The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Pennsylvania In 2023


The most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania for 2023 are Greenville, Monessen, and Franklin according to Saturday Night Science.

If you’re considering a move to the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania, you may be pleasantly surprised with what you find. Pennsylvania remains cheap and affordable in terms of the cost of living even with its rich American history, love for baseball, and indulgence in chocolate — especially from the US chocolate capital, Hershey.

Pennsylvania’s cheapest places to live include major metropolitan areas such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Compared to the skyrocketing real estate costs in many popular urban centers, you’ll find the home prices in Pennsylvania a welcome relief. The appeal of affordable housing combined with access to city life, such as attending Pirates games in Pittsburgh or tasting the famous Philly Cheese-Steaks in Philadelphia, may tip the balance in favor of these cities.

Still, for those living within stringent budgets or slogging under student debt, it is essential to scrutinize the cost of living in these cheaper places in Pennsylvania. Understanding the average rent and home prices lets you decide if the Keystone State is right for you. Pennsylvania balances affordability and quality of life if you know where to look.

To discover the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania, you’d need to understand and compare housing costs, the cost of living, and the overall quality of life. These key aspects will ensure you find affordable living conditions aligning with your lifestyle and financial capabilities. From small towns to major metropolises, Pennsylvania’s wide range of options makes affordable and lower-cost living a reality.


Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Table | FAQs | Summary


The 10 most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania

  1. Greenville
  2. Monessen
  3. Franklin
  4. West Mifflin
  5. Vandergrift
  6. Clearfield
  7. Tamaqua
  8. Titusville
  9. Nanticoke
  10. Duryea

What is the cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania? The cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania is Greenville.

Interested to see how we crunched the cost of living and affordability metrics? Read on to learn more about our methodology and why it’s easy to find a cheap place to live in Pennsylvania.

Check out some more reading about Pennsylvania and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania for 2023

Greenville, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,578
Median Income: $51,719
Median Home Price: $76,000
Median Rent: $623
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.1x
More on Greenville: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Is it really super crazy green in Greenville? We’re not 100 percent sure, but one thing we’re sure about is that Greenville is our most affordable city in Pennsylvania for 2023.

This little Hershey Kiss is eighth when it comes to home price to income ratio. We’re not surprised it’s so affordable. And we definitely think it’s because they have such a strong economy as a result of step ladders. Yes, step ladders. Greenville is home to the largest manufacturers of step ladders. Now if step ladder manufacturing isn’t your shtick, but living in the oh so affordable Greenville is, we heard “‘The Jewel of the Shenango River” is alway looking for river guides.

Monessen, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Mlouns | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,941
Median Income: $45,298
Median Home Price: $75,700
Median Rent: $561
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.1x
More on Monessen: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Monessen, located in southwestern pa, is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable place to live. With a median home value of $75,700 and a median rent of $561, Monessen’s overall cost of living is lower than the national average.

The city has a rich history in steel-making, which has helped shape its identity and community. Today, Monessen is a diverse and tight-knit community that values its heritage while embracing new growth opportunities. Monessen offers a small-town feel with big-city amenities within reach in larger cities like Pittsburgh nearby.

Franklin, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Doug Kerr | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,128
Median Income: $53,289
Median Home Price: $88,000
Median Rent: $635
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.1x
More on Franklin: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Up next on our list of super-affordable spots in Pennsylvania is Franklin, a neighbor of Sugarcreek.

Franklin is known for hosting the Franklin Applefest each year, a celebration with classic cars, art vendors, live music, and, of course, loads of apple-based treats. On a more typical day, you might find yourself meandering down the gorgeous Allegheny River Trail or checking out some old instruments at DeBence Antique Music World.

It’s important to note that Franklin’s high quality of life extends beyond affordability — the streets here are also super safe. That’s part of why Liberty Street was named one of the best streets in America recently. The other reason is that Franklin’s downtown area is just plain visually pleasing.

