The Pew Charitable Trusts’ work is all about laying a foundation for policies and civic responsibility practices for a better city life. By using non-partisan, evidence-based analysis, they are able to better pinpoint specific challenges facing cities and their citizens, therefore highlighting the path to make real, positive changes.
For the seventh consecutive year, a report was released last month by Pew Charitable Trusts titled Philadelphia: The State of the City 2015. In this report, they analyze jobs and economy, public safety, education, housing, government and transportation, arts and culture, and health and welfare. Reports like these enable us to compare numbers in context to other cities similar in size, location and makeup as Philadelphia, as well as comparing current statistics with our own from years past.
Here are some of its most notable findings:
Philadelphia’s population is on the rise. After declining for over a half a century, more than 71,000 new residents in the past seven years now call the City of Brotherly Love home. Despite its population of over 1.5 million, Philadelphia feels and functions like a collection of neighborhoods- each with its own unique identity.
The age profile has altered… a lot! Between 2000 and 2013, the age profile in Philadelphia has changed pretty dramatically. More than ever, Philadelphia offers a younger adult generation art and culture, nationally-renowned higher education opportunities and a growing economy. Since 2013, 25-29-year-olds remain the city’s largest age cohort by far.
People are excited about the future of the City, and a staggering margin show that they have immense confidence that Philly will continue to get better- proving to be an even better place to live as time goes on. M2P agrees!
Unemployment rates continue to drop. While Philadelphia was a little slow to recover after the recession, since 2011 we continue to see the number of unemployed citizens decline significantly. Similarly, Philly gained over 8,800 jobs in 2014 alone, marking the highest employment level in the city in more than a decade.
Some other notable mentions:
- Tourism of domestic overnight visitors has increased well over 2M since 2004
- Colleges and universities continue to bring in huge amounts of revenue for Philadelphia, with University of Pennsylvania and Temple University alone bringing in over $3.7B and $1.2B respectively.
- Violent crime at a record low since 1968, and an overwhelming 43% of responders to the poll said they felt safe in their neighborhoods
- High school graduation rates on the rise (68% in 2012 compared to 52% in 2005)
- Of City residents ages 25-34, nearly 40% had bachelor’s degrees, nearly 7 percentage points higher than the national average. Back in 2000, this number was only 26%.
Studies like this one shed light on just how awesome Philadelphia is and how much it continues to get better each year. We’re excited to watch as the positive changes keep comin’.