The Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative is out with a new look at Philadelphia, updating its “State of the City” statistical portrait. Philadelphia: The State of the City, A 2010 Update highlights some aspects of the city's condition that are promising, others that are troubling and one that is simply confusing.
“The most promising statistical indicator is the number of major crimes, which fell last year to the lowest total since 1978,” says Larry Eichel, project director of the Philadelphia Research Initiative. “Troubling is the number of jobs within the city limits, the fewest in Philadelphia's modern history. Simply confusing are the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, which suggests the local population may now be growing after decades of decline.”
The new analysis provides the latest data on a dozen indicators of the city's well-being, all but one of which were included in Philadelphia 2009: The State of the City, published last March. The update features the same lively and accessible graphics, and the same reliance on the numbers to tell the story of how Philadelphia is faring.
“Overall, the picture is not as grim as one might expect after a tough year,” says Eichel. “But the city's chronic problems—including a high poverty rate, low educational attainment level and high local tax burden—are as serious as ever.”
Next year, Pew intends to publish a full-fledged sequel to the original State of the City report. The 2010 update, as well as all other reports from the Philadelphia Research Initiative, is available at www.pewtrusts.org/philaresearch.
About The Philadelphia Research Initiative
The Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative provides timely, impartial research and analysis on key issues facing Philadelphia for the benefit of the city's citizens and leaders. Pew is a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. www.pewtrusts.org/philaresearch