Philadelphia facts

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Consolidated city-county
City of Philadelphia
From top left, the Philadelphia skyline, a statue of Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia City Hall, and Independence Hall
From top left, the Philadelphia skyline, a statue of Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia City Hall, and Independence Hall
Flag of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Flag
Official seal of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Seal
Etymology: Greek: philos (love) and adelphos (brother)
Nickname(s): "Philly", "City of Brotherly Love", "The Athens of America" more...
Motto: "Philadelphia maneto" ("Let brotherly love endure")
Location of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Country  United States
Commonwealth  Pennsylvania
County

Flag of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.svg Philadelphia


Historic countries

 Kingdom of England
 Kingdom of Great Britain


Historic colony Template:Flagdeco/core Province of Pennsylvania
Founded October 27, 1682
Incorporated October 25, 1701
Founded by William Penn
Government
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body Philadelphia City Council
 • Mayor Jim Kenney (D)
Area
 • Consolidated city-county 141.6 sq mi (367 km2)
 • Land 134.1 sq mi (347.3 km2)
 • Water 7.5 sq mi (19.4 km2)
 • Urban 1,799.5 sq mi (4,660.5 km2)
 • Metro 4,629 sq mi (11,988.6 km2)
Elevation 39 ft (12 m)
Population (2015)
 • Consolidated city-county 1,567,442
 • Rank US: 5th
 • Density 11,635.3/sq mi (4,492.4/km2)
 • Metro 6,069,875 (US: 7th)
 • CSA 7,183,479 (US: 8th)
 • Demonym Philadelphian
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19092-19093, 19099, 191xx
Area code(s) 215, 267
FIPS code 42101 (County)
GNIS feature ID 1215531
Website www.phila.gov

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the fifth-most populous city in the United States, with an estimated population of 1,567,442 and more than 6 million in the seventh-largest metropolitan statistical area, as of 2015. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the Delaware Valley—a region located in the Northeastern United States at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers with 7.2 million people residing in the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

In 1682, William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city 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 and the Constitution in 1787. Several other key Philadelphia events during the Revolution include the First and Second Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin, and the Philadelphia Convention. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals in the Revolutionary War, and served as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and railroad hub that grew from an influx of European immigrants. It became a prime destination for African-Americans in the Great Migration and surpassed two million occupants by 1950.

The area's many universities and colleges make Philadelphia a top international study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. With a gross domestic product of $388 billion, Philadelphia ranks ninth among world cities and fourth in the nation. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to seven Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is growing, with a market of almost 81,900 commercial properties in 2016 including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. The city is known for its arts, culture, and rich history, attracting over 41 million domestic tourists alone in 2015. 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 67 National Historic Landmarks in the city helped account for the $10 billion generated by tourism. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, and is also the home of many U.S. firsts, including the first library (1731), first hospital (1751) and medical school (1765), first Capital (1777), first stock exchange (1790), first zoo (1874), and first business school (1881). Philadelphia is the only World Heritage City in the United States.

History

A Map of Philadelphia and Parts Adjacent vc6b.1
An 18th century map of Philadelphia.

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.

The Birth of Pennsylvania 1680 cph.3g07157
The Birth of Pennsylvania, 1680, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. William Penn, holding paper, standing and facing King Charles II, in the King's breakfast chamber at Whitehall.
Treaty of Penn with Indians by Benjamin West
Penn's Treaty with the Indians by Benjamin West

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.

PhiladelphiaPresidentsHouse
President's House, Philadelphia. This mansion at 6th & Market Streets served as the presidential mansion of George Washington and John Adams, 1790–1800.

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 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.

4th-of-July-1819-Philadelphia-John-Lewis-Krimmel
Philadelphians celebrating Independence Day. 1819.
Centennial Exhibition, Opening Day
Opening day ceremonies at the Centennial Exhibition at Memorial Hall, 1876, first World's Fair in the US.

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.

WBirchLib1800
Library and Surgeon's Hall, Fifth-street.

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.

Philadelphia1844riot
An anti-Irish Catholic nativist riot in Southwark, July 7, 1844.

In the American Civil War, Philadelphia was represented by the Washington Grays (Philadelphia).

Phila8thMarket
8th and Market Street, showing the Strawbridge and Clothier department store, 1910s

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.

Geography

Large Philadelphia Landsat
A simulated-color image of Philadelphia and the Delaware River, taken by NASA's Landsat 7 satellite

Topography

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 lowest point is 10 feet (3 m) above sea level, while the highest point is in Chestnut Hill, about 445 feet (136 m) above sea level (near the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike).

Philadelphia sits on the Fall Line that separates the Atlantic Coastal Plain from the Piedmont. The rapids on the Schuylkill River at East Falls were inundated by the completion of the Fairmount Dam.

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.

