The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro contains over 6 million residents and spans Philadelphia, Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania; Gloucester, Burlington, Camden and Salem counties in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland. Although the metro has over 360 municipalities, not many have more than 25,000 citizens.
Philadelphia's GMP, retail sales and employment have all recovered since the recession. Robust job growth through the next five years will allow the local economy to bounce back at a rate faster than prior to the downturn. GMP growth is expected to average more than 1 percent in 2014 and 3 percent in 2015. The metro's retail sales are also rising again with annual increases of at least 2.9 percent expected over the next two years.
Philadelphia is home to 12 Fortune 500 companies that operate across a broad spectrum of industries, including finance, petroleum, communications and packaging materials. The local economy is also increasingly supported by high-growth sectors. The region is now an important pharmaceutical hub, and its rapidly expanding biotechnology segment will drive much of Philadelphia’s economic growth over the next 10 years.
Philadelphia is the home of the Federal Reserve’s third district, which, along with the U.S. Mint, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and companies such as Lincoln Financial Group, helps shape a formidable financial sector.
The Philadelphia metro encompasses 11 counties in four states and covers nearly 5,000 square miles. The Delaware River bisects the Philadelphia metropolis from northeast to southwest and serves as the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Schuylkill River passes through the heart of Philadelphia, separating West Philadelphia from Center City.