City Analysis: Philadelphia

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Philadelphia: Overview

The population of Philadelphia is estimated at 1,584,138, while the population of the city between 20-34 is calculated as 502,135 people. The city's ID card serves as a valuable means of identification for opening bank accounts or accessing state buildings.


  • The current population of Philadelphia is estimated at 1,584,138.
  • The population of the city between 20-34 is calculated as approximately 502,135.
  • The median age of the city is 34.5.

City Elections in 2020


City ID Card

Question to City Leaders

  • What are your plans attracting more residents aged 18 – 35 since they make up only 32% of the city's population?

Research Strategy

According to our research, there are no population estimations for the age range 18-35 for the city of Philadelphia. We started by analyzing various publications by the US Census Bureau, as well as media sites that synthesize the Census data. We considered it the most reliable source of population data. Unfortunately, the age groups were either much broader or did not overlap with the requested range.
We also searched through various reports that talked about the Philadelphia population, such as the ones by Philadelphia Works. We hoped that they would include data from other sources, which would make it more likely to find a figure for the requested age group. Unfortunately, they were either based on the Census data or included out-dated data points.
Finally, we explored local and national real estate and news media sites, such as the US News. We thought that such outlets are most likely to publish Philadelphia-specific population data. However, all the articles were based on data from the US Census, which uses different age groups. We used the percentages provided by the census report for the age demographics to calculate the population of the city between 20–35, which was the most relevant age range that we could find. Here is our calculation:


  • Number of people 20-29 = 17% of the population = (0.17 * 1,584,138) = 269,303 people.
  • Number of people 30-39 = 16% of the population = (0.16 * 1,584,138) = 253,462 people.
  • Assuming an equal age distribution for all the age bracket 30-39. Therefore, population of Philadelphia between 30-34 years = (253,462 / 2) = 126,731 people.
  • Number of people 35 years of age = 51,200 (males) + 54,900 (females) = 106,100 people.
  • Total population between 20 and 35 years = 269,303 + 126,731 + 106,100 = 502,134 ≈ 502,135 people.
  • Percentage of the city's population between 20 and 35 years = (502,134 / 1,584,138) * 100 = 31.69% ≈ 32%.
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Philadelphia: Business Community

Initiatives in the city of Philadelphia created to promote small businesses include the Small Business Board (SBB) and the Department of Commerce Business Programs. Some local merchant associations include the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and the city of Philadelphia Department of Commerce.

Business Promotion Initiatives

1. The Small Business Board (SBB)
2. The Department of Commerce Business Programs
  • The Department of Commerce, Philadelphia, aids small businesses to succeed in the city through; attraction of a diverse set of businesses, maximum support for small businesses, development of talents, improved access to business fundings, and increased contracting opportunities for disabled-owned businesses, women, and minority.
  • The department has about 11 programs in support of small businesses such as the business security camera program, business coaching program, and startup PHL.
  • These programs are designed to provide financial support, incentives, and one-on-one business advice to small businesses.

Local Merchant Associations

Major Partnerships

1. Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity (PAGE)
2. Arts in Action: Community Schools Series

Philadelphia Lowest Request for Proposals Amounts.


  • How do you plan to promote small businesses through strategic partnerships in 2020?
  • How do you plan to engage local merchant associations to ensure and consolidate on the ease of doing business in Philadelphia?
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Philadelphia: Issues and Challenges

Aging infrastructure and an opioid crisis are two key challenges being tackled by leaders in Philadelphia, PA. For the purposes of this research, "key issue" is defined in terms of media coverage. This report includes a comprehensive analysis of the problems, stakeholders, and efforts to address these challenges.

