Most Expensive Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Pennsylvania that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Pennsylvania.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

You won't find Dollar General stores and/or McDonalds restaurants dotting the landscape in Pennsylvania's most expensive places, the playgrounds for Pennsylvania's rich and famous are only loaded with the best of the best. Matter of fact, many of Pennsylvania's most expensive places are some of the state's best. What might be a surprise, however, is Pennsylvania's most expensive place to live. But, if you want to know what place is number one, you're going to have to take a look below at HomeSnacks' list of the most expensive places in Pennsylvania for 2020.

How did we calculate our list of the most expensive places in Pennsylvania? First, we created a list of factors that the wealthy find important: safety, jobs, and amenities and created a cost of living index to give the 186 Pennsylvania places we measured a SnackAbility score. And, folks, there's a reason that many of Pennsylvania's most expensive places are located around the state's busiest metropolis, Philadelphia: it's not only one of the most expensive places in the Keystone State, there's lots to do in The City of Brotherly Love that the wealthy find attractive.

More importantly, after looking at home price to income ratios and rent to income ratios for the places on our list with at least 5,000 residents, we also discovered that it's going to take more than a million Hershey, Pennsylvania Hershey's Kisses to keep up with the Joneses in this Mid-Atlantic state: it's going to take at least 30,926/year.

To see a list of the most expensive places in Pennsylvania, grab a basket of Pittsburgh's famous pierogies and keep reading.

What's the most expensive place to live in Pennsylvania? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that State College is the most expensive place to live in Pennsylvania.

So hopefully Greenville (the cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Pennsylvania and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2020

State College, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 42,256
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.0x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 32.8x (1st most expensive)
More on State College: Real Estate | Data | Photos

State College is a home rule municipality in Centre County in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the largest designated borough in Pennsylvania. It is the principal borough of the six municipalities that make up the State College Metropolitan Statistical Area, the largest settlement in Centre County and one of the principal cities of the greater State College-DuBois Combined Statistical Area with a combined population of 236,577 as of the 2010 United States Census. In the 2010 census, the borough population was 42,034 with approximately 105,000 living in the borough plus the surrounding townships often referred to locally as the "Centre Region." Many of these Centre Region communities also carry a "State College, PA" address although are not part of the borough of State College.

The median income in State College comes in at $33,244 and the median home value is $299,500 for 2020.

West Chester, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,888
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.2x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.0x (26th most expensive)
More on West Chester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West Chester is a borough and the county seat of Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The population was 18,461 at the 2010 census.

The median income in West Chester comes in at $58,500 and the median home value is $362,300 for 2020.

Gettysburg, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,646
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.4x (27th most expensive)
More on Gettysburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Gettysburg is a borough and the county seat of Adams County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address are named for this town. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Battlefield in the Gettysburg National Military Park. As of the 2010 census, the borough had a population of 7,620 people.

The median income in Gettysburg comes in at $42,562 and the median home value is $232,400 for 2020.

Stroudsburg, PA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,501
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.4x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 33.3x (2nd most expensive)
More on Stroudsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Stroudsburg is a borough in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is in the state's Poconos region, approximately five miles from the Delaware Water Gap, at the confluence of the Brodhead, McMichaels and Pocono Creeks. It is in northeastern Pennsylvania. It is also the county seat of Monroe County. Stroudsburg is part of the East Stroudsburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn is part of the New York combined statistical area.

The median income in Stroudsburg comes in at $30,926 and the median home value is $166,500 for 2020.

Bangor, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,225
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 13)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (17th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.4x (12th most expensive)
More on Bangor: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bangor is a borough located in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, 32 miles north of Allentown, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of Pennsylvania's Slate Belt. It had a population of 5,273 according to the 2010 census.

The median income in Bangor comes in at $42,717 and the median home value is $156,700 for 2020.

