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12 Pros and Cons of Living in Philadelphia

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Imagine having all the perks of a prominent contemporary American city but with a heartwarming and welcoming community. Add low living costs to that, and you can see what Philadelphia is like. 

Sounds like a dream? It is not. We are introducing you to our extended list of facts to consider before moving to Philly.

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA

The list might be especially interesting to you if you are considering moving from NYC to Philadelphia, as NYC is an hour train ride away, and the money it would save you from renting a place in Philly instead will make your stress go away.

But let’s talk about some city facts first.

Quick city facts:

  •  Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States, where its founding Fathers met.
  • Philadelphia is located in southeastern Pennsylvania and is the biggest city in the Commonwealth.
  • Philadelphia is the 6th largest city in the U.S. and has a population of around 1.576 million.
  • The city’s population growth has been on the rise since 2007.
  • City is dominantly tourist and service business oriented, which goes hand in hand.
  • Philadelphia falls under the northern continental climate but with slightly less harsh winters and more pleasant summers.

Pros of living in Philadelphia

1. Affordable housing and affordable living

We’ve already discussed this once we compared the prices to those in The Big Apple.

These are the fundamental priorities that need a place on this list.

  • Compared to NYC, the cost of living in Philadelphia is 60.6% lower.
  • Many people move to Philadelphia because of its lower property taxes, and that fact alone is a lifesaver!

With a cost of living index of 101.2, Philadelphia is still one of the most affordable major cities in the U.S. It is one of the most inexpensive cities on the North coast.

Washington Monument at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia
Washington Monument at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia

2. You can feel the history in the air

Philadelphia is not only the most historically significant place in the U.S. but has many exciting details surrounding it.

It is the birthplace of the first hospital in the U.S., the first business school, the first electronic computer, and the first stock exchange.

It has around 99 museums, including The Philadelphia museum of art, The National Museum of American Jewish history, and The Franklin institute. It is not only a tourist trap, but it adds a whole new level of living experience here.

It is also the birthplace of the Philadelphia soul. When we talk about music, you can also check the Union Transfer concert hall standing there since the 1800s.

3. City of Brotherly love

You can find 25 central neighborhoods here, and they all share a sense of strong community. As a newcomer, you will still be welcomed with open arms.

Philadelphia offers you a perfect balance of a small city community and a big city opportunity.

The people are the most precious thing this city has. Direct and transparent, what you see from them is what you will get. You will bump into those couple of people you know on the street on a daily bases, and it will make the city feel more like home.

Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, PA
Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, PA

4. You will never be bored here

Here is a  list of activities you will find in Philly:

  • There are always some sports events in the city. With pro teams in baseball, basketball, football, and rugby, Philadelphia is the place to be.
  • On the contrary, you can take a walk and sightsee one of the walls covered in murals. With its 4,000 murals, Philadelphia is the mural capital of the U.S.
  • You can go to pottery, cooking, glass blowing classes…
  • There are plenty of bars and clubs you can have fun in.
  • The food scene is impressive. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the first soft pretzel and the biggest cheesesteak. It is famous for its Italian Market area and the beautiful pasta you get to eat there.
  • Like a cherry on top, you can fill your weekends by visiting Fairmount park – the largest landscaped park in the U.S. that is over ten times the size of Central Park!

5. You get to experience all four seasons

For some people, this could be a con, but objectively looking, it is good to have all four seasons in a year.

It is enough for you to feel the atmosphere of each season, and it keeps things variable from time to time.

6. Location is perfect

If you ever get bored of the city’s crowd and the loud people around you, you can escape to one of many places around it.

  • Philadelphia is just an hour away from the mountains as well as the Ocean.
  • Jersey Shore and the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania are on the list of places to pay a visit on weekends.
  • Also, on the one side, you have NYC and just a 2-hour train ride to Washington, DC.

You will never run out of places to visit.

Love Park in Philadelphia
Love Park in Philadelphia

7. Good place for raising a family

Philadelphia is a rare metropolis that is good both for families and young people.

With good private schools and high-rated Universities, your children won’t lack motivation.

On the other hand, by being a friendly and versatile city, it gives an enormous spectrum from which you can choose.

In Philadelphia, all members of your family can have what they want!

Even your pet.

Cons of living in Philadelphia

1. Traffic jams

Two things are affecting the heavy traffic.

The first is the fact that the city is overpopulated. The second reason is that road constructions are never-ending. That is just adding up to the traffic jams already existing.

Philly drivers spend more than three whole days in traffic a year.

The smartest thing you can do is travel by rail.

2. It can get filthy on the streets

A problem with all densely populated cities is the dirt on the streets.

Locals are complaining about the trash a lot. It is not uncommon to bump into a rat or mouse once you walk around the city center.

3. The poverty rate and crime rate are high

Yes, one is affecting the other.

Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate among the big cities in the U.S.

This fact brings out the high crime rate. The crime rate is lower than the other same-sized cities, but it is still a huge problem.

You can make sure to be aware of your surroundings in the streets and try to inform yourself about problematic neighborhoods. It is a sad thing to say, but it is true.

4. Grocery stores are located in inconvenient places

Inside information is that you can rarely walk to the grocery store, and if you do not own a car, food shopping will be a problem for you.

One more thing locals are disappointed about is that their grocery orders are often canceled because of high demand.

5. Wage taxes are high

The last thing is stating that all Philly residents owe the 3.88% tax regardless of where they work, and non-residents who work in the city will owe 3.5%.

Luckily this is the only money-related thing that is an issue, so you might as well turn a blind eye to it.

Roadway Moving's truck in front of The Philadelphia Museum of Art (location also known as the Rocky Steps)
Roadway Moving’s truck in front of The Philadelphia Museum of Art (location also known as the Rocky Steps)

Moving to Philadelphia?

The poster boy for American independence in the past is now an evolving city trying hard to keep up with everything ahead.

If you want to escape more expensive cities nearby but still want to be in the center of change, Philadelphia is the city for you!

Bring your family, dog, or cat, or try to go on a solo adventure, and you will not regret it.

In case you need any help with your move within or to Philly, you may contact our Philadelphia department and one of our professional moving consultants will happily assist you.

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