Philadelphia, PA Economic Overview
There are few cities that embody the history of the United States quite like Philadelphia, from its role in the founding of the country to its well preserved monuments, like the famous Liberty Bell. With a population of roughly 1.6 million, it’s also one of the modern U.S.’ largest and most prosperous cities, which contributes to the booming Philadelphia commercial real estate market.
Philadelphia’s economy is powered by a diverse set of industries, including manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, tourism, financial services, telecommunications, healthcare and higher education. Notably, it is also home to the Port of Philadelphia, a collection of freshwater ports that is among the largest in the world, right alongside Minnesota and Wisconsin’s Twin ports complex.
Philadelphia, PA Commercial Real Estate Market
The massive Philadelphia metropolitan area, also known as the Delaware Valley, stretches across parts of four different states, including southwestern New Jersey, northern Delaware and northeastern Maryland. The expanse adds up to about 7000 square miles on which the Philadelphia office market can grow and thrive.
Downtown Philadelphia, or Center City, is one of the most highly populated downtown areas in the country, second only to Midtown Manhattan. The Downtown Philadelphia office market alone encompasses 64 million square feet of office space. Downtown is home to the headquarters of three Fortune 500 companies: cable and internet provider Comcast, insurance provider Cigna and food services company Aramark.
While these giants provide a glimpse of the makeup of the overall Philadelphia economy, the downtown area is also greatly reliant on the financial, medical, legal and government sectors. South Philadelphia office market is highly dependent on entertainment and tourism, along with energy. Here you’ll find the headquarters to the Fortune 500 oil corporation Sunoco, along with the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The complex contains Lincoln Financial field–home of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Wells Fargo Center, home of the 76ers and Flyers and the Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies.
West Philadelphia is a major center for higher education, medical research and tourism. It’s the site of some of Philadelphia’s premier universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and St. Joseph’s University. The area also holds a large portion of the city’s historical interest points, as well as the Philadelphia Zoo, which the oldest zoo in the United States.
Suburban Philadelphia, spread across the Delaware Valley region, contains a large number of communities, which make up the bulk of Philadelphia metro’s manufacturing, oil refining and food processing industries. The Delaware valley office market encompasses roughly 124 million square feet of office space and is home to the headquarters of nine Fortune 500 companies, including Lincoln Financial Group, Lockheed Martin and Crown Holdings Inc. Here you’ll find the King of Prussia Mall, the largest in the U.S., by leasable space.
Employment in Philadelphia, PA
Of the over 3 million people who work in the Philadelphia region, nearly half are employed in knowledge-based professions. The city has long been known for its “eds and meds”, owing to the large number of jobs in education and medicine, but it has diversified even further in recent years.
- Government The city, state, and federal government, as well as the Southeastern Philadelphia Transport Authority (SEPTA), are all among Philadelphia’s top 10 biggest employers.
- Education Education is another major employer in the region, with the School District of Philadelphia, Temple University, Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University leading the charts.
- Manufacturing Those seeking employment in the manufacturing sector will have plenty to choose from, including giants like Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
- Medicine Philadelphia is a hub of both healthcare and medical research, where the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Main Line Health, Independence Blue Cross, and the Albert Einstein Medical Center are all top employers, with several other hospitals and research facilities among the top 20.
- Energy Roughly 10% of all jobs in Philadelphia come from the energy sector, including oil refining and petrochemicals, with companies like Sunoco, DuPont, and others leading the way.
- Insurance Several of the country’s biggest insurance companies call Philadelphia home. Here you’ll find the headquarters of Lincoln Financial and Cigna, with Vanguard being another top employer.
Of course, tourism is yet another major industry in Philadelphia, which receives roughly 40 million visitors per year and injects over $10 billion into the local economy.
Education in Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia is served by the School District of Philadelphia, the eighth-largest in the country. The city also has a strong dedication to higher learning and is home to the Ivy League institution, the University of Pennsylvania, along with Temple University, Drexel University, St. Joseph’s University, and La Salle University. There are over 120,000 college and university students in Philadelphia alone and 300,000 in the metro area.
Commuting Time in Philadelphia, PA
At more than 31 minutes, Philadelphia has the second-longest commute time in the U.S. Less than 60% of residents drive or carpool to work, while nearly 27% rely on mass transit, 9% walk, and 2.3% commute by bicycle.
- Philadelphia has more bicycle commuters per capita than the other top-10 largest cities in the U.S. Visit http://bicyclecoalition.org/ride-your-bike/bike-commuting to learn more.
- The SEPTA Regional rail runs between 5:30 AM and midnight and serves over 130,000 people per day. See their schedules here: http://www.septa.org/service/rail/
- Total Population1,518,114
- Male Population(47.2 %) 716,215
- Female Population(52.8 %) 801,899
- Median Age34.10
- Average Household Income$57,614
- Median Household Income$44,200
- Median Income Under 25$21,771
- Median Income 25-44$44,975
- Median Income 45-64$42,461
- Median Income Over 65$26,596
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