Cityscape

Panoramic view of the Center City Philadelphia skyline, viewed from Camden, New Jersey, across the Delaware River. Comcast Center and the spired One Liberty Place are recognizable as the two tallest skyscrapers in this image.
Panoramic view of the Philadelphia skyline in 2009
Center City from South Street Bridge, 2016

City planning

See also: List of Philadelphia neighborhoods
Elfreth's Alley
Elfreth's Alley, "Our nation's oldest residential street", dating to 1702.

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.

Washington Square northeast entrance
Originally known as Southeast Square, Washington Square was one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn and his surveyor Thomas Holme during the late 17th century.

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.

Architecture

Christ Church Phila crop
Christ Church, a sophisticated example of Georgian architecture.

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.

OneLiberyPlacePhiladelphia
Center City Philadelphia, showing the One Liberty Place skyscraper behind City Hall and their contrast in architectural styles.
A359, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Delancey Street in Society Hill, 2009
Federal style homes on Delancey Street in Society Hill.

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 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.

Climate

Weather chart for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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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.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1683 600 —    
1731 12,000 +1900.0%
1790 28,522 +137.7%
1800 41,220 +44.5%
1810 53,722 +30.3%
1820 63,802 +18.8%
1830 80,462 +26.1%
1840 93,665 +16.4%
1850 121,376 +29.6%
1860 565,529 +365.9%
1870 674,022 +19.2%
1880 847,170 +25.7%
1890 1,046,964 +23.6%
1900 1,293,697 +23.6%
1910 1,549,008 +19.7%
1920 1,823,779 +17.7%
1930 1,950,961 +7.0%
1940 1,931,334 −1.0%
1950 2,071,605 +7.3%
1960 2,002,512 −3.3%
1970 1,948,609 −2.7%
1980 1,688,210 −13.4%
1990 1,585,577 −6.1%
2000 1,517,550 −4.3%
2010 1,526,006 +0.6%
2015 1,567,442 +2.7%
Populations for City of Philadelphia, not for Philadelphia County. Population for Philadelphia County was 54,388 (including 42,520 urban) in 1790; 81,009 (including 69,403 urban) in 1800; 111,210 (including 91,874 urban) in 1810; 137,097 (including 112,772 urban) in 1820; 188,797 (including 161,410 urban) in 1830; 258,037 (including 220,423 urban) in 1840; and 408,762 (including 340,045 urban) in 1850. Under Act of Consolidation, 1854, City of Philadelphia absorbed the various districts, boroughs, townships, other suburbs, and remaining rural area in Philadelphia County as the consolidated City and County of Philadelphia.
Race and ethnicity 2010- Philadelphia (5559907949)
Map of racial distribution in Philadelphia, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian Hispanic, or Other (yellow)

According to the 2014 United States Census estimates, there were 1,560,297 people residing in the City of Philadelphia, representing a 2.2% increase since 2010. From the 1960s up until 2006, the city's population declined year after year. It eventually reached a low of 1,488,710 residents in 2006 before beginning to rise again. Since 2006, Philadelphia added 71,587 residents in eight years. A study done by the city projected that the population would increase to about 1,630,000 residents by 2035, an increase of about 100,000 from 2010.

The racial makeup of the city in 2014 was 45.3% White (35.8% Non-Hispanic), 44.1% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American and Alaska Native, 7.2% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.5% Two or More Races, and 13.6% were Hispanic or Latino.

Census Racial composition 2010 2000 1990 1980 1970
White (includes White Hispanics) 41.8% 45.0% 53.5% 58.2% 65.6%
—Non-Hispanic White 36.9% 42.5% 52.1% 57.1% 63.8
Black or African American 43.6% 43.2% 37.8% 39.9% 33.6%
—Non-Hispanic Black 42.2% 42.6% 39.3% 37.5% 33.3%
Native American 0.5% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1% 0.1%
Asian 6.3% 4.5% 2.7% 1.1% 0.3%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Some other race 5.9% 4.8% 3.7% 2.7% 0.4%
Two or more races 2.8% 2.2% n/a n/a n/a
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 12.3% 8.5% 5.6% 3.8% 2.4%

In comparison, the 2010 Census Redistricting Data indicated that the racial makeup of the city was 661,839 (43.4%) African American, 626,221 (41.0%) White, 6,996 (0.5%) Native American, 96,405 (6.3%) Asian (2.0% Chinese, 1.2% Indian, 0.9% Vietnamese, 0.6% Cambodian, 0.4% Korean, 0.3% Filipino, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.1% Indonesian), 744 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 90,731 (5.9%) from other races, and 43,070 (2.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 187,611 persons (12.3%); 8.0% of Philadelphia is Puerto Rican, 1.0% Dominican, 1.0% Mexican, 0.3% Cuban, and 0.3% Colombian. The racial breakdown of Philadelphia's Hispanic/Latino population was 63,636 (33.9%) White, 17,552 (9.4%) African American, 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 United States Census Census included Irish (12.5%), Italian (8.4%), German (8.1%), Polish (3.6%), and English (3.0%).

Irish famine memorial philadelphia 01
"Leacht Quimhneachain Na Gael", Irish famine memorial located in Penn's Landing, honoring Philadelphia's large Irish community (14.2% of the city's population).

