These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania For 2018


We analyzed over 162 places in Pennsylvania to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Pennsylvania.

But where exactly in Pennsylvania? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Pennsylvania that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Nanticoke don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Keystone State to retire for 2018:

  1. Nanticoke (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Johnstown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Whitehall (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. West Mifflin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Meadville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Emmaus (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Kingston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Scranton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Greensburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Columbia (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Why did Nanticoke take the top spot? And where are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Pennsylvania.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Keystone State

To create our list of the best places in Pennsylvania to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Keystone State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 49 places from across the state.

For these 49, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 49, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Nanticoke, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. Nanticoke

Nanticoke, Pennsylvania

Population: 10,302
Median Rent: $609
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,184
More on Nanticoke: Homes For Sale | Data
The name Nanticoke was derived from Nantego, the Native American tidewater people who moved to the Wyoming Valley when their Maryland lands were spoiled for hunting by the European settlers. For quite some time, the tribe maintained a village in the valley before Europeans settled there. The nearby Nanticoke Creek, also named after the tribe, was once known as Muddy Run. However, its current name was appearing on maps as early as 1776. The creek has also historically been referred to by many other names, including Lee’s Creek, Miller’s Creek, Robbins Creek, Bobbs Creek, Rummage Creek, and Warrior Run Creek. All of these names were described as erroneous in Henry C. Bradsby’s 1893 book History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

2. Johnstown

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Population: 20,169
Median Rent: $483
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,634
More on Johnstown: Homes For Sale | Data
Johnstown, settled in 1770, has experienced three major floods in its history. The ‘Great Flood’ of May 31, 1889, occurred after the South Fork Dam collapsed 14.1 miles (22.7 km) upstream from the city during heavy rains. At least 2,209 people died as a result of the flood and subsequent fire that raged through the debris. Another major flood occurred in 1936. Despite a pledge by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to make the city flood free, and subsequent work to do so, another major flood occurred in 1977. The 1977 flood – in what was to have been a ‘flood free’ city – may have contributed to Johnstown’s subsequent population decline and inability to attract new residents and businesses.

3. Whitehall

Whitehall, Pennsylvania

Population: 13,873
Median Rent: $678
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
Crime Per 100k: 497
More on Whitehall: Homes For Sale | Data

4. West Mifflin

West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain’

Population: 20,153
Median Rent: $593
Distance to Closest Airport: 19 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,012
More on West Mifflin: Homes For Sale | Data

5. Meadville

Meadville, Pennsylvania

Population: 13,134
Median Rent: $612
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,971
More on Meadville: Homes For Sale | Data
Meadville was settled on May 12, 1788, by a party of settlers led by David Mead. Its location was chosen well, for it lies at the confluence of Cussewago Creek and French Creek, and was only a day’s travel by boat to the safety of Ft. Franklin.

6. Emmaus

Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain’

Population: 11,363
Median Rent: $960
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,425
More on Emmaus: Homes For Sale | Data
Emmaus was settled in the 1740s and dates its founding to 1759. For approximately 100 years, until the mid-19th century, it was a closed community of the Moravian Church. The original land on which the town now lies was donated by Sebastian Heinrich Knauss and Jacob Ehrenhardt for use by the Moravian church. The founders and original residents of the town were members of the Lutheran and Reformed faiths, who joined the Moravian church when their own denominations were unable to provide ministers. Emmaus was one of the four leading Moravian communities in the northeast United States at the time of its founding; Bethlehem, PA, Lititz, PA and Nazareth, PA were the three others.

7. Kingston

Kingston, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain’

Population: 12,996
Median Rent: $765
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,046
More on Kingston: Homes For Sale | Data
In the early 1660s, King Charles II owed Admiral Sir William Penn a large sum of money. To settle this debt, he granted Penn?s son, William, a territory in North America, which later became known as Pennsylvania. However, Connecticut also claimed a portion of this land.

8. Scranton

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Population: 76,380
Median Rent: $717
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,503
More on Scranton: Homes For Sale | Data
Present-day Scranton and its surrounding area had been long inhabited by the native Lenape tribe, from whose language ‘Lackawanna’ (or lac-a-wa-na, meaning ‘stream that forks’), is derived. In 1778, Isaac Tripp, the area’s first known European-American settler, built his home here; it still stands in North Scranton, formerly a separate town known as Providence. More settlers from Connecticut came to the area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries after the American Revolutionary War, as their state claimed this area as part of their colonial charter.

They gradually established mills and other small businesses in a village that became known as Slocum Hollow. People in the village during this time carried the traits and the accent of their New England settlers, which were somewhat different from most of Pennsylvania. Some area settlers from Connecticut participated in what was known as the Pennamite Wars, where settlers competed to control the territory which had been included in royal colonial land grants to both states. (This claim between Connecticut and Pennsylvania was settled by negotiation with the federal government after independence.)

9. Greensburg

Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Population: 14,572
Median Rent: $634
Distance to Closest Airport: 38 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,758
More on Greensburg: Homes For Sale | Data
After the end of the Revolutionary War, an inn was built along a wagon trail that stretched from Philadelphia west over the Appalachian Mountains to Fort Pitt, now the city of Pittsburgh. A tiny settlement known as Newtown grew around the inn, today the center of Greensburg’s Business District at the intersection of Pittsburgh and Main Streets. At Pittsburgh, the wagon trail became Penn Avenue.

