The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Pennsylvania have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

HomeSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best cities for families in Pennsylvania.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Want to know where there is no shortage of rugrats to hang out with your rugrats in the Keystone State? Look here. Yes, HomeSnacks has done every parent looking to move to this Mid-Atlantic state a favor by creating a list of the best places for families in Pennsylvania for 2021 and listing them below.

And because our goal here at HomeSnacks is to look at the latest trends and provide our readers with the most current data to compile our lists, we looked at the most recent Census for places in Pennsylvania with at least 10,000. This left us with 19 Pennsylvania places that any family would be lucky to call home. We also looked at how many households have children and how close a place is to one of the state's biggest cities. This research led us to multiple conclusions. One, there are currently 12.8 million people, 1.4 million families with 2.6 million children: that's plenty of little people to keep your little people entertained. Secondly, if you currently live close to Pittsburgh, Lancaster, and Philadelphia, our data says that your family is living their best life.

And, folks, it's no mystery that families are flocking to Pennsylvania because it is so safe: it's currently one of the safer states in America. So, we are not at all surprised that many of Pennsylvania's best places for families are also the state's safest.

More importantly, if you're looking for places in Pennsylvania with lots of kiddos, safe neighborhoods and schools, and boatloads of fun, keep reading.

The 10 Best Cities To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania For 2021

  1. Butler
  2. Lansdale
  3. Harrisburg
  4. Indiana
  5. Lansdowne
  6. Chambersburg
  7. Erie
  8. Lebanon
  9. New Kensington
  10. Altoona

We analyzed 19 cities in Pennsylvania and determined which cities are the best of the best for families based on our family-friendliness factors. What makes a city family-friendly, you might ask? Easy: low crime, good schools, and fun things to do.

So which city reigned supreme as the best place for families? Butler, Pennsylvania. Located just outside Allentown and near enough to Philadelphia and New York City for weekend trips, this town is a winner for families.

Interested to see what makes each city so great families? Read on to learn more about our methodology and a detailed look at our top 10.

Check out some more reading about Pennsylvania and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania For 2021

Butler, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,092
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 28.9%
More on Butler: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lansdale, PA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 16,675
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Philadelphia
Households with kids: 31.9%
More on Lansdale: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Harrisburg, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 49,209
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Baltimore
Households with kids: 29.6%
More on Harrisburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Indiana, PA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,346
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 18.1%
More on Indiana: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lansdowne, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,638
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 32
Closest Major City: Philadelphia
Households with kids: 26.3%
More on Lansdowne: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Chambersburg, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 20,832
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Baltimore
Households with kids: 28.4%
More on Chambersburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Erie, PA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 97,263
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 85
Closest Major City: Buffalo
Households with kids: 28.8%
More on Erie: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lebanon, PA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 25,793
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Philadelphia
Households with kids: 34.5%
More on Lebanon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

New Kensington, PA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,468
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 19.7%
More on New Kensington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Altoona, PA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 43,987
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Pittsburgh
Households with kids: 29.2%
More on Altoona: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

How do you determine which place is best for families in Pennsylvania anyways?

To give you the places in Pennsylvania which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Keystone State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Pennsylvania, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Pennsylvania, that meant a total of 19 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Pennsylvania ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Pennsylvania according to the data:

  1. McKeesport
  2. Chester
  3. State College

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Pennsylvania?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Butler, PA 13,092 59
2 Lansdale, PA 16,675 53
3 Harrisburg, PA 49,209 72
4 Indiana, PA 13,346 52
5 Lansdowne, PA 10,638 38
6 Chambersburg, PA 20,832 58
7 Erie, PA 97,263 79
8 Lebanon, PA 25,793 49
9 New Kensington, PA 12,468 41
10 Altoona, PA 43,987 38

How Is The Area In ?

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.