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.

Buprenorphine bottle on shelf which is a common drug to help with opioid or heroine withdrawal.
Buprenorphine bottle on shelf which is a common drug to help with opioid or heroine withdrawal.
Report

Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder in Philadelphia

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Report

Of the largest cities and urban counties in the United States, Philadelphia is one of those hit hardest by opioid use disorder (OUD), outpacing all but a few in overdose deaths per capita. In 2020, it recorded 1,214 unintentional drug deaths, its second-highest number on record and the fourth straight year that the annual total surpassed 1,100.

Philadelphia housing
Philadelphia housing
Report

How 'Tangled Titles' Affect Philadelphia

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Report

Officials in Philadelphia and elsewhere have long grappled with the issue of “tangled titles” for homes—situations in which the deed to a property bears the name of someone other than the apparent owner.

Energy Coordination Agency workers
Energy Coordination Agency workers
Issue Brief

Philadelphia's Middle-Wage Jobs

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Issue Brief

In recent years, economists and policymakers have paid considerable attention to so-called middle-wage jobs— positions thought to produce a livable income and, in many cases, be available to people without bachelor’s degrees.

Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Report

The State of Housing Affordability in Philadelphia

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Report

Housing prices and rents in Philadelphia have long been lower than in many other big cities. But over the past decade, as Philadelphia has shifted from a shrinking city to a growing one with an increased demand for housing, officials and advocates have expressed mounting concern about the degree to which the city remains affordable—and for whom. To assess the situation, The Pew Charitable Trusts conducted a detailed examination of housing data from Philadelphia and put the findings in the context of other large cities throughout the country, both the 10 largest high-poverty cities and the 10 most populous.

Our Work

South Street Bridge
South Street Bridge
Report

Philadelphia 2021: State of the City

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Report

In so many ways, 2020 was a troubling year for Philadelphia, one that raised profound questions about its future. The numbers tell the story of a city facing tremendous challenges, not just from the pandemic and its economic impact but from rising drug overdose deaths and gun violence as well.

Sayre Health Center
Sayre Health Center
Article

8 Trends That Defined the Past Year in Philadelphia

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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.