Just released Thursday, Philadelphia: The State of the City: A 2016 Update, a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The big take-away is not only the continuation of the city’s modest population growth, but the identity of those new residents.
“In 1990, 91 percent of Philadelphians identified as either African-American or non-Hispanic white,” said Larry Eichel, director of Pew’s research initiatives. “Today, that number is 77 percent, with the balance consisting of Hispanic, Asian and other. That’s a very big change in a relatively short time. And all indications are that it’s going to continue.”
The other noteworthy shift in the city’s population centers around age.
“The country has been getting older. We hear that all the time: we’re a greying society,” said Eichel. “Over the last 10 years, the median age of the country has gone up by about a year. But in the same period, Philadelphia’s median age has fallen by a year and a half. We’re now about four years younger than the nation as a whole.”
This shift can be attributed not to a baby boom — Eichel pointed out that in Philadelphia, and the country generally, there are relatively few children compared with a generation ago — but to the influx of young adults.
Larry Eichel discussed those and other findings of the report with NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller.