Data: Examining the Hispanic population growth in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania

The Latino population in Philadelphia has grown by 27% in the last 10 years, and has nearly tripled since 2000.

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
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The 2020 Census reveals the City of Brotherly Love is getting bigger and more diverse.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In a big city, things are always changing. One thing that's really changed in Philadelphia is its population.

The 2020 Census reveals the City of Brotherly Love is getting bigger and more diverse.

The overall population in Philadelphia has grown by more than 5% in the past 10 years. Some of that growth comes from the Latino population, which grew by 27% and has nearly tripled since 2000.

"Hispanics include immigrants and people who have been established and grown in generations in the United States," said Jennifer Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

She says the city has also seen an influx from South America and other cities in the U.S.

"New York and other metropolitan areas have become rather unaffordable and so Philadelphia is seen as an affordable place," she said.

But the growth isn't just in Philadelphia. This interactive map shows how the Latino population has grown in counties across Pennsylvania.

Some counties, in the lightest shades of blue, had a 0% Hispanic population in the year 2000. Some of those counties are now more than 10% Latino.

Hispanics have grown to make up a larger percentage of the population in southeastern Pennsylvania counties including Berks, which is 23.2% Hispanic and Lehigh, which is nearly 26% Hispanic. Philadelphia County is about 15% Hispanic.

"The primary group of Latinos in Philadelphia are Puerto Rican, of Puerto Rican descent," said Rodriguez. "That accounts for about 70% of all Latinos in Philadelphia."

Many Puerto Ricans live in North Philadelphia, which is also home to several other growing groups.

"Increasingly we're seeing an influx of South Americans from Colombia, Argentina and Venezuela," said Rodriguez.

And, as the community grows, so do the needs.

"We know that Latinos are the poorest demographic in the city," said Rodriguez. "A 40% poverty rate that has remained unchanged for the last 35 years. We need resources for housing, resources for entrepreneurship, youth, quality of education and safety."

Those needs are part of the challenges ahead as an ever-changing area changes even more.

"These are things in order to maintain the growth for the future have to be addressed," said Rodriguez.