Philadelphia has often been described as a tale of two cities: On one hand, its population has been rising steadily for more than a decade, fueled by an influx of Millennials and immigrants, while on the other hand, its poverty rate has remained stubbornly high. Pew researches how these and other important demographic trends affect the city’s neighborhoods, residents, and businesses, as well as government services. Our work in this area has examined the major demographic groups driving the city’s population growth, gentrification and other types of neighborhood change, the decline of the middle class, and issues related to persistently high poverty, including who makes up Philadelphia’s poor population, where they live, and how their financial well-being affects everything from their health and housing to education and employment.

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Philadelphia's Immigrants

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Report

Philadelphia's Immigrants

Immigration has become a major driver of population growth in Philadelphia in recent years, with long-term demographic and economic implications for the city and the region.

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Poverty in Philadelphia

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The impact of Philadelphia’s high poverty rate reaches far beyond the residents who struggle on a daily basis: The high rate limits the tax revenue available to support government services, increases the demand for those services, and weighs on the economic performance of the city as well as the region. Many issues facing Philadelphia—including crime, health, and public education—are rooted in the economic status of its less well-off residents. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ research on this topic examines the demographics and geography of poverty in Philadelphia, making comparisons over time and among cities.

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Gentrification and Neighborhood Change in Philadelphia

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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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