New Phila. growth seen

A census report estimates a 0.7 percent jump from the 2010 count.

Posted: April 05, 2012

Philadelphia has continued to grow since the 2010 census count, according to data being released Thursday.

The Census Bureau estimates that the city's population on July 1 was 1,536,471, an increase of 10,465, or a 0.7 percent jump, from the official census count taken two years ago.

The new estimates show that the city's growth spurt from April 2010 to July was due mainly to an increase in births.

"This is very good news for the city of Philadelphia," Mayor Nutter said Wednesday via e-mail. "It shows a continuing trend of population growth, and it's just one more sign that Philadelphia is a place where people want to live, work, and raise a family."

Philadelphia had seen its first decennial population jump in the 2010 census - 8,456 more people than in 2000 - since 1950, when the city reached a peak population of 2.1 million people.

The new estimates, which took as their starting point the 2010 census, looked at birth and death records, as well as migration data based on survey results and federal tax returns.

They are the first county population estimates released by the Census Bureau since the 2010 census. Since Philadelphia is both a city and a county, the estimates apply to the city.

In Philadelphia, between April 1, 2010, and July, there were an estimated 29,227 births and 18,023 deaths, for a net increase of 11,204.

Meanwhile, although the city saw an estimated net increase of 6,208 people moving here from outside the United States, it witnessed a net decrease of 6,860 people who moved out of the city to other counties or states within the United States. That means that overall, the city saw a net decrease of about 650 people based on migration data.

Paul Levy, president and chief executive officer of the Center City District, has seen the trend of young parents choosing to stay in the city after having babies, particularly in Center City and nearby neighborhoods.

Walk around Center City, Northern Liberties, Fairmount, and the area around the former Graduate Hospital, and you'll see more baby strollers than before, he said.

According to a September report copublished by the Center City District, 20,553 children were born between 2000 and 2010 to parents in the area bounded by Girard Avenue to the north, Tasker Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east, and the Schuylkill to the west.

David Elesh, an urban sociologist at Temple University, agreed that the city's ability to retain more of its younger people under 35 had contributed to its continued growth.

Levy noted that office jobs in Center City and health-care and education jobs in University City have helped to keep young adults here. He also credited the city's continued growth to an increase in the Latino and the Asian immigrant populations. Hispanics have been able to find jobs in the restaurant, hospitality, and construction industries, and Asians have continued to form their own businesses, he said.

Contact Julie Shaw at 215-854-2592 or, or follow on Twitter @julieshawphilly.

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