City of Philadelphia Gains, Dispersion Continues

For the first time since the 1950 census, the city of Philadelphia has registered a gain in population. In 2010, the city had 1,526,000 residents, up 8,000 from the 1,518,000 in 2000. The city had reached its population peak of 2,071,000 in 1950 and even with the increase since 2000 remains below its population as recorded in the 1910 census. The city (the historical core municipality) accounted for three percent of the metropolitan area growth.

Overall, the Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland) metropolitan area grew 4.9 percent, from 5,687,000 t o 5,946,000 residents. While this is modest growth relative to the national rate of 10 percent, the Philadelphia metropolitan area grew faster than the Los Angeles metropolitan area (3.7 percent), which had outgrown Philadelphia in every census period during the 20th century.

The suburbs added 6.5 percent to their population and captured 97 percent of the population growth. Outer suburban Cecil County, Maryland grew the fastest, at 18 percent, while outer suburban Chester County added the most new residents (65,000) and grew 15 percent. Gloucester County, New Jersey also grew quickly, at 13 percent.