Key Issue #1: Aging Infrastructure

The Problem

  • Aging infrastructure poses a significant problem for the city of Philadelphia. A few of its structures are older than the country itself, with several buildings dated pre-1776. This issue affects the city's stormwater system, roads, sidewalks, public transportation, housing, and schools.
  • In July 2018, a ruptured main sent "15 million gallons [of water] surging into Center City streets." The damage resulted in extensive flooding, and structural cave-ins posed a significant threat.
  • SEPTA, Philadelphia's public transportation system, experiences "ongoing reliability issues" due to the city's aging infrastructure.
  • According to a recent lawsuit filed against the city, its sidewalks are "dilapidated, disintegrating, and teeming with obstructions."
  • Outdated electrical systems and lack of maintenance resulted in six deadly structural fires in 2019 alone. A refinery, junkyard, apartment complex, auto shop, chemical plant, and rowhome section all caught fire this past year.
  • Several schools have closed due to damaged asbestos, a dangerous fiber used in many 20th-century buildings that can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Stakeholders Involved

  • The 2019-2020 Philadelphia Resident Survey found that crumbling infrastructure is one of citizens' top three concerns.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 14% of the city's workforce relies on public transportation.
  • Pedestrians — people with disabilities in particular — have trouble navigating damage and obstructions when they use city sidewalks.
  • Civilians can suffer serious health-related consequences when buildings insulated with asbestos are not properly maintained.

Efforts to Address It

  • One effort to address the city's stormwater system specifically is its Green City, Clean Waters initiative. The 25-year plan uses "rain gardens and stormwater planters" to improve the condition of waterways and reduce pollution while making the city more beautiful.
  • Key initiatives addressing the city's public transportation system and roads are:
    • Transit First, a program aimed at enhancing the efficiency of public transportation through inter-agency collaboration;
    • Route for Change, a 3-year project with the goal of making the Roosevelt Boulevard safer;
    • I-95 Improvement Project, an investment of $2 billion into repairing the highway;
    • Complete Streets, a program introduced in 2009 to make the city's streets and sidewalks safer and more pedestrian-friendly;
    • Connect, a 2018 program with plans to redesign Philadelphia's public transportation system to make it more efficient.
  • Philadelphia's public health website includes a hotline and specific information about how to hire a contractor to remove asbestos safely.

Question for City Leaders

  • What plans do you have for dealing with poorly-maintained buildings like apartment complexes, rowhomes, and schools where civilian safety is acutely at risk?

Key Issue #2: Philadelphia's Opioid Crisis

The Problem

  • Philadelphia has the second-highest rate of death due to an opioid overdose of all 44 counties in Pennsylvania.
  • The New York Times calls Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood the "Walmart of heroin" since it is "the largest open-air narcotics market for heroin on the East Coast."
  • City data reports that of 1,118 drug-related deaths in 2018, 84% were caused by an opioid overdose.

Stakeholders Involved

  • Citizens are most obviously impacted by this crisis. Twenty-nine percent of Philadelphia residents personally know someone who has died of an opioid overdose, and 31% personally know an opioid addict.
  • Forty-one percent of Philadelphia residents say that opioids have negatively impacted the quality of life in their neighborhoods.
  • The 2019-2020 Philadelphia Resident Survey revealed that citizens consider drug-use a major concern.
  • Opioid addiction has also affected participation in the workforce. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that nearly 50% of men between ages 25 and 54 who are not actively employed "take pain medication daily."

Efforts to Address It

  • In 2017, the city's mayor created a designated task force aimed at developing a comprehensive plan to tackle the opioid crisis. The official report was released in May 2017.
  • The mayor signed an executive order in October 2018 and launched the Resilience Project to "combat the opioid crisis" through the collaboration efforts of 35 city offices. The project incorporates a philosophy called "harm reduction" that aims to de-stigmatize addiction so that addicts are more likely to seek treatment.
  • The city is making opioid treatment options more accessible and "expand[ing] the use of naloxone" to treat overdoses.
  • Philadelphia — along with Baltimore and New York City — has sued pharmaceutical companies for pushing doctors to prescribe opioids by "overstating the benefits and understating the risks."
  • City officials are so desperate for a solution that they are considering the implementation of "supervised injection sites" where addicts can "safely" use drugs. A recent survey found that nearly two-thirds of drug users in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, dubbed "ground-zero of the city's opioid crisis," would use these facilities.

Question for City Leaders

  • While many efforts are in place to help citizens who presently suffer from an opioid addiction and their families, what programs or initiatives do you have planned to stop addiction before it starts?

From Part 03