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Mayor Kenney’s Statement on Annual Poverty Data

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Mayor Kenney issued the following statement on the annual poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on 9/26. Philadelphia’s 2018 poverty rate was 24.5%, down from 25.7% in 2016, and is the lowest since the 2008 recession. This reduction represents 14,537 Philadelphians. Those living in “deep poverty” also declined by 1.2%, which represents 16,042 fewer people with incomes 50% of the poverty line. Philadelphia’s 2018 median income rose to $46,116, up from $43,372 in 2016 (adjusted for inflation).

Because the Census Bureau’s 2017 poverty data for Philadelphia was later determined to be erroneous, we are comparing the new figure to 2016 data.

Mayor Jim Kenney: 

“This data gives me hope and confidence that our strategies to reduce poverty are making progress on tackling this decades-old, systemic challenge. However, with close to a quarter of our fellow Philadelphians still living in poverty, there is no denying that our poverty rate is too high and we must move faster. Our administration is committed to continuing our efforts to help many more Philadelphians improve their financial stability.

“Since 2016, we have enacted a three-pronged approach to fighting poverty. Our strategies include: stabilizing Philadelphians who need relief right now through housing and other public benefits; helping people remove barriers to employment and gain skills for good-paying jobs; and making long-term investments in quality education to prevent and keep Philadelphians out of inter-generational poverty. Our inclusive growth strategy aims to strengthen economic growth in ways that benefit all Philadelphians and reduce racial inequity.

“Systemic poverty is too complex for one body to solve alone; it rests with all of us and requires shared solutions. We must work together across sectors – Government, Business, Philanthropy, Nonprofit, Education, Labor, and Residents – to help our most vulnerable neighbors and build a stronger city for us all.”


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