Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 69th
- North America: 10th
- United States: 8th
Population in City Area, mid 2020
- World: 162nd
- North America: 10th
- United States: 7th
Philadelphia Population Graphs
- Urban Area
- City Area
Philadelphia Population Review
Philadelphia is a city of 1.5 million people located in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is located on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey along the coast of the Delaware River. It is the most populated county in Pennsylvania and the city itself is the eighth-largest metropolitan area, according to US statistics. The urban area of Philadelphia has 5.7 million people.
Philadelphia was founded in 1682 and is one of the oldest municipalities in the country. The city was instrumental in the American Revolution and it was the largest city in the country for many years until New York City overtook it in 1790. While it was no longer the largest city in the country, the city continued to grow exponentially. The population grew from 1 million to 3.1 million people from 1890 to 1950. Since then, the population has continued to grow steadily to its current population of 5.7 million people.
A city of firsts
Philadelphia is an important city for the United States and has been the location of many of the country’s “firsts”. These include the first library, medical school, hospital, stock exchange, zoo, business school, and national capital. It is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps and the city contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and is the only World Heritage City in the United States. This makes Philadelphia a key cultural and historical location for the United States.
Gentrification in Philadelphia has shaken many of the city’s neighbourhoods. A number of neighbourhoods surrounding the city’s downtown core have seen major changes as wealthy residents move in, including: North Philadelphia, Francisville, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington, Fairmount, Center City West, Hawthorne, and University City. Since 1949, the government has introduced many formal redevelopment projects that have forced community displacement of long-term residents, with many groups criticizing the heavy-handedness of these changes.
Many of the locations that were chosen for gentrification have shown a significant decline in black residents. On average, 750 black residents moved out of 16 or the 57 neighbourhoods chosen for focused redevelopment—and 770 white people moved in.
A diverse, but segregated city
Philadelphia is considered the fourth most segregated large city in all of the United States—it is also incredibly diverse. This is not an uncommon thing for large cities in the United States. Philadelphia’s citywide diversity index of 65.6% out of 100%, which puts it just off the most diverse city of New Jersey, with 75.5%. The population of the city is 41% black, 35% white, 13% Latino, and 7% Asian. However, most of these groups live in homogenous neighborhoods, with hyper-segregated regions that were victims of the city’s deeply racist redlining policies that are still leaving their mark today.
A strategic location
Philadelphia is a central city in the United States that has positioned itself as a business and entertainment mecca. Located between New York and Washington, DC, and within a two-hour flight of 60% of the population of the United States, Philadelphia is a key city on the eastern seaboard. There are 29 airlines in Philadelphia that offer 500 departures to 130 destinations non-stop, in the United States, and around the world.
A “knowledge capital”
Philadelphia is a highly educated city and has been named “One of Top 19 ‘Knowledge Capitals’ in USA and Europe by the Brookings Institution. It is home to the second largest university population in the U.S. and it has over 100 degree-granting institutions with 440,000 full and part-time students enrolled and over 90,000 degrees are awarded annually in the city. It is an important city for the life sciences community, with seven medical schools, 22 nursing schools, two dental schools, three colleges of pharmacy, a veterinary school, a school of optometry, a podiatry school, and 100 hospitals.