city (1990 pop. 1,585,577), coextensive with Philadelphia co., SE Pa., on the Delaware River c.100 mi (160 km) upstream at the influx of the Schuylkill River; chartered 1701. It is the fifth largest city in the United States and has been a leading commercial and cultural center since the 18th cent. An important trading and manufacturing hub even before the Revolution, it maintains a diversified industrial base. Chemicals; metal, paper, and plastic products; foods; textiles; apparel; machinery; electrical and electronic products; transportation equipment; scientific instruments; and furniture are among its manufactures. The metropolitan area's newer industries include health-care and biotechnology firms. Its printing and publishing industry is important, and there are major oil refineries. Philadelphia is also a banking center.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.