Philadelphia facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|City of Philadelphia|
|Etymology: Ancient Greek: φίλος phílos (beloved, dear) and ἀδελφός adelphós (brother, brotherly)|
"Philly", "The City of Brotherly Love", "The Athens of America", and other nicknames of Philadelphia
"Philadelphia maneto" ("Let brotherly love endure" or "... continue")
|Historic countries||Kingdom of England
Kingdom of Great Britain
|Historic colony||Kingdom of Great Britain Province of Pennsylvania|
|Incorporated||October 25, 1701|
|Founded by||William Penn|
|• Type||Mayor–council, consolidated city-county|
|• Body||Philadelphia City Council|
|• Consolidated city-county||142.70 sq mi (369.59 km2)|
|• Land||134.28 sq mi (347.78 km2)|
|• Water||8.42 sq mi (21.81 km2)|
|Elevation||39 ft (12 m)|
|• Consolidated city-county||1,603,797|
|• Rank||6th in the United States
1st in Pennsylvania
|• Density||11,943.68/sq mi (4,611.53/km2)|
|• Metro||6,245,051 (7th)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
19092–19093, 19099, 191xx
|Area codes||215, 267, 445|
|GNIS feature ID||1215531|
|Major airport||Philadelphia International Airport|
|Commuter rail||SEPTA Regional Rail, NJ Transit|
|Rapid transit||Broad Street Line, Market–Frankford Line, PATCO Speedline|
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States. With a population of 1,603,797 as of 2020, it is the sixth-most-populous city in the United States, the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania, and the second-most populous city on the East Coast of the United States, behind New York City. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most-populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the seventh largest metropolitan area in the nation, with more than 6 million residents as of 2017[update]. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the greater Delaware Valley along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill rivers within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's 2020 population of 7.38 million makes it the eighth largest combined statistical area in the United States.
Philadelphia is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States and played a central role in the country's founding. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War, including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until 1790, when it was surpassed by New York City. It served as the nation's first capital and as the nation's capital during the American Revolution. After the Revolution, from 1790 to 1800, it again served as the U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. Its industrial jobs attracted European immigrants, most of whom initially came from Ireland and Germany—the two largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015[update]. Later immigrant groups in the 20th century came from Italy (Italian being the third-largest European ethnic ancestry currently reported in Philadelphia) and other Southern European and Eastern European countries. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War. Puerto Ricans began moving to the city in large numbers in the period between World War I and II, and in even greater numbers in the post-war period. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950.
The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has developed as an educational and economic hub. As of 2019[update], the Philadelphia metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $490 billion. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of almost 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States. The city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is also a biotechnology hub.
Philadelphia is the home of many U.S. firsts, including the nation's first library (1731), hospital (1751), medical school (1765), national capital (1774), university (by some accounts) (1779), stock exchange (1790), zoo (1874), and business school (1881). Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall. The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States.
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Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape (Delaware) Indians in the village of Shackamaxon. The Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are also called Delaware Indians and their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases, mainly smallpox, and violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people occasionally fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin. The American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west. In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and surrounding territory) under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape now reside in the US state of Oklahoma, with some communities living also in Wisconsin, Ontario (Canada) and in their traditional homelands.
Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey. The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick section of Philadelphia, to reassert their dominion over the area. The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, named New Korsholm after a town that is now in Finland. In 1655, a Dutch military campaign led by New Netherland Director-General Peter Stuyvesant took control of the Swedish colony, ending its claim to independence, although the Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to have their own militia, religion, and court, and to enjoy substantial autonomy under the Dutch. The English conquered the New Netherland colony in 1664, but the situation did not really change until 1682, when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.
In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Despite the royal charter, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony. Penn made a treaty of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany under an elm tree at Shackamaxon, in what is now the city's Fishtown section. Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for brotherly love (from philos, "love" or "friendship", and adelphos, "brother"). As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely. This tolerance, far more than afforded by most other colonies, led to better relations with the local Native tribes and fostered Philadelphia's rapid growth into America's most important city.
Penn planned a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Hoping that Philadelphia would become more like an English rural town instead of a city, Penn laid out roads on a grid plan to keep houses and businesses spread far apart, with areas for gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants did not follow Penn's plans, as they crowded by the Delaware River, the port, and subdivided and resold their lots. Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing it as a city. It became an important trading center, poor at first, but with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s. Benjamin Franklin, a leading citizen, helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as fire protection, a library, and one of the American colonies' first hospitals.
A number of important philosophical societies were formed, which were centers of the city's intellectual life: the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (1785), the Pennsylvania Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts (1787), the Academy of Natural Sciences (1812), and the Franklin Institute (1824). These worked to develop and finance new industries and attract skilled and knowledgeable immigrants from Europe.
Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire, behind London. The city hosted the First Continental Congress before the American Revolutionary War; the Second Continental Congress, which signed the United States Declaration of Independence, during the war; and the Constitutional Convention (1787) after the war. Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well.
Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States, 1790–1800, while the Federal City was under construction in the District of Columbia. In 1793, the largest yellow fever epidemics in U.S. history killed at least 4,000 and up to 5,000 people in Philadelphia, roughly 10% of the city's population.
The state government left Philadelphia in 1799, and the federal government was moved to Washington, DC in 1800 with the completion of the White House and Capitol. The city remained the young nation's largest with a population of nearly 50,000 at the turn of the 19th century; it was a financial and cultural center. Before 1800, its free black community founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the country, and the first black Episcopal Church. The free black community also established many schools for its children, with the help of Quakers. New York City soon surpassed Philadelphia in population, but with the construction of roads, canals, and railroads, Philadelphia became the first major industrial city in the United States.
Throughout the 19th century, Philadelphia had a variety of industries and businesses, the largest being textiles. Major corporations in the 19th and early 20th centuries included the Baldwin Locomotive Works, William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Industry, along with the U.S. Centennial, was celebrated in 1876 with the Centennial Exposition, the first official World's Fair in the United States. Immigrants, mostly Irish and German, settled in Philadelphia and the surrounding districts. The rise in population of the surrounding districts helped lead to the Act of Consolidation of 1854, which extended the city limits of Philadelphia from the 2 square miles of present-day Center City to the roughly 130 square miles of Philadelphia County.
