The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Pennsylvania that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Pennsylvania.

You won't find Dollar General stores and/or McDonalds restaurants dotting the landscape in Pennsylvania's most expensive places, the playgrounds for Pennsylvania's rich and famous are only loaded with the best of the best. Matter of fact, many of Pennsylvania's most expensive places are some of the state's best. What might be a surprise, however, is Pennsylvania's most expensive place to live. But, if you want to know what place is number one, you're going to have to take a look below at HomeSnacks' list of the most expensive places in Pennsylvania for 2021.

How did we calculate our list of the most expensive places in Pennsylvania? First, we created a list of factors that the wealthy find important: safety, jobs, and amenities and created a cost of living index to give the 185 Pennsylvania places we measured a SnackAbility score. And, folks, there's a reason that many of Pennsylvania's most expensive places are located around the state's busiest metropolis, Philadelphia: it's not only one of the most expensive places in the Keystone State, there's lots to do in The City of Brotherly Love that the wealthy find attractive.

More importantly, after looking at home price to income ratios and rent to income ratios for the places on our list with at least 5,000 residents, we also discovered that it's going to take more than a million Hershey, Pennsylvania Hershey's Kisses to keep up with the Joneses in this Mid-Atlantic state: it's going to take at least 34,005/year.

To see a list of the most expensive places in Pennsylvania, grab a basket of Pittsburgh's famous pierogies and keep reading.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Pennsylvania for 2021:

  1. State College
  2. West Chester
  3. Doyle
  4. Gettysburg
  5. Bangor
  6. Stroudsburg
  7. Millersville
  8. Edinboro
  9. Hatboro
  10. Philadelphia

What's the most expensive place to live in Pennsylvania? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that State College is the most expensive place to live in Pennsylvania.

So hopefully Greenville (the cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Pennsylvania and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2021

1. State CollegeState College, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 42,275
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 32.3x (most expensive)
More on State College: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in State College comes in at $34,005 and the median home value is $312,400 for 2021.

2. West ChesterWest Chester, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,034
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.8x (27th most expensive)
More on West Chester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in West Chester comes in at $61,837 and the median home value is $378,400 for 2021.

3. DoyleDoyle, PA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,286
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.4x (47th most expensive)
More on Doyle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Doyle comes in at $74,243 and the median home value is $408,100 for 2021.

4. GettysburgGettysburg, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,689
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.7x (30th most expensive)
More on Gettysburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Gettysburg comes in at $43,349 and the median home value is $227,300 for 2021.

5. BangorBangor, PA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,208
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.2x (10th most expensive)
More on Bangor: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bangor comes in at $40,071 and the median home value is $160,900 for 2021.

6. StroudsburgStroudsburg, PA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,499
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.7x (9th most expensive)
More on Stroudsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Stroudsburg comes in at $41,984 and the median home value is $161,500 for 2021.

7. MillersvilleMillersville, PA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,322
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (26th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.4x (13th most expensive)
More on Millersville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Millersville comes in at $51,077 and the median home value is $175,100 for 2021.

8. Edinboro

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,794
Rank Last Year: 27 (Up 18)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.0x (22nd most expensive)
More on Edinboro: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Edinboro comes in at $38,940 and the median home value is $165,800 for 2021.

9. HatboroHatboro, PA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 7,449
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.4x (55th most expensive)
More on Hatboro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hatboro comes in at $72,044 and the median home value is $261,300 for 2021.

10. PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia, PA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,579,075
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (20th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.1x (15th most expensive)
More on Philadelphia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Philadelphia comes in at $45,927 and the median home value is $163,000 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Keystone State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

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

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Pennsylvania to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 185 places in Pennsylvania that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Pennsylvania according to the data is State College. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Pennsylvania For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Pennsylvania that have the highest cost of living, with State College ranking as the most expensive city in the Keystone State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Pennsylvania according to the data:

  1. Greenville
  2. Oil City
  3. Sugarcreek

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Pennsylvania

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 State College 3.33 42,275 9.2x 32.3x
2 West Chester 11.0 20,034 6.1x 47.8x
3 Doyle 17.67 8,286 5.5x 52.4x
4 Gettysburg 18.0 7,689 5.2x 48.7x
5 Bangor 26.17 5,208 4.0x 42.2x
6 Stroudsburg 26.33 5,499 3.8x 41.7x
7 Millersville 26.33 8,322 3.4x 43.4x
8 Edinboro 27.0 5,794 4.3x 46.0x
9 Hatboro 28.67 7,449 3.6x 53.4x
10 Philadelphia 29.33 1,579,075 3.5x 44.1x
11 Conshohocken 30.33 8,029 3.5x 54.7x
12 Lewisburg 32.33 5,723 5.0x 55.0x
13 Oxford 33.0 5,515 3.9x 55.5x
14 Downin 33.33 7,926 3.7x 55.6x
15 Bloomsburg 34.33 14,085 4.2x 42.3x
16 Lansdale 39.33 16,675 3.5x 57.8x
17 Clarion 40.0 5,580 4.5x 42.9x
18 Carlisle 40.67 19,153 3.9x 57.6x
19 Norri 41.67 34,443 3.2x 44.7x
20 Allentown 44.33 120,915 3.2x 41.0x
21 Emmaus 45.33 11,391 3.1x 54.1x
22 Ambler 45.33 6,489 4.3x 64.1x
23 Nazareth 46.67 5,699 3.5x 58.9x
24 Media 47.0 5,487 4.3x 66.6x
25 Indiana 47.33 13,346 3.7x 41.4x
26 Brookhaven 47.33 8,038 2.9x 53.1x
27 New Holland 47.33 5,457 3.5x 60.2x
28 Bethlehem 48.33 75,461 3.1x 53.8x
29 Phoenixville 49.33 16,895 3.2x 60.8x
30 Prospect Park 51.0 6,483 3.2x 58.1x
31 Mount Joy 53.0 8,163 3.2x 59.3x
32 Kut 53.67 5,040 3.1x 57.1x
33 Shippensburg 53.67 5,663 3.6x 57.8x
34 Quake 54.33 8,827 3.1x 58.7x
35 East Stroudsburg 54.67 10,333 2.9x 45.4x
36 Wyomissing 56.33 10,473 3.0x 61.0x
37 Waynesboro 57.0 10,860 3.3x 54.9x
38 Bristol 59.17 9,605 3.0x 57.4x
39 Souderton 60.0 6,962 3.4x 67.9x
40 Lansdowne 60.0 10,638 2.9x 54.3x
41 Archbald 60.5 6,988 3.3x 63.0x
42 Coatesville 61.33 13,136 2.7x 39.7x
43 Kennett Square 62.33 6,190 3.4x 70.2x
44 Perkasie 63.67 8,550 3.5x 72.6x
45 Butler 64.67 13,092 3.2x 47.2x
46 Lititz 65.33 9,335 3.0x 64.0x
47 Mechanicsburg 65.67 9,006 3.1x 61.5x
48 Chambersburg 66.33 20,832 3.2x 59.8x
49 Lock Haven 66.33 9,247 3.0x 45.9x
50 Swarthmore 67.0 6,318 3.9x 105.6x
51 Northampton 67.33 9,847 2.9x 59.6x
52 Bellefonte 68.33 6,282 3.4x 69.7x
53 Sayre 71.0 5,450 3.1x 57.8x
54 Glenolden 71.33 7,161 2.7x 57.6x
55 Hollidaysburg 72.0 5,701 3.2x 65.4x
56 Morrisville 72.33 8,573 3.0x 67.9x
57 Ephrata 73.0 13,810 3.0x 60.4x
58 Palmyra 73.67 7,536 2.9x 58.1x
59 Hanover 74.33 15,609 3.0x 61.6x
60 Clifton Heights 75.67 6,696 2.6x 51.3x
61 Oakmont 76.33 6,480 3.1x 74.9x
62 Pittsburgh 77.33 302,205 2.6x 50.8x
63 Blakely 79.0 6,258 3.0x 64.7x
64 Elizabet 79.0 11,469 2.9x 67.1x
65 Olyphant 79.33 5,064 2.8x 57.4x
66 Greensburg 80.0 14,290 3.2x 64.1x
67 Meadville 80.0 12,864 3.0x 55.3x
68 Williamsport 80.67 28,562 2.8x 52.4x
69 Pott 81.33 22,670 2.5x 51.4x
70 Helle 82.0 5,831 2.7x 68.4x
71 Collegeville 82.67 5,152 3.0x 94.8x
72 Taylor 83.33 5,965 2.8x 58.1x
73 Columbia 84.67 10,382 2.6x 51.6x
74 Easton 86.33 27,122 2.4x 52.4x
75 Selinsgrove 86.67 5,927 2.9x 67.1x
76 Lancaster 87.67 59,433 2.5x 52.6x
77 Lehighton 88.5 5,304 2.7x 57.2x
78 Crafton 88.67 5,838 2.8x 65.1x
79 Franklin Park 89.67 14,589 2.6x 80.5x
80 Yeadon 89.67 11,485 2.6x 60.2x
81 California 89.83 6,347 3.1x 62.1x
82 Scranton 90.0 77,054 2.5x 51.9x
83 Moosic 90.67 5,767 3.0x 75.0x
84 South Williamsport 91.33 6,150 2.6x 62.4x
85 Lebanon 91.67 25,793 2.4x 48.7x
86 Wilkinsburg 91.67 15,485 2.4x 43.8x
87 Canonsburg 92.33 8,844 2.7x 63.1x
88 Hazleton 93.0 24,857 2.4x 49.8x
89 Catasauqua 93.67 6,568 2.5x 62.8x
90 Sharon Hill 94.0 5,684 2.1x 48.4x
91 Pittston 94.0 7,765 2.5x 50.6x
92 Monaca 94.17 5,521 3.1x 66.5x
93 Bellevue 94.5 8,146 2.6x 59.6x
94 Punxsutawney 94.67 5,770 2.6x 51.2x
95 Steelton 95.33 5,953 2.3x 44.5x
96 Middl 96.67 9,315 2.3x 55.0x
97 York 98.33 44,022 2.2x 40.1x
98 Hermitage 98.33 15,693 2.7x 69.3x
99 Reading 98.67 88,232 2.3x 39.7x
100 Dickson City 98.67 5,802 2.7x 68.2x

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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.