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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 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 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.
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
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 Camp Hill.
Camp Hill ranked impressively high for its crime rate (14th overall) and its short commute times (18th).
We think that's worth the price of admission.
Crime is something that doesn't happen very often in Clarks Summit. Statistically the 9th safest place in the state, there were only 6 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It's really beautiful in Clarks Summit, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $74,304 a year, and homes are valued at more than $194,500.
What else could you possibly want if you're someone who likes the good things in life?
Good things do come in small packages; it's true for Swarthmore, which with a population of 6,218 makes it one of the smallest on this list.
Relatively low unemployment and relatively high adjusted income are just two blessings Swarthmore residents enjoy.
The 22nd lowest crime rate in all of Pennsylvania makes Swarthmore one of the safest place on this list.
Lititz is feeling the love as it ranks as the 4th best city to live in Pennsylvania for 2019.
It ranked highly because of its high incomes (42nd overall) and low crime (4th 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".
Collegeville has a really low crime rate (19th lowest) and only 4.7% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($105,761). And that goes a long way.
The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Collegeville.
At an unemployment rate of 5.2%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Conshohocken. And the residents command high salaries ($78,801 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($278,000 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.
Franklin Park's unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 2nd highest, making Franklin Park a great place to work and settle down if you're look for a stable job with a stable income.
Additionally, Franklin Park has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.
Taking its place as the 8th best place in Pennsylvania is Hollidaysburg. 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 2.2% helps thing too.
If you want to live in Pennsylvania, you can't go wrong if you decide to make the New Cumberland 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 $51,173 median income will do that).
Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make New Cumberland as great as possible. You can't get it much better than in New Cumberland.
In Ridley Park, everyone loves to call Ridley Park home! The median home value is the 18th highest in Pennsylvania.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 100th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Keystone State.
Ridley Park should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
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