11 Best & Safest Places To Live In Pennsylvania

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

Home to some of the nation’s richest history, picturesque scenery, and incredible culture, Pennsylvania is absolutely beautiful. Living in The Keystone State is the ideal choice for outdoor lovers and history buffs alike. With the Appalachian Mountains, over 120 state parks, and more than 100 miles of coastline, Pennsylvania is home to a unique selection of towns and cities. Skydivers, mountain climbers, surfers, and even skiers love Pennsylvania.

Although this state is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, there is no shortage of urban environments packed with entertainment options in Pennsylvania. It also offers the sixth largest state economy, driven by train manufacturing, steel production, agriculture, and banking. Those who reside in Pennsylvania get to enjoy excellent schools, good health care, a low homelessness rate, affordability, and an overall high quality of living.

Pennsylvania has what was once the biggest colonial city in the United States – Pittsburgh; along with Hershey, which is notoriously known for being the birthplace of the beloved Hershey Chocolate Company. Aside from outdoor activities, history, and chocolate, if you’re considering settling in Pennsylvania, you’ve picked a fantastic state.

However, with such a sprawling state like Pennsylvania and so many areas to choose from, it can be overwhelming for potential future residents. That’s where we come in! We’ve assembled a list of the best places to live in Pennsylvania to help simplify your relocation.

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1. Penn Wynne

  • Population: 5,720
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Median Income: $104,909
  • Median Home Price: $351,100
  • Average Rental Rate: $1,639

Penn Wynne is a large Pennsylvanian suburb that is home to approximately 6,000 residents. This area has repeatedly shown up on Livability polls for being one of the best places to live in the state of Pennsylvania. It has a fantastic school system with a 13% higher high school graduation state compared to the rest of the state.

The suburb of Penn Wynne mostly consists of residential streets, has a virtually non-existent crime rate, and a very large Orthodox Jewish population. The resists of Penny Wynne are dedicated to promoting conservation and living a “green” lifestyle with the creation of “Penny Wynne Green.”

The unemployment rate in Penn Wynne sits directly at the national average (3.7%) with a positive recent job growth rate. Although the cost of living is above the U.S. average, the median rate for a three- to four-bedroomed residence is $351,100 and the rent averages about $1,639. These numbers are considered reasonable to live in a city that is frequently deemed one of the best places to live in the entire country.

2. Mount Lebanon Township

  • Population: 32,760
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Median Income: $80,914
  • Median Home Price: $225,100
  • Average Rental Rate: $835

A township with just around 33,000 residents, Mount Lebanon has a cost of living that is slightly higher than other contending areas across Pennsylvania. However, the higher cost of living comes with a higher than average high school graduation rate, low crime rate, higher than average income, and a large variety of local amenities.

What was once a farming community, Mount Lebanon became a streetcar suburb after the creation of the first real estate subdivision and the arrival of the very first streetcar lines back in 1901. Nowadays, residents of Mount Lebanon enjoy many miles of sidewalk-lined streets that are frame by mature trees, along with countless opportunities for leisure, excitement, and exercise.

The neighborhoods of Mount Lebanon feature gardens, breathtaking nature trails, and a slew of community recreational facilities such as golf courses, an ice rink, an outdoor swim center, a tennis center, and so much more. To live in this well-rounded community, expect to pay close to the median home value of $225,100, while the average rental rate is $835.

3. Hershey

  • Population: 14,793
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Median Income: $54,118
  • Median Home Price: $238,100
  • Average Rental Rate: $886

A list of the best places to live in Pennsylvania wouldn’t be complete without the home of one of America’s most beloved chocolate brands. As I’m sure you can guess, Hershey is the birthplace of the Hershey Chocolate Company and also a popular tourist destination for those who want to visit the famous Hershey’s Chocolate World. This unincorporated community also has many other attractions including Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens, ZooAmerica, and Hersheypark Stadium, all owned and operated by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company.

While it is certainly one of the sweetest places on earth, this 15,000-resident community in Dauphin County is more than just a tourist attraction. This peaceful community offers a very low crime rate, a dense suburban feel, and opportunities for many outdoor activities.

