New federal report surprises: Philadelphia poverty down, income up

Philadelphia’s poverty rate, a stark and stubborn indicator of hard times that has long hindered the city’s reputation, dropped to its lowest level since 2008 — near the start of the recession.

At the same time, median household income here rose.

The findings, contained in a voluminous report from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday, showed that the city’s poverty rate declined from 25.7% in 2016 to 24.5% in 2018. The number of Philadelphia residents living in poverty dropped by 14,537 — from 391,653 to 377,116 — while the median household income (adjusted for inflation) increased from $43,372 to $46,116.