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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.

Exterior shot of a condo front building with rays of light streaming down to the right
Exterior shot of a condo front building with rays of light streaming down to the right
Report

How Property Is Taxed in Philadelphia

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Report

Many Philadelphians dislike the city’s property tax. In a Pew Philadelphia Poll conducted in early 2022, respondents ranked the tax’s fairness below that of the city’s wage and sales taxes. And when property values from the latest round of assessments were posted in May, some City Council members said they were flooded with calls from outraged constituents

Looking up at Philadelphia buildings
Looking up at Philadelphia buildings
Issue Brief

5 Key Economic Trends for Philadelphia

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Issue Brief

This is a pivotal moment for Philadelphia. More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the decisions local leaders make now—about attracting and retaining residents, bolstering the workforce, and adjusting tax structures to reflect new realities like remote work—will greatly affect Philadelphia’s ability to thrive and become a more equitable city.

Philadelphia crosswalk
Philadelphia crosswalk
Issue Brief

Employment Patterns and Philadelphia's Operating Budget

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Issue Brief

In the first of a series of briefs examining Philadelphia’s fiscal future, The Pew Charitable Trusts looked at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the city’s economy.

Masked restaurant worker
Masked restaurant worker
Issue Brief

4 Possible Scenarios for Philadelphia’s Economy

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Issue Brief

Through its Philadelphia’s Fiscal Future series, The Pew Charitable Trusts, in collaboration with the William Penn Foundation, is exploring the various possibilities that lie ahead for the city’s finances and economy.

Our Work

Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Report

Philadelphia 2022: The State of the City

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Report

Two years into the pandemic, Philadelphia is showing signs of an economic and public health recovery, yet some serious challenges remain. As of April 2022, the city had recorded more than 300,000 COVID-19 cases and over 5,000 deaths since the virus was first detected in Philadelphia in March 2020. A decline in coronavirus cases in the early fall of 2021 had offered the promise of recovery—a prospect disrupted by a surge of new cases in late 2021 and early 2022. By February 2022, the city’s case numbers had declined sharply, although new surges in Europe and Asia around the same time added fresh uncertainty about the future trajectory of COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia.

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.