Philly gets more diverse, stays forever young

 The Italian Market district in Bella Vista reflects Philadelphia's changing demographic: an increasing number of immigrants, particularly Asians and Latinos. (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

The Italian Market district in Bella Vista reflects Philadelphia's changing demographic: an increasing number of immigrants, particularly Asians and Latinos. (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

Philadelphia is still a minority majority and we are more minority than ever. The Census just released new numbers on characteristics of who’s living in the United States. In total, individuals in minority categories made up 63.4 percent of Philadelphians in 2012.

The big trend in the Philadelphia population in recent years has been that it’s growing. For the first time since the 1950s, Philadelphia has been turning itself around and getting bigger.

The proportional share of white residents and African-Americans both fell a little bit last year, whereas, reports census demographer Ben Bolender, “Asian and Hispanics are growing, as a proportion of the total population.”

The number of immigrants arriving in Philadelphia annually has jumped from about 5,000 people a year to over 7,000 a year.

Nation-wide, the big news was that the data showed white deaths outnumbered births for the first time, slightly ahead of experts’ predictions.

“Nationally,” says Bolender, “we see that the proportion of the population that are Hispanic or any race other than white along has been increasing over the past several years.”

Philadelphia is actually an outlier from the national trend in a different category. Unlike the country as a whole, Philadelphia is not getting older. Southern New Jersey, like the rest of the country, is graying, but Philadelphia’s age range has remained steady.

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