Census: Philly Millennials look for love and jobs, live with Mom and Dad


This just in: Philadelphia is an excellent place for young people looking for love and a good-paying job. But those good-paying jobs are pretty hard to find — and it’s average in just about everything else.

Billy Penn learned all this from the latest edition of the Census Explorer for young adults. The survey, released December 4, provides plenty of information about millennials based on the American Community Surveys of 2009-2013. Billy Penn picked the nine most interesting categories and compared the Philadelphia metro area to the other 71 metro areas that have a population of 75,000 or larger.

Percentage of total population age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 47
  • Philadelphia metro: 23.18%
  • Median: 23.73%
  • Comment: While the Philadelphia area is pretty average in this category, its growth is unmatched among big cities, at least for the city of Philadelphia. From 2006-12, Philly’s millennial population grew 6.1 percent, tops for America’s 30 biggest cities.

Percentage of minorities age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 39
  • Philadelphia metro: 41.05%
  • Median: 41.82%
  • Comment: The metro area’s young people are more diverse than the metro area’s overall population, which is about 33 percent minority, according to American Community Survey data.

Percentage of never-married singles age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 4
  • Philadelphia metro: 74.27%
  • Median: 65.6%
  • Comment: This seems like good news if you’re looking for love in Philly but it kinda depends on whether you’re a man or a woman. According to Pew, Philadelphia is one of the 10 worst cities for women looking for employed men. For every 100 single women, there are only 74 single, employed men.

Percentage living with a parent age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 11
  • Philadelphia metro: 36.58%
  • Median: 29.87%
  • Comment: Another bad omen for young people looking for love? That single guy or gal you’re talking to could easily be living with mom and dad still.

Percentage with a bachelor’s degree age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 16
  • Philadelphia metro: 28.47%
  • Median percentage: 23.68%
  • Comment: Not surprising, given the 14 colleges within close range of Philadelphia.

Percentage foreign-born age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 40
  • Philadelphia metro: 12.13%
  • Median: 13.76%
  • Comment: The percentage of young people who are foreign born here is also greater than the overall percentage of foreign born in the Philadelphia metro area (about 10.2 percent, according to American Community Survey data).

Median earnings for workers age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 12
  • Philadelphia metro: $39,413
  • Median: $34,536
  • Comment: Also, Philadelphia ranks as the 14th best city for women’s salaries. But as you’ll see below, there aren’t enough of these well-paying jobs to go around.

Percentage with income below poverty line age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 50
  • Philadelphia metro: 16.86%
  • Median: 18.27%
  • Comment: Younger people are poorer than the rest of metro area’s population, which has 14.2 percent of the population below the poverty line, according to American Community Survey data.

Percentage who are employed age 18 to 34

  • Ranking: 54
  • Philadelphia metro: 64.62%
  • Median: 67.32%
  • Comment: Studies show that if Philadelphia wants to keep the millennials who are moving here, they need to offer jobs. This data doesn’t bode well for that goal.

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