These immigrants were largely responsible for the first general strike in North America in 1835, in which workers in the city won the ten-hour workday. The city was a destination for thousands of Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine in the 1840s; housing for them was developed south of South Street, and was later occupied by succeeding immigrants. They established a network of Catholic churches and schools, and dominated the Catholic clergy for decades. Anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Nativist riots had erupted in Philadelphia in 1844. In the latter half of the century, immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy; and African Americans from the southern U.S. settled in the city. Between 1880 and 1930, the African-American population of Philadelphia increased from 31,699 to 219,559. Twentieth-century black newcomers were part of the Great Migration out of the rural South to northern and midwestern industrial cities.
In the American Civil War, Philadelphia was represented by the Washington Grays (Philadelphia).
By the 20th century, Philadelphia had become known as "corrupt and contented", with a complacent population and an entrenched Republican political machine. The first major reform came in 1917 when outrage over the election-year murder of a police officer led to the shrinking of the Philadelphia City Council from two houses to just one. In July 1919, Philadelphia was one of more than 36 industrial cities nationally to suffer a race riot of ethnic whites against blacks during Red Summer, in post-World War I unrest, as recent immigrants competed with blacks for jobs. In the 1920s, the public flouting of Prohibition laws, organized crime or mob violence, and police involvement in illegal activities led to the appointment of Brigadier General Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps as director of public safety, but political pressure prevented any long-term success in fighting crime and corruption.
In 1940, non-Hispanic whites constituted 86.8% of the city's population. The population peaked at more than two million residents in 1950, then began to decline with the restructuring of industry, which led to the loss of many middle-class union jobs. In addition, suburbanization had been drawing off many of the wealthier residents to outlying railroad commuting towns and newer housing. The economic impact of these changes would reduce Philadelphia's tax base and the resources of local government. Philadelphia struggled through a long period of adjustment to these economic changes. The city in fact approached bankruptcy in the late 1980s. Revitalization and gentrification of neighborhoods began in the late 1970s and continues into the 21st century, with much of the development in the Center City and University City areas of the city. After many of the old manufacturers and businesses left Philadelphia or shut down, the city started attracting service businesses and began to more aggressively market itself as a tourist destination. Glass-and-granite skyscrapers were built in Center City. Historic areas such as Independence National Historical Park located in Old City and Society Hill were renovated during the reformist mayoral era of the 1950s through the 1980s. They are now among the most desirable living areas of Center City. This has slowed the city's 40-year population decline after it lost nearly one-quarter of its population.
The city encompasses 142.6 square miles (369.3 km2), of which 135.1 square miles (349.9 km2) is land and 7.6 square miles (19.7 km2), or 5.29%, is water. Bodies of water include the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, and Cobbs, Wissahickon, and Pennypack creeks.
The city is the seat of its own county. The adjacent counties are Montgomery to the north; Bucks to the northeast; Burlington County, New Jersey, to the east; Camden County, New Jersey, to the southeast; Gloucester County, New Jersey, to the south; and Delaware County to the west.
Philadelphia's central city was created in the 17th century following the plan by William Penn's surveyor Thomas Holme. Center City is structured with long straight streets running east-west and north-south forming a grid pattern. The original city plan was designed to allow for easy travel and to keep residences separated by open space that would help prevent the spread of fire. The Delaware River and Schuylkill Rivers served as early boundaries between which the city's early street plan was kept within. In addition, Penn planned the creation of five public parks in the city which were renamed in 1824 (in parenthesis): Centre Square, North East Publick Square (Franklin Square), Northwest Square (Logan Square), Southwest Square (Rittenhouse Square), and Southeast Square (Washington Square). Center City has grown into the second-most populated downtown area in the United States, after Midtown Manhattan in New York City, with an estimated 183,240 residents in 2015.
Philadelphia's neighborhoods are divided into large sections—North, Northeast, Northwest, West, South and Southwest Philadelphia—all of which surround Center City, which corresponds closely with the city's limits before consolidation in 1854. Each of these large areas contains numerous neighborhoods, some of whose boundaries derive from the boroughs, townships, and other communities that made up Philadelphia County before their absorption into the city.
The City Planning Commission, tasked with guiding growth and development of the city, has divided the city into 18 planning districts as part of the Philadelphia2035 physical development plan. Much of the city's 1980 zoning code was overhauled from 2007 to 2012 as part of a joint effort between former mayors John F. Street and Michael Nutter. The zoning changes were intended to rectify incorrect zoning mapping that would streamline future community preferences and development, which the city forecasts an additional 100,000 residents and 40,000 jobs to be added to Philadelphia in 2035.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority is the largest landlord in Pennsylvania. Established in 1937, it is the nation's fourth-largest housing authority, housing about 84,000 people and employing 1,250. In 2013, its budget was $371 million. The Philadelphia Parking Authority works to ensure adequate parking for city residents, businesses and visitors.
Philadelphia's architectural history dates back to Colonial times and includes a wide range of styles. The earliest structures were of logs construction, but brick structures were common by 1700. During the 18th century, the cityscape was dominated by Georgian architecture, including Independence Hall and Christ Church.
In the first decades of the 19th century, Federal architecture and Greek Revival architecture were dominated by Philadelphia architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, William Strickland, John Haviland, John Notman, Thomas U. Walter, and Samuel Sloan. Frank Furness is considered Philadelphia's greatest architect of the second half of the 19th century, but his contemporaries included John McArthur, Jr., Addison Hutton, Wilson Eyre, the Wilson Brothers, and Horace Trumbauer. In 1871, construction began on the Second Empire-style Philadelphia City Hall. The Philadelphia Historical Commission was created in 1955 to preserve the cultural and architectural history of the city. The commission maintains the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, adding historic buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts as it sees fit.
In 1932, Philadelphia became home to the first International Style skyscraper in the United States, The PSFS Building, designed by George Howe and William Lescaze. It is the United States' first modern skyscraper and is considered the most important one built in the first part of the 20th century.
The 548 ft (167 m) City Hall remained the tallest building in the city until 1987 when One Liberty Place was constructed. Numerous glass and granite skyscrapers were built in Philadelphia's Center City from the late 1980s onwards. In 2007, the Comcast Center surpassed One Liberty Place to become the city's tallest building. The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center is under construction in Center City and is planned to reach a height of 1,121 feet (342 meters); upon completion, the tower is expected to be the tallest skyscraper in the United States outside of New York City and Chicago.
