Philadelphia is Pennsylvania's largest city, the second-largest city on the US's East Coast and the 5th most populous city in the US. It also has the designation of the only consolidated city-county in the state with a population that was 1,526,006 according to the last official census in 2010.
Philadelphia's estimated population of 1.556 million represents a substantial increase over the 2010 census. The city's population has been growing for seven years straight, and it's now the second-fastest growing county in the region.
This substantial population is even more significant when you consider the metropolitan area. Philadelphia is the center of the Delaware Valley, which is the 6th largest metro area in the United States with more than 6 million residents. The Philadelphia metro division is made up of 5 counties in the state with a population of 4 million.
The largest ancestry groups in Philadelphia, according to the 2010 census, were: Irish (13.6%), Italian (9.2%), German (8.1%), Polish (4.3%) and English (2.9%).
Philadelphia is home to the second largest Italian, Irish and Jamaican-American populations in the country. It also has the 4th largest African-American community in the United States and created the first black denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, before 1800. Philadelphia has the 6th largest population of Jewish people and the 4th largest population of Polish Americans.
As of 2008, the Philadelphia metropolitan area was home to over 500,000 immigrants, 1/5 of whom had arrived since 2000. This increased immigration by about 113,000 between 2000 and 2006, which is the same amount that entered during the entire 1990s. Immigrants now account for 10.9% of Philadelphia's population, and it's believed the area will once again become a popular destination for immigrants, which was common during the mid-20th century.
Philadelphia Population Growth
Philadelphia's population growth was stalled for some time, but this has finally reversed with positive growth for seven consecutive years. The last time Philadelphia posted such gains was from 1930-1950 when its population peaked just over 2 million.
The new growth in the area has even prompted the City Planning Commission to release two new district plans, as the CPC found that 51% of all jobs in the city are in the greater Center City and University Center, which are leading the growth.
The bad news is that Philadelphia still needs to make up the jobs for its growing population. The city's population dropped over the last four decades and those who left found employment outside the city. When Philadelphia lost a fifth of its citizens, it lost 25% of its jobs. It's estimated that population growth will continue to outpace job growth.
Philadelphia has many problems that must be addressed to see more significant growth, including one of the country's highest poverty rates, high crime rates, a declining real estate market and an unemployment rate above the nation's average.
It's still not known how much the city will continue its growth and if it can overcome these issues that hold back growth. Some projections place the Philadelphia population at 2.1 million by 2050, but time will tell.