Survey finds more graduates stay in Philly area

A new report says more college graduates are deciding to stay in the Philadelphia area.

Ten years ago, a report put out by the Economy League showed how the region’s many universities did a great job of educating people who then packed up and left the area as soon as they got their diplomas.

In 2004, another survey showed only 29 percent of those graduates who did not grow up in the region remained in Philadelphia.

But Campus Philly, the non-profit set up to retain area graduates, says that trend is changing. Their recent survey, released Tuesday, shows the number of non-native college grads who stick around is up to 48 percent.

Tamara Manik-Perlman grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated from Swarthmore College in 2003. Manik-Perlman said she never thought she would stay. But the facts that Philly is cheaper than northern California and her friends are here convinced her to stay.

“People always speak of Philadelphia as a city of neighborhoods. People really think they can make a place for themselves in Philly, you know your neighbors,” she said.

“And even though we’re recent college grads, people in our neighborhoods in South Philadelphia or West Philadelphia, who’ve been there for a long time,” she said. “So you really feel like you’re joining that, a neighborhood and a community.”

Manik-Perlman, who works for a software company, is planning to buy a house in South Philadelphia.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.