The 5 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania - Home & Texture
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The 5 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania

January 5, 2024 at 7:00 PM PST

Tight-knit communities, incredible landscapes, electric lights from the city, and lakefront beaches are a few of the things that make Pennsylvania a great place to live. Pennsylvania, also known as the Keystone State, has a lot of small towns, dense forests and big cities to choose from. Spanning over 300 miles, the state is known for being a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to settle down. While it’s great for hiking, swimming and exploring, the state of Pennsylvania is so much more.

Pennsylvania is attracting more young professionals with major companies like The Hershey Group, ESPN and Urban Outfitters recruiting fresh graduates. Not only is it a great place for young people, but families are also flocking to the area, thanks to Pennsylvania’s top-ranked schools and innovation and AI excellence. In fact, their universities are the first schools in the country to offer bachelor’s degrees in artificial intelligence. 

Here are five of the best places to live in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the best places in Pennsylvania for families and people wanting to live in a major city. Pictured: The Philadelphia skyline.

  • Population: 1,567,258
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $216,287
  • Walkability: High

If you’re a big city person, Philadelphia may be the right place in Pennsylvania for you. The largest city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia appeals to all age groups and races. From art museums to food tours to photoshoots at the famous love sculpture, the city has some of the best amenities for the adventurer in you. For sports fans, catch an Eagles or 76ers game whenever you want. The housing market in Philly is competitive with the average home price valued around $216,287.

For Black Families: Philadephia is one of the best cities in Pennsylvania for diversity. Over 43 percent of the population are Black, meaning the city has over 654,000 Black residents.

For Young Professionals: With major companies in the Philadelphia area, there’s a lot of opportunity for graduates and young professionals in sports, fashion, food and manufacturing. Activities are never-ending for young adults in the city who can take advantage of the nightclub scene, go mini golfing or rock climbing.  Just a short drive to New York City, Washington D.C. and Boston, Philly is the perfect place for those needing a place to settle down in.

Pittsburg

Pittsburg is the second largest city in Pennsylvania and is one of the best places to live for people who still want to be in a big city. Pictured: The Pittsburg skyline.

  • Population: 302, 898
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $224,211
  • Walkability: Moderate

Coming in at Pennsylvania’s second largest city is Pittsburg with over 302,898 citizens. Pittsburg is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania if you want to live in a large city, but not quite as big as Philadelphia. During the holidays, residents can enjoy a downtown lights tour, along with other cool things to do like whiskey tours or the Andy Warhol Museum. The housing market in Pittsburg is somewhat competitive, with average pricing around $224, 211. 

For Black Families: Black people make up 22 percent of the Pittsburg population. For families looking for a nice city with lots of activities and a lower housing cost, Pittsburg is the perfect city to settle down in. 

For Young Professionals: For young professionals looking for a city to thrive in, Pittsburg is a great Pennsylvania city that’s more affordable with a lot to do. There are lots of neighborhoods in the area to choose from including Downtown, Lawrenceville, Mount Washington, Shady Side and South Side. These neighborhoods are filled with young professionals and offer wine bars, karaoke, coffee and tea shops and outdoor activities.

Scranton

Scranton is one of the best places in Pennsylvania for lovers of outdoor recreational activities. Pictured: A waterfall in Scranton.

  • Population: 75,848
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price:  $158,354
  • Walkability: Low to Moderate

Scranton, Pennsylvania is home to some of our favorite characters from “The Office.” This city is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania, not just because it’s Michael Scott approved, but because it’s a city with a small-town feel. Despite being Pennsylvania’s sixth-largest city, Scranton’s tight-knit and close community makes the town feel like home. Known as the Electric City, Scranton has cool museums, walking trails and aquariums. 

For Black Families: In Scranton, Pennsylvania 5.6 percent of the population are Black residents. While this is a small percentage, the housing market in Scranton is lower, priced at $158,354. The city is family-friendly with lots of parks, museums, holiday light shows and more.

For Young Professionals: For young professionals looking for a smaller city to live in, Scranton is a great city for manufacturing and production careers. Broadway shows, baseball games, farmers markets and art studios are just a few of the things young residents can enjoy in the city. The city is also a short drive to New York City and Philadelphia.

Harrisburg

For families who like camping, rock climbing and hiking, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is one of the best places to raise a family. Pictured: An aerial view of Harrisburg.

  • Population: 50,183
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $230,687
  • Walkability: Low to Moderate

Great for outdoor lovers, Harrisburg is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania for families wanting to live in a small city. With a small population of 50,183 citizens, the state capital of Pennsylvania offers fun recreational activities like hiking, camping, rock climbing and more for families and residents to enjoy. The typical home price in this area is around $230,687, so the housing market is competitive. 

For Black Families: Harrisburg has a large percentage of Black residents, making up over 50 percent and over 25,463 residents. With historic African-American neighborhoods, the city has lots of Black-owned businesses and is a great place to raise Black families.

For Young Professionals: For young professionals looking for a small-town feel in a city, Harrisburg is the perfect option. While entertainment options may be limited, the city is great for those who love to explore the outdoors and attend concerts and shows from local talent.

York

York is a historic city in Pennsylvania with lots of charm. It's one of the best places for families wanting to live in a quiet area with some entertainment options. Pictured: The Agricultural and Industrial Museum in York.

  • Population: 44,968
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: $242,856
  • Walkability: Moderate

For families and people who want to live in a historic city with lots of charm, York is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania. With a small population of 44,968, York is a city that feels like a quaint little town. There are so many family-friendly activities like go-carting, shopping and family entertainment centers.

For Black Families: York is pretty diverse for a small city with 25 percent or over 11,570 Black residents. Kids and the whole family will enjoy the many attractions York has to offer including wildlife parks, playhouses, adventure farms and more.

For Young Professionals: This small metro area is great for the young professional who likes to live life a bit slower. From escape rooms to outdoor recreational activities, ice skating and entertainment centers, York is a nice and safe area where young professionals can thrive. This city is well-known for great manufacturing and healthcare jobs.



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