Philadelphia Facts and Figures

Philadelphia is home to the largest ballroom on the East Coast, inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. More important facts and figures below. Photo by Paul Loftland for PHLCVB.

From the central East Coast location to the one-of-a-kind U.S. history to its status as the sixth-largest city in the nation, Philadelphia delivers so much more than most people expect. Take a look at these Philadelphia facts and figures to learn more.

Philadelphia Facts and Figures: By the Numbers

World Heritage City logo

  • 1st World Heritage City in the United States
  • 2nd largest city on the East Coast
  • 3rd most populous downtown in the country
  • 4th largest media market in the nation
  • 6th largest city in the country (city population: 1.6 million and regional population: 6.1 million)
  • 6th largest workforce in the U.S. of just over 3 million, including highly skilled talent in key industries: life sciences, energy and manufacturing, technology, financial services, and more.
  • 45 million people live within 200 miles — putting Philadelphia at the core of the country’s wealthiest and most-densely populated area.
  • $432 B Gross Regional Product (MSA)
  • 18 Fortune 500 companies within an hour’s drive of Philadelphia
  • 39 hotel brands in Center City
  • 2nd largest Chinatown on the East Coast.
  • The Italian Market is the nation’s oldest outdoor market.
  • 6,109 hotel rooms within a four-minute walk of the Pennsylvania Convention Center
  • 9,863 hotel rooms within a 10-minute walk of the Pennsylvania Convention Center
  • 11,460 hotel rooms within a 15-minute walk of the Pennsylvania Convention Center
  • Over 12,000 hotel rooms in Center City
  • Over 16,000 hotel rooms in Philadelphia County
  • Over 37,000 hotel rooms in the region
  • 1,049 retailers in Center City
  • Over 1,000 food establishments with 428 outdoor seating locations in Center City
  • 29 airlines offering 500 departures to 130 non-stop destinations in the U.S. and around the world (36 international destinations)
  • 16th largest city in the nation for international visitors from overseas
  • 60% of the U.S. population lives within a two-hour flight of Philadelphia
  • Strategically located between New York (1 hour 20 minutes) and Washington DC. (1 hour 45 minutes) on Amtrak’s Acela Express
  • The Pennsylvania Convention Center offers more than 1 million-square feet of sellable space and 528,000-square feet of contiguous exhibit hall space along with cozy lounges and nooks to make you feel at home.
  • The Pennsylvania Convention Center features a 55,408 square foot ballroom — the largest on the East Coast

Creative Spirit

  • Philadelphia is home to James Beard winning chefs including Michael Solomonov of Zahav (2017 Outstanding Chef) and Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink (2017 Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic) — as well as other James Beard notables such as Stephen Starr of Starr Restaurants (2017 Outstanding Resaurateur), Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head (2017 Outstanding Beer Professional) and Marc Vetri.  Not to mention Iron Chefs Jose Garces and Morimoto, Top Chef Nick Elmi and more.
  • 85+ movies have been filmed in Philadelphia and more are in-production every day.
  • Philadelphia has more public art than any other U.S. city.  Nearly 4,000 massive murals grace the walls and communicate the essence of neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans.
  • Philadelphia is America’s Garden Capital.  The Philadelphia Flower Show – the nation’s largest and the world’s longest-running horticultural event – traditionally takes place inside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center each year, but was held outdoors in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park (FDR Park) in South Philadelphia in 2021 and will be held outside again in 2022.

Freedom, Democracy + America

  • Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia is one of the top most visited monuments in America.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranked Philadelphia as No. 2 among “Best Places to Visit in the U.S.”
  • Pacific Area Travel Writers Association voted Philadelphia No. 1 for heritage and culture in 2016.
  • Philadelphia was founded on religious freedom and continues to welcome people of all faiths.
  • Philadelphia was the 1st capital of the United States (see where the Declaration of Independence was written and the Constitution was signed all in Independence National Historical Park)

Innovation + Education

  • Named by the Brookings Institution as “One of Top 19 ‘Knowledge Capitals’ in USA and Europe”
  • Named a Top 20 Emerging Startup Hub by Technet.
  • Philadelphia is ranked as the best city in America for diversity in science, tech, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, by SmartAsset.
  • Home to the second largest university population in the U.S. and a life sciences hub, making innovation and education at the heart of the Philadelphia story.
  • As one of the nation’s hubs for higher education, Philadelphia has over 100 degree-granting institutions enrolling 440,000 full and part-time students and 90,000 degrees annually according to Select Greater Philadelphia.
  • Extensive life sciences community including seven medical schools, 22 nursing schools, two dental schools, three colleges of pharmacy, a veterinary school, a school of optometry, a podiatry school, 100 hospitals and numerous biomedical and pharmaceutical companies.
  • A city of medical firsts including the first hospital in the United States and is the first medical library (Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751); first medical school in the United States (University of Pennsylvania Medical School, 1765); first college of pharmacy in the Unites States (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, now The University of the Sciences, 1821); first hospital in the Western hemisphere devoted to the eye (Wills Eye Hospital, 1832); first women’s medical school in the world (The Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1850); and the first children’s hospital in the United States (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

Outdoor Life + Sports

  • Named one of the world’s 10 best cities for parks by Frommer’s.
  • Philadelphia’s urban park system, including Fairmount Park, is 10,200 acres with 63 individual parks, over 270 hiking trails and 200 historic buildings.
  • Philadelphia has 426 miles of bicycle lanes, the most per square mile of any U.S. city, according to Select Greater Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia is the #1 Most Sports-Crazed City in the U.S. according to Travel + Leisure.

Vibrant Street Life

  • No. 1 “Most Exciting Place to See in the U.S. in 2016,” by Lonely Planet.
  • Bon Appetit ranked Philadelphia as “One of America’s Greatest Eating Cities.”
  • One of 25 Incredible Destinations from Across the Globe, according to Fodor Travel’s Go List 2016.
  • Consistently cited as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.

Accessible + Friendly

  • U.S. News ranked Philadelphia in the top 15 Best Affordable U.S. Destinations.
  • Millennials are growing at a faster rate than in any of the nation’s 30 largest cities, according to JLL.
  • Travel + Leisure Magazine ranked Philadelphia’s as one of the best U.S. cities for a romantic urban honeymoon.
  • Philadelphia, a Greek word, literally means City of Brotherly Love.
  • Philadelphia is well-known for its rich LGBT history, and the Gayborhood. LGBT events such as Equality Forum, Pride Day and Out Fest happen annually.

More Philadelphia Facts and Figures at Your Fingertips

Find Information and research on Philadelphia, the tourism industry in Philadelphia, recent news about the city and the impact of the PHLCVB.

  • Research + Resources: Information and research about tourism, the region and the impact of conventions and visitors on the Philadelphia.
  • PHLCVB Annual Report
  • Philadelphia Brag List: Check out this list of accolades – Bests, Firsts, facts about the food scene, hotels, shopping, attractions and more – all reasons to brag about the City of Brotherly Love.


The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) is the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Updated December 6, 2018




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