Greater Philadelphia's Knowledge Industry: Leveraging the Region's Colleges and Universities in the New Economy

For years, the Philadelphia region’s higher education assets have been touted as leading factors in the future economic success of the region. Yet the region’s economic and demographic statistics are disconnected from what should be an important regional advantage. Despite the number of students graduating from the region’s colleges and universities, the region is aging and its educational attainment levels are surprisingly low. The region’s economy has not seen the growth in new business starts or employment growth that has been characteristic in other knowledge regions, particularly in the booming information technology fields.


This report documents Greater Philadelphia’s current standing as a knowledge region; compares its performance over a series of key indicators to the largest American knowledge regions; identifies activities being undertaken around the country; and offers a set of strategic recommendations for better linking the region’s knowledge assets to economic development.