PCPC staff and partner City agencies created a series of existing conditions memos to kick off the Central District Plan. Read our existing conditions memos.
Central District at a Glance
The Central District sits entirely within the City’s Metropolitan Center and is the symbolic heart of Philadelphia. With over 253,000 jobs, the Central District includes 41% of all employment within the city and the Planning Commission expects that number to grow by a modest amount of 16,000 over the next few decades. Economic drivers of education and healthcare now account for a third of all jobs in the Central District. Private office-sector jobs account for another third, and positions in the cultural sector comprise almost another 10 percent.
Besides having a strong economic center, the Central District has vibrant residential communities that include over 117,000 residents. Projections for future population show that number to grow by another 20,000 residents by the year 2035. While the Central District has seen growth in the Asian and Latino communities, the District is still dominated by whites, with 70% of residents. Since 1980, the Central District has seen a rise in the 20-44 and 45-64 age groups, but a slight decline in residents over the age of 65 and a steep decline in the number of children under the age of 20.
The hub of the region’s transit system resides within the district, bringing almost one-quarter of Central District residents, along with thousands of commuters, to their jobs each day. Although car ownership within the Central District has risen slightly in the last decade, almost 44 percent of the population does not own a car – a number much higher than the city average of 33 percent and the national average of 8 percent. Also, over 36 percent of Central District residents walk or bike to work.