Philadelphia 2015: The State of the City

Philadelphia 2015: The State of the City

In a previous version of this report, an error appeared in the legend of Figure 2.4. The bars were mislabeled, so that those meant to represent 2014 were labeled 2004 and vice versa. This error was corrected on Nov. 23, 2015.

This report is a comprehensive look at Philadelphia by the numbers. It examines key indicators of the city’s condition—including jobs, public safety, education, housing, government, and transportation—and features select results from Pew’s most recent citywide poll. Although many of the statistics show that Philadelphia is moving in a positive direction, the analysis reveals that significant issues remain.

To read more about the state of Philadelphia, including topics such as government, transportation, and arts and culture, view or download the full PDF report.

Key Findings

  • Overall population

    8 The number of consecutive years that Philadelphia’s population has continued to grow. 

    According to the Census Bureau, Philadelphia’s population rose to 1,560,297 in 2014. Since 2006, the city has added 71,587 residents.

  • Jobs

    8,800 The number of jobs added in Philadelphia in 2014, the biggest single-year increase since 1999.

    Though Philadelphia gained jobs, and the city’s unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, the rate of job growth, 1.3 percent, did not keep up with the national rate, which was 1.9 percent.

  • Education

    25% The share of Philadelphia residents age 25 and older with bachelor’s degrees in 2013.

    Though the percentage of Philadelphians with college degrees was up in 2013, the last year available, the city’s rate remains below the national average of 29.6 percent.

  • Housing

    $879M The estimated construction value of the residential building permits issued in Philadelphia in 2014.

    Residential building permits were issued for 3,973 units in 2014—the most in several decades. Meanwhile, the percentage of housing units occupied by owners in Philadelphia continued to drop and could fall below 50 percent in the next few years.

  • Crime

    248 The number of homicides in Philadelphia in 2014, up by just one from 2013.

    Major crimes in the city declined in 2014, dropping below 70,000 for the first time in three decades.


Spotlight on Mental Health

Philadelphia is undergoing a sweeping transformation
Philadelphia is undergoing a sweeping transformation

Philadelphia 2016: The State of the City

The state of the city

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Philadelphia in 2016 is a growing city undergoing a sweeping transformation, most evident in the age and diversity of those who live here. This report examines key indicators of the city’s condition and is an update to Pew’s more comprehensive Philadelphia 2015: The State of the City.

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.