Living in Pennsylvania puts outdoor lovers near trout-filled streams, scenic hikes, and cross-country skiing trails. While Pittsburgh and Philadelphia offer urban environments loaded with entertainment options, much of Pennsylvania is made of up small towns and dense forest areas. Steel production, train manufacturing, banking, and agriculture drive the economy in Pennsylvania.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Pennsylvania:
Philadelphia is the first U.S. city to earn World Heritage City status from the Organization of World Heritage Cities. This city offers a unique setting for an eclectic mix of modern lifestyles, mingling both the edgy and the sophisticated. With culinary hotspots, a rich historical background, and affordable housing, it’s easy to see why Millennials and entrepreneurs are flooding to Philadelphia. The cost of living here is only slightly higher than the national average, which is good compared with nearby East Coast metro areas like New York City. In addition, the metro area’s universities also draw a large student population, which helps drop the population’s average age.
Pittsburgh now encompasses more acres of park per capita and trees per square mile than any other major US metro area, and it’s attracting major corporations looking to set up shop. Pittsburgh’s for the young professional looking to move to a city where they can experience excellent job opportunities, while also being surrounded with culture, history and a seemingly endless list of things to do. A rise in job opportunities has made Pittsburgh an attractive place for families and graduates. This city also offers a cheaper housing market and proximity to other large metro areas. In addition, Pittsburgh is one of the safest cities in Pennsylvania, as well as one of the most affordable.
Located in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania, Scranton is a mid-sized city with a population of 77,000 residents. This city receives the seventh-highest score out of the 125 most populous metro areas in the U.S. for its proximity to quality health care. Housing costs here are noticeably lower than in other Northeastern metro areas. And Scranton residents also pay less than residents of these places for utilities, health care, and groceries. Scranton’s low crime rate and low cost of living make it a popular place for families, while the vital, healthy downtown is a magnet for millennials. For those who enjoy a nature trail atmosphere, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail offers a nice environment for walking and biking.
Nestled within the Lehigh Valley, with the Blue Mountain range to the north and South Mountain to the southwest, Allentown offers hikers and skiers access to great trails and snow. Much of Allentown’s charm comes from its vast collection of historic homes and buildings, commercial structures and century-old industrial buildings. Meanwhile, residents can drive to New York City or Philadelphia in roughly two hours. Allentown’s convenient location, commitment to healthy living and celebration of the arts make it a great place for active folks to settle down. In addition, Allentown’s affordable cost of living makes it an obvious choice as a retirement destination.
The population of York is approximately 44,000. You’ll enjoy a slower pace of life without feeling like you’re cut off from the rest of the world. There is a mix of rural with small towns to city living within York city. The cost of living in York is 15% below the national average. You can find just about any kind of home in York, from brand new townhouses within York city limits to old farmhouses on rolling acres of land. If you have children or are planning to start a family, you’ll be able to provide your kids with a quality education here. Sixteen public school districts serve the York County area. York College of Pennsylvania routinely ranks among the top institutions of its size in the U.S.
If you like the slower, rural life in Pennsylvania, look no further than Lancaster. This city offers a balance between natural and commercial spaces that residents appreciate. Lancaster is affordable compared to other major metro areas, and homes are less expensive than the national median home sale price. Other living expenses like food, health, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses fall in line with the national average. Because Lancaster is so close to some of the largest cities along the East Coast, residents have access to nearly endless choices when it comes to doctors and treatment options.
The Reading metro area, particularly suburban communities, continues to attract new residents with its low cost of living and low crime rates. The cost of living in Reading is well below that of many other metro areas, thanks in large part to affordable housing costs. The median home sale price in Reading proper is much lower than the state average, although home prices tend to be higher in suburban areas. The metro area has more than 125 miles of trails that are ideal for walking, jogging, and biking. During the warmer months, kayaking and canoeing along the Schuylkill River are particularly popular pastimes.
Harrisburg is the state capital of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg’s high score is for its affordability and quality health care options, residents spending just 22% of the median annual household income on housing. Major industries are healthcare and biotechnology, and downtown Harrisburg has been revitalized into an entertainment district with two impressive performance centers. Students have the choice of several college campuses, and air travelers are served by Harrisburg International Airport. Residents also enjoy hiking the famous Appalachian Trail or camping and mountain biking in the many nearby state parks and forests.
If you want to enjoy lakefront living at its finest when you retire, then Erie is the perfect city for you. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, the city is in a prime location for enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing. Boasting historic architecture and attractions as well as beautiful, scenic parks, Erie is both affordable and diverse. The major economic sectors providing jobs in Erie are currently health, insurance, and tourism. If you are relocating to the city with a family and safety is your main concern, then Weis Library neighborhood, Glenwood area, and Harborcreek are good places for you.
1. Jefferson Hills
Lying just 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, Jefferson Hills offers easy access to the attractions of the big city. Just $200,000 will buy you a very reasonable property in this attractive suburb, which benefits from a supremely low crime rate, a very decent school system, an abundance of amenities, great infrastructure, and a job market that can support the very healthy median household income of $90,000. In addition, families have access to five municipal parks, not to mention a 150-mile system of biking and hiking trails known as the Great Allegheny Passage. The high schools may not be the best in the state, but they perform fairly well, boasting a 96% graduation rate.