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Philadelphia is a city located in (and coextensive with) Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. As of the 2000 census, the population was 1,517,550. It is one of the oldest cities of the country (dates from 1681) and, as the original capital and then-largest city of the United States, at one time eclipsed Boston, Massachusetts and New York, New York in political and social importance. Benjamin Franklin, who played an extraordinary role in 18th-century Philadelphia, came from Boston.
Philadelphia is well-known for cheesesteaks, a kind of humble culinary masterpiece, made of cheap cheese and slices of meat on a large bun, with various spices and garnishings. The city is sometimes also noted for its unusually shaped soft pretzels.
History Philadelphia was a planned city founded and developed by William Penn, a Quaker. Penn's surveyor, Thomas Holme, laid out the city in a strict grid, with all streets running either north-south or east-west. The north-south streets are numbered sequentially from Front (instead of First), along the Delaware River, to 13th, followed by the main north-south thoroughfare, Broad Street (instead of 14th). The numbered streets then resume, continuing in the original plan to 28th at the Schuylkill River. The east-west streets, most of which are named for trees, parallel the main thoroughfare named High Street by Penn, but called Market Street since at least the early 18th century. He also planned five public parks, one at the intersection of High and Broad Streets in the very center of the city (now occupied by the City Hall) and four others (now called Washington Square, Rittenhouse Square, Logan Circle and Franklin Square) set equidistantly around it. Rittenhouse Square is named after a son of the first paper-maker, William Rittenhouse. Rittenhousetown is a delightful rural setting in Fairmount Park. David Rittenhouse was a clockmaker and friend of the American Revolution.
In 1876 Philadelphia hosted the World's Fair known as the Centennial Exposition. Memorial Hall and the expansive mall in front of it are remnants of this fair. In 1926, the city held the Sesquicentennial Exposition.
Business Philadelphia is home to such businesses and institutions as Sunoco, GlaxoSmithKline, the United States Mint[?], the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Comcast, Aramark, CONRAIL, CIGNA, Tasty Baking, Crown Cork & Seal, and Pep Boys.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 369.4 km² (142.6 mi²). 349.9 km² (135.1 mi²) of it is land and 19.6 km² (7.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.29% water.
Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 1,517,550 people, 590,071 households, and 352,272 families residing in the city. The population density is 4,337.3/km² (11,233.6/mi²). There are 661,958 housing units at an average density of 1,891.9/km² (4,900.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 45.02% White, 43.22% African American, 0.27% Native American, 4.46% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 4.77% from other races, and 2.21% from two or more races. 8.50% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 590,071 households, 27.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.1% are married couples living together, 22.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% are non-families. 33.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48 and the average family size is 3.22.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 81.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $30,746, and the median income for a family is $37,036. Males have a median income of $34,199 versus $28,477 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,509. 22.9% of the population and 18.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 31.3% are under the age of 18 and 16.9% are 65 or older.