Friday, April 15, 2005

Still Shrinking, barely

A while back, I asked the question, Can Philly still be shrinking? Apparently, the answer is yes, at least a little bit. According to new figures released by the Census, Philly has shrunk by 6,000 people in 2004. So, while that is a tiny loss, it is still a loss nonetheless. (I thought these Census estimates do not come out until July 1, so, I am not sure if we will get a second estimation for the year or not.)

From the article:
If the trend continues, Philadelphia's 45-year-long population loss could halt by the end of this decade.

The city shrank by 6,802 people in 2004. That is a decline of about 0.5 percent - in real terms, a virtual standstill for a city with an estimated total population of 1,470,151.

The new numbers are not an exact count, but they do represent a continued brake on the downward trend, said Matthew Christenson, a census demographer.

For a city that had two million people in 1960, any move toward ending population loss is a good move. Nevertheless, Philadelphia still has lost 47,000 people since 2001.


Neighborhood development activists say they think Philadelphia's appeal extends beyond Center City, whose population tends toward baby boomers and recent college graduates.

"There has been some real progress over the past few years in community morale," said Susan Sierra, policy coordinator for the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. "A lot of neighborhoods feel more like good places to live."

What remains most obvious, however, is the ongoing boom in Center City housing, where 6,436 units have been added since 1998.

"We've clearly added... 9,000 residents since the 2000 census," said Paul Levy, president of the Center City District. He estimates each new downtown housing unit adds 1.6 people.
I am surprised, very surprised that the shrinking continues at all. At some point it will stop, but it has not yet.


At 1:03 PM, Blogger ACM said...

I am surprised, very surprised that the shrinking continues at all. At some point it will stop, but it has not yet.

well, I think that those of us in Center City are rather blindered with regard to the continued flight from crumbling neighborhood to the far north and south, as well as shifting and redistribution in West Philly. don't let those pricey high rises fool you too much...


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