Pew Report: Philadelphia’s Middle Class Is Shrinking

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Philadelphia middle class, a backbone of economic vitality that once made up the majority of residents in most of the city’s neighborhoods, has declined in steep numbers since 1970, from 59 percent to 42 percent by 2010, according to a report released Monday, the first of its kind.

The precipitous decline of adults within this long-celebrated class occurred widely across the city and most sharply before 2000, sparing only chunks of Far Northeast Philadelphia and Roxborough and smaller pockets elsewhere. Those areas remained majority middle-class as of a few years ago, said the Pew Charitable Trusts, which spearheaded the study.

The data capture what has been sensed and dreaded by policymakers for years: Philadelphia is decidedly poorer than when it was a manufacturing powerhouse, losing even a greater share of higher-taxpaying middle-class residents than the nation as a whole, and failing even to see increases in its upper-class population to match other cities that fared better.

Whether middle-class Philadelphians fell into a lower-income class, moved into the suburbs, or died is not shown by Pew’s analysis, as researchers have found such detailed tracking to be elusive.


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Philly Coffee Shop Ranked #1 In America

Coffee cup icon

Coffee cup icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philly’s Ultimo Coffee, which started at 15th and Mifflin Streets in 2009 and opened a second shop last year at 22d and Catharine Streets, just snagged the #1 spot on’s list of America’s Best Coffee Shops.

“What makes Ultimo tick — and brings in Philadelphians in flocks? Simplicity, and a little bit of love,” the blurb reads, in part.  “And many will argue that Philadelphia, often seen as the underdog to the big cities of the Northeast, is hands-down the winner for the best cup of coffee because the coffee scene there is hardly home to the snobbery that can come with ‘Third Wave’ coffee.”  No atty-tude!

Philly Says Yuengling Owes $6.6 Million In Taxes

English: Finished bottles of Traditional Lager...

English: Finished bottles of Traditional Lager being placed into cases at Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville, PA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHEN Dick Yuengling bought a round of beers for more than 10,000 Philadelphians on National Drink Beer Day last year, he said “the city has truly shown our family business brotherly love, and we’d like to raise a glass to that.”

Now, Dick Yuengling may be throwing back a few of his own brews after receiving a civil lawsuit from the city that claims his brewery, D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc., has failed to pay more than $6.6 million in city taxes, interest and penalty fees.

How does a Pottsville-based beer company that doesn’t have a brewery or a plant in Philadelphia come to owe millions in business-income and receipts taxes to the city?

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