For much of Philadelphia's history, the typical home has been the row house. The row house was introduced to the United States via Philadelphia in the early 19th century and, for a time, row houses built elsewhere in the United States were known as "Philadelphia rows". A variety of row houses are found throughout the city, from Victorian-style homes in North Philadelphia to twin row houses in West Philadelphia. While newer homes are scattered throughout the city, much of the housing is from the early 20th century or older. The great age of the homes has created numerous problems, including blight and vacant lots in many parts of the city, while other neighborhoods such as Society Hill, which has the largest concentration of 18th-century architecture in the United States, have been rehabilitated and gentrified.
|Weather chart for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
Under the Köppen climate classification, Philadelphia falls in the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa). Under the Trewartha climate classification, the city has a temperate maritime climate (Do). Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold.
Snowfall is highly variable, with some winters bringing only light snow and others bringing several major snowstorms, with the normal seasonal snowfall standing at 22.4 in (57 cm); snow in November or April is rare, and a sustained snow cover is rare. Precipitation is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to twelve wet days per month, at an average annual rate of 41.5 inches (1,050 mm), but historically ranging from 29.31 in (744 mm) in 1922 to 64.33 in (1,634 mm) in 2011. The most rain recorded in one day occurred on July 28, 2013, when 8.02 in (204 mm) fell at Philadelphia International Airport.
The January daily average is 33.0 °F (0.6 °C), though, in a normal winter, the temperature frequently rises to 50 °F (10 °C) during thaws and dips to 10 °F (−12 °C) for 2 or 3 nights. July averages 78.1 °F (25.6 °C), although heat waves accompanied by high humidity and heat indices are frequent; highs reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on 27 days of the year. The average window for freezing temperatures is November 6 thru April 2, allowing a growing season of 217 days. Early fall and late winter are generally dry; February's average of 2.64 inches (67 mm) makes it the area's driest month. The dewpoint in the summer averages between 59.1 °F (15 °C) to 64.5 °F (18 °C).
Seasonal snowfall accumulation has ranged from trace amounts in 1972–73 to 78.7 inches (200 cm) in the winter of 2009–10. The city's heaviest single-storm snowfall, at 30.7 in (78 cm), occurred in January 1996.
The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) on August 7, 1918, but 100 °F (38 °C)+ temperatures are uncommon. The lowest officially recorded temperature was −11 °F (−24 °C) on February 9, 1934, but with the last such occurrence being January 19, 1994, temperatures at or below the 0 °F (−18 °C) mark are rare. The record low maximum is 5 °F (−15 °C) on February 10, 1899 and December 30, 1880, while the record high minimum is 83 °F (28 °C) on July 23, 2011 and July 24, 2010.
In the American Lung Association 2015 State of the Air report, Philadelphia County received an ozone grade of F and a 24-hour particle pollution rating of C. The county passed the annual particle pollution rating.
|Climate data for Philadelphia (Philadelphia Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1872–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||74
|Average high °F (°C)||40.3
|Daily mean °F (°C)||33.0
|Average low °F (°C)||25.6
|Record low °F (°C)||−7
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.03
|Snowfall inches (cm)||6.5
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.6||9.4||10.5||11.3||11.1||9.8||9.9||8.4||8.7||8.6||9.3||10.6||118.2|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||4.4||3.6||1.8||0.4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||1.8||12.2|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)|
|U.S. Decennial Census
According to the 2020 United States Census Bureau's tabulation, there were 1,603,797 people residing in Philadelphia, representing a 1.2% increase from the 2019 census. After the 1950 census, when a record high of 2,071,605 was recorded, the city's population began a long decline. The population dropped to a low of 1,488,710 residents in 2006 before beginning to rise again. Between 2006 and 2017, Philadelphia added 92,153 residents. In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the racial composition of the city was 41.3% Black (non-Hispanic), 34.9% White (non-Hispanic), 14.1% Hispanic or Latino, 7.1% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 2.8% multiracial.
|Census racial composition||2019*||2010||2000||1990||1980||1970|
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||40.1%||42.2%||42.6%||39.3%||37.5%||33.3%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||15.2%||12.3%||8.5%||5.6%||3.8%||2.4%|
|Two or more races||2.4%||2.8%||2.2%||n/a||n/a||n/a|
* 2019 figures are estimates
The 2010 census redistricting data indicated that the racial makeup of the city was 644,287 (42.2%) Black (non-Hispanic), 562,585 (36.9%) White (non-Hispanic), 96,405 (6.3%) Asian (2.0% Chinese, 1.2% Indian, 0.9% Vietnamese, 0.4% Korean, 0.3% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, and 1.4% other), 6,996 (0.5%) Native Americans, 744 (0.05%) Pacific Islanders, and 43,070 (2.8%) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 187,611 persons (12.3%); 8.0% Puerto Rican, 1.0% Mexican, 0.3% Cuban, and 3.0% other. The racial breakdown of Philadelphia's Hispanic/Latino population was 63,636 (33.9%) White, 17,552 (9.4%) Black, 3,498 (1.9%) Native American, 884 (0.47%) Asian, 287 (0.15%) Pacific Islander, 86,626 (46.2%) from other races, and 15,128 (8.1%) from two or more races. The five largest European ancestries reported in the 2010 census included Irish (13.0%), Italian (8.3%), German (8.2%), Polish (3.9%), and English (3.1%).
The estimated average population density was 11,782 people per square mile (4,549/km2) in 2017. In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 1,468,623 people (96.2% of the population) lived in households, 38,007 (2.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 19,376 (1.3%) were institutionalized. In 2013, the city reported having 668,247 total housing units, down slightly from 670,171 housing units in 2010. As of 2013[update], 87 percent of housing units were occupied, while 13 percent were vacant, a slight change from 2010 where 89.5 percent of units were occupied, or 599,736 and 10.5 percent were vacant, or 70,435. Of the city's residents, 32 percent reported having no vehicles available while 23 percent had two or more vehicles available, as of 2013[update].
In 2010, 24.9 percent of households reported having children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.3 percent were married couples living together and 22.5 percent had a female householder with no husband present, 6.0 percent had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.2 percent were non-families. The city reported 34.1 percent of all households were individuals living alone, while 10.5 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.20. In 2013, the percentage of women who gave birth in the previous 12 months who were unmarried was 56 percent. Of Philadelphia's adults, 31 percent were married or lived as a couple, 55 percent were not married, 11 percent were divorced or separated, and 3 percent were widowed.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in 2013 was $36,836, down 7.9 percent from 2008 when the inflation-adjusted median household income was $40,008 (in 2013 dollars). For comparison, on an inflation-adjusted basis, the median household income among metropolitan areas was $60,482, down 8.2 percent in the same period, and the national median household income was $55,250, down 7.0 percent from 2008. The city's wealth disparity is evident when neighborhoods are compared. Residents in Society Hill had a 2013 median household income of $93,720, while residents in one of North Philadelphia's districts reported the lowest median household income, $14,185.