Homes in Franklin have a median price of only $88,000, and rent ranks as the 14th cheapest in the state at a median monthly cost of $635. The median household income in Franklin is $53,289 — an 8% jump from last year, which was a significant factor in Franklin becoming more affordable for most residents. And with a low unemployment rate, everyone can get in on the good deals in Franklin.

West Mifflin, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 19,638
Median Income: $58,689
Median Home Price: $102,800
Median Rent: $641
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.1x
More on West Mifflin: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

With the economy doing so well, people are moving now more than ever. Might we suggest Pennsylvania’s fourth most affordable city for 2023: West Mifflin?

This city in Allegheny County, scored an eight on our snackability scale: one of the highest for any city in the top ten. According to our data, they should be Pennsylvania’s poster city for affordability, housing, and safety.

This Pitttsburgh-burb also made our best cities to retire in Pennsylvania for 2023. West Mifflin’s residents ‘got it goin’ on’. And you know what else West Mifflin’s residents know? Apparently a good deal when they see it, because they are the 2most affordable city for home price to income ratio.

Vandergrift, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Doug Kerr | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,065
Median Income: $45,655
Median Home Price: $69,400
Median Rent: $692
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.5x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.2x
More on Vandergrift: Data | Crime | Real Estate

We think for a city to be truly hip, it needs to be affordable. So it goes for our fifth most affordable city in Pennsylvania for 2023: Vandergrift. Located on the Kiskiminetas River in Westmoreland County, this city scored an 8.5/10 for affordability and an 6/10 for diversity. We think that makes Vandergrift pretty hip.

When Vandergrift’s residents aren’t busy preparing for their annual cool, super hip, Ethnic Days Festival, they can be found earning the dream with top employers like Pennsylvania State and the ACMH Hospital. Kudos Vandergrift! You keep up the good work on preserving your past and working towards your future.

Clearfield, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Georgie lennon8705 | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,991
Median Income: $48,116
Median Home Price: $89,700
Median Rent: $624
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.2x
More on Clearfield: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

We’re wrapping up our list of Pennsylvania’s most affordable places with Clearfield, a borough of 5,991 in the central part of the state. Just because Clearfield is cheap doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life here.

For instance, you can attend events and sip on lovely local wine at Bee Kind Winery. If that’s not your jam, then maybe getting a gander at all the classic vehicles at the Grice Antique Car Museum is more your speed.

The overall cost of living in Clearfield is about 14% lower than the national average, but in terms of housing, Clearfield is less than half as expensive as your typical American city.

The median home value in Clearfield is $89,700, while the median household income is $48,116. Income has been rising at a faster pace than property value, contributing to Clearfield’s inclusion on our list this year. If you just want to get your toes wet and see how you like living in Clearfield, rent is also very affordable, with a median price of $624.

Tamaqua, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Hshuvaeva | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,940
Median Income: $46,423
Median Home Price: $65,300
Median Rent: $718
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.4x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.2x
More on Tamaqua: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Tamaqua is a great place to live in Pennsylvania, especially if you are looking for an affordable option. With a median home value of $65,300 and a median rent of $718, Tamaqua is one of the most affordable places to live in the state.

The borough has a population of 6,940 and is part of the Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. Tamaqua successfully developed affordable housing in historic buildings and implemtented the Main Street Program. The affordable housing project repurposed historic properties into modern apartments while preserving their original character, and the Main Street Program focused on improving the borough’s core intersection, enhancing walkability, and restoring the iconic Tamaqua Railroad Station.

Titusville, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,314
Median Income: $36,111
Median Home Price: $66,400
Median Rent: $528
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.8x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.2x
More on Titusville: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

With its small-town charm and access to nearby cities like Meadville and Erie, Titusville is an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable and high-quality standard of living in Pennsylvania. Titusville boasts a median home value of $66,400 and a median rent of $528, making it one of the most affordable places to live in the state.

