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Philadelphia's Shift from City to Suburbs Continues for Third Year




The Philadelphia Area Sees an Increase in Suburban Residents in 2023


Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau highlight a continuing demographic evolution in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area. The area gained over 3,400 residents from July 2022 to July 2023, but the details reveal a steady movement from city to suburb.


Philadelphia itself has seen its population decrease for the third year running, with a 1% drop in 2023, losing about 16,300 residents and bringing the city's count down to figures last seen in 2012. This decline in Philadelphia's population is part of a broader trend affecting major U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, accelerated by the pandemic's impacts.


The trend isn't just local; many Philadelphians have moved to states such as Florida, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and California. However, this urban exodus is balanced by significant growth in the Philadelphia metropolitan area's suburbs, particularly in South New Jersey, which led the charge with a 0.5% population increase in 2023. The suburbs of Pennsylvania around Philadelphia weren't far behind, showing a 0.3% growth rate.


Among the suburban areas, Montgomery County in Pennsylvania stood out by welcoming nearly 3,700 new residents, marking a 0.4% increase. Delaware's New Castle County also saw significant growth, with more than 3,330 people moving in, translating to a 0.6% increase from the previous year.


This trend towards suburban living is likely to persist, driven by various factors including the desire for more space, better cost of living, public safety, and the flexibility of remote work. The suburban appeal is not just attracting residents; it's also drawing attention from businesses, real estate developers, and investors, evidenced by stronger rent performance in suburban areas across most property types, excluding office spaces.


MMCG, Brenda Nguyen, CoStra


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