More recently, Philadelphia has experienced a large shift toward a younger age profile. In 2000, the city's population pyramid had a largely stationary shape. In 2013, the city took on an expansive pyramid shape, with an increase in the three millennial age groups, 20 to 24, 25 to 29, and 30 to 34. The city's 25- to 29-year-old age group was the city's largest age cohort. According to the 2010 census, 343,837 (22.5%) were under the age of 18; 203,697 (13.3%) from 18 to 24; 434,385 (28.5%) from 25 to 44; 358,778 (23.5%) from 45 to 64; and 185,309 (12.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males; while among individuals age 18 and over, for every 100 females, there were 85.7 males. The city had 22,018 births in 2013, down from a peak 23,689 births in 2008. Philadelphia's death rate was at its lowest in at least a half-century, 13,691 deaths in 2013.
Immigration and cultural diversity
Apart from economic growth, another factor contributing to the population increase is Philadelphia's rising immigration rate. Like the millennial population, Philadelphia's immigrant population is also growing rapidly. According to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the city's foreign-born population had increased by 69% between 2000 and 2016 to constitute nearly 20% of Philadelphia's work force, and had doubled between 1990 and 2017 to constitute 13.8% of the city's total population, with the top five countries of origin being China by a significant margin, followed by the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, India, and Vietnam.
Irish, Italian, German, Polish, English, Russian, Ukrainian, and French constitute the largest European ethnic groups in the city. Philadelphia has the second-largest Irish and Italian populations in the United States, after New York City. South Philadelphia remains one of the largest Italian neighborhoods in the country and is home to the Italian Market. The Pennsport neighborhood and Gray's Ferry section of South Philadelphia, home to many Mummer clubs, are well known as Irish neighborhoods. The Kensington, Port Richmond, and Fishtown neighborhoods have historically been heavily Irish and Polish. Port Richmond is well known in particular as the center of the Polish immigrant and Polish-American community in Philadelphia, and it remains a common destination for Polish immigrants. Northeast Philadelphia, although known for its Irish and Irish-American population, is also home to a large Jewish and Russian population. Mount Airy in Northwest Philadelphia also contains a large Jewish community, while nearby Chestnut Hill is historically known as an Anglo-Saxon Protestant community.
Philadelphia has a significant gay and lesbian population. Philadelphia's Gayborhood, which is near Washington Square, is home to a large concentration of businesses, restaurants, and bars.
The Black American population in Philadelphia is the third-largest in the country, after New York City and Chicago. West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia are largely African-American neighborhoods, but many are leaving those areas in favor of the Northeast and Southwest sections of Philadelphia. A higher proportion of African-American Muslims resides in Philadelphia than in most other cities in America. West Philadelphia and Southwest Philadelphia are also home to various significant Afro-Caribbean and African immigrant communities.
The Puerto Rican population in Philadelphia is the second-largest after New York City, and the second-fastest growing after Orlando. Eastern North Philadelphia, particularly Fairhill and surrounding areas to the north and east, has one of the highest concentrations of Puerto Ricans outside Puerto Rico, with many large swaths of blocks being close to 100% Puerto Rican. Large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations reside in North Philadelphia and the Northeast. In regard to other Latin American populations in Philadelphia, there are significant Mexican and Central American populations in South Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's Asian American population originates mainly from China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines. Over 35,000 Chinese Americans lived in the city in 2015, including a large Fuzhounese population. Center City hosts a growing Chinatown accommodating heavily traveled Chinese-owned bus lines to and from Chinatown, Manhattan in New York City, 95 miles to the north, as Philadelphia is experiencing significant Chinese immigration from New York City. A large Korean community initially settled in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Olney; however, the primary Koreatown has subsequently shifted northward, straddling the border with the adjacent suburb of Cheltenham in Montgomery County, while also growing in nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey. South Philadelphia is also home to large Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese communities.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 68% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christian. Approximately 41% of Christians in the city and area professed attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant, while 26% professed Catholic beliefs.
The Protestant Christian community in Philadelphia is dominated by mainline Protestant denominations including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church in the United States, Presbyterian Church (USA) and American Baptist Churches USA. One of the most prominent mainline Protestant jurisdictions is the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in Philadelphia. Historically, the city has strong connections to the Quakers, Unitarian Universalism, and the Ethical Culture movement, all of which continue to be represented in the city. The Quaker Friends General Conference is based in Philadelphia. Evangelical Protestants making up less than 15% of the population were also prevalent. Evangelical Protestant bodies included the Anglican Church in North America, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Presbyterian Church in America, and National Baptist Convention of America.
The Catholic community is primarily served by the Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Eparchy of the United States of America and Canada, though some independent Catholic churches exist throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs. The Latin Church-based jurisdiction is headquartered in the city, and its see is the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The Ukrainian Catholic jurisdiction is also headquartered in Philadelphia, and is seated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Less than 1% of Philadelphia's Christians were Mormons. The remainder of the Christian demographic is spread among smaller Protestant denominations and the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox among others. The Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania (Orthodox Church in America) and Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (Ecumenical Patriarchate) divide the Eastern Orthodox in Philadelphia. The Russian Orthodox St. Andrew's Cathedral is in the city.
The same study says that other religions collectively compose about 8% of the population, including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, and Hinduism. Philadelphia has the fifth largest Muslim population among American cities. The remaining 24% claimed no religious affiliation.
The Philadelphia metropolitan area's Jewish population was estimated at 206,000 in 2001, which was the sixth largest in the United States at that time. Jewish traders were operating in southeastern Pennsylvania long before William Penn. Furthermore, Jews in Philadelphia took a prominent part in the War of Independence. Although the majority of the early Jewish residents were of Portuguese or Spanish descent, some among them had emigrated from Germany and Poland. About the beginning of the 19th century, a number of Jews from the latter countries, finding the services of the Congregation Mickvé Israel unfamiliar to them, resolved to form a new congregation which would use the ritual to which they had been accustomed.
African diasporic religions are practiced in some Latino and Hispanic and Caribbean communities in North and West Philadelphia.
