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Project

Philadelphia Research and Policy Initiative

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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.

Report

Philadelphia 2024

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Report

In many ways, 2024 is a year of significant transition for Philadelphia. In this year of transition, the challenge is clear for Philadelphia and its new leaders: They must nurture and strengthen the positive trends while making progress on a set of deep-seated problems that can sometimes seem intractable.

Two women on a stage with microphones have a discussion in front of a live audience. In the background is a large screen with the words “State of the City 2024: A Year in Transition” superimposed over a photo of Philadelphia’s skyline.
Two women on a stage with microphones have a discussion in front of a live audience. In the background is a large screen with the words “State of the City 2024: A Year in Transition” superimposed over a photo of Philadelphia’s skyline.
Article

Panel Examines 'State of the City' in Philadelphia

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Article

To mark the release of its annual “State of the City” report, The Pew Charitable Trusts held a wide-ranging convening on April 17, highlighting some of the 2024 report’s main findings. More than 100 people, including many civic leaders, attended the panel discussion, which was hosted by the event’s co-sponsor WHYY, the Philadelphia region’s leading public media organization.

Issue Brief

Philadelphia's Post-ARPA Fiscal Reality

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Issue Brief

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced officials in cities throughout the country to deal with unexpected budget shortfalls quickly. To close a projected one-year gap of $649 million, Philadelphia was forced to take several steps—including drawing down its operating fund balance, postponing planned tax-rate reductions, temporarily increasing some taxes, and reducing spending. But that didn’t address the long-term fiscal issues.

Article

More Women Serving on Philadelphia City Council

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Article

Although Philadelphia’s City Council makeup can change every four years following elections, the council experienced extraordinary turnover in 2024 because of retirements and multiple resignations during the previous term by members running for higher office. In addition, for the first time, the new council has members of the Working Families party holding both at-large seats reserved for the minority party.

Our Work

City skyline
City skyline

Philadelphia's Fiscal Future

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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.

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.