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Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide

May 26, 2021
American cities really pack a punch! There's New York with its definitive urban setting. There's Los Angeles, the 'City of Angels,' where Hollywood and show business rule. And Washington D.C., the US capital, the seat of power of the most influential country in the world. Although there are countless cities in the US, there are those that stand out due to their history, heritage, and influence. Philadelphia is definitely among them even though it's not as famous. Regarded as the birthplace of America, it's definitely a major city worth knowing about. Even more so if you're going to relocate here!

Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide


Overview

As of this writing, Philadelphia has a population of 5.734 million residents. It's among the most populous in the US, making it a major American city even though its population pales in comparison to the likes of New York and Los Angeles. Nevertheless, Philadelphia remains a huge business and financial hub in the state of Pennsylvania. And since this state is located on the East Coast, it sees all four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. January is often the coldest month, going as low as 25.5°F (-3.6°C). Meanwhile, July is the hottest month, going as high as 85.5°F (29.7°C).
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Getting Around

Since Philadelphia is such an urban city, public transport is alive and well here. Just like in other major American cities, it has its own public transit system, countless buses, taxis, and more. Although one would think that the public transit system would be the most popular among the rest, in fact, more Philadelphians are preferring to ride buses to get to where they need to be. It helps that, unlike the underground metro, the buses in the city operate until the late hours of the night. The city's night buses are called 'Night Owl' and they run 24/7.
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Where to Live

Before anything else, you ought to have chosen which Philadelphian neighborhood you'll relocate to before you even get here. The different districts, communities, and areas differ from one another since Philadelphia is a huge metropolis. There are those that are more residential, while others are more about urban living. You have to pick out which neighborhood will better fit your desired lifestyle in the city. For example, if you're more of a workaholic, settling down in the business-centric Conshohocken district isn't such a bad idea. But if you prefer some peace and quiet, the posh Overbrook neighborhood is probably your best bet!
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Real Estate

With that said, do note that your choice of neighborhood won't affect the living costs you'll have to face in Philadelphia. Overall, it's pretty pricey to live in this city. However, it's not as expensive as in other cities like Washington D.C. or San Francisco. One could say that it's pretty mid-range here but leaning more on the higher side of the scale. Take, for instance, rent. The common rental fees in Philadelphia range from $800.00 to $4,000.00 a month. The fact that you can still get a place for less than $1,000.00 is already rare in a major city in the US!
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Employment

While the US job market isn't looking its best right now—mostly because of the Covid-19 pandemic—it's not necessarily in shambles. Currently, the unemployment rate is 6.1%, lower than what the country saw for most of 2020. And for a country that was hit hard by Covid-19 to still have a single-digit unemployment rate speaks volumes! Nevertheless, it still affects major cities like Philadelphia. According to Philadelphia Works, there are still around 66,000 unemployed in the city as of February 2021. Though, despite that, they also note that employment is still rising and the figures may get better as the year goes on.
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Education

Philadelphia, being the history that it is, does not lack when it comes to quality education. The city has its fair share of prominent schools, welcoming both local and expat students to learn and grow. And since Philadelphia is also filled with historic monuments, significant places in American history, and the like, the students have a treasure trove of resources to learn about the country and more. Notably, the finest schools in the city include the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Alexander School, and the Greenberg Joseph School, among many others. These are great to consider enrolling your kids in!
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Healthcare

Now, how about healthcare? Well, since healthcare remains a hot political issue in the US, it's no surprise that a lot of people, both locals and expats alike, worry about it. American healthcare remains optional in the general sense, seeing as there's no universal system in place. And there's no telling whether the Affordable Care Act will remain in place for as long as many wish. Nevertheless, here in Philadelphia, its most prominent hospitals will ensure that everyone gets well-taken care of no matter what. The likes of the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania are notable, not just in the city, but in the entire country as well!
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Safety

Now, let's talk about safety! Unfortunately, since Philadelphia is a major city, it follows suit with other great American metropolises as having a high crime rate. As of 2021, the city's general crime rate is 74.46%, one of the highest in the country. It's even comparatively higher than those in New York and Los Angeles. And with its rate of increasing crimes at 67.83%, things aren't looking up in Philadelphia! But with that said, you can still walk around and remain relatively safe. The safety rate for walking in the city is 63.53% during the day and 31.90% at night. Though not the highest, they're still not that bad.
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Taxes

There's also the American tax system you have to keep in mind. This country is quite strict with its taxes, so if you're planning to relocate to Philadelphia, you have to know how the system works. In a nutshell, as an employed resident of the city, all you have to remember is that your income tax rate depends on how much you earn per year. The higher your annual gross income, the higher your income tax rate is. If you buy your own property here, you'll also have to pay Estate and Property taxes. And, of course, the VAT which is currently 10%.
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Relocation Tips

If you're not as well-versed in English as you would hope, it pays to improve your skills in any of the city's fine language schools. This will really help you a lot as you live your life in Philadelphia. It's the same with getting a local SIM card too. Stay connected and easy to communicate with by joining a local American mobile network. At the same time, to ensure you can get your finances in check in the city, set up a local bank account as well. All of these will help you live a hassle-free life after relocating to Philadelphia!
Moving to Philadelphia: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons

You may think it's easy to move to a big city like Philadelphia but in reality, it's not that simple! There are a lot you need to know and get used to first! But don't worry! This relocation guide will help you with everything, ranging from getting work to paying taxes!




Destinations

TRAVEL GUIDE

Destinations

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