As of 2010[update], 79.12% (1,112,441) of Philadelphia residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 9.72% (136,688) spoke Spanish, 1.64% (23,075) Chinese, 0.89% (12,499) Vietnamese, 0.77% (10,885) Russian, 0.66% (9,240) French, 0.61% (8,639) other Asian languages, 0.58% (8,217) African languages, 0.56% (7,933) Cambodian (Mon-Khmer), and Italian was spoken as a main language by 0.55% (7,773) of the population over the age of five. In total, 20.88% (293,544) of Philadelphia's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
Philadelphia is home to many national historical sites that relate to the founding of the United States. Independence National Historical Park is the center of these historical landmarks being one of the country's 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell are the city's most famous attractions. Other historic sites include homes for Edgar Allan Poe, Betsy Ross, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko, early government buildings like the First and Second Banks of the United States, Fort Mifflin, and the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church. Philadelphia alone has 67 National Historic Landmarks, the third most of any city in the country.
Philadelphia's major science museums include the Franklin Institute, which contains the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial; the Academy of Natural Sciences; the Mütter Museum; and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. History museums include the National Constitution Center, the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the state of Pennsylvania and The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, Eastern State Penitentiary and the Battleship_New_Jersey_Museum_and_Memorial. Philadelphia is home to the United States' first zoo and hospital, as well as Fairmount Park, one of America's oldest and largest urban parks.
The city is home to important archival repositories, including the Library Company of Philadelphia, established in 1731, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, founded in 1814. The Presbyterian Historical Society, the country's oldest continuous denominational historical society, is also located there.
The Philadelphia accent is considered by some to be the most distinctive accent in North America. The dialect, which is spread throughout the Delaware Valley and South Jersey, is part of Mid-Atlantic American English, and as such it is similar in many ways to the Baltimore dialect. Unlike the Baltimore dialect, however, the Philadelphia accent also shares many similarities with the New York accent. Thanks to over a century of linguistic data collected by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania under sociolinguist William Labov, the Philadelphia dialect has been one of the best-studied forms of American English. Philadelphia also has its own unique collection of neologisms and slang terms.
The city contains many art museums, such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Rodin Museum, which holds the largest collection of work by Auguste Rodin outside France. The city's major art museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is one of the largest art museums in the United States. Its long flight of steps to the main entrance became famous after the film Rocky (1976).
The city is home to the Philadelphia Sketch Club, one of the country's oldest artists' clubs, and The Plastic Club, started by women excluded from the Sketch Club. It has a profusion of art galleries, many of which participate in the First Friday event. The first Friday of every month, galleries in Old City are open late. Annual events include film festivals and parades, the most famous being the New Year's Day Mummers Parade.
Areas such as South Street and Old City have a vibrant night life. The Avenue of the Arts in Center City contains many restaurants and theaters, such as the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which is home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, generally considered one of the top five orchestras in the United States, and the Academy of Music, the nation's oldest continually operating opera house, home to the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet. The Wilma Theatre and Philadelphia Theatre Company have new buildings constructed in the last decade on the avenue. They produce a variety of new works. Several blocks to the east are the Walnut Street Theatre, America's oldest theatre and the largest subscription theater in the world; as well as the Lantern Theatre at St. Stephens Church, one of a number of smaller venues.
Philadelphia has more public art than any other American city. In 1872, the Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association) was created, the first private association in the United States dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. In 1959, lobbying by the Artists Equity Association helped create the Percent for Art ordinance, the first for a U.S. city. The program, which has funded more than 200 pieces of public art, is administered by the Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture, the city's art agency.
Philadelphia has more murals than any other U.S. city, thanks in part to the 1984 creation of the Department of Recreation's Mural Arts Program, which seeks to beautify neighborhoods and provide an outlet for graffiti artists. The program has funded more than 2,800 murals by professional, staff and volunteer artists and educated more than 20,000 youth in underserved neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Philadelphia artists have had a prominent national role in popular music. In the 1970s, Philadelphia soul influenced the music of that and later eras. On July 13, 1985, Philadelphia hosted the American end of the Live Aid concert at John F. Kennedy Stadium. The city reprised this role for the Live 8 concert, bringing some 700,000 people to the Ben Franklin Parkway on July 2, 2005. Philadelphia is home to the world-renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale, which has performed its music all over the world. Dr. Robert G. Hamilton, founder of the choir, is a notable native Philadelphian. The Philly Pops is another famous Philadelphia music group. The city has played a major role in the development and support of American rock music and rap music. Hip-hop/Rap artists such as The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, The Goats, Freeway, Schoolly D, Eve, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes hail from the city.
The city is known for its hoagies, scrapple, soft pretzels, water ice, Irish potato candy, Tastykake, and is home to the cheesesteak, developed by German and Italian immigrants. Philadelphia boasts a number of cheesesteak establishments, however two locations in South Philadelphia are perhaps the most famous among tourists: Pat's King of Steaks and its across the street rival Geno's Steaks.
Its high-end restaurants include Morimoto, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto's first restaurant, Vetri, famous on the East Coast for its take on Northern Italian cuisine, and Lacroix, a staple restaurant situated in Rittenhouse Square. Italian specialties have been supplemented by many new Vietnamese and other Asian restaurants, both budget and high-end.
McGillin's Olde Ale House, located on Drury Street in Center City, is the oldest continuously operated tavern in the city.
Philadelphia is also home to a landmark eatery founded in 1892, the Reading Terminal Market. The enclosed public market hosts over a hundred merchants offering Pennsylvania Dutch specialties, artisan cheese and meat, locally grown groceries, and specialty and ethnic foods.
As of 2014[update], the total city parkland, including municipal, state and federal parks within the city limits, amounts to 11,211 acres (45.37 km2). Philadelphia's largest park is Fairmount Park which includes the Philadelphia Zoo and encompasses 2,052 acres (8.30 km2) of the total parkland, while the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park contains 2,042 acres (8.26 km2). Fairmount Park, when combined with Wissahickon Valley Park, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States. The two parks, along with the historic Colonial Revival, Georgian and Federal architecture contained in them, have been listed as one entity on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Philadelphia has eight official sister cities, as designated by the Citizen Diplomacy International – Philadelphia:
Philadelphia also has three partnership cities or regions:
Philadelphia has dedicated landmarks to its sister cities. Dedicated in June 1976, the Sister Cities Plaza, a site of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) located at 18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, honors Philadelphia's relationships with Tel Aviv and Florence which were its first sister cities. Another landmark, the Toruń Triangle, honoring the sister city relationship with Toruń, Poland, was constructed in 1976, west of the United Way building at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In addition, the Triangle contains the Copernicus monument. Renovations were made to Sister Cities Park in mid-2011 and on May 10, 2012, SCP was reopened and currently features an interactive fountain honoring Philadelphia's ten sister and friendship cities, a café and visitor's center, children's play area, outdoor garden, and boat pond, as well as pavilion built to environmentally friendly standards.
