The numbers are in and for the first time since the 1940s, we've grown! At one time the second largest city in the British Empire, Philadelphia began declining in the 1950s from over 2 million people to an all time low of just above 1.5 million in 2000.
But today it's been made certain, we have grown by .6% to 1,526,066, securing our spot in the 2010 census as the fifth most populous city in the United States. Although Phoenix grew by 9.4% and was expected to replace Philadelphia's two decade spot at number five, the economy and politics took a toll on the Sunbelt's sprawling metropolis, and it fell short with 1,445,632 residents.
.6% may not seem substantial, but in a city scarred by the loss of more than half a million people, small growth is significant. Think about it this way: In the past 50 years, Philadelphia has lost 554,055 people, more than the population of Atlanta. Even at .6%, the fact that Philadelphia is growing after losing a quarter of it's residents is cause for celebration.
New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago still hold the top three, with Houston at number four.
Philadelphia's Metropolitan and Statistical Area is at number five as well, at 5,968,252, just behind Dallas-Ft. Worth, both trailing New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.