Philadelphia 2020: State of the City

Posted by Pew Charitable Trust on April 21, 2020

At the start of 2020, Philadelphia continued to be largely a tale of success, expanding upon years of economic progress and demographic change. But the rise in violent crime had become a central element in the city’s story, with the potential to change Philadelphia’s positive overall trajectory—especially when combined with its ongoing challenge of high poverty.

How the picture will change in the wake of the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be seen. Through 2019, Philadelphia remained a city where people wanted to live, work, and visit. Its population rose for the 13th consecutive year, albeit marginally, reaching 1,584,064. That’s a strong gain of more than 95,000 since 2006, when the population bottomed out after a half-century of decline—but still nowhere near the peak of more than 2 million in 1950.

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