Philadelphia, PA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,575,522
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (19th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.4x (15th most expensive)
More on Philadelphia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the sixth-most populous city in the United States, with an estimated population of 1,567,872 and more than 6million in the seventh-largest metropolitan statistical area, as of 2016. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the Delaware Valley region, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. The region's population of 7.2million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

The median income in Philadelphia comes in at $43,744 and the median home value is $156,800 for 2020.

Conshohocken, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,010
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (28th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.0x (56th most expensive)
More on Conshohocken: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Conshohocken comes in at $85,861 and the median home value is $293,400 for 2020.

Doyle, PA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,307
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.1x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.4x (86th most expensive)
More on Doyle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Doyle comes in at $77,841 and the median home value is $398,000 for 2020.

Bloomsburg, PA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,275
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.8x (10th most expensive)
More on Bloomsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bloomsburg is a town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States, located 40 miles southwest of Wilkes-Barre along the Susquehanna River. It is the county seat of Columbia County and the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, Bloomsburg had a population of 14,855, with an estimated population of 14,519 in 2013.

The median income in Bloomsburg comes in at $32,318 and the median home value is $134,900 for 2020.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 7,929
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.7x (66th most expensive)
More on Downin: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Downin comes in at $61,417 and the median home value is $227,000 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Keystone State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Pennsylvania to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 186 places in Pennsylvania that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Pennsylvania according to the data is State College. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Pennsylvania For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Pennsylvania that have the highest cost of living, with State College ranking as the most expensive city in the Keystone State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Pennsylvania according to the data:

  1. Greenville
  2. Oil City
  3. West Mifflin

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Pennsylvania

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 State College 3.33 42,256 9.0x 32.8x
2 West Chester 10.67 19,888 6.2x 48.0x
3 Gettysburg 15.0 7,646 5.5x 48.4x
4 Stroudsburg 17.0 5,501 5.4x 33.3x
5 Bangor 29.0 5,225 3.7x 42.4x
6 Philadelphia 30.33 1,575,522 3.6x 43.4x
7 Conshohocken 31.0 8,010 3.4x 53.0x
8 Doyle 31.33 8,307 5.1x 58.4x
9 Bloomsburg 33.67 14,275 4.2x 41.8x
10 Downin 33.67 7,929 3.7x 54.7x
11 Shippensburg 34.67 5,479 3.9x 46.9x
12 Lewisburg 35.0 5,740 4.6x 53.7x
13 Millersville 35.33 8,344 3.2x 44.0x
14 Hatboro 36.0 7,428 3.5x 56.0x
15 Oxford 36.0 5,420 3.8x 56.4x
16 Norri 36.17 34,490 3.3x 42.4x
17 Lansdale 39.0 16,579 3.5x 57.7x
18 Indiana 40.33 13,512 4.5x 35.4x
19 Bristol 42.67 9,614 3.3x 53.5x
20 Media 44.67 5,423 4.4x 63.4x
21 Quake 47.33 8,836 3.2x 55.9x
22 Phoenixville 47.67 16,815 3.3x 59.1x
23 Bethlehem 48.67 75,296 3.1x 54.0x
24 East Stroudsburg 49.0 10,279 3.0x 44.1x
25 Allentown 49.33 120,410 3.1x 41.8x
26 Edinboro 50.0 5,964 3.4x 55.8x
27 Carlisle 50.33 19,116 3.6x 60.3x
28 Waynesboro 52.0 10,842 3.4x 52.0x
29 Brookhaven 52.33 8,043 3.0x 56.7x
30 Kennett Square 52.67 6,159 3.5x 64.6x
31 Ambler 53.33 6,488 4.0x 67.3x
32 Lock Haven 53.33 9,345 3.5x 46.0x
33 Bellefonte 53.67 6,289 3.5x 61.2x
34 Emmaus 54.0 11,361 3.0x 55.7x
35 Clarion 54.33 5,436 3.8x 53.0x
36 Nazareth 54.67 5,698 3.3x 59.7x
37 Kut 55.0 5,042 3.1x 55.4x
38 Prospect Park 56.33 6,475 3.2x 60.3x
39 Coatesville 56.67 13,147 3.0x 36.4x
40 Lititz 57.0 9,288 3.1x 59.7x
41 Chambersburg 57.33 20,734 3.3x 58.0x
42 New Holland 57.67 5,455 3.4x 64.2x
43 Blakely 60.33 6,316 3.3x 59.7x
44 Souderton 61.33 6,910 3.4x 67.5x
45 Wyomissing 63.0 10,452 2.9x 61.9x
46 Lansdowne 63.33 10,628 2.9x 55.4x
47 Perkasie 64.67 8,502 3.4x 71.5x
48 Mechanicsburg 65.33 8,987 3.1x 61.6x
49 Ephrata 65.67 13,802 3.1x 58.4x
50 Swarthmore 67.0 6,304 3.7x 93.8x
51 Hanover 68.33 15,563 3.1x 60.0x
52 Palmyra 68.33 7,498 3.0x 56.5x
53 Clifton Heights 68.67 6,680 2.7x 51.0x
54 Sayre 72.0 5,491 3.2x 56.2x
55 Butler 72.0 13,182 3.0x 50.2x
56 Easton 72.83 27,100 2.6x 50.3x
57 Williamsport 74.0 28,757 2.8x 49.1x
58 Greensburg 74.5 14,377 3.3x 60.9x
59 Northampton 75.33 9,873 2.8x 61.5x
60 Dickson City 76.0 5,868 3.0x 59.9x
61 Selinsgrove 76.17 5,897 3.0x 62.6x
62 Meadville 76.67 12,949 3.1x 53.8x
63 Elizabet 79.67 11,492 2.8x 66.1x
64 Helle 80.67 5,848 2.7x 66.3x
65 Old Forge 81.0 8,038 2.9x 62.8x
66 Uniontown 81.67 9,908 2.8x 45.7x
67 Pott 82.17 22,694 2.6x 52.3x
68 Oakmont 82.33 6,450 3.0x 75.1x
69 Bridgeville 82.33 5,066 3.0x 61.7x
70 Glenolden 82.33 7,147 2.6x 59.1x
71 Canonsburg 83.33 8,864 2.9x 62.2x
72 Pittsburgh 83.33 303,587 2.5x 49.7x
73 Mount Joy 83.33 8,106 2.7x 65.2x
74 Lancaster 83.33 59,503 2.6x 51.1x
75 Collegeville 83.67 5,170 2.9x 92.8x
76 Columbia 84.0 10,389 2.6x 50.5x
77 Franklin Park 85.33 14,448 2.7x 75.7x
78 Scranton 86.0 76,869 2.6x 51.1x
79 Morrisville 86.67 8,588 2.7x 73.2x
80 California 87.0 6,441 3.2x 63.7x
81 South Williamsport 87.33 6,193 2.6x 59.0x
82 Middl 88.67 9,176 2.5x 52.0x
83 Archbald 90.33 7,002 2.9x 68.2x
84 Hollidaysburg 90.33 5,705 2.9x 65.6x
85 Catasauqua 90.33 6,550 2.6x 61.9x
86 Taylor 91.0 6,007 2.7x 58.0x
87 Yeadon 91.0 11,487 2.6x 59.2x
88 York 91.67 44,044 2.5x 37.2x
89 Bellevue 92.33 8,196 2.7x 60.2x
90 Wilkinsburg 93.33 15,637 2.4x 42.6x
91 Berwick 93.67 10,167 2.6x 53.6x
92 Hermitage 95.0 15,812 2.7x 66.3x
93 Lehighton 95.33 5,313 2.8x 60.3x
94 Ridley Park 95.33 7,035 2.7x 81.1x
95 Dunmore 95.67 13,282 2.8x 74.1x
96 Pittston 96.0 7,697 2.6x 52.8x
97 Camp Hill 96.0 7,911 2.6x 76.1x
98 Sharon Hill 97.33 5,691 2.1x 51.1x
99 Reading 98.0 88,211 2.4x 37.8x
100 Hazleton 98.5 24,812 2.3x 51.1x

How Is The Area In ?

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.