The school system in Hershey has been recognized in the past by the U.S Department of Education for its merit. The cost of living is considerably low (lower than the U.S average) with homes valued at roughly $238,100 and a rental average of $886 per month.

4. Jefferson Hills

  • Population: 11,244
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Median Income: $77,854
  • Median Home Price: $189,700
  • Average Rental Rate: $1,056

With a population of about 11,000 residents, the suburb of Jefferson Hills sits about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh. Those who reside in this community enjoy a suburban-rural mixed ambiance and many of them own their homes. The population consists of mostly middle-class individuals who earn an average income of $77,854 yearly.

The cost of living in Jefferson Hills boasts a very low rate, at 4.1% lower than the national average and houses fetching $189,700 on average. One of the only slight downsides to this community is the fact that the crime rate is not as low as one would expect.

Families in Jefferson Hills can access five municipal parks and a 150-mile arrangement of hiking and bike trails known as the Great Allegheny Passage. With a number of youth sports opportunities available such as diving, swimming, and roller hockey to name a few, this suburb is ideal for families with young kids. The high schools also perform rather well with a 96% graduation rate.

5. Radnor Township

  • Population: 31,720
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Median Income: $106,538
  • Median Home Price: $662,500
  • Average Rental Rate: $1,484

Radnor Township is a suburb of Pennsylvania with a population of roughly 32,000 people. While the cost of living is quite high, the draw to this community is their education system.

The population or Radnor Township is well-educated with incredibly high-ranked public schools and also some fantastic universities such as Villanova University and Eastern College. If education is a determining factor for you when you’re choosing a place to live, Radnor Township might be the ideal choice.

It comes as no surprise that the median income is double the U.S average in Radnor Township, at $106,538 and one of the highest in Pennsylvania. However, that is plenty of cushion for residents to afford homes that average around $622,500. Many young professionals call Radnor Township home and those who live here get to enjoy several excellent restaurants, coffee shops, and parks for outdoor recreation.

6. Bethel Park

  • Population: 32,179
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
  • Median Income: $70,102
  • Median Home Price: $162,300
  • Average Rental Rate: $959

Bethel Park, officially known as the Municipality of Bethel Park, is a borough located about 7 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. With little crime and one of the best education systems in the state, Bethel Park offers plenty of reasons to call it home. This community has a population of 32,179 residents, a cost of living way lower than the national average, an attractive downtown, and plentiful natural beauty.

Residents get to enjoy numerous meticulously maintained green areas, and plenty of space for families with children to enjoy the outdoors. The median income is $70,102 and the unemployment rate is 3.5%, a figure slightly lower than the U.S average.

The average three-bedroom home in Bethel Park goes for $162,300. This area has been dubbed one of the best cities to relocate in America and also one of the best cities for seniors in the country. Although many retirees reside in Bethel Park, there is also a large population of young professionals in the area.

7. South Park Township

  • Population: 13,419
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
  • Median Income: %69,365
  • Median Home Price: $148,800
  • Average Rental Rate: $964

In many states across the U.S, you are likely to find a neighborhood called South Park. Pittsburgh is one of those places, and it just so happens to be one of the best places to live in the state of Pennsylvania. South Park Township is located in the southern part of Allegheny County and is a mere 12 miles from Pittsburgh.

A large part of the township is a massive county park of the same name, offering many opportunities for outdoor recreation. This suburb has a population of roughly 13,500 residents, an incredibly low cost of living, and some of the highest-rated schools in the state. Homes in South Park Township average $148,800, which is considerably lower than the national average of $178,600 and much lower than many other places on our list.

With an exceptionally low crime rate and a county park that features an ice rink, extensive trail system, dog park, tennis courts, golf course, and concert pavilion, it’s hard to deny the quality of life you’d have living in South Park Township, PA.

8. Lower Salford Township

  • Population: 15,295
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Median Income: $92,405
  • Median Home Price: $371,600
  • Average Rental Rate: $1,271

Lower Salford is a suburb of Philadelphia located in Montgomery County that is home to 15,300 residents. The community actually consists of four villages: Vernfield, Mainland, Harleysville, and Lederach, all established in 1741.

