Geography and Economy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Geography and Economy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Topographical location

Philadelphia is located on the right bank of the Delaware. On the other side of the river is the town of Camden in the state of New Jersey. To the north of the city, the Schuylkill River flows into the Delaware. The city’s lowest point is three meters above sea level, and its highest point, in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood, is 146 meters above sea level. Philadelphia is located in the region separating the Atlantic Coastal Plain from the Piedmont Plateau.

According to A2zdirectory, Philadelphia is the capital of the county of the same name. To the north, Philadelphia County is bordered by Montgomery County, to the northeast by Bucks County, to the east by Burlington County in New Jersey, to the southeast by Camden County in New Jersey, to the south by Gloucester County, and finally by Delaware County in the West.

City planning

The northeast entrance to Washington Square

Downtown Philadelphia was designed in the 17th century by Thomas Holme, William Penn’s surveyor. The old town center is known as Center City and is laid out in a checkerboard pattern. The Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers served as the natural boundaries. Five different city parks were also created according to Penn’s ideas. They are now known as Center Square, Franklin Square, Logan Square, Washington Square and Ritenhouse Square.

With a population of 183,240, Center City is the second most populous city center in the United States; only Midtown Manhattan surpasses Center City. Center City also houses Philadelphia’s Chinatown.

The local gayborhood is located near Washington Square. This neighborhood has a high concentration of gay-friendly businesses, restaurants and bars.

Surrounding Center City are the remaining boroughs, all of which bear a geographic name: North, Northeast, Northwest, West, South and Southwest Philadelphia. These city districts are themselves divided into neighborhoods and districts.


Philadelphia has municipal parks totaling 10,334 acres. The city’s largest park is Fairmount Park, which consists of 9,200 acres of parkland. This makes it the largest landscaped park in the world. The organization that manages the park also takes care of Bartram’s Garden botanical garden. The Philadelphia Zoo is located on the west bank of the Schuylkill River.


According to the Köppen climate classification, Philadelphia has a humid subtropical climate. The average annual temperature is 13.3 °C. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 25.6 °C and January the coldest with an average temperature of 0.6 °C. There is an average annual rainfall of 1054.1 mm. It rains on average on 117 days a year, with the most precipitation in January and the least in October. It usually snows the hardest in February, when an average of 22 cm falls.


The Philadelphia Stock Exchange

Philadelphia is the center of Pennsylvania’s economic activity and within its city limits has the headquarters of five Fortune 500 companies: Comcast Corporation, Aramark, Crown Holdings, FMC Corporation, and Urban Outfitters. Various Dutch companies are also located in and around the city. ARCADIS has a branch in Center City. AkzoNobel is headquartered in Malvern and DSM in Exton; both places fall within the urban conglomeration. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, gross metropolitan product is about $422 billion in 2017, making it the seventh largest metropolitan economy in America. The economic sectors represented in Philadelphia are information technology, oil refining, food processing, health care, biotechnology, tourism and financial services. In addition, the former capital is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. The three largest private sector employers are Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Children’s Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania.

The median wage in Philadelphia in 2015 was $22,609. About 26 percent of the population lived below the poverty line. The annual unemployment rate in 2014 was 7.8% of the population, a decrease of 1.3% from the previous year, but still 1.6% higher than the United States average. The drop in the unemployment rate in 2014 stemmed from the creation of 8,800 new jobs in the city.

The Globalization and World Cities Network rated Philadelphia as a “Beta+ City” in its 2012 global city categorization


Philadelphia has two major dailies: The Philadelphia Inquirer, which ranks eighteenth among the largest dailies in the United States and is also America’s fourth-oldest newspaper. The Philadelphia Daily News is the other daily newspaper, and together the two magazines have approximately 500,000 readers. In addition, Philadelphia has several other magazines such as the Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Gay News.

KYW-TV is the oldest local television channel in the metropolis. The station was established under the name W3XE and first broadcast on June 28, 1932. At the time, W3XE was owned by the Philco Corporation, where inventor and television pioneer Philo Farnsworth worked in 1932 and ’33. In 1941, W3XE became the third largest commercial TV station in the country, which was bought by the Westinghouse Electric Company twelve years later. The station was subsequently owned by NBC and eventually became owned by CBS in 1995.

The other local stations in Philadelphia were not established until the 1970s. One of those channels was WFIL (now WPVI) and is known for the television show American Bandstand that ran on the channel until 1989.


The Philadelphia region attracted a total of 39 million visitors in 2013. This number rose to 41 million in 2015, and that year tourism had a $10.7 billion impact on the local economy.The Independence National Historical Park, which includes Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, and other landmarks, attracted more than five million visitors in 2016 alone, over 17 percent more than the previous year.

Economy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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