Where are the best places in the state of Pennsylvania?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Keystone State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Pennsylvania.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 174 places in Pennsylvania, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Camp Hill (Photos)
- Clarks Summit (Photos)
- Swarthmore (Photos)
- Lititz (Photos)
- Collegeville (Photos)
- Conshohocken (Photos)
- Franklin Park (Photos)
- Hollidaysburg (Photos)
- New Cumberland (Photos)
- Ridley Park (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best 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, 701 towns, and 800 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 Place 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
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.
1. Camp Hill
Population: 7,912Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $209,500 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (36th best)
The Town of Camp Hill consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Camp Hill ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Camp Hill are the 19th most expensive in the state of Pennsylvania, with the average home worth a whopping $209,500. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Camp Hill if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Camp Hill residents have the 11th highest income in the state, and the 14th lowest crime numbers in Pennsylvania.
2. Clarks Summit
Population: 5,041Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $194,500 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.9% (1st best)
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Clarks Summit is a wonderful place to live in this state.
The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!
While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Clarks Summit still holds its own in in Pennsylvania.
Population: 6,218Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 29)
Home Values: $377,900 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (36th best)
Swarthmore ranks 3rd 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 Swarthmore over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.
Population: 9,209Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Values: $185,300 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (16th best)
The Town of Lititz consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Lititz ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Lititz are the 25th most expensive in the state of Pennsylvania, with the average home worth a whopping $185,300. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Lititz if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Lititz residents have the 42nd highest income in the state, and the 4th lowest crime numbers in Pennsylvania.
Population: 5,279Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Values: $302,800 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (28th best)
Collegeville comes in 5th in our best places to live in Pennsylvania analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (28th overall) and crime rate (19th overall), Collegeville is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.
Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Collegeville in our lists for years to come.
Population: 7,916Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Home Values: $278,000 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (44th best)
Conshohocken is another great city in Pennsylvania with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.
Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Conshohocken. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”
7. Franklin Park
Population: 14,228Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Values: $312,200 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (23rd best)
At an umeployment rate of 4.6%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Franklin Park. And the residents command high salaries ($121,661 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($312,200 each).
We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Pennsylvania. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Population: 5,790Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Values: $135,100 (67th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (4th best)
In Hollidaysburg, everyone loves to call Hollidaysburg home! The median home value is the 67th highest in Pennsylvania.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 4th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Keystone State.
Hollidaysburg should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
9. New Cumberland
Population: 7,290Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Values: $167,800 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (40th best)
Who doesn’t want to live inNew Cumberland? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.
Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 5.1%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.
Expect to see more of New Cumberland in the news in the coming months.
10. Ridley Park
Population: 7,032Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Home Values: $212,600 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (100th best)
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.
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Pennsylvania
- Haverford College (Pop. 1,306)
- Seven Fields (Pop. 2,865)
- Fox Chase (Pop. 1,280)
- Messiah College (Pop. 2,359)
- 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)
Best Small Towns To Live In Pennsylvania
- Ben Avon Heights (Pop. 349)
- Pennwyn (Pop. 761)
- Mount Gretna (Pop. 240)
- Westland (Pop. 99)
- Glen Osborne (Pop. 553)
- Rosslyn Farms (Pop. 465)
- Harleigh (Pop. 897)
- Timber Hills (Pop. 454)
- Waverly (Pop. 579)
- Spring Ridge (Pop. 902)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Pennsylvania:
- McKeesport (Pop. 19,529)
- Clairton (Pop. 6,719)
- Duquesne (Pop. 5,534)
For more Pennsylvania reading , check out:
- Here Are The 10 Cities With The Most Diehard Pittsburgh Steelers Fans
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Cities In Pennsylvania
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Pennsylvania
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Pennsylvania