THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2020


These are the cream of the crop in the Keystone State.

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

The best place to live in Pennsylvania you ask?

Why that's easy of course.

It's either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you'd say.

Right?

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 for the 170 cities in PA larger than 5,000 people.

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 2020 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 pennsylvania, 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.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2020

Camp Hill, PA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 7,911
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $212,900 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (27th best)
More on Camp Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you look at the numbers, Camp Hill is far and away, the best place in Pennsylvania. The crime rate is very low, and so are the unemployment numbers. Only 27th of Camp Hill residents are without a job, which is very low.

Plus, the children in Camp Hill schools receive a ton of support, financially. And when you feel so cozy in your backyard, you're never out of things to do. It's basically a little gem tucked away in Pennsylvania.

Bellefonte, PA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 6,289
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $182,600 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (16th best)
More on Bellefonte: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Bellefonte so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn't all that makes Bellefonte great. They also have the 68th highest median income and the 16th shortest commute time.

Swarthmore, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,304
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $410,100 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (78th best)
More on Swarthmore: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Swarthmore has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Pennsylvania. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Swarthmore is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Swarthmore residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Conshohocken, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 8,010
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $293,400 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (13th best)
More on Conshohocken: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Conshohocken is known for having a great education system and has the 137th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Conshohocken is the 13th lowest in Pennsylvania and the median income is the 6th highest in the state.

Collegeville, PA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 5,170
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $325,700 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (39th best)
More on Collegeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Collegeville makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.1% of folks are jobless, you can bet Collegeville residents are glad to live where they do.

Lititz, PA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 9,288
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $189,200 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (34th best)
More on Lititz: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lititz ranks 6th 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 Lititz over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

Fox Chapel, PA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 5,331
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $622,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (54th best)
More on Fox Chapel: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fox Chapel offers an impressive amount to do while maintaining a small town's charm.

The unemployment rate sits as the 54th lowest in Pennsylvania and incomes are the highest.

When you come into town be sure to check out the parks as they are a good time for people of all ages.

Franklin Park, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 14,448
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $327,200 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (44th best)
More on Franklin Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There's two types of people who live in Franklin Park. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $327,200 home there.

Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Franklin Park is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

Ridley Park, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 7,035
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $204,400 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (31st best)
More on Ridley Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ridley Park is by far one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania: the math proves it! This city has the 3lowest unemployment rate and the 11th highest median income in all of Pennsylvania.

Plus, the median home values are the 2highest in the state. And if all of that isn't enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 50th lowest in the state, making Ridley Park a safe and great place to live.

Wyomissing, PA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 10,452
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $240,500 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (25th best)
More on Wyomissing: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking its place as the 10th best place in Pennsylvania is Wyomissing. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Pennsylvania.

It's considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can't be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 3.7% helps thing too.

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 49,230 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 170 cities, 690 towns, and 733 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Pennsylvania have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

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 170, 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

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 2020.

Best Towns To Live In Pennsylvania

  1. Seven Fields (Pop. 2,865)
  2. Fox Chase (Pop. 1,280)
  3. Lincoln Park (Pop. 1,612)
  4. Colony Park (Pop. 1,459)
  5. Whitfield (Pop. 4,403)
  6. Lemont (Pop. 2,144)
  7. Chesterbrook (Pop. 4,693)
  8. Ben Avon (Pop. 1,774)
  9. Clarks Green (Pop. 1,435)
  10. Narberth (Pop. 4,305)

Best Small Towns To Live In Pennsylvania

  1. Ben Avon Heights (Pop. 349)
  2. Pennwyn (Pop. 761)
  3. Mount Gretna (Pop. 240)
  4. Glen Osborne (Pop. 553)
  5. Rosslyn Farms (Pop. 465)
  6. Harleigh (Pop. 897)
  7. Waverly (Pop. 579)
  8. Spring Ridge (Pop. 902)
  9. Rennerdale (Pop. 849)
  10. Thornburg (Pop. 449)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Pennsylvania according to the data:

  1. Johnstown (Pop. 19,812)
  2. Duquesne (Pop. 5,544)
  3. McKeesport (Pop. 19,365)

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Camp Hill 7,911 3.8% $212,900
2 Bellefonte 6,289 3.3% $182,600
3 Swarthmore 6,304 5.8% $410,100
4 Conshohocken 8,010 3.1% $293,400
5 Collegeville 5,170 4.1% $325,700
6 Lititz 9,288 3.9% $189,200
7 Fox Chapel 5,331 4.8% $622,600
8 Franklin Park 14,448 4.3% $327,200
9 Ridley Park 7,035 3.8% $204,400
10 Wyomissing 10,452 3.7% $240,500

How Is Your Town 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.

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