New York Times: Philadelphia Metro’s Loss of Working-Age College Grads Continues to Shrink

Philadelphia Rocky Pose
A young woman reproducing the Rocky Balboa scene on the Art Museum steps.

While the 12 most expensive metros are losing working-age college graduates who fill white-collar jobs at rapidly growing rates, the other 41 large metros, which include Philadelphia, are mostly continuing to attract them, write Emily Badger, Robert Gebeloff, and Josh Katz for The New York Times.

And while overall migration rate in the country is currently at historically low levels, college-educated workers have recently bucked this trend. That is true both for local moves and longer-distance moves between metro areas.

However it is as yet unclear why these workers have been leaving. Big coastal metros have also been losing workers without a degree, but due to surging living costs, this is not surprising.

Meanwhile economists have concluded that for workers with a degree, the higher pay should still mean it’s a good deal to live there.

Philadelphia is still losing working-age college graduates, that number has been shrinking rapidly. From 2010 to 2014, the city has lost around 5,000 college graduates. The number dropped to 3,000 from 2015 to 2019, and 0.1 thousand from 2020 to 2021.

Read more about the migration of working-age college graduates in The New York Times.


Deborah Diamond saw the economic need for Philadelphia to grow its population. As President of Campus Philly, she draws on her experience in academia and market research, to work with students, create strong communities, support and strengthen the arts, and empower new generations of Philadelphia entrepreneurs and innovators.

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