Philly is Baltimore? 7 Pew charts comparing education, poverty and other civic issues

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 2.02.11 PM

Thousands of Philadelphians took to the streets last night to decry the police killing of Freddie Gray and protest police brutality that takes place across the nation — even in our hometown.

The protest, dubbed “Philly Is Baltimore,” aimed to show solidarity for Charm City as it now grapples with cops being charged in the homicide of Gray. Baltimore’s been depicted over the past week as a place with high segregation, low-income residents and inflated levels of violence.

But today, FiveThirtyEight writer Nate Silver pointed out that Baltimore, though it’s quite segregated, is really no different from Philly, Atlanta, Cleveland and others.

We pulled some charts from the Pew Charitable Trust’s most recent State of the City report, which compares Philadelphia to other major American cities, including Baltimore. What we found? Philadelphia is actually poorer and less educated than Baltimore, with a lower median household income and a lower percentage of college graduates.

Here’s a look at the data:


Philadelphia’s median household income falls nearly $6,000 a year below Baltimore’s, placing it above only Detroit and Cleveland.

Philadelphia also has a higher poverty rate, sitting at more than a quarter of the city’s 1.5 million residents.


In 2014, Philadelphia saw an improved unemployment rate that sits lower than those in Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore and Chicago. But the difference comes when you look at the percentage of the population not in the labor force. Pew explains that these people aren’t on government unemployment, but are between the ages of 16 and 64, aren’t working and aren’t looking for work.


While Philadelphia’s poverty rates are higher than Baltimore, the latter sees a significantly higher homicide rate — it’s more than double what Philadelphia experiences.


Philadelphia’s educational attainment rate still remains below average when compared to the rest of the nation, and is about 3 percentage points lower than what’s experienced in Baltimore.

Health insurance

Philadelphia also has a higher rate of people without health insurance, coming in at nearly 15 percent while only 10 percent of Baltimore residents are insurance-less.

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?