The Chinatown Gate, erected in 1984 and crafted by artisans of Tianjin, stands astride the intersection of 10th and Arch Streets as an elaborate and colorful symbol of the sister city relationship. The CDI of Philadelphia has participated in the U.S. Department of State's "Partners for Peace" project with Mosul, Iraq, as well as accepting visiting delegations from dozens of other countries.
Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church graveyard
Governor's Council Chamber, Independence Hall
Delancey Place, Rittenhouse
The Washington Monument at Eakins Oval
The Moshulu at Penn's Landing
Hospital at Fort Mifflin
|Top publicly traded companies
headquartered in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania with the headquarters of five Fortune 1000 companies within city limits. As of 2019[update], the Philadelphia metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $490 billion, an increase from the $445 billion calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for 2017, representing the eighth largest U.S. metropolitan economy.
Philadelphia's economic sectors include financial services, health care, biotechnology, information technology, trade and transportation, manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, and tourism. Financial activities account for the largest economic sector of the metropolitan area, which is also one of the largest health education and research centers in the United States. Philadelphia's annualized unemployment rate was 7.8% in 2014, down from 10% the previous year. This is higher than the national average of 6.2%. Similarly, the rate of new jobs added to the city's economy lagged behind the national job growth. In 2014, about 8,800 jobs were added to the city's economy. Sectors with the largest number of jobs added were in education and health care, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Declines were seen in the city's manufacturing and government sectors.
About 31.9% of the city's population was not in the labor force in 2015, the second highest percentage after Detroit. The city's two largest employers are the federal and city governments. Philadelphia's largest private employer is the University of Pennsylvania followed by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A study commissioned by the city's government in 2011 projected that 40,000 jobs would be added to the city within 25 years, raising the number of jobs from 675,000 in 2010 to an estimated 715,000 by 2035.
The city is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the headquarters of cable television and internet provider Comcast, insurance companies Cigna, Colonial Penn, and Independence Blue Cross, food services company Aramark, chemical makers FMC Corporation and Rohm and Haas, pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline, Amicus Therapeutics, Spark Therapeutics apparel retailers Five Below and Urban Outfitters and its subsidiaries including Anthropologie, automotive parts retailer Pep Boys, and stainless steel producer Carpenter Technology Corporation. Other corporation headquarters include Rite Aid, Crown Holdings, and Brandywine Realty Trust. The headquarters of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, and its main rotorcraft factory, are in the Philadelphia suburb of Ridley Park, while The Vanguard Group and the US headquarters of Siemens Healthineers are headquartered in suburban Malvern.
Tech and biotech
Philadelphia is a hub for information technology and biotechnology. Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are attracting new life sciences ventures. The Philadelphia metropolitan area, comprising the Delaware Valley, has also become a growing hub for venture capital funding.
Philadelphia's history attracts many tourists, with the Independence National Historical Park (which includes the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other historic sites) receiving over 5 million visitors in 2016. The city welcomed 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania.
Trade and transportation
Philadelphia International Airport is undergoing a $900 million infrastructural expansion to increase passenger capacity and augment passenger experience; while the Port of Philadelphia, having experienced the highest percentage growth by tonnage loaded in 2017 among major U.S. seaports, was in the process of doubling its capacity to accommodate super-sized post-Panamax shipping vessels in 2018. Philadelphia's 30th Street Station is the third-busiest Amtrak rail hub, following Penn Station in Manhattan and Union Station in Washington, D.C., carrying over 4 million inter-city rail passengers annually.
Philadelphia's first professional sports team was baseball's Athletics, organized in 1860. The Athletics were initially an amateur league team that turned professional in 1871, and then became a founding team of the current National League in 1876. The city is one of 13 U.S. cities to have teams in all four major league sports: the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League of Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. The Phillies, formed in 1883 as the Quakers and renamed in 1884, are the oldest team continuously playing under the same name in the same city in the history of American professional sports.
The Philadelphia metro area is also home to the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. The Union began playing their home games in 2010 at PPL Park, a soccer-specific stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. The stadium's name was changed to Talen Energy Stadium in 2016, and to Subaru Park in 2020.
Philadelphia was the second of eight American cities to have won titles in all four major leagues (MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA), and also has a title in soccer (from the now-defunct North American Soccer League in the 1970s). The city's professional teams and their fans endured 25 years without a championship, from the 76ers 1983 NBA Finals win until the Phillies 2008 World Series win. The lack of championships was sometimes attributed in jest to the Curse of Billy Penn after One Liberty Place became the first building to surpass the height of the William Penn statue on top of City Hall's tower in 1987. After nine years passed without another championship, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl following the 2017 season. In 2004, ESPN placed Philadelphia second on its list of The Fifteen Most Tortured Sports Cities. Fans of the Eagles and Phillies were singled out as the worst fans in the country by GQ magazine in 2011, which used the subtitle of "Meanest Fans in America" to summarize incidents of drunken behavior and a history of booing.
Major professional sports teams that originated in Philadelphia but which later moved to other cities include the Golden State Warriors basketball team—in Philadelphia from 1946 to 1962—and the Oakland Athletics baseball team—originally the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1954 (a different Athletics team than the one mentioned above).
Philadelphia is home to professional, semi-professional, and elite amateur teams in cricket, rugby league (Philadelphia Fight), and rugby union. Major running events in the city include the Penn Relays (track and field), the Philadelphia Marathon, and the Broad Street Run. The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic was held annually from 1985 to 2016, but not in 2017 due to insufficient sponsorship. The Collegiate Rugby Championship is played every June at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Rowing has been popular in Philadelphia since the 18th century. Boathouse Row is a symbol of Philadelphia's rich rowing history, and each Big Five member has its own boathouse. Philadelphia hosts numerous local and collegiate rowing clubs and competitions, including the annual Dad Vail Regatta, which is the largest intercollegiate rowing event in North America with more than 100 U.S and Canadian colleges and universities participating; the annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta, which is billed as the world's oldest and largest rowing event for high school students; and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. The regattas are held on the Schuylkill River and organized by the Schuylkill Navy, an association of area rowing clubs that has produced numerous Olympic rowers.
The Philadelphia Spinners were a professional ultimate team in Major League Ultimate (MLU) until 2016. The Spinners were one of the original eight teams of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) that began in 2012. They played at Franklin Field and won the inaugural AUDL championship and the final MLU championship in 2016. The MLU was suspended indefinitely by its investors in December 2016. As of 2018[update], the Philadelphia Phoenix continue to play in the AUDL.
