A product of thePennsylvania Chamber Foundation

The category of “Infrastructure” contains a mix of measures involving both transportation and broadband internet access and deployment. There are a couple of bright spots for Pennsylvania in the infrastructure category.  Specifically, the commonwealth ranks 23rd nationally for the percentage of the residential population with access to high-speed internet services and Pennsylvania ranks 8th with 5.6% of workers using public transportation to commute to work, compared to a median value of 1.45%, and ranks 14th in the nation in the number of plane trips. However, Pennsylvania ranks 34th in the number of freight miles per 1,000 people and 38th in commute time to work. Distressingly, Pennsylvania’s rank of 48th in the nation for the proportion of structurally deficient bridges. Despite some modest improvement in the state’s ranking to 47th nationally in 2010-2015, Pennsylvania has returned to its ranking of 48th, the same as it was in 2009. Please note the improvement in the percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the commonwealth. The actual percentage has declined markedly during this period, despite the ranking remaining constant.

Tonnage is a well-established and almost universal measure of cargo port activity, is used frequently as a measure to calculate port fees for merchant ships, and is therefore quite universal and accurate.  It is used here as a measure of both activity and capacity of Pennsylvania ports, compared to those in other states.  The largest port in terms of tonnage is Texas, with 537,245,373 tons shipped, while the smallest port is 35th-ranked New Hampshire, with 2,679,152 tons shipped and 15 states do not have ports.  Pennsylvania remains in among the top 10 states although the commonwealth’s rank fell since 2009, along with a decrease in total tonnage, between 2009 and 2013, while Illinois and Wisconsin moved up in rank.

  2009 to Most Recent Change Most Recent PA Score Most Recent Median Score Most Recent PA Rank 2009 to Most Recent Change in Rank
Percent of Bridges Structurally Deficient or Functionally Obsolete 27.03% 19.77% 8.50% 48 No change
Commute Time 1.12 26.50 24.15 38 No change
Percent of Workers Using Public Transportation to Commute to Work 0.30% 5.60% 1.45% 8 No change
Freight Rail Miles per 1,000 People 0.14 0.40 0.05 34 -2
Access to High Speed Internet 15.00% 81.00% 81.00% 23 -12
Enplanements – Airport Activity 357,755 20,105,293 6,144,995 14 -2
Total Shipping Tonnage (in thousands) 26,749 65,266 36,622 7 -2