Review Of Titusville by HomeSnacks User

It is amazing and SUPER cool! I love it here the weather is decent and the people are nice the money is high it is a weathy area too

Drakes Well stands out and all the cool painted buildings with historic figures and the mansions it feels like Beverley Hills

Nanticoke, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Vasiliymeshko | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,588
Median Income: $49,937
Median Home Price: $84,600
Median Rent: $699
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.2x
More on Nanticoke: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Nanticoke is a great option for those looking to live in Pennsylvania without breaking the bank. With a median home value of $84,600 and a median rent of $699, it’s easy to see why this city ranks as one of the most affordable places to live in the state.

Nanticoke has a population of 10,588 and is home to the Luzerne County Community College, which occupies a 167-acre campus within the city limits. With its rich history as an active coal mining community, Nanticoke is a fascinating place to call home.

Duryea, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Vasiliy Meshko | CC BY 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,022
Median Income: $67,027
Median Home Price: $114,800
Median Rent: $843
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.2x
More on Duryea: Data | Real Estate

Duryea is a great place to live in Pennsylvania, especially if you’re on a tight budget. The median income in Duryea is $67,027 and the median home value is $114,800 which means that residents can comfortably afford their homes.

Duryea stands in close proximity to major cities like Scranton and Wilkes-Barre giving residents easy access to job opportunities and entertainment options. Overall, Duryea is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable, welcoming community in Pennsylvania.

Cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania FAQs

The county in Pennsylvania with the lowest cost of living is Juniata County. The average living wage in Juniata County is $80,011 according to MIT data. Juniata County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Pennsylvania as a whole. Childcare costs $11,398 a year in Juniata County for two children compared to the Pennsylvania average of $17,440. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $8,688 per year in Juniata County compared to $12,350 on average in Pennsylvania.

The cost of living in Pennsylvania is 1.5% higher than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Pennsylvania is $91,069 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Pennsylvania household is $63,627.

The cheapest housing market in Pennsylvania is Johnstown. The average home value in Johnstown is $37,000, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Pennsylvania is $187,500, almost 5.1 times higher than Johnstown.

Methodology: How we determined the most affordable places to live in the Keystone State for 2023

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
Determining affordability for places in Pennsylvania boils down to two factors:

  1. How much money do I make?
  2. How much does it cost to live here?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make to determine affordability. For example, imagine a place in Pennsylvania where median incomes are $100,000 and housing costs $200,000 to buy. That’s more affordable than living in a place with a median income of $50,000 where houses cost $101,000. The ratio of income to home prices is higher in the first example.

With that logic in mind, we derived several cost of living statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 for Pennsylvania. The cost of living statistics are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Rent / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Home Price

You can include median home price as a stand alone variable because high home prices generally correlate with higher costs for all goods and services (heating, electricity, food, etc). You then compare these cost of living metrics for each place in Pennsylvania to figure out which is the least expensive.

We aggregate those rankings into a “Cost of Living Index” for each city in Pennsylvania. The “Cost of Living Index” allows you to rank all of the 188 places in Pennsylvania that have more than 5,000 people from least expensive to most expensive.

The place in Pennsylvania with the lowest cost of living according to the data is Greenville.

We updated this article for 2023. This reports reflects our tenth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Affordabilility Summary

This is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania for 2023, if you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Pennsylvania.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Pennsylvania according to the data:

