Fifteen years ago Philadelphia was yet another Rust Belt city wrestling with decline. Today, as the Pew Charitable Trust’s latest State of the City report has shown, the city is on an upward trajectory, adding population in recent years for the first time since 1950, and adding jobs too.
Philadelphia is starting to look like a city following the path of revival that places like Boston and the District of Columbia followed earlier.
In many ways the city has been ideally positioned for new economy success. The Philadelphia metro area is a very large region of 6.1 million people in an era in which larger cities have been growing faster.
Philadelphia has a highly educated population, with nearly 38 percent of people over the age of 25 in the region having a college degree. This is critical in a knowledge economy era, when biomedical research, high-tech and digital business, creative service and health care are in high demand. While not quite at the most elite levels, Philadelphia’s share of adults with a college degree is significantly above the national average.
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