PHILADELPHIA WINS CENSUS CHALLENGE, POPULATION NOW OFFICIALLY MORE THAN 1.5 MILLION

Philadelphia, December 8, 2009- For the first time ever Philadelphia has successfully challenged the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 estimate of its population, resulting in an official population growth of 93,000 people.  The City’s population is now reported as 1,540,351 people, a 1.5% increase in the City’s population since 2000. The William Penn Foundation and the Citi Foundation partnered to fund the City’s challenge which was conducted by Social Compact, Inc., a national non-profit advocate for accurate census estimates.

 “A successful challenge to the 2008 U.S. Census estimate of Philadelphia’s population confirms what I knew all along, Philadelphia is a growing and vibrant city,” said Mayor Nutter. “I am confident that next year’s Census will further reflect our City’s true size.   Philadelphia’s top-notch educational institutions, thriving bio-life sciences industry, abundant green space, recreational facilities, cultural gems and business opportunities are robust and some of the many reasons why people from a variety of backgrounds call this world-class city home.”

 This larger and more accurate assessment of Philadelphia’s population can positively influence national, state and local legislative redistricting efforts, federal and state funding for cities, private sector investment, municipal government administrative effectiveness and efficiency, and public perception of a municipality’s health. Although revision of the 2008 estimate won’t immediately impact funding or legislative redistricting for Philadelphia, it bolsters the City’s recently launched ‘Philly Counts!’ campaign in raising awareness and boosting participation in the 2010 Census.

 “These days, dollars are precious to families to businesses and cash-strapped cities across America” said Don Haskin, Citi Community Relations Director.  “We are happy to help Philadelphia find its fair share through an accurate census count”.

 “All Philadelphians should be very pleased with this development. Turning around a long period of population loss is a great tonic that should bolster confidence in the city’s future,” said Feather O. Houstoun, president of the William Penn Foundation

 In 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau established the Census Challenge Program to allow local governments to challenge its population estimates and the components used to derive these estimates, for the most recent year. Local governments can submit municipal data that reflect changes in a city’s housing sector, including certificates of occupancy, residential utility connections, building permit records, group quarters populations, voter registration, department of motor vehicle registrations and property assessments. Social Compact, Inc. has supported other large U.S. cities in successfully challenging U.S. Census Bureau estimates and is currently supporting the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 2010 Census Taskforce while working with the Congressional Sub-Committee responsible for overseeing the U.S. Census Bureau.

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