  1. State College
  2. West Chester
  3. Oxford

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania

Rank City Population Median Income Home Prices Rent Home Price To Income Rent To Income
1 Greenville 5,578 $51,719 $76,000 $623 1.5x 0.1x
2 Monessen 6,941 $45,298 $75,700 $561 1.7x 0.1x
3 Franklin 6,128 $53,289 $88,000 $635 1.6x 0.1x
4 West Mifflin 19,638 $58,689 $102,800 $641 1.8x 0.1x
5 Vandergrift 5,065 $45,655 $69,400 $692 1.5x 0.2x
6 Clearfield 5,991 $48,116 $89,700 $624 1.9x 0.2x
7 Tamaqua 6,940 $46,423 $65,300 $718 1.4x 0.2x
8 Titusville 5,314 $36,111 $66,400 $528 1.8x 0.2x
9 Nanticoke 10,588 $49,937 $84,600 $699 1.7x 0.2x
10 Duryea 5,022 $67,027 $114,800 $843 1.7x 0.2x
11 Oil City 9,685 $44,272 $57,300 $710 1.3x 0.2x
12 Turtle Creek 5,136 $36,132 $56,700 $594 1.6x 0.2x
13 Warren 9,363 $46,053 $86,900 $659 1.9x 0.2x
14 Mount Carmel 5,740 $39,976 $53,400 $691 1.3x 0.2x
15 Ellwood City 7,555 $53,317 $104,400 $722 2.0x 0.2x
16 Johnstown 18,647 $31,200 $36,600 $566 1.2x 0.2x
17 Forest Hills 6,408 $76,861 $144,000 $891 1.9x 0.1x
18 Coraopolis 5,539 $52,594 $98,300 $786 1.9x 0.2x
19 Bradford 7,913 $38,284 $64,300 $669 1.7x 0.2x
20 St. Marys 12,771 $57,746 $125,100 $687 2.2x 0.1x
21 Duquesne 5,280 $37,478 $51,000 $687 1.4x 0.2x
22 Connellsville 7,092 $44,505 $104,300 $556 2.3x 0.1x
23 Brentwood 9,999 $56,875 $117,100 $753 2.1x 0.2x
24 Sharon 13,203 $35,814 $63,800 $626 1.8x 0.2x
25 Ambridge 6,959 $46,367 $80,300 $795 1.7x 0.2x
26 Swoyersville 5,020 $56,564 $128,100 $665 2.3x 0.1x
27 Plymouth 5,765 $42,895 $74,600 $751 1.7x 0.2x
28 New Brighton 5,743 $41,281 $81,300 $683 2.0x 0.2x
29 Schuylkill Haven 5,263 $47,591 $108,700 $618 2.3x 0.2x
30 Palmerton 5,585 $60,495 $122,600 $848 2.0x 0.2x
31 Altoona 44,114 $46,010 $95,500 $712 2.1x 0.2x
32 Carbondale 8,828 $47,718 $97,900 $742 2.0x 0.2x
33 DuBois 7,548 $48,313 $97,100 $767 2.0x 0.2x
34 New Castle 21,992 $36,595 $64,600 $676 1.8x 0.2x
35 Shamokin 6,981 $30,711 $42,400 $628 1.4x 0.2x
36 Jeannette 8,835 $43,948 $90,600 $705 2.1x 0.2x
37 Plum 27,123 $85,237 $170,900 $974 2.0x 0.1x
38 Lower Burrell 11,703 $72,922 $158,900 $778 2.2x 0.1x
39 Munhall 10,827 $45,214 $96,400 $718 2.1x 0.2x
40 Red Lion 6,478 $61,083 $139,200 $766 2.3x 0.2x
41 West York 5,038 $53,646 $96,500 $929 1.8x 0.2x
42 Clairton 6,245 $37,544 $48,100 $841 1.3x 0.3x
43 Exeter 5,516 $60,284 $125,300 $893 2.1x 0.2x
44 Monaca 5,622 $51,086 $123,900 $666 2.4x 0.2x
45 McKees Rocks 5,930 $32,800 $53,700 $722 1.6x 0.3x
46 McKeesport 17,935 $32,042 $52,400 $712 1.6x 0.3x
47 Old Forge 8,494 $62,615 $144,400 $797 2.3x 0.2x
48 Wilson 8,215 $80,521 $156,600 $1,152 1.9x 0.2x
49 Grove City 7,942 $57,083 $135,900 $737 2.4x 0.2x
