QUESTION: statistics for philadelphia

question / pregunta: 

We are working on a newsletter for and by Pennsylvania prisoners. One of the topics has to do with quality of life in Philadelphia.
We are looking for sources to find the following info:

Murder Rate (for the last few years, in comparison to other cities [per capita])
The lock up rate, per capita, compared to other cities
Chemicals in the water supply, in comparison
Median Income
Estimated homelessness population
Who owes the most taxes? How much is 'saved' due to tax abatement? Other tax info

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!


I tackled a couple of these, hopefully another RadReffer will have a good idea how to find the stats I couldn't.

Murder Rate
The most recent I could find was 2006 with 406 murders from the Philadelphia Police Dept.
This article estimates about 261 from Spring 2008. I couldn't find anything solid from a government resource that was city specific, mainly just county statistics.
Median Income
Again, I couldn't find statistics for this by city, but the FannieMae/HUD website was searchable by city though it then defaulted for county. $74, 300 is what they say, though that seems high to me.

Hope this helps!


Answer posted by:

"Hunger and Homelessness Survey" is a report from the 2007 Conference of U.S. Mayors. It gives some statistics on various cities. Information regarding Philadelphia is on page 34.

Can be found at:

"Incarceration and Homelessness" is a paper from the 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness research. Includes some Philadelphia statistics that can be of use.

Can be found at:

the most recent comparative data published by the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics is 10 years old, but check out table 2.8 in Correctional Populations in the United States, 1998

You might try researching via the National Institute of Corrections Library. The PA Dept. of Corrections also has some statistical information and links.

The murder ate, and change compared to other metro areas can be found in the FBI's "Uniform Crime Statistics". Here is the page with preliminary data for 2008, including philly

For information on personal income, see the census bureau's city and county data book. On this page, download the .pdf spreadsheet with information on the "Place" tables for "Income and poverty".

For information on the chemical levels in Philadelphia's drinking water, go to the Philadelphia Water Department website and you can view Philadelphia's Annual Drinking Water Quality Report (most recent report is from 2007 data and is available in English/Spanish).

Answer posted by:

American Factfinder for Philadelphia, PA lists a number of economic characteristics, such as median income and percentage of individuals and families below the poverty line. It has info from the 2000 census as well as a more current community survey from 2006-2007.