The best place to live in Pennsylvania you ask?
Why that’s easy of course.
Wrong, at least according to the most recent data from the Census and FBI that we are going to dive into today. And this wasn’t even a close one like trying to determine if you should root for the Steelers or Eagles.
We don’t take the decision to find the best place to live lightly, we believe in making the decision based on the cold hard facts and data instead of preconceived notions. And for the last four years, we’ve been doing our best to help you find the place in Pennsylvania that fits your needs.
Whether you’re looking for good schools — like in Swarthmore — or a great economy — like the 0.9% unemployment rate in Clarks Summit, we have you covered.
And while all of Pennsylvania is a pretty great, there are definitely places that are a tick above the rest.
So “Youse” and “Yinz” can put aside the cross state rivalry for a minute, pick up a Yuengling, and cozy up with some scrapple as we break down the best places to live in Pennsylvania based on crime, incomes, and home prices for the 174 cities in PA larger than 5,000 people.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Pennsylvania for 2019:
- Camp Hill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Clarks Summit (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Swarthmore (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lititz (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Collegeville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Conshohocken (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Franklin Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hollidaysburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- New Cumberland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ridley Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
So while Pittsburgh and Philadelphia aren’t the best places to call home in the Keystone State, the places around the metros are the best of the best.
What’s the best place to live in Pennsylvania? According to data from the Census and FBI UCR, the best place to live in Pennsylvania for 2019 is Camp Hill for the second year a row. It’s kind of like they set up a tent at the top of this ranking wouldn’t ya say.
We weren’t surprised to see Camp Hill here after the results last year, but it is funny with all the hype around the two biggest cities that the best place to live is actually a suburb of Harrisburg.
Now that you have an understanding of the best places to live in PA, let’s take a drive down our methodology and take a deep dive into the ten best. Just remember to stop at WaWa before you hop in the car with us.
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Pennsylvania
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania
The 10 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2019
This isn’t a knock on the rest of Pennsylvania, but Camp Hill is a little slice of heaven. Camp Hill blew away the rest of the state across the board.
The weather, measured in terms of rain, sunny days and humidity, is statistically almost the best here, and the residents here earn far more than most residents in other areas of the state.
And when you have really low crime, life is good, at least those who can afford it.
Clarks Summit ranks 2nd on our list of best places to live in Pennsylvania thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.
Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Pennsylvania that we examined.
People have been flocking to Clarks Summit over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.
Looks like little Swarthmore might be a hidden gem in Pennsylvania. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($377,900) and crime is really low (22nd lowest in the state).
Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.
Little Lititz has it made. It has the 16th lowest unemployment rate, and crime is far below average for Pennsylvania.
Residents here have great jobs, and the home price proves it’s a highly desirable location in the state, for those who can afford the high cost of living
We’d recommend you start saving up!
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Collegeville.
Collegeville ranked impressively high for its crime rate (19th overall) and its short commute times (86th).
We think that’s worth the price of admission.
Conshohocken has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Pennsylvania.
The unemployment rate is the 44th lowest in the state at 5.2%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $78,801, and the average cost of a home is $278,000. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.
We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Conshohocken one of America’s gems.
Franklin Park is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.
Home prices clock in at $312,200 and households earn a median salary of $121,661. One could get used to that.
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Pennsylvania, as there were only 7 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 4th lowest in Pennsylvania (2.2%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.
Additionally, homes are the 67th most expensive in Hollidaysburg ($135,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.
Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $52,078 a year.
The crime is the 17th lowest in the state in New Cumberland, and there were only 3 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in Pennsylvania, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in New Cumberland earn $51,173 a year.
If you live in Ridley Park, you probably know how great it is already.
Ridley Park has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($70,766). And the crime is really, really low (15th lowest in Pennsylvania).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Pennsylvania
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Harrisburg with a population of 49,160 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 5,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 174 cities, 690 towns, and 733 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Pennsylvania
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Pennsylvania across a number of criteria from one to 174, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Pennsylvania”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Pennsylvania? That would be Camp Hill.
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Pennsylvania.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Camp Hill at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Pennsylvania
If you’re looking at areas in Pennsylvania with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Camp Hill made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Pennsylvania for 2019.
Best Towns To Live In Pennsylvania
- Seven Fields (Pop. 2,865)
- Fox Chase (Pop. 1,280)
- Lincoln Park (Pop. 1,612)
- Colony Park (Pop. 1,459)
- Whitfield (Pop. 4,403)
- Lemont (Pop. 2,144)
- Chesterbrook (Pop. 4,693)
- Ben Avon (Pop. 1,774)
- Clarks Green (Pop. 1,435)
- Narberth (Pop. 4,305)
Best Small Towns To Live In Pennsylvania
- Ben Avon Heights (Pop. 349)
- Pennwyn (Pop. 761)
- Mount Gretna (Pop. 240)
- Glen Osborne (Pop. 553)
- Rosslyn Farms (Pop. 465)
- Harleigh (Pop. 897)
- Waverly (Pop. 579)
- Spring Ridge (Pop. 902)
- Rennerdale (Pop. 849)
- Thornburg (Pop. 449)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Pennsylvania according to the data:
- Duquesne (Pop. 5,534)
- Clairton (Pop. 6,719)
- McKeesport (Pop. 19,529)
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Pennsylvania
- 10 Safest Places In Pennsylvania
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania