Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
City of Philadelphia
Eakins Oval and Skyline (December 2017)
Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
City Hall
Delancey Street, Society Hill
College Hall, Penn Campus
Museum of Art
Official seal of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Official logo of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Etymology: Ancient Greek: φίλος phílos (beloved, dear) and ἀδελφός adelphós (brother, brotherly)
"Philly", "The City of Brotherly Love", "The Athens of America",[1] and other nicknames of Philadelphia
"Philadelphia maneto" ("Let brotherly love endure" or "... continue")[2][3]
Interactive map of Philadelphia
Philadelphia is located in Pennsylvania
Location within Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is located in the United States
Location within United States
Philadelphia is located in North America
Location within North America
Coordinates: 39°57′10″N 75°09′49″W / 39°57′10″N 75°09′49″W / 39.95278; -75.16361UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
19092–19093, 19099, 191xx
Area codes215, 267, 445
FIPS code42-60000
GNIS feature ID1215531[10]
Major airportPhiladelphia International Airport
InterstatesI-76.svg I-95.svg I-676.svg
U.S. RoutesUS 1.svg US 13.svg US 30.svg
Commuter railSEPTA Regional Rail, NJ Transit
Rapid transitBroad Street Line, Market–Frankford Line,

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138.[8] Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017.[6] Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.[7]

William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony.[4][11] Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland, Italy and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015.[12] In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War,[13] as well as Puerto Ricans.[14] The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950.

The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub.[15][16] As of 2019, the Philadelphia metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $490 billion.[17] Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of almost 81,900 commercial properties in 2016,[18] including several nationally prominent skyscrapers.[19] Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city.[20][21] Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States.[22] The city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania.[23] Philadelphia has also emerged as a biotechnology hub.[24]

Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps,[25][26] and is also the home of many U.S. firsts, including the first library (1731),[27] hospital (1751),[27] medical school (1765),[28] national capital (1774),[29] stock exchange (1790),[27] zoo (1874),[30] and business school (1881).[31] Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.[32] The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015,[33] as the first World Heritage City in the United States.[16] Although Philadelphia is rapidly undergoing gentrification, the city actively maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods.[34]


Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape (Delaware) Indians in the village of Shackamaxon. The Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government.[35] They are also called Delaware Indians,[36] and their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley.[a] Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts.[36] Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases, mainly smallpox, and violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people occasionally fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin. The American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west. In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and surrounding territory) under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living also in Wisconsin, Ontario (Canada), and in their traditional homelands.

Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey. The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present-day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area. The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a Dutch military campaign led by New Netherland Director-General Peter Stuyvesant took control of the Swedish colony, ending its claim to independence. The Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to have their own militia, religion, and court, and to enjoy substantial autonomy under the Dutch. The English conquered the New Netherland colony in 1664, though the situation did not change substantially until 1682 when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.

In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Despite the royal charter, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony.[37] Penn made a treaty of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany under an elm tree at Shackamaxon, in what is now the city's Fishtown neighborhood.[4] Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for "brotherly love," derived from the Ancient Greek terms φίλος phílos (beloved, dear) and ἀδελφός adelphós (brother, brotherly). In fact, Amman was named Philadelphia during its Greek and Roman periods. As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely. This tolerance, far more than afforded by most other colonies, led to better relations with the local native tribes and fostered Philadelphia's rapid growth into America's most important city.[38]

Penn planned a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Hoping that Philadelphia would become more like an English rural town instead of a city, Penn laid out roads on a grid plan to keep houses and businesses spread far apart, with areas for gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants did not follow Penn's plans, however, as they crowded by the Delaware River port, and subdivided and resold their lots.[39] Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing it as a city. Though poor at first, the city became an important trading center with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s. Benjamin Franklin, a leading citizen, helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as fire protection, a library, and one of the American colonies' first hospitals.

A number of philosophical societies were formed, which were centers of the city's intellectual life: the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (1785), the Pennsylvania Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts (1787), the Academy of Natural Sciences (1812), and the Franklin Institute (1824).[40] These societies developed and financed new industries, attracting skilled and knowledgeable immigrants from Europe.

An 18th-century map of Philadelphia, circa 1752

Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire after London.[41][42] The city hosted the First Continental Congress (1774) before the Revolutionary War; the Second Continental Congress (1775–76),[43] which signed the United States Declaration of Independence, during the war; and the Constitutional Convention (1787) after the war. Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well.

Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States while the new capital was under construction in the District of Columbia from 1790 to 1800.[44] In 1793, the largest yellow fever epidemic in U.S. history killed approximately 4,000 to 5,000 people in Philadelphia, or about 10% of the city's population.[45][46]

The state capital was moved to Lancaster in 1799, then Harrisburg in 1812, while the federal government was moved to Washington, D.C. in 1800 upon completion of the White House and U.S. Capitol building. The city remained the young nation's largest until the late 18th century, being both a financial and a cultural center for America. In 1816, the city's free black community founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the country, and the first black Episcopal Church. The free black community also established many schools for its children, with the help of Quakers. New York City surpassed Philadelphia in population by 1790. Large-scale construction projects for new roads, canals, and railroads made Philadelphia the first major industrial city in the United States.

Throughout the 19th century, Philadelphia hosted a variety of industries and businesses, the largest being textiles. Major corporations in the 19th and early 20th centuries included the Baldwin Locomotive Works, William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad.[47] Established in 1870, the Philadelphia Conveyancers' Association was chartered by the state in 1871. Industry, along with the U.S. Centennial, was celebrated in 1876 with the Centennial Exposition, the first official World's Fair in the United States.

Immigrants, mostly from Ireland and Germany, settled in Philadelphia and the surrounding districts. These immigrants were largely responsible for the first general strike in North America in 1835, in which workers in the city won the ten-hour workday. The city was a destination for thousands of Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine in the 1840s; housing for them was developed south of South Street and later occupied by succeeding immigrants. They established a network of Catholic churches and schools and dominated the Catholic clergy for decades. Anti-Irish, anti-Catholic nativist riots erupted in Philadelphia in 1844. The rise in population of the surrounding districts helped lead to the Act of Consolidation of 1854, which extended the city limits from the 2 square miles (5.2 km2) of Center City to the roughly 134 square miles (350 km2) of Philadelphia County.[48][49] In the latter half of the century, immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy, and African Americans from the southern U.S. settled in the city.[50]

Philadelphia was represented by the Washington Grays in the American Civil War. The African-American population of Philadelphia increased from 31,699 to 219,559 between 1880 and 1930.[51][52] Twentieth-century black newcomers were part of the Great Migration out of the rural south to northern and midwestern industrial cities.

By the 20th century, Philadelphia had an entrenched Republican political machine and a complacent population.[54] The first major reform came in 1917 when outrage over the election-year murder of a police officer led to the shrinking of the City Council from two houses to just one.[55] In July 1919, Philadelphia was one of more than 36 industrial cities nationally to suffer a race riot of ethnic whites against blacks during Red Summer, in post-World War I unrest, as recent immigrants competed with blacks for jobs. In the 1920s, the public flouting of Prohibition laws, organized crime, mob violence, and police involvement in illegal activities led to the appointment of Brig. Gen. Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps as director of public safety, but political pressure prevented any long-term success in fighting crime and corruption.[56]

In 1940, non-Hispanic whites constituted 86.8% of the city's population.[57] The population peaked at more than two million residents in 1950, then began to decline with the restructuring of industry, which led to the loss of many middle-class union jobs. In addition, suburbanization had enticed many of the more affluent residents to outlying railroad commuting towns and newer housing. The resulting reduction in Philadelphia's tax base and the resources of local government caused the city to struggle through a long period of adjustment, with it approaching bankruptcy by the late 1980s.[58][59]

Revitalization and gentrification of neighborhoods began in the late 1970s and continues into the 21st century, with much of the development occurring in the Center City and University City neighborhoods. After many of the old manufacturers and businesses left Philadelphia or shut down, the city started attracting service businesses and began to market itself more aggressively as a tourist destination. Contemporary glass-and-granite skyscrapers were built in Center City beginning in the 1980s. Historic areas such as Old City and Society Hill were renovated during the reformist mayoral era of the 1950s through the 1980s, making those areas among the most desirable neighborhoods in Center City. These developments have begun a reversal of the city's population decline between 1950 and 2000 during which it lost about one-quarter of its residents.[60][61] The city eventually began experiencing a growth in its population in 2007, which has continued with gradual yearly increases to the present.[62][8]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Philadelphia
Alemannisch: Philadelphia
አማርኛ: ፊላዴልፊያ
العربية: فيلادلفيا
aragonés: Filadelfia
asturianu: Filadelfia
azərbaycanca: Filadelfiya
تۆرکجه: فیلادلفیا
bamanankan: Philadelphie
Bân-lâm-gú: Philadelphia
башҡортса: Филадельфия
беларуская: Філадэльфія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Філадэлфія
Bikol Central: Philadelphia
български: Филаделфия
Boarisch: Philadelphia
bosanski: Philadelphia
brezhoneg: Philadelphia
català: Filadèlfia
Cebuano: Philadelphia
čeština: Filadelfie
Chamoru: Philadelphia
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Philadelphia
Cymraeg: Philadelphia
Deutsch: Philadelphia
Diné bizaad: Beeʼeldíílsání
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Filadèlfia
español: Filadelfia
euskara: Filadelfia
فارسی: فیلادلفیا
føroyskt: Philadelphia
français: Philadelphie
galego: Filadelfia
贛語: 費城
Gĩkũyũ: Philadelphia
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Philadelphia
한국어: 필라델피아
հայերեն: Ֆիլադելֆիա
hrvatski: Philadelphia
Ilokano: Philadelphia
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: ফিলাডেলফিয়া
Bahasa Indonesia: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
interlingua: Philadelphia
Interlingue: Philadelphia
íslenska: Philadelphia
italiano: Filadelfia
עברית: פילדלפיה
Kapampangan: Philadelphia
ქართული: ფილადელფია
қазақша: Филадельфия
kernowek: Philadelphia
Kreyòl ayisyen: Philadelphia, Pennsilvani
kurdî: Philadelphia
Кыргызча: Филадельфия
кырык мары: Филадельфи
Ladino: Filadelfia
لۊری شومالی: فیلادلفیا
Latina: Philadelphia
latviešu: Filadelfija
Lëtzebuergesch: Philadelphia
lietuvių: Filadelfija
Ligure: Philadelphia
Lingua Franca Nova: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
lumbaart: Philadelphia
magyar: Philadelphia
македонски: Филаделфија
Malagasy: Philadelphia
മലയാളം: ഫിലഡെൽഫിയ
Māori: Philadelphia
მარგალური: ფილადელფია
مازِرونی: فیلادلفیا
Bahasa Melayu: Philadelphia
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Philadelphia
Mirandés: Filadélfia
монгол: Филадельфи
Na Vosa Vakaviti: Philadelphia
нохчийн: Филадельфи
Nordfriisk: Philadelphia
norsk nynorsk: Philadelphia
occitan: Filadèlfia
олык марий: Филадельфий
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Filadelfiya
پنجابی: فلاڈیلفیا
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ភីឡាដេលផ្យា
Plattdüütsch: Philadelphia
polski: Filadelfia
português: Filadélfia
română: Philadelphia
romani čhib: Philadelphia
русиньскый: Филаделфия
русский: Филадельфия
саха тыла: Филаделфиа
sardu: Filadelfia
Seeltersk: Philadelphia
shqip: Filadelfia
Simple English: Philadelphia
slovenčina: Philadelphia
ślůnski: Filadelfijo
Soomaaliga: Philadelphia
српски / srpski: Филаделфија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
svenska: Philadelphia
Taqbaylit: Philadelphia
татарча/tatarça: Filadelfiä
Türkçe: Philadelphia
українська: Філадельфія
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Filadélfiye
vepsän kel’: Filadel'fii
Tiếng Việt: Philadelphia
Volapük: Philadelphia
Winaray: Philadelphia
吴语: 费城
ייִדיש: פילאדעלפיע
Yorùbá: Philadelphia
粵語: 費城
中文: 費城