Philly Economics and Politics

Useful resources for doing economic research, strategic analysis, and more.

My Blog posts on Philadelphia (activism and economics)

Census Data – a high resolution map of race and income (by me)
Census Reporter – data by zip code – like 19104
Map Changes in Philadelphia Race Demographics – compare 2000 to 2010  (fixed link, July 2015)
Income Change Map (from 2007-2001, to 2009-2013) -by me, pan/zoom to Philadelphia
Policy Map – easy to make maps with census (and other) data.  Requires subscription to export.
Rent increase (after inflation) in Philadelphia between 2000 and the 2009-2013 American Community Survey.


City Politics
How City Council Works, by the Committee of Seventy
the City Budget – data visualization (excludes school budget)
Election Results also by the Committee of Seventy
Philadelphia Votes – official site of the Philadelphia City Commissioners
Analyze the Vote – map of Philadelphia election results from 2007-2013
PA Voters List – list of registered voters for the entire state (and thus for Philly).  It costs $20 which is cheaper than other states.
-You can do Open Records requests to get information from city and state agencies.  (Ex. I successfully did a request to the Redevelopment Authority for a copy of a loan contract.)
My Analysis of the 2015 Philly General Election and Increasing Third Party Potential  (30 pages with charts, maps, and regression analysis)


Philadelphia Property Prices and Ownership
Office of Property Assessment — notably the Property Information database  — and the OPA has an API
-Most recently OPA has started to use to release property data
Real Estate Tax lookup – by the Philadelphia Revenue Department.  Look up your own or other people’s taxes!
My Philly Housing Price Map – by square foot, using the 2013 assessments
My Philly Property Age Map
My Philly Exterior Property Condition Map
Guide to Researching Landlords (by me) – conservative muck-raking blog about Philly real estate – has a very good tool for searching the Office of Property Assessment’s database
Quarterly Housing Price Reports, by Kevin Gillen. Probably the best analysis of Philadelphia housing market conditions. – property history, and some interesting (but not necessarily totally accurate) forecasts like:   19143 Zip Code
University City District – puts out an annual report on the State of University City
Zumperbiased data on the cost of renting which is often quoted in the mainstream media.  For instance they have $1350 median for a 1 BR in Philadelphia – whereas the Census American Community Survey says the median rent for all households is $850.  This is a general problem with rent data – if it based on a survey with a random sample – it is likely biased.  Instead you should use the American Community Survey.
-Google “Philadelphia Housing Index” to find the latest quarterly housing price index produced by Kevin Gillen with neighborhood breakdown and historical data.  They don’t seem to have a central website for them.   2015 Q2 report
Philadelphia annual increase in rent from MPF research (not sure how accurate this is – do they use a random sample?) – 3.2% annual growth as of 2015 Q2
ACS data on Philadelphia (and PA) renters – note: I’m skeptical about the “renter fraction” data which has only 33% of Philly households as renters – when the number of households that own their home (according to the ACS) is around 52% (Eg. what are the other 25% doing?)
-Census Reporter API call for Philadelphia median contract rent:
(2014 – 1 year ACS summary)


City Economics
The city produces an annual five-year strategic plan that is chock full of information.  (Google “five year strategic plan philadelphia” to get the latest version).


State Politics
PA Budget and Policy Center (liberal)


Philadelphia Controllers Office – does lots of reports (notably on taxes)
Econsult – lots of reports  (webpage looks broken – reports don’t load)
-Pew also does reports on Philadelphia

News -education news
Plan – urban development
-any liberal or radical minded Philadelphia politics blogs?

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