50 Norwood 5,920 $90,568 $184,800 $1,099 2.0x 0.1x
51 Baldwin 21,274 $70,863 $156,700 $917 2.2x 0.2x
52 Pottsville 13,413 $40,275 $83,100 $726 2.1x 0.2x
53 New Kensington 12,222 $43,308 $106,500 $624 2.5x 0.2x
54 Castle Shannon 8,307 $66,196 $142,800 $949 2.2x 0.2x
55 Beaver Falls 9,069 $34,640 $75,000 $633 2.2x 0.2x
56 Canonsburg 9,643 $65,888 $156,300 $829 2.4x 0.2x
57 Wilkes-Barre 44,086 $42,430 $83,100 $826 2.0x 0.2x
58 Sunbury 9,729 $37,851 $84,100 $662 2.2x 0.2x
59 Somerset 6,059 $45,238 $116,600 $618 2.6x 0.2x
60 West View 6,686 $66,707 $153,500 $888 2.3x 0.2x
61 Darby 10,688 $51,388 $81,800 $1,176 1.6x 0.3x
62 Washington 13,322 $45,049 $99,800 $763 2.2x 0.2x
63 Tyrone 5,473 $44,788 $106,100 $712 2.4x 0.2x
64 Corry 6,251 $37,192 $75,300 $758 2.0x 0.2x
65 Lewi 8,513 $34,423 $74,300 $681 2.2x 0.2x
66 West Hazleton 5,076 $44,114 $87,400 $874 2.0x 0.2x
67 Punxsutawney 5,793 $39,658 $87,100 $726 2.2x 0.2x
68 Berwick 10,355 $43,750 $109,600 $674 2.5x 0.2x
69 Olyphant 5,359 $56,475 $135,400 $855 2.4x 0.2x
70 Carnegie 8,100 $54,067 $136,800 $757 2.5x 0.2x
71 York 44,692 $39,764 $80,000 $881 2.0x 0.3x
72 Clarks Summit 5,122 $80,481 $191,400 $931 2.4x 0.1x
73 White Oak 7,623 $52,403 $118,600 $881 2.3x 0.2x
74 Chester 32,819 $35,751 $71,300 $929 2.0x 0.3x
75 Swissvale 8,645 $52,665 $116,100 $914 2.2x 0.2x
76 Harrisburg 49,969 $44,444 $95,300 $867 2.1x 0.2x
77 New Cumberland 7,481 $71,989 $182,900 $822 2.5x 0.1x
78 Crafton 6,067 $64,194 $157,800 $880 2.5x 0.2x
79 Erie 95,536 $40,201 $91,300 $754 2.3x 0.2x
80 Reading 94,161 $38,738 $83,100 $843 2.1x 0.3x
81 Pleasant Hills 8,454 $83,667 $189,700 $1,108 2.3x 0.2x
82 Sharon Hill 5,952 $67,909 $121,600 $1,351 1.8x 0.2x
83 Huntingdon 6,851 $53,801 $144,300 $717 2.7x 0.2x
84 Aliquippa 9,237 $35,688 $83,100 $706 2.3x 0.2x
85 Birdsboro 5,119 $71,776 $174,500 $941 2.4x 0.2x
86 California 5,628 $42,879 $117,800 $638 2.8x 0.2x
87 Pittston 7,589 $40,180 $93,600 $764 2.3x 0.2x
88 Camp Hill 8,115 $99,137 $237,200 $1,195 2.4x 0.1x
89 Hermitage 16,240 $57,051 $152,000 $792 2.7x 0.2x
90 Economy 9,057 $83,640 $214,700 $818 2.6x 0.1x
91 Shillington 5,470 $62,713 $151,400 $990 2.4x 0.2x
92 Dunmore 14,009 $62,656 $165,600 $814 2.6x 0.2x
93 Northampton 10,328 $73,051 $177,500 $1,020 2.4x 0.2x
94 Kingston 13,304 $51,539 $130,700 $830 2.5x 0.2x
95 Dickson City 6,047 $62,199 $162,700 $835 2.6x 0.2x
96 Whitehall 14,882 $66,531 $181,800 $808 2.7x 0.1x
97 Butler 13,452 $36,570 $92,900 $707 2.5x 0.2x
98 Steelton 6,217 $45,599 $100,400 $1,027 2.2x 0.3x
99 Greensburg 14,982 $49,529 $142,700 $709 2.9x 0.2x
100 Dormont 8,255 $61,890 $161,700 $919 2.6x 0.2x
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.