Good news, Philadelphia!
After decades of population loss, the city has stopped shrinking, according to revised Census Bureau estimates delivered to the city earlier this week.
On Monday, the city received a letter from the Census Bureau raising the 2008 population estimate by about 93,000.
In October, Philly challenged the bureau's 2008 estimate of the city's population, which the bureau had set at 1,447,395. It was the first time that the city had challenged the bureau's estimates since a challenge program began earlier this decade.
The new estimate of Philadelphia's '08 population is 1,540,351 people, 4,220 higher than what even the city had believed. The difference came from the bureau's having more accurate counts of those living in prisons, nursing homes and college dorms, said Gary Jastrzab, the city's deputy director of city planning.
The city's population peaked at more than two million people in 1950, then began a 50-year decline.
"For the first time in nearly 60 years, we can demonstrate that Philadelphia's population is growing, not declining," Mayor Nutter said.
He said that the new estimates highlighted the importance of the 2010 Census, which will have legislative and fiscal ramifications for the city.
"City, state, and federal [representation] are all affected by the census figures because of required redistricting," he said.
The city would get more funding from the federal government if it could prove it was growing, Nutter said.
"This is great news."
Tricia Enright, head of Philly Counts, the city's campaign to educate residents about the 2010 count, said the news would be important in verifying the revised estimates.
"It's critically important to get a complete count in the decennial census to codify these results," Enright said.