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Renter's Guide to Philadelphia

Known for its outstanding food, historical tourist destinations, and dynamic sports teams (Philadelphia Eagles, anyone?), Philadelphia is one of the biggest cultural hotspots on the East Coast.

Bordered by the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, Philadelphia is the largest city in the state, twice large as Pittsburgh and twice as small as New York. Philadelphia is approximately 133 miles southeast of New York and roughly 100 miles northeast of DC, a quick move that is only hours away.

The spring season (March-May) is sunny with occasional rain showers, and has an average temperature of 54 F. Summers (June-August) are sunny and humid, with an average temperature of 75 F. Autumn seasons (September-November) are moderate with an average temperature of 58 F. Winters are frigid and snowy with an average of 34 F.

Philadelphia, PA Demographics

  • Total Population1,569,657
  • Female 742,412
    Male 827,245
  • Median Age34.1

Cost of Living in Philadelphia, PA

Artistic and professional young couples alike are attracted by the low cost of living in Philadelphia. Many people of all ages are moving from NYC to Philadelphia for affordable housing, and moving from Chicago to Philadelphia for cheaper material goods.

Riding on the bus, subway and trolley costs $2.25 per person (seniors ride free). Philadelphia subway tokens are $1.80 each, and come in packs of 2, 5, and 10. All subway rides are divided between the “Blue Line” and “Orange Line”, and the routes interconnect at City Hall at no additional charge. More than 70 bus routes dutifully serve Philadelphia and the outskirts. The average commute time in Philadelphia is 5 hours per week, one of the longest in the nation.

The average meal in an inexpensive Philadelphia restaurant costs $12, and a gallon of milk costs $3.50 – both prices are exactly the same as the US average.

Philadelphians pay an average of $150 for basic utilities for a 915-square foot apartment, a mere $3 difference from the national average.

Average Rent in Philadelphia, PA

  • Philadelphia, PA Average Rental Price, September 2019 $1,628 /mo

Philadelphia, PA Apartment Rent Ranges

  • $501-$7001%
  • $701-$1,00020%
  • $1,001-$1,50036%
  • $1,501-$2,00021%
  • > $2,00023%

Philadelphia, PA Rent Trends

Average Rent Jul / 2016 Nov / 2016 Mar / 2017 Jul / 2017 Nov / 2017 Mar / 2018 Jul / 2018 Nov / 2018 Mar / 2019 Sep / 2019
Philadelphia, PA $1,468 $1,470 $1,478 $1,510 $1,514 $1,525 $1,545 $1,572 $1,590 $1,628
National $1,342 $1,350 $1,346 $1,378 $1,380 $1,383 $1,418 $1,427 $1,431 $1,466

Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018.

Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.

Check out the average rent prices in Philadelphia by neighborhood.

Living in Philadelphia

Living in Philadelphia gives you great access to the world’s best food, entertainment, coffee, and shopping. There are things to do in Philadelphia at all hours, day and night – you’ll never be at a loss for recreational fun. As for the negatives of living in Philadelphia, PA, the daily commute can be frustrating, and there is a severe lack of parking.

Things to do in Philadelphia

With over 900 locations dedicated to cultural and recreational activities such as the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia is one of the best cities for culture in the nation.


One of the many Philadelphia attractions for kids is the Philadelphia Zoo, which gives an educational glimpse into all sorts of fascinating and exotic wildlife. The pristine Philadelphia Eagles stadium will satisfy any sports enthusiast, along with venues for the Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The annual Philadelphia Flower Show is the largest and longest-running indoor show of its kind, and one of the perfect Philadelphia attractions for couples to enjoy a nice day. If it’s free things to do in Philadelphia that you’re after, then enjoy the Philadelphia Free Library, the 13th largest public library system in America.

Located in Center City, Love Park is a dog-friendly plaza with engaging public works such as spouting fountains and a large red sculpture boldly showcasing the word “love”. With more than 9,200 acres of refreshing green space, Fairmount Park is one the largest urban parks in the world, and has museums, gardens, and marvelous architecture. The FDR Park, which locals call “The Lakes”, has acres of picnic areas, walking paths, and golf courses. In West Philadelphia, Clark Park expands over 9 acres, offering basketball courts and a year-round farmers market. These are some of the most beautiful places in Philadelphia!

As for shopping, the Philadelphia Premium Outlets is one of the top attractions in Philadelphia, offering discounts of up to 65% on the latest fashion trends. Shops at Liberty Place is a major Center City retail destination with a wide variety of designer and name brands. 13th Street, Philadelphia blends family-owned shops with hip chain stores, along with the Theater of Living Arts, which offers weekly performances from the nation’s hottest talents. Di Bruno Brothers offers gourmet goodies such as cheeses, meat perishables, and a fine assortment of luxurious gift baskets.

Employment and Economy

Philadelphia has a strong mix of career choices to match your background skills and areas of expertise. Educational institutions such as the Philadelphia University and the Community College of Philadelphia provide ample employment opportunities in the higher education sector, while the manufacturing, food, tourism, telecommunications, and financial services industries all continue to thrive. Beneficial Bank, Pep Boys, and Comcast are just three corporate juggernauts headquartered in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, PA Households

  • Total Number of Households591,280
  • Family 311,734
    Non-family 279,546
  • Children 156,979
    No Children 434,301
  • Average People Per Household2.57
  • Median Household Income$40,649
  • Median Housing Costs Per Month$943

Education in Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia is the largest school district in the state, home to the top-ranking school in all of Pennsylvania, the Julia R. Masterman Secondary School.  The Philadelphia University has more than 40 degree types to choose from, and the Community College of Philadelphia offers over 70 degrees and certification courses.

Philadelphia, PA Education Statistics

  • No High School5%
  • Some High School45%
  • Some College19%
  • Associate Degree5%
  • Bachelor Degree15%
  • Graduate Degree10%

Tips for Renting in Philadelphia

As a renter, your security deposit cannot be more than two months’ rent. From October-April, the landlord must provide you with heat at a minimum of 68 F (unless you have your own thermostat). This rule also applies in May and September if the outdoor temperature is less than 60 F. You can refuse to pay rent until important repairs are made.

If you are one of the many people moving to Philadelphia from NYC, you will find the housing to be much more affordable. If you do not own a car, don’t buy one (there is a general lack of parking in Philadelphia). Hire professional movers instead.