Philadelphia, PA: Center of Pennsylvania’s Economic Activity

When it comes to economy, Philadelphia is the center in the whole state of Pennsylvania. The city has a total gross metropolitan product amounting to $347 billion as of 2010. This puts the city in the number 7 spot for the largest metropolitan economies in the US. It is ninth in the world and fourth in the country with $388 billion in gross domestic product. According to the Nielsen Media Research, Philadelphia has the fourth largest market when it comes to consumer media.

Important Economic Sectors

The city’s main sectors that highly influence the economy are biotechnology, financial services, food processing, health care, higher education, telecommunications, and tourism.

Home of Fortune 500 Companies

There are 12 Fortune 500 companies that have headquarters in Delaware and Philadelphia proper. These corporations are:

  • Comcast - cable TV and internet
  • Colonial Penn - insurance
  • CIGNA - insurance
  • Lincoln Financial Group - insurance
  • Sunoco - energy
  • Aramark - food services
  • Crown Holdings Incorporated - food services
  • Rohm and Haas Company - chemical
  • FMC Corporation - chemical
  • Wyeth - pharmaceutical
  • GlaxoSmithKline - pharmaceutical
  • Boeing Rotercraft Systems - aerospace and defense
  • Lockheed Martin - aerospace and defense
  • Pep Boys - automotive parts retailer


Home to the American Law Institute, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and several law schools, Philadelphia is also recognized as a legal center. Law schools include Drexel, Penn, Rutgers, Temple, Villanova, and Widener. Some of the largest law firms also hold offices in the city.

Medical Facilities

The medical industry is an important sector in the city of Philadelphia. One of the important institutions here is the Pennsylvania hospital, which is the first ever hospital in the British North American Colonies. The University of Pennsylvania located in this city is the first ever medical school in the country. Other major medical schools and hospitals include:

  • Temple University School of Medicine
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Thomas Jefferson University (Thomas Jefferson University Hospital)
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first pediatric hospital (located adjacent to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania)
  • St. Christopher's Hospital
  • Shriners' Hospital
  • Albert Einstein Medical Center
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center

With healthcare and biotechnology as two of the main sectors in the city, some of the largest pharmaceutical companies also have operations within the region of Philadelphia. Some of the pharma companies and related institutions include AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Siemens Medical Solutions, and Wyeth.


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