Kensington is still considered to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Philadelphia due to the high rate of gun crime and the presence of a drug market there. The neighborhood of Kensington in Philadelphia can be considered to be either a part of the Lower Northeast or of North Philadelphia; it acts as a barrier between the two sections of the city. The intersection of Kensington and Allegheny Avenues in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, which is more commonly referred to by its initials, K and A, is a major transportation and retail hub that serves the Frankford Elevated Part of the Market. K and A is also commonly referred to by its full name, Kensington and Allegheny Avenues. The primary characteristic of this crossroads is the presence of the Frankford Line, which can be seen crossing over Kensington Avenue and taking up most of the space. White immigrant groups who had arrived in Philadelphia before often had several generations to work, receive an education, and access the social welfare system created for them before creating enough social and economic capital to go beyond "landing neighborhoods" such as Kensington. This was especially true for those groups who had arrived during the 19th century. This was the situation for a significant number of the white immigrant groups who had previously settled in Philadelphia.
According to the boundaries that are displayed on Google Maps, Kensington incorporates a sizeable chunk of the neighborhood that is referred to as Fishtown, although it does not include West Kensington. This section of Kensington has some of the highest crime rates in the neighborhood. Additionally, as a result of relocation efforts made by the Philadelphia police department, it also has the highest concentration of people who are homeless and who are addicted to opioids. Both of these problems are exacerbated by the fact that this section of Kensington is also home to some of the highest crime rates in the neighborhood. The neighborhood has a rather high population density. Inside of Kensington are a number of smaller neighborhoods known as subneighborhoods. These neighborhoods consist of West Kensington, Lower Kensington, Harrowgate, and Upper Kensington, with Kensington being considered the "heart" of Kensington. The Philadelphia and Trenton line proceeded down the middle of Trenton Avenue until it arrived at a station on the outskirts of Fishtown. At that time, opposition from the neighborhood that was surrounding the railroad prevented it from continuing on to Philadelphia.
Fishtown is the moniker that is most commonly used to refer to the neighborhood that was first known as Kensington. This is mostly attributable to the fact that during the 18th and 19th centuries, shad fishing was one of the most important industries in Kensington. Gentrification and a significant influx of predominantly white young urban professionals have also taken place in the area in recent years, particularly in Fishtown, which is no longer considered to be a part of Kensington, as well as in Olde Kensington, Norris Square, and East Kensington. Fishtown is no longer considered to be a part of Kensington. Other neighborhoods that have experienced gentrification include East Kensington, Norris Square, and Olde Kensington. There is a growing consensus that Fishtown is no longer an integral component of Kensington. During the 19th century, Kensington was the nerve center of Philadelphia's nativist upheavals. It was also notably known as the home of a sizeable number of Irish Catholics who were members of Philadelphia's working class. The notion of constructing a supervised injection site in the Kensington district has been met with opposition from local residents, despite the fact that public drug use is rather widespread in the Kensington neighborhood.
Fairhill and Norris Square are two communities in North Philadelphia that are separate from Kensington and have a deeper link to the rest of North Philadelphia than Kensington does. However, the specific point at which these two districts split off from one another is a topic of debate, and there are residents of both Fairhill and Norris Square who believe themselves to be a member of the Kensington area. Before the large power plant was built on Lehigh Avenue, the Bromley industries, along with many other Kensington businesses, occupied various locations around the neighborhood. This was before the construction of the new power station.