Boston and Philadelphia Compared

Boston and Philadelphia Compared


Boston and Philadelphia. Or…Beantown and The City of Brotherly Love. Two major east coast cities in the United States, both part of the Northeast Megalopolis (mwhahahahahaha) a part of the country that contains more than 17 percent of its entire population, or some 50 million people on less than 2% of the country’s land area. Both cities are exciting places to live in with a bright future. Both are two of the oldest cities in the United States. Before Europeans arrived, the Delaware Valley, where Philadelphia is located, was home to the Delaware Indians. Various nations had lived in the area where Boston is currently located, but the Massachusett were the ones mainly around when Europeans came to the area. Both cities were founded by those seeking religious freedom. William Penn and other Quakers founded Philadelphia in 1682
Puritans founded Boston in 1630. So yeah, Boston’s about 52 years older. Both were political, financial, and commercial centers of their colonies. Philadelphia, of the Pennsylvania colony, and Boston, of really all of New England. Both steadily grew at about the same rates during the colonial era, although Philadelphia always stayed ahead of Boston in population. Both Boston and Philadelphia saw some action during the American Revolution. Boston saw more violence within the city. I mean, there was the freaking Siege of Boston, which lasted almost a year, in which New England militiamen surrounded British forces within the city. Philadelphia was quiet at first. So quiet that the First and Second Continental Congresses met there and it became the capital of the United States. However, the British captured the city in September 1777 and controlled it until the next summer. After the Revolution, both cities became industrial centers and each city’s population skyrocketed. In fact, the population of both Boston and Philadelphia steadily climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed until the Great Depression. Since then, it’s been up and down. Now, when I talk about the population of cities, I tend to focus on the METROPOLITAN AREA, man. That’s how you do it, count those suburbs, son. The Boston metropolitan area has 4.8 million people and the Philadelphia metro has about 6 million. Looks like you win, there, Philly. Unless people don’t like a lot of people. Then I guess you lose. Then again, Philly is 18% less densely populated than Boston, so you’d have a little more personal space there. So say you’d want to move to one of these two fine cities? Well, I will tell you, and I found this quite surprising, but the cost of living in Boston is almost 71% higher than the cost of living in Philadelphia. This is mostly because housing costs are more than 291% more in Boston than they are in Philly. The sales tax rate in Philadelphia ends up being 8% but in Boston it’s only 6.25%. Both cities have solid public transportation. Philadelphia has the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, the 5th largest overall transit system in the country, although it apparently doesn’t reach all parts of the metro. Boston also has an impressive transit system for a city its size, and can brag that it has the country’s oldest active transit subway, built in 1897. The Northeast Corridor high speed rail will actually get you from Boston to Philly in just under five hours. What about the cars? Well, sorry Boston, but based on my research you have worse traffic than Philly. Although, the commute time is longer in Philly, and don’t get me wrong, traffic just sucks in both cities. Part of the reason why Boston’s traffic might be worse is due to its meandering streets that seemingly go in random directions. Philly’s streets were designed to be more accommodating to the modern world, and are mostly in a reasonable grid. Philly has better weather than Boston. It has more sunny days. Hey, it really IS always sunny in Philadelphia. (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) And it’s warmer. Boston gets three times as much snow as Philadelphia does. Overall precipitation is about the same in both cities, though. Boston has better air quality than Philadelphia. Oh Philly, you’re gonna hate me now… Philadelphia has more poverty. Over 21% of Boston’s population lives in poverty, while around 26% of Philadelphia’s population lives in poverty. Philly’s unemployment rate is almost double that of Boston. Sadly, it’s the poorest major city in the country. Related to this, Philadelphia has more crime than Boston. In recent years, it has had more than 3 times as many homicides as Boston. Major industries in Philadelphia are bio-science, financial services, and tourism. Tourism and financial services are also big money makers in Boston, as well as biotech and Education. Boston has more college educated folks- more than 45% have college degrees, whereas just over 31% do in Philadelphia. Hey but Philly has more museums than Boston, so there’s that. What about the schools, man? Well Boston has fewer students in each classroom than Philly does, yet spends nearly 12% less per student than Philly does. Philadelphia residents are less likely to have a religious affiliation than Boston residents. Before I go, I might as well mention all the professional sports teams. Boston has the Patriots in football, the Red Sox in baseball, the Celtics in basketball, and the Bruins in hockey. Philadelphia has the Eagles in football, the Phillies in baseball, the 76ers in basketball, and the Flyers in hockey. So this leads me to explain why I am comparing Boston and Philadelphia. It’s mostly because both have NFL teams featured in this year’s Super Bowl. I know, the Patriots are in Foxborough, but that’s just outside of Boston, ok? The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will face off on Sunday. The two teams actually played each other in the Super Bowl 13 years ago. The Patriots won that one by three. The Patriots have won quite a few Super Bowls, and the Eagles have not won one yet. Meanwhile, my Chiefs haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 1970, but I digress. If you want to know who will win that game based on the history of the two cities alone, go check out a video my friend Sami from US101 made. In it, us history Youtuber dorks predicted who would win purely based on the historical significance of each city. Click to see who I predicted would win. Also, it’s Groundhog Day, and I suppose it’s time to unveil my new YouTube channel I started on the side. The channel is called The Beat Goes On, and I just posted a new video on it this week about one of my favorite films of all time, Groundhog Day. That’s right, everything you need to know about the film and probably then some. Go check it out and subscribe. Don’t worry, this will still be my main channel. Think of The Beat Goes On as a side project. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the new channel. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks for watching!

One thought on “Boston and Philadelphia Compared”

  1. Native from Massachusetts. Can say that Boston is much better than Philly. I have been to both, and am not from Boston.
    Boston Strong!!

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