In this report, The Pew Charitable Trusts examines the attitudes and personal experiences of poor Philadelphians, exploring several key aspects of life that are affected by, and potentially helping to perpetuate, poverty— including health outcomes, employment prospects, exposure to crime, and access to quality schools.
In 2018, the key gauges of Philadelphia’s overall well-being fall into a clear-cut pattern, more than at other times in the city’s recent history: The economic indicators are mostly positive, the social measures considerably less so.
In recent years, a number of Philadelphia neighborhoods have undergone significant transformation, with higher-income residents moving in, real estate prices rising, new businesses replacing old ones, and racial and ethnic compositions changing. Such shifts, often seen as gentrification, have received a great deal of attention in the city.
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Poverty is one of Philadelphia’s most enduring problems. The city’s poverty rate is 25.7 percent—the highest among the United States’ 10 largest cities. That means that about 400,000 city residents, including more than a third of the city’s children, live in a household with an annual income of $19,337 or less. In this episode, host Dan LeDuc talks with Larry Eichel, director of Pew’s Philadelphia research initiative, about the story behind these numbers. We also hear from Matt Bergheiser of University City District about its West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, a program that provides job training to local residents and helps match them with employers. To learn more, visit pewtrusts.org/afterthefact.