Philadelphia is home to the Philadelphia Big 5, a group of five NCAA Division I college basketball programs. The Big 5 are La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova universities. The sixth NCAA Division I school in Philadelphia is Drexel University. Villanova won the 1985, 2016, and 2018 championship of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
|Philadelphia Phillies||MLB||Baseball||Citizens Bank Park||46,528||1883||1980, 2008|
|Philadelphia Eagles||NFL||American football||Lincoln Financial Field||69,176||1933||1948, 1949, 1960, 2017|
|Philadelphia 76ers||NBA||Basketball||Wells Fargo Center||21,600||1963||1966–67, 1982–83|
|Philadelphia Flyers||NHL||Ice hockey||Wells Fargo Center||19,786||1967||1973–74, 1974–75|
|Philadelphia Union||MLS||Soccer||Subaru Park||18,500||2010||none|
|Philadelphia Wings||NLL||Lacrosse||Wells Fargo Center||19,786||2018||none|
|Philadelphia Fusion||OWL||Overwatch||Fusion Arena||3,500||2017||N/A|
Primary and secondary education
Education in Philadelphia is provided by many private and public institutions. The School District of Philadelphia runs the city's public schools. The Philadelphia School District is the eighth largest school district in the United States with 142,266 students in 218 traditional public schools and 86 charter schools as of 2014[update].
The city's K-12 enrollment in district–run schools dropped from 156,211 students in 2010 to 130,104 students in 2015. During the same time period, the enrollment in charter schools increased from 33,995 students in 2010 to 62,358 students in 2015. This consistent drop in enrollment led the city to close 24 of its public schools in 2013. During the 2014 school year, the city spent an average of $12,570 per pupil, below the average among comparable urban school districts.
Graduation rates among district-run schools, meanwhile, steadily increased in the ten years from 2005. In 2005, Philadelphia had a district graduation rate of 52%. This number increased to 65% in 2014, still below the national and state averages. Scores on the state's standardized test, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) trended upward from 2005 to 2011 but subsequently decreased. In 2005, the district-run schools scored an average of 37.4% on math and 35.5% on reading. The city's schools reached their peak scores in 2011 with 59.0% on math and 52.3% on reading. In 2014, the scores dropped significantly to 45.2% on math and 42.0% on reading.
Of the city's public high schools, including charter schools, only four performed above the national average on the SAT (1497 out of 2400) in 2014: Masterman, Central, Girard, and MaST Community Charter School. All other district-run schools were below average.
Philadelphia has the third-largest student concentration on the East Coast, with more than 120,000 college and university students enrolled within the city and nearly 300,000 in the metropolitan area. More than 80 colleges, universities, trade, and specialty schools are in the Philadelphia region. One of the founding members of the Association of American Universities is in the city, the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution with claims to be the First university in the United States.
The city's largest school by number of students is Temple University, followed by Drexel University. The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, and Thomas Jefferson University comprise the city's nationally ranked research universities. Philadelphia is also home to five schools of medicine: Drexel University College of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and Thomas Jefferson University's Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Hospitals, universities, and higher education research institutions in Philadelphia's four congressional districts received more than $252 million in National Institutes of Health grants in 2015.
Other institutions of higher learning within the city's borders include:
Philadelphia is served by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) which operates buses, trains, rapid transit (subway and elevated trains), trolleys, and trackless trolleys (electric buses) throughout Philadelphia, the four Pennsylvania suburban counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery, in addition to service to Mercer County, New Jersey (Trenton) and New Castle County, Delaware (Wilmington and Newark, Delaware). The city's subway system consists of two routes: the subway section of the Market–Frankford Line running east–west under Market Street which opened in 1905 to the west and 1908 to the east of City Hall, and the Broad Street Line running north–south beneath Broad Street which opened in stages from 1928 to 1938.
Beginning in the 1980s, large sections of the SEPTA Regional Rail service to the far suburbs of Philadelphia were discontinued due to a lack of funding for equipment and infrastructure maintenance.
Philadelphia's 30th Street Station is a major railroad station on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor with 4.4 million passengers in 2017 making it the third-busiest station in the country after New York City's Pennsylvania Station and Washington's Union Station. 30th Street Station offers access to Amtrak, SEPTA, and NJ Transit lines. Over 12 million SEPTA and NJ Transit rail commuters use the station each year, and more than 100,000 people on an average weekday.
The PATCO Speedline provides rapid transit service to Camden, Collingswood, Westmont, Haddonfield, Woodcrest (Cherry Hill), Ashland (Voorhees), and Lindenwold, New Jersey, from stations on Locust Street between 16th and 15th, 13th and 12th, and 10th and 9th Streets, and on Market Street at 8th Street.
Two airports serve Philadelphia: the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is 7 mi (11 km) south-southwest of Center City on the boundary with Delaware County, providing scheduled domestic and international air service, while Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE) is a general aviation relief airport in Northeast Philadelphia serving general and corporate aviation. Philadelphia International Airport is among the busiest airports in the world measured by traffic movements (i.e., takeoffs and landings). More than 30 million passengers pass through the airport annually on 25 airlines, including all major domestic carriers. The airport has nearly 500 daily departures to more than 120 destinations worldwide. SEPTA's Airport Regional Rail Line provides direct service between Center City railroad stations and Philadelphia International Airport.
William Penn planned Philadelphia with numbered streets traversing north and south, and streets named for trees, such as Chestnut, Walnut, and Mulberry, traversing east and west. The two main streets were named Broad Street (the north–south artery, since designated Pennsylvania Route 611) and High Street (the east–west artery, since renamed Market Street) converging at Centre Square which later became the site of City Hall.
Interstate 95 (the Delaware Expressway) traverses the southern and eastern edges of the city along the Delaware River as the main north–south controlled-access highway, connecting Philadelphia with Newark, New Jersey and New York City to the north and with Baltimore and Washington, D.C. southward. The city is also served by Interstate 76 (the Schuylkill Expressway), which runs along the Schuylkill River, intersecting the Pennsylvania Turnpike at King of Prussia and providing access to Harrisburg and points west. Interstate 676 (the Vine Street Expressway) links I-95 and I-76 through Center City by running below street level between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Vine Street. Entrance and exit ramps for the Benjamin Franklin Bridge are near the eastern end of the expressway, just west of the I-95 interchange.
