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The Long History of Northeast Philadelphia, PA

northeast philadelphia personal injury attorneys near community center

The personal injury attorneys in Northeast Philadelphia, PA, present this article to share some detailed information about the neighborhood.

Northeast Philadelphia, commonly referred to as Northeast Philly, is a section of the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The area spans 50.8 square miles and hosts an approximate population of 528,810 with a population density of 10,455 per square mile. The area belongs to ZIP codes 19111, 19114, 9115, 19116, 19124, 19135, 19136, 19149, 19152, and 19154.

The Northeast is known for being home to a large working-class Irish American population. It also hosts Polish, German, Jewish, Italian, African American, Portuguese, Brazilian, Russian, Puerto Rican, and Dominican populations.


According to the 2010 U.S. census, the racial demographic of Northeast Philadelphia is as follows:

  • 58.3% Non-Hispanic White: 252,022
  • 18.0% Non-Hispanic Black: 77,681
  • 13.9% Hispanic or Latino of any race: 60,020
  • 7.3% Asian: 31,658
  • 2.5% Mixed or Other: 10,692
  • 1.8% Native American: 7,777

Northeast Philadelphia has great diversity but is particularly known for its historical ties to the Irish American community. The Irish population has been predominant in the city of Philadelphia since the pre-American Revolution period. During the Irish Famine, many immigrants settled in Northeast Philadelphia.

Today, the Irish make up 14.2% of the city's population, the largest ethnicity in the city. While there are people with Irish ancestry throughout Philadelphia, they are still predominantly located within the Northeast, especially in Kensington, Fishtown, and Mayfair. The Mayfair Community Center is also known to serve the community's diverse constituents.


The first European settlement in the Northeast was by Swedish farmers. They were followed by Quakers, including Thomas Holme, who began William Penn's Pennsylvania colony in the 1680s. Northeast soon became scattered into different small towns and farms until the consolidation of the city. Today, the consolidation of the city comprises the townships of Byberry, Deleware, Lower Dublin, Moreland, and Oxford, along with the boroughs of Bridesburg, Frankford, and White Hall.

In the first three decades of the 20th century, rapid industrialization led to industrial sections of the northeast along with the surrounding neighborhoods. Industrialization, along with the building of the Market-Frankford Line train and new arterial highways, brought new middle-class populations to the lower half of the Northeast.

To accommodate the new population, tracts of row homes were built in the lower half of the Northeast in the 1920s and 1930s. The homes were typically small but with front lawns. The majority of this development occurred east of Roosevelt Boulevard and in Oxford Circle.

In the 1980s, Northeast Philadelphia developed on a separate path from the rest of the city. While the rest of the city leaned more Democratic, the Northeast held a relatively even balance between Republicans and Democrats. As a result, many residents of Northeast Philadelphia became dissatisfied with the high taxes, and a secessionist movement arose, led by State Senator Frank Salvatore.

As the Philadelphia economy grew stronger and most discontented people moved to the suburbs, a new, more popular mayor, Ed Rendell, was elected. Following his election, the call for secession waned, and the Northeast settled back into life as a part of the city.

Today, the Northeast possesses relative stability and is uniformly developed.

Our Local Office

If you or a loved one have sustained injuries, let the knowledgeable Northeast Philadelphia, PA, personal injury attorneys help you get the financial compensation you may be entitled to. Call our legal team today.

Justice Guardians
3301 Ryan Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19136
(267) 332-1769

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David Petrone
Date Published: May 3, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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