10 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2019


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Pennsylvania.

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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 174 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 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 2019 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.

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 2019

Camp Hill, PA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 7,912
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $209,500 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (36th best)
More on Camp Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Camp Hill ranks as the best place in Pennsylvania for 2019. Let's take a look at why.

Camp Hill has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Camp Hill's cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries - to the tune of $71,039 a year.

The knock? We can't really find one 🙂

Clarks Summit, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 5,041
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $194,500 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.9% (1st best)
More on Clarks Summit: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Clarks Summit by HomeSnacks User

I live in this town but I'm not from the area. I moved here in 2014 from Southern New Jersey. While the food options around here are not very good at all, there's lots of nature to see and lots of things to do outside.

Favorite places in this area including hiking at Ricketts Glen State Park, skiing at Montage Mountain, concerts at Montage Mount, movies in Dickson City, etc.

Swarthmore, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,218
Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 29)
Median Home Value: $377,900 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (36th best)
More on Swarthmore: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who wouldn't want to live in a place where there's low crime and everyone is rich? That's the case with Swarthmore.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 36th lowest in Pennsylvania and the median income comes in at $92,292.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Lititz, PA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 9,209
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $185,300 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (16th best)
More on Lititz: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Lititz might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Lititz isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $185,300 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Pennsylvania.

If Lititz can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (4.0% is the 16th highest in the state.

Collegeville, PA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 5,279
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $302,800 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (28th best)
More on Collegeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let's take a look at why Collegeville is a great place to call home for 2019.

There's low crime in Collegeville, and the residents here are gainfully employed (4.7% unemployment rate).

You can make Collegeville your home for only $302,800 which won't be too hard on a $105,761 household salary.

Conshohocken, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 7,916
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $278,000 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (44th best)
More on Conshohocken: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Conshohocken isn't just the nicest place to live in Pennsylvania - it's also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It's got the 44th lowest unemployment rate, the 6th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you're looking at science and data, Conshohocken definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

Franklin Park, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 14,228
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $312,200 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (23rd best)
More on Franklin Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Pennsylvania, as there were only 1 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 23rd lowest in Pennsylvania (4.6%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 4th most expensive in Franklin Park ($312,200), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $121,661 a year.

Hollidaysburg, PA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 5,790
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $135,100 (67th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (4th best)
More on Hollidaysburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in Pennsylvania, you can't go wrong if you decide to make the Hollidaysburg area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It's a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $52,078 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Hollidaysburg as great as possible. You can't get it much better than in Hollidaysburg.

New Cumberland, PA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,290
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $167,800 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (40th best)
More on New Cumberland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 40th lowest in Pennsylvania and very stable household median incomes, it's easy to see why someone would want to live in New Cumberland.

Plus, the crime rate is the 17th lowest in the state!

Ridley Park, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 7,032
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $212,600 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (100th best)
More on Ridley Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ridley Park is feeling the love as it ranks as the 10th best city to live in Pennsylvania for 2019.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (12th overall) and low crime (15th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like "The Place To Be In Pennsylvania".

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'.

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

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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

  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. Duquesne (Pop. 5,534)
  2. Clairton (Pop. 6,719)
  3. McKeesport (Pop. 19,529)

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 7,912 5.0% $209,500
2 Clarks Summit 5,041 0.9% $194,500
3 Swarthmore 6,218 5.0% $377,900
4 Lititz 9,209 4.0% $185,300
5 Collegeville 5,279 4.7% $302,800
6 Conshohocken 7,916 5.2% $278,000
7 Franklin Park 14,228 4.6% $312,200
8 Hollidaysburg 5,790 2.2% $135,100
9 New Cumberland 7,290 5.1% $167,800
10 Ridley Park 7,032 7.9% $212,600

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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