The excellent school systems in Pennsylvania are one of the state’s major selling points, and Lower Salford is no exception. Residents enjoy highly rated public schools and appreciate the friendly suburban feel of Lower Salford. They also have access to 12 local parks, and an extensive trail system, two Historic Farmstead, Harleysville Community Center with a public pool, and a public golf course.

Lower Salford boasts a highly responsive Police Department and an exceptionally low crime rate. Residents earn a combined income of $92,405 and owning a home would run you around $371,600 in the area. If you prefer to rent, you can expect to pay close to the average of $1,271 to live in Lower Salford Township.

9. West Chester

  • Population: 19,698
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
  • Median Income: $48,779
  • Median Home Price: $313,700
  • Average Rental Rate: $1,218

If you want to live within the Philadelphia metropolitan area, you may want to consider the 10th largest city in the state of Pennsylvania. West Chester is a historic and picturesque community that combines small-town charm with sophisticated flair. The Philadelphia Inquirer previously named this suburb “one of the world’s most perfect small towns.”

West Chester has a population of 19,00 residents who essentially live in a time capsule, as the city is littered in historic homes and buildings. This community is the ideal destination for history buffs and young professionals alike. The cost of living in West Chester is understandably higher than the national average and the median house value is $313,700.

When it comes to education, West Chester boasts the highest graduation rate in all of Philadelphia. The downtown area offers premium dining experiences for every taste and budget, along with dozens of shops and boutiques.

10. State College

  • Population: 42,224
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
  • Median Income: $26,627
  • Median Home Price: $277,100
  • Average Rental Rate: $967

Offering a more urban feel, State College is most known for being a college town. It is dominated both demographically and economically by the University Park campus of Pennsylvania State University. With a population of roughly 42,000 residents in the borough and 105,000 when you factor in the surrounding townships, State College is the largest designated borough in the state.

It topped Niche’s list of the “best towns” back in 2015, and ranked 14th overall in the entire country. The cost of living in State College is higher than the national average but comparatively low when you consider that rent averages $967 and homes are valued at around $277,100.

State College is a desirable place to reside in Pennsylvania due to a number of reasons including a low commute time, low crime rate, plenty of outdoor activities, and a vibrant nightlife. Although the education is first-rate and young people dominate the population, State College isn’t just for students.

11. East Whiteland Township

  • Population: 11,072
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
  • Median Income: $90,327
  • Median Home Price: $392,700
  • Average Rental Rate: $1,542

With a population of close to 11,000 residents, East Whiteland is a suburb of the historic city, Philadelphia. Located in the center of Chester Valley, the most prominent features of this township are the hills and gently rolling valley floor. The township was founded back in 1704 by Welsh settlers before it was split into East and West Whiteland townships. Whiteland Township, as it was known, was later divided in 1765.

Like many of the other suburbs on this list, East Whiteland’s school system is top-of-the-line. With a low crime rate, low unemployment rate, and a wide variety of community amenities, East Whiteland is a wonderful place to relocate.

With so many perks, it’s no wonder that the cost of living is considerably higher in this Philadelphia suburb. It is 37.6% higher than the national average, with a median home price of $392,700, median rental rate of $1,542, and an average yearly income sitting at $90,327.

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Comparison of Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania

RankCityPopulationUnemployment RateMedian Home PriceAverage Rental RateMedian Income
1Penn Wynne5,7203.7%$351,100$1,639$104,909
2Mount Lebanon Township32,7604.3%$225,100$835$80,914
4Jefferson Hills11,2444.3%$189,700$1,056$77,854
5Radnor Township31,7103.7%$662,500$1,484$106,538
6Bethel Park32,1793.5%$162,300$959$70,102
7South Park Township13,4194.3%$148,800$964$69,365
8Lower Salford Township15,2953.7%$371,600$1,271$92,405
9West Chester19,6983.5%$313,700$1,218$48,779
10State College42,2245.5%$277,100$967$26,627
11East Whiteland Township11,0723.5%$392,700$1,542$90,327
Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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