MPIP releases 2009 Community Indicators Report

Our Where We Stand annual report monitors eleven dimensions of community life, selecting a few critical indicators to tell us where we stand on those dimensions as a region and within individual local communities.

In the current economic downturn that touches the lives of many households in greater Philadelphia, we are more conscious than ever that the citizens of this region share a common future. No matter where we live or work, all of us depend on a job market, a quality workforce, a transportation system, a housing market, a wealth of cultural and educational resources, and air and water sheds that are regional in scope. To strengthen those shared assets, we must connect local issues and concerns to the larger regional picture.

This annual report monitors eleven dimensions of community life, selecting a few critical indicators to tell us where we stand on those dimensions as a region and within individual local communities. Each section of this report shows you how greater Philadelphia ranks in comparison with eight other metropolitan areas, four of which are flourishing regions that serve as models (Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Phoenix), two of which are older industrial areas similar to ours (Detroit and Cleveland), and two of which are regional competitors (Baltimore and Pittsburgh). Each section also portrays patterns within our region, which we define as the central cities of Philadelphia and Camden plus the suburban counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery in Pennsylvania, along with Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem in New Jersey. We provide annual updates for the indicators contained in this publication in order to track changes in our communities, identify strengths, and focus attention on problem areas.

Since the publication of our 2008 edition, we have upgraded our project website (http://mpip.temple.edu) by adding MetroPhilaMapper, a new web resource that allows users to easily find data about all communities in the region, to view the information displayed in charts, tables, and maps, and to compare data that used to be scattered across multiple sources. MetroPhilaMapper provides over 300 local and regional indicators, including land use patterns, population characteristics, school district spending and performance, income and wage data, and crime patterns for the two-state, nine-county region.

This project was made possible with support from the William Penn Foundation.

Click here to download the 2009 Where We Stand in PDF format