View of Philadelphia skyline at sunset
Project

Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative

Sections

Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative
Pew’s Philadelphia research and policy initiative seeks to inform discussions on important issues facing the city and the region and to provide policymakers and other decision-makers with data, analysis, and examples of promising practices that may help them address key challenges.

We regularly release reports that often offer comparisons with other major U.S. cities, and we conduct polling to determine Philadelphians’ views on policy issues, elected officials, and various aspects of life in the city.

We also combine our local capacity with our state- and national-level expertise to convene city and regional stakeholders with experts and officials from around the country to discuss effective, evidence-based solutions being implemented in other jurisdictions and the impacts of those reforms.

Top view on a student with bunch of overdue bills
Top view on a student with bunch of overdue bills
Report

Debt Collection and Service of Process in Philadelphia

Quick View
Report

American household debt has more than tripled since 1999—from $4.6 trillion1 to $15.84 trillion in real dollars in 2022. More than three-quarters of families experience some form of debt, and a third of those with consumer credit reports have a debt in collection.

Exterior shot of a condo front building with rays of light streaming down to the right
Exterior shot of a condo front building with rays of light streaming down to the right
Report

How Property Is Taxed in Philadelphia

Quick View
Report

Many Philadelphians dislike the city’s property tax. In a Pew Philadelphia Poll conducted in early 2022, respondents ranked the tax’s fairness below that of the city’s wage and sales taxes. And when property values from the latest round of assessments were posted in May, some City Council members said they were flooded with calls from outraged constituents

City skyline
City skyline

Philadelphia's Fiscal Future

Quick View

Philadelphia’s economy was performing well in the decade before the pandemic—matching and, in some years, outperforming the nation in job generation. But COVID-19 halted that progress, and the city’s recovery has lagged that of the national economy. That’s especially troubling given that Philadelphia’s pre-pandemic job growth did not extend to workers of color in the city.

Philadelphia Skyline
Philadelphia Skyline
Data Visualization

Pew Dashboard Tracks Philadelphia's Economic Recovery

Quick View
Data Visualization

Philadelphia’s recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is a complicated and high-stakes journey for its residents, workers, employers, and policymakers. The city’s progress, including any growth, can be tracked by the ever-changing health of its businesses, the jobs they offer, the wages they pay, and what their customers spend. This dashboard provides 10 charts on local businesses and jobs at each quarter or month, starting before the pandemic-driven shutdowns in March 2020 and continuing to the present. They are assembled from various data sources and will be updated quarterly. The dashboard also includes two other charts for reference: profiles of the businesses and populations in each ZIP code area before the pandemic.

Our Work

Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Report

Philadelphia 2022: The State of the City

Quick View
Report

Two years into the pandemic, Philadelphia is showing signs of an economic and public health recovery, yet some serious challenges remain. As of April 2022, the city had recorded more than 300,000 COVID-19 cases and over 5,000 deaths since the virus was first detected in Philadelphia in March 2020. A decline in coronavirus cases in the early fall of 2021 had offered the promise of recovery—a prospect disrupted by a surge of new cases in late 2021 and early 2022. By February 2022, the city’s case numbers had declined sharply, although new surges in Europe and Asia around the same time added fresh uncertainty about the future trajectory of COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia.

Sayre Health Center
Sayre Health Center
Article

8 Trends That Defined the Past Year in Philadelphia

Quick View
Article

COVID-19 affected nearly all aspects of Philadelphians’ lives, magnifying existing inequities and exposing new fault lines at a time when calls for racial justice were mounting in the city and throughout the country.