The average population density was 11,457 people per square mile (4,405.4/km²). The Census 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, 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.

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 made up of individuals 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 Census Bureau, the median household income in 2013 was $36,836, down 7.9 percent from 2008 when the median household income was $40,008 (in 2013 dollars). For comparison, 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 median household income of $93,720 while residents in one of North Philadelphia's districts reported the lowest median household income, $14,185.

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Italian Market, reflecting South Philadelphia's Italian heritage.

During the last decade, Philadelphia experienced a large shift in its 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 25; 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. For every 100 females age 18 and over, 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. Another factor attributing to the population increase is Philadelphia's immigration rate. In 2013, 12.7 percent of residents were foreign-born, just shy of the national average, 13.1 percent.

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Washington Square West, the heart of the Gayborhood.

Irish, Italians, Polish, Germans, English, and Greeks are the largest ethnic European 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 section, Port Richmond, and Fishtown 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 stronghold.

There has also been an increase of yuppie, bohemian, and hipster types particularly around Center City, the neighborhood of Northern Liberties, and in the neighborhoods around the city's universities, such as near Temple in North Philadelphia and particularly near Drexel and University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia. Philadelphia is also home to a significant gay and lesbian population. Philadelphia's Gayborhood, which is located near Washington Square, is home to a large concentration of gay and lesbian friendly businesses, restaurants, and bars.

The Black American population in Philadelphia is the third-largest in the country, after New York City and Chicago. Historically, West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia were largely black neighborhoods, but many are leaving these areas in favor of the Northeast and Southwest sections of Philadelphia. There is a higher proportion of Muslims in the Black American population than most cities in America. West Philadelphia also has significant Caribbean and African immigrant populations.

The Puerto Rican population in Philadelphia is the second-largest after New York City, and the second fastest-growing after Orlando. There are large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations in North Philadelphia and the Northeast, as well as a significant Mexican population in South Philadelphia.

Philadelphia has significant Asian populations mainly hailing from countries like India, China, Vietnam, and South Korea. Chinatown and the Northeast have the largest Asian presences, with a large Korean community in Olney, Philadelphia. South Philadelphia is also home to large Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities. It has the fifth largest Muslim population among American cities.

Religion

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Interior of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, head church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 68% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, with 41% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant, and 26% professing Roman Catholic beliefs, while 24% claim no religious affiliation. The same study says that other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 8% of the population. Metropolitan Philadelphia's Jewish population, the sixth largest in the United States, was estimated at 206,000 in 2001 and almost 300,000 in 2009. (though this number includes many secular Jews). There is also a significant Eastern Orthodox population as well as a strong Lutheran community. The greater Philadelphia area is home to one of the largest Lutheran communities in the United States (the largest on the East Coast).

The Muslim African American community in Philadelphia has grown substantially over the last decade. According to several statistics, Philadelphia has surpassed Detroit and New York City to become the American metropolitan area with the highest proportion of Muslims.

Religions with less numerous adherents can also be found. There is Buddhism in Chinatown, and Caribbean and African traditional religions in North and West Philadelphia. These numbers are also growing. Historically the city has strong connections to The Religious Society of Friends, Unitarian Universalism, and Ethical Culture, all of which continue to be represented in the city. The Friends General Conference is based in Philadelphia. African diasporic religions are popular in Hispanic and Caribbean communities in North and West Philadelphia.

Languages

As of 2010, 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.

Culture

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First Bank of the United States

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.

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Eastern State Penitentiary, currently a U.S. National Historic Landmark, which is open to the public as a museum for tours seven days a week, twelve months a year

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.

Dialect

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.

Arts

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Quince Street in Old City; a perfect representation of many of the small side streets in the area.
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Philadelphia Museum of Art, amongst the largest art museums in the United States.

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).

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Philadelphia Sketch Club, one of America’s oldest artists' clubs. The club's own web page proclaims it the oldest.
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Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest continuously operating theatre in the English-speaking world and the oldest in the United States.

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.

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Academy of Music, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, 1900–2001
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Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the nation's oldest art school and art museum

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.

Cuisine

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Pat's Steaks in the foreground and Geno's Steaks in the background
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McGillin's Olde Ale House

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.

Parks

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Fairmount Park, ca. 1900

As of 2014, 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

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Chinatown Gate at 10th and Arch, a symbol of Philadelphia's friendship with Tianjin.

Philadelphia has eight official sister cities, as designated by the Citizen Diplomacy International – Philadelphia:

City Country Date
Florence  Italy 1964
Tel Aviv  Israel 1966
Toruń  Poland 1976
Tianjin  China 1980
Incheon  South Korea 1984
Douala  Cameroon 1986
Nizhny Novgorod  Russia 1992
Frankfurt  Germany 2015

Philadelphia also has three partnership cities or regions:

City Country Date
Kobe  Japan 1986
Abruzzo  Italy 1997
Aix-en-Provence  France 1999

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.

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