10 Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania For 2019

We analyzed over 49 places in Pennsylvania to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Pennsylvania.

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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 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.

Where exactly in Pennsylvania is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Nanticoke as the best place to hang up your cleats.

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.

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

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For Pennsylvania state reading:

Nanticoke, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,302
Rank Last Year: 38 (Up 37)
Median Rent: $609
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
More on Nanticoke: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Nanticoke is a city in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,465, making it the third largest city in Luzerne County. It occupies 3.5 square miles of land. The city can be divided into several sections: Honey Pot, Downtown, and Hanover Section. It was once an active coal mining community. Today, the 167-acre main campus of Luzerne County Community College is located within the city.

Johnstown, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,169
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Rent: $483
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Johnstown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Johnstown is a city in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States, 43 miles west-southwest of Altoona and 67 miles east of Pittsburgh. The population was 20,978 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 20,402 in 2013. It is the principal city of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Cambria County.

Review Of Johnstown by HomeSnacks User

Johnstown is a great place to live, everyone is friendly.

We have great restaurants.

Whitehall, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,873
Rank Last Year: 152 (Up 149)
Median Rent: $678
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Whitehall: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West Mifflin, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,153
Rank Last Year: 84 (Up 80)
Median Rent: $593
Distance to Closest Airport: 19 miles
More on West Mifflin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Meadville, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,134
Rank Last Year: 62 (Up 57)
Median Rent: $612
Distance to Closest Airport: 30 miles
More on Meadville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Meadville is a city in and the county seat of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The city is within 40 miles of Erie, Pennsylvania and within 90 miles of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first permanent settlement in northwest Pennsylvania. The population was 13,388 at the 2010 census. The city of Meadville is the principal city of the Meadville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. As well as one of two cities, the other being Erie, that make up the larger Erie-Meadville, PA Combined Statistical Area.

Emmaus, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,363
Rank Last Year: 158 (Up 152)
Median Rent: $960
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Emmaus: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Emmaus is a borough in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is located 5 miles southwest of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. It also lies 50 miles north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city, and 20 miles west of the Delaware River. Emmaus is located in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New York City-Newark, New Jersey, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

Kingston, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,996
Rank Last Year: 137 (Up 130)
Median Rent: $765
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
More on Kingston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kingston is a borough in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located on the western bank of the Susquehanna River opposite Wilkes-Barre City. Kingston was first settled in the early 1770s; it was later incorporated as a borough in 1857. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,182, making it the most populous borough in the county.

Scranton, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 76,380
Rank Last Year: 52 (Up 44)
Median Rent: $717
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Scranton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Scranton is the sixth-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania behind Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie and Reading. It is the county seat of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley and hosts a federal court building. With a population of 77,291, it is the largest city in the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of about 570,000.

Greensburg, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,572
Rank Last Year: 96 (Up 87)
Median Rent: $634
Distance to Closest Airport: 38 miles
More on Greensburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Greensburg is a city in and the county seat of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States, and a part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The city lies within the Laurel Highlands and the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau. The city is named after Nathanael Greene, a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. The population was 14,892 at the 2010 census.

Columbia, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,382
Rank Last Year: 69 (Up 59)
Median Rent: $730
Distance to Closest Airport: 23 miles
More on Columbia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Columbia, formerly Wright’s Ferry, is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 28 miles southeast of Harrisburg on the east bank of the Susquehanna River, across from Wrightsville and York County and just south of U.S. Route 30. The settlement was founded in 1726 by Colonial English Quakers from Chester County led by entrepreneur and evangelist John Wright. Establishment of the eponymous Wright’s Ferry, the first commercial Susquehanna crossing in the region, inflamed territorial conflict with neighboring Maryland but brought growth and prosperity to the small town, which was just a few votes shy of becoming the new United States’ capital. Though besieged for a short while by Civil War destruction, Columbia remained a lively center of transport and industry throughout the 19th century, once serving as a terminus of the Pennsylvania Canal. Later, however, the Great Depression and 20th-century changes in economy and technology sent the borough into decline. It is notable today as the site of one of the world’s few museums devoted entirely to horology.

Review Of Columbia by HomeSnacks User

The crimes are not bad like other places. The are not to good but really cool teachers.

My favorite place was downtown. It is beautiful. Things to watch for high schoolers fighting in the streets, but not to many.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Keystone State for 2019

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 — 1752 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren’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.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Pennsylvania 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:

  1. Allentown
  2. Coatesville
  3. Darby

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Nanticoke 10,302 $609
2 Johnstown 20,169 $483
3 Whitehall 13,873 $678
4 West Mifflin 20,153 $593
5 Meadville 13,134 $612
6 Emmaus 11,363 $960
7 Kingston 12,996 $765
8 Scranton 76,380 $717
9 Greensburg 14,572 $634
10 Columbia 10,382 $730

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.