The Roosevelt Boulevard and Expressway (U.S. 1) connect Northeast Philadelphia with Center City via I-76 through Fairmount Park. Woodhaven Road (Route 63) and Cottman Avenue (Route 73) serve the neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia, running between I-95 and the Roosevelt Boulevard. The Fort Washington Expressway (Route 309) extends north from the city's northern border, serving Montgomery County and Bucks County. U.S. Route 30 (Lancaster Avenue) extends westward from West Philadelphia to Lancaster.
Interstate 476 (locally referred to as the Blue Route) traverses Delaware County, bypassing the city to the west and serving the city's western suburbs, as well as providing a link to Allentown and points north. Interstate 276 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Delaware River extension) acts as a bypass and commuter route to the north of the city as well as a link to the New Jersey Turnpike and New York City.
The Delaware River Port Authority operates four bridges in the Philadelphia area across the Delaware River to New Jersey: the Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76), the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (I-676 and U.S. 30), the Betsy Ross Bridge (New Jersey Route 90), and the Commodore Barry Bridge (U.S. 322 in Delaware County, south of the city). The Burlington County Bridge Commission maintains two bridges across the Delaware River: the Tacony–Palmyra Bridge which connects PA Route 73 in the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia with New Jersey Route 73 in Palmyra, Burlington County, and the Burlington–Bristol Bridge which connects NJ Route 413/U.S. Route 130 in Burlington, New Jersey with PA Route 413/U.S. 13 in Bristol Township, north of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a hub for Greyhound Lines. The Greyhound terminal is at 1001 Filbert Street (at 10th Street) in Center City, southeast of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and south of Chinatown. Several other bus operators provide service at the Greyhound terminal including Fullington Trailways, Martz Trailways, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and NJ Transit buses.
Other intercity bus services include Megabus with stops at 30th Street Station and the visitor center for Independence Hall, BoltBus (operated by Greyhound) at 30th Street Station, OurBus at various stops in the city.
Since the early days of rail transportation in the United States, Philadelphia has served as a hub for several major rail companies, particularly the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad. The Pennsylvania Railroad first operated Broad Street Station, then 30th Street Station and Suburban Station, and the Reading Railroad operated Reading Terminal, now part of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The two companies also operated competing commuter rail systems in the area. The two systems now operate as a single system under the control of SEPTA, the regional transit authority. Additionally, the PATCO Speedline subway system and NJ Transit's Atlantic City Line operate successor services to southern New Jersey.
In 1911, Philadelphia had nearly 4,000 electric trolleys running on 86 lines. In 2005, SEPTA reintroduced trolley service to the Girard Avenue Line, Route 15. SEPTA operates six "subway-surface" trolleys that run on street-level tracks in West Philadelphia and subway tunnels in Center City, along with two surface trolleys in adjacent suburbs.
Philadelphia is a regional hub of the federally owned Amtrak system, with 30th Street Station being a primary stop on the Washington-Boston Northeast Corridor and the Keystone Corridor to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. 30th Street also serves as a major station for services via the Pennsylvania Railroad's former Pennsylvania Main Line to Chicago. As of 2018[update], 30th Street is Amtrak's third-busiest station in the country, after New York City and Washington.
Walk Score ranks
A 2017 study by Walk Score ranked Philadelphia the fifth most walkable major city in the United States with a score of 79 out of 100, in the middle of the "very walkable" range. The city was just edged out by fourth place Miami (79.2), with the top three cities being New York, San Francisco, and Boston. Philadelphia placed fifth in the public transit friendly category, behind Washington, D.C., with the same three cities for walkability topping this category. The city ranked tenth in the bike friendly cities category, with the top three cities being Minneapolis, San Francisco and Portland.
Water purity and availability
In 1815, Philadelphia began sourcing its water via the Fairmount Water Works on the Schuylkill River, the nation's first major urban water supply system. In 1909, the Water Works was decommissioned as the city transitioned to modern sand filtration methods. Today, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) provides drinking water, wastewater collection, and stormwater services for Philadelphia, as well as surrounding counties. PWD draws about 57 percent of its drinking water from the Delaware River and the balance from the Schuylkill River. The city has two filtration plants on the Schuylkill River and one on the Delaware River. The three plants can treat up to 546 million gallons of water per day, while the total storage capacity of the combined plant and distribution system exceeds one billion gallons. The wastewater system consists of three water pollution control plants, 21 pumping stations, and about 3,657 miles (5,885 km) of sewers.
Exelon subsidiary PECO Energy Company, founded as the Brush Electric Light Company of Philadelphia in 1881 and renamed Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) in 1902, provides electricity to about 1.6 million customers and more than 500,000 natural gas customers in the southeastern Pennsylvania area including the city of Philadelphia and most of its suburbs. PECO is the largest electric and natural gas utility in the state with 472 power substations and nearly 23,000 miles (37,000 km) of electric transmission and distribution lines, along with 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of natural gas transmission, distribution & service lines.
Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), overseen by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, is the nation's largest municipally-owned natural gas utility. PGW serves over 500,000 homes and businesses in the Philadelphia area. Founded in 1836, the company came under city ownership in 1987 and has been providing the majority of gas distributed within city limits. In 2014, the City Council refused to conduct hearings on a $1.86 billion sale of PGW, part of a two-year effort that was proposed by the mayor. The refusal led to the prospective buyer terminating its offer.
Southeastern Pennsylvania was assigned the 215 area code in 1947 when the North American Numbering Plan of the Bell System went into effect. The geographic area covered by the code was split nearly in half in 1994 when area code 610 was created, with the city and its northern suburbs retaining 215. Overlay area code 267 was added to the 215 service area in 1997, and 484 was added to the 610 area in 1999. A plan in 2001 to introduce a third overlay code to both service areas (area code 445 to 215, area code 835 to 610) was delayed and later rescinded. Area code 445 was implemented as an overlay for area codes 215 and 267 starting on February 3, 2018.
Images for kids
This 1683 portrait of Philadelphia, created by Thomas Holme, is believed to be the first map ever developed of the city
Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia at night, February 2016
Philadelphia City Hall at night, December 2012
Curtis Institute of Music at 1726 Locust Street in Center City, one of the world's premier conservatories, September 2006
Inquirer Building at 400 North Broad Street was home of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the third longest continuously published newspaper in the United States, until 2012 when the newspaper moved its headquarters to Market Street. The building is currently undergoing renovations to become the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Elfreth's Alley, "Our nation's oldest residential street", 1702–1836
Carpenters' Hall exhibiting Georgian architecture, 1770–1774
Second Bank of the United States exhibiting Greek Revival architecture, 1818–1824
In Spanish: Filadelfia para niños
Philadelphia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.