Being the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, also known colloquially as Philly is the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2019 estimated population of 1,584,064.

Living in Philadelphia

Living in Philadelphia

Having similar geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County since 1854, the city is the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban center of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with more than 6 million residents as of 2017. It is also the economic and cultural center of the greater Delaware Valley with the lower Delaware and Schuylkill rivers within the Northeast megalopolis.

The Delaware Valley is the eighth-largest combined statistical area within the U.S, having a population of 7.2 million. Containing many universities and colleges in its area, Philadelphia is among the top study destinations, the city has heavily modernized into an educational and economic hub.

Being the core of economic activity in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. Also, the skyline of Philadelphia is stretching, having a market of just about 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, with the inclusion of various nationally prominent skyscrapers.

All these facts and many more make the city of Philadelphia an exciting place to live in. But before heading straight towards a settlement, here are a few pros and cons to consider.

Pros of Living in Philadelphia

1. Economy

Having a well-developed economy that is regarded so, not only in the U.S. but the whole worldwide, Philadelphia provides its citizens with stable career opportunities and even boosts a path towards excelling in businesses.

Biotechnology, manufacturing, financial services, oil refining are some of the major economic zones in Philadelphia. You won’t have a hard time finding a job as the city contains quite many well-established businesses and economic sides.

2. Plenty of Opportunities

Many large companies such as Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Haas Chemical Manufacturers, Rohm, Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, and more are situated in Philadelphia so if you’re someone with the sufficient skills and a desire to work in such sectors, Philadelphia will prove to be a highly opportune place for you.

3. Weather

The climate of Philadelphia is defined as a damp subtropical climate, which suggests that the summer of this city is generally muggy and hot, spring and fall are mild, and it can be cold through winter. The climate here isn’t too cold or too hot and snowfall during the winter is unusual with either minor snowstorms that are great in number or just light snow during some winters.

4. Education

Philadelphia contains various private and public universities and colleges that focus not only on the law but also on many other disciplines. Also, there are several Law and humanities institutes, making it suitable for those who have a serious interest in these areas. In addition, there is also the availability of decent teaching in any other field for college students who are interested.

5. Greenery

The city of Philadelphia is blessed with plenty of green space as there are Square Parks like Washington and Rittenhouse that amplify the city’s natural beauty. Also, this city contains the country’s biggest city-possessed park, Fairmount Park which is about 9200 acres big, making it easy for the residents to stay linked with wildlife.

Cons of Living in Philadelphia

1. Tax

Being in Philadelphia might be a little heavy on your wallet as you’re mandated to pay the wage tax of the town during which taxes on wages, salaries, commissions, and further recompense are required to be paid by the resident also as non-residents working in Philadelphia.

No matter where they work, it is mandatory for the residents of this city to pay a 3.8712% wage tax, while the non-residents have to necessarily pay a 3.4481% wage tax.

2. Population

According to the census report of the U.S. of 2010, the population of Philadelphia was around 1,526,006 people as a whole, establishing the population density of this city in every square kilometer to roughly about 4,405.4 people. Although, this population might not have been a problem if the town had enough areas that were residential.

3. Criminal Activities

Considered among the United States’ highest-rated cities with a criminal offense rate of 40 for every 1000 inhabitants. All over the U.S., this city is ranked 22nd within the category of the foremost dangerous cities. The main reasons for such increasing crime rates in Philadelphia could be a doing of unrestrained drug use and explicit videos.

4. Traffic

A study has ranked Philadelphia as the 18th most congested United States’ city, where drivers have been spending around 70 hours annually in congestion. The main reason being the business sectors and also the population of this city own many vehicles, due to which the town and the people living here go through such traffic jams.

5. Air Pollution

In time, Philadelphia’s overcrowding has led to the gathering of large quantities of fumes and toxic gases right up in its atmosphere. A huge population means a greater number of vehicles and with the rise within the vehicles, a high degree of carbon footprint gets mixed with the air. Thus, Philadelphia is relatively hotter than the local areas and outskirts of many cities.

Cost of Living in Philadelphia

Having turned the pages on the wonders and glitches of life in Philadelphia, you may have set up a plan in your head. And if it is to make a move in this city, we are here to guide you through the basic costs of living that you need to know.

1. Housing

A single-family home in the Philadelphia metro area can be found for less than $300,000. Also, according to the data from 2018 of the National Association of Realtors, the middle-value sale price for such a house in Philly is $224,600. Which turns the city’s market significantly cheaper as compared to East Coast cities like NY ($403,900) and Boston ($460,300).

2. Rent

Contrary to most major cities, the value of renting in Philadelphia is justifiably affordable. If you’re trying to find a two-bedroom apartment within this city, you’ll be paying a medium value rate of $1,169, according to Apartment List. Which is $6 below the national medium value, which is $1,175.

3. Food

According to May 2019 data from, the minimum recommended amount to spend on food for each day in Philadelphia is $13.70, for a monthly minimum of $424.84, meaning you’ll be spending around $100 more on food in Philly than the $324.43 U.S. average.

And if you would like to dine out, you’ll be expected to pay $15 for a meal at any cheap restaurant in Philadelphia. If you choose to go for a mid-range restaurant instead, the typical price for a three-course meal for two jumps up to $60.

4. Utilities

The May 2019 data of places the typical monthly utility bill in Philadelphia at $145.61. It is considered for a 915-square foot apartment, including electricity, heating, water, and garbage. This is often slightly below the national average, which is $152.11.
And if you want to add on the internet, you’ll be expected to pay around $67.50 a month in Philly. The typical monthly internet bill for the U.S. as an entire is $62.52, which is about $5 cheaper than Philadelphia.

5. Taxes

The average practical property tax rate in Philadelphia County is 0.98%, which can be considered a bargain compared to Allegheny County (home to Pittsburgh) that has a mean property tax rate of 2.08%.

Pennsylvania features a flat income tax rate of 3.07% which is the rock bottom rate of any of the eight states with a flat income tax. On top of that rate, Philadelphia also charges a municipal income tax, referred to as a “local earned tax,” which is 3.891%.

The statewide sales tax in Pennsylvania is 6%. Philadelphia has another 2% sales tax, for a complete of 8%. That’s about on par with NY City, which features a sales tax rate of 8.875%. It’s less than Chicago’s 10.25% sales tax, the very best of any city within the country.