10. Columbia

Columbia, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain’

Population: 10,382
Median Rent: $730
Distance to Closest Airport: 23 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,321
More on Columbia: Homes For Sale | Data
The area around present-day Columbia was originally populated by Native American tribes, most notably the Susquehannocks, who migrated to the area between 1575 and 1600[citation needed] after separating[citation needed] from the Iroquois Confederacy. They established villages just south of Columbia, in what is now Washington Boro[citation needed], as well as claiming at least hunting lands as far south as Maryland and Northern Virginia. Captain John Smith reported on the Susquehannock in glowing superlatives when a traveling group visited Jamestown, Virginia; he estimated their numbers to be about 2,000 in the early 1600s. The French ran across them in the area around Buffalo, apparently visiting the Wenro, and suggesting their numbers were far greater. The Province of Maryland fought a declared war for nearly a decade, signing a peace in 1632, against the Susquehannock Confederation who were allied to New Sweden and furnishing fire arms to the Susquehannocks in exchange for furs. The American Heritage Book of Indians reports the tribe occupied the entire Susquehanna Drainage Basin from the divide with the Mohawk River in lower New York State and part of the west side of the Chesapeake Bay in the Province of Virginia, while noting the confederation numbered between 10-20,000 in the mid-1660s when they came close to wiping out two Nations of the Iroquois. An virulent epidemic struck the Susquehannock towns during 1668 or 1669 and is believed to have lasted or recurred or morphed to plagues of other disease possibly killing up to 90% of the Amerindian nations people. By 1671-1672 they were beset on all sides?with attacks from colonial settlers, raids from the weakened Iroquois and the long subjugated Lenape band occupying the Poconos and Lehigh Valley. In that decade, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York all claimed the Susquehannock lands of the Wyoming Valley, where the remnants of the nation were to recoil into a few scant under populated towns. In 1678, the Governor of New York would sign a treaty with the League of the Iroquois requiring them to take in the Susquehannocks. The Iroquoian cultures universally supporting adoption, absorbed the people. Small bands moved west across the Susquehanna to new villages such as Conestoga Town and some are believed to have trekked through the gaps of the Allegheny to the virtually empty lands beyond the Alleghenies, perhaps mingling there with other Iroquoian peoples such as the Seneca, Wenro and Erie peoples forming the new clans and towns as the (new) Mingo people whose small bands known to be present in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio in the early 1800s.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Pennsylvania goes to Nanticoke.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Allentown
  • Coatesville
  • Darby

For more Pennsylvania reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Nanticoke 1 10,302 $609 17 2,184
Johnstown 2 20,169 $483 15 3,634
Whitehall 3 13,873 $678 15 497
West Mifflin 4 20,153 $593 19 1,012
Meadville 5 13,134 $612 30 1,971
Emmaus 6 11,363 $960 8 1,425
Kingston 7 12,996 $765 9 2,046
Scranton 8 76,380 $717 5 2,503
Greensburg 9 14,572 $634 38 2,758
Columbia 10 10,382 $730 23 2,321
Uniontown 11 10,094 $562 48 3,209
Erie 12 100,157 $662 5 2,626
Pottsville 13 13,955 $617 40 2,586
Dunmore 14 13,627 $733 8 2,032
Lower Burrell 15 11,527 $721 27 1,440
Ephrata 16 13,714 $824 30 1,472
Easton 17 27,014 $897 11 1,921
Hazleton 18 24,954 $668 29 1,815
Bethlehem 19 75,110 $954 4 1,979
Berwick 20 10,276 $701 33 2,578
Franklin Park 21 14,228 $1296 9 541
Waynesboro 22 10,764 $700 52 2,740
Lansdowne 23 10,621 $920 5 2,824
Carlisle 24 19,014 $815 23 2,235
Harrisburg 25 49,160 $786 8 3,799
New Castle 26 22,500 $608 35 3,555
Altoona 27 45,209 $606 88 2,161
Lebanon 28 25,654 $688 20 2,646
Sharon 29 13,659 $614 52 3,484
Phoenixville 30 16,638 $1081 23 1,460
Lansdale 31 16,454 $1094 25 1,300
Yeadon 32 11,506 $847 4 3,276
West Chester 33 19,434 $1183 20 2,377
Hanover 34 15,429 $801 28 2,858
York 35 43,848 $761 15 4,159
Chambersburg 36 20,576 $783 50 3,484
Wilkinsburg 37 15,797 $776 19 4,424
Hermitage 38 16,077 $794 52 3,215
Williamsport 39 29,180 $739 68 3,070
Pittsburgh 40 305,305 $844 13 4,007
Lancaster 41 59,341 $806 26 4,467
Wyomissing 42 10,442 $1208 35 3,706
Reading 43 87,899 $752 33 3,286
Chester 44 34,056 $810 7 4,654
Philadelphia 45 1,559,938 $943 11 4,158
State College 46 42,074 $968 70 1,259
Darby 47 10,677 $979 3 5,863
Coatesville 48 13,132 $987 31 3,350
Allentown 49 119,624 $907 40 3,251

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