to the north and east, has one of the highest concentrations of Puerto Ricans outside Puerto Rico, with many large swaths of blocks being close to 100% Puerto Rican. Large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations reside in North Philadelphia and the Northeast. In regard to other Latin American populations in Philadelphia, there are significant Mexican and Central American populations in South Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's Asian American population originates mainly from China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines. Over 35,000 Chinese Americans lived in the city in 2015, including a large Fuzhounese population. Center City hosts a growing Chinatown accommodating heavily traveled Chinese-owned bus lines to and from Chinatown, Manhattan in New York City, 95 miles to the north, as Philadelphia is experiencing significant Chinese immigration from New York City. A large Korean community initially settled in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Olney; however, the primary Koreatown has subsequently shifted northward, straddling the border with the adjacent suburb of Cheltenham in Montgomery County, while also growing in nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey. South Philadelphia is also home to large Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese communities. Philadelphia has the fifth largest Muslim population among American cities.
HOUSING UNITS: 661,958
OWNER-OCCUPIED HOUSING UNIT RATE: 53.0%
MEDIAN VALUE OF HOUSING UNIT: $221,400
MEDIAN GROSS RENT: $1,042
Philadelphia has seen the job market increase by 1.2% over the last year.Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 28.4%, which is lower than the US average of 33.5%.
Tax Rates for Philadelphia
The Sales Tax Rate for Philadelphia is 8.0%. The US average is 7.3%.
The Income Tax Rate for Philadelphia is 7.0%. The US average is 4.6%.
Tax Rates can have big impact when Comparing Cost of Living.
Income and Salaries for Philadelphia
The average income of a Philadelphia resident is $22,542 a year. The US average is $28,555 a year.
The Median household income of a Philadelphia resident is $37,460 a year. The US average is $53,482 a year.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania with the headquarters of five Fortune 1000 companies within city limits. As of 2019, the Philadelphia metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product(GMP) of $490 billion, an increase from the $445 billion calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for 2017, representing the eighth largest U.S. metropolitan economy.
Philadelphia's economic sectors include financial services, health care, biotechnology, information technology, trade and transportation, manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, and tourism. Financial activities account for the largest economic sector of the metropolitan area, which is also one of the largest health education and research centers in the United States. Philadelphia's annualized unemployment rate was 7.8% in 2014, down from 10% the previous year. This is higher than the national average of 6.2%. Similarly, the rate of new jobs added to the city's economy lagged behind the national job growth. In 2014, about 8,800 jobs were added to the city's economy. Sectors with the largest number of jobs added were in education and health care, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Declines were seen in the city's manufacturing and government sectors.
About 31.9% of the city's population was not in the labor force in 2015, the second highest percentage after Detroit. The city's two largest employers are the federal and city governments. Philadelphia's largest private employer is the University of Pennsylvania followed by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A study commissioned by the city's government in 2011 projected 40,000 jobs would be added to the city within 25 years, raising the number of jobs from 675,000 in 2010 to an estimated 715,000 by 2035.
The city is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the headquarters of cable television and internet provider Comcast, Brandywine Realty Trust, insurance companies Cigna, Colonial Penn, and Independence Blue Cross, food services company Aramark, chemical makers FMC Corporation and Rohm and Haas, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, apparel retailer Urban Outfitters and its subsidiaries including Anthropologie, automotive parts retailer Pep Boys, and stainless steel producer Carpenter Technology Corporation. The headquarters of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, and its main rotorcraft factory, are in the Philadelphia suburb of Ridley Park, while The Vanguard Group and the US headquarters of Siemens Healthineers are headquartered in suburban Malvern.
Tech and Biotech
Philadelphia has emerged as a hub for information technology and biotechnology. Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are attracting new life sciences ventures. The Philadelphia metropolitan area, comprising the Delaware Valley, has also become a growing hub for venture capital funding.
Philadelphia's history attracts many tourists, with the Independence National Historical Park (which includes the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other historic sites) receiving over 5 million visitors in 2016. The city welcomed 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania.
Trade and transportation
Philadelphia International Airport is undergoing a $900 million infrastructural expansion to increase passenger capacity and augment passenger experience; while the Port of Philadelphia, having experienced the highest percentage growth by tonnage loaded in 2017 among major U.S. seaports, was in the process of doubling its capacity to accommodate super-sized post-Panamax shipping vessels in 2018. Philadelphia's 30th Street Station is the third-busiest Amtrak rail hub, following Penn Station in Manhattan and Union Station in Washington, D.C., carrying over 4 million inter-city rail passengers annually.