Millennials in Philly’s trendiest neighborhoods are showing up to vote at the same rate as the rest of the general population. Everywhere else…not so much.
According to data from the office of City Commissioner Al Schmidt, turnout rate for voters ages 18-to-34 met or exceeded the city’s overall turnout rate of 40 percent. These wards are in the neighborhoods in which we most often hear about Philadelphia’s growing and changing population: Fishtown, East Passyunk, Pennsport, Graduate Hospital and others.
The higher-turnout wards were, in order, the 1st, 2nd, 31st, 18th, 15th, 46th and 30th. The 1st and 2nd wards encompass South Philly east of Broad Street and between South Street and Mifflin Street, featuring neighborhoods like Bella Vista, Pennsport, East Passyunk and Queen Village. Fishtown and Port Richmond take up most of the 31st and 18th wards (they were feeling the Bern btw). The 15th is Francisville/Fairmount, the 46th is Cedar Park/Cobbs Creek and the 30th is Graduate Hospital.
This being a story about young people and voter turnout, the news isn’t all rosy, of course. Again according to data from Schmidt’s office, 101,799 people ages 18-to-34 out of 350,616 voters voted in the late March primary. That’s a turnout rate of 29 percent. That’s not good. But it’s also not as bad as it could be.
Philadelphians ages 18-to-34, for instance, represent 34 percent of Philadelphia’s overall registered electorate. They represented 24 percent of total voters in the primary. That could be a lot worse. During last year’s mayoral election — when 12 percent of registered millennials voted — young people represented only 14 percent of people who actually voted.
As is the case pretty much everywhere, young people in Philadelphia aren’t voting in significant numbers. But turnout in Fishtown, No Libs, East Passyunk and similar neighborhoods show that millennials in the areas most associated with the city’s revival are at least as engaged as older residents.