The 10 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2022


These are the cream of the crop in the Keystone State.

HomeSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Article Table Of Contents   

(Skip to section)

The best place to live in Pennsylvania you ask?

Why that’s easy of course.

It’s either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you’d say.

Right?

Wrong, at least according to the most recent data from the Census and FBI that we are going to dive into today. And this wasn’t even a close one like trying to determine if you should root for the Steelers or Eagles.

We don’t take the decision to find the best place to live lightly, we believe in making the decision based on the cold hard facts and data instead of preconceived notions. And for the last four years, we’ve been doing our best to help you find the place in Pennsylvania that fits your needs. Whether you’re looking for good schools — like in Swarthmore — or a great economy — like the 0.9% unemployment rate in Clarks Summit, we have you covered.

And while all of Pennsylvania is a pretty great, there are definitely places that are a tick above the rest.

So “Youse” and “Yinz” can put aside the cross state rivalry for a minute, pick up a Yuengling, and cozy up with some scrapple as we break down the best places to live in Pennsylvania for the 169 cities in PA larger than 5,000 people.

So while Pittsburgh and Philadelphia aren’t the best places to call home in the Keystone State, the places around the metros are the best of the best.

What’s the best place to live in Pennsylvania? According to data from the Census and FBI UCR, the best place to live in Pennsylvania for 2022 is Swarthmore for the second year a row. It’s kind of like they set up a tent at the top of this ranking wouldn’t ya say.

We weren’t surprised to see Swarthmore here after the results last year, but it is funny with all the hype around the two biggest cities that the best place to live is actually a suburb of Harrisburg. Now that you have an understanding of the best places to live in Pennsylvania, let’s take a drive down our methodology and take a deep dive into the ten best. Just remember to stop at WaWa before you hop in the car with us.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2022

We’re heading to the greater Philadelphia area to arrive at the best place to live in Pennsylvania, Swarthmore. As the home of the prestigious Swarthmore College, it’s unsurprising that Swarthmore’s median age is 37, the second youngest you’ll see on this list. Evidently, having a world-class educational institution has helped instill a love of learning in Swarthmore, because a whopping 45%+ of residents here have a master’s degree or higher.

All those degrees really pay off for the local populace, because at $118,182/year, Swarthmore has the 3rd best-paid residents in PA. Which is kind of necessary, seeing as homes in Swarthmore are the 2nd priciest in the state. The good news is that nobody in Swarthmore gets left out of the economic success, because at 6.3%, it has the 25th lowest poverty level in Pennsylvania.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,339
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $437,700
Unemployment Rate: 8.5%
More on Swarthmore: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Swarthmore, PA

Source: Public domain

We begin our tour of the best places to call home in Pennsylvania with Camp Hill, a small city located just across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg. Although homes are slightly pricey at a median cost of $221,400, Camp Hill residents pull in the 7th highest salaries in the state, with a median household income of $90,085/year. That gives Camp Hill the overall lowest cost of living of any of the cities we’ll be covering here.

On top of being affordable, Camp Hill is also extremely safe. In fact, Camp Hill has the 28th lowest rate of violent crime in the state, and a total crime rate about 70% below the national average. Add to that SnackAbility scores of 8.5/10 for both housing and jobs, and you’ve got a recipe for a stellar place to call home.

In addition to the statistical advantages Camp Hill enjoys, it’s also just a great location. In ten minutes, you can find yourself wandering down the riverfront on your way to the grand Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex. While you’re there, stop at the State Museum to put a perfect cap on your day out.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 7,926
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $221,400
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
More on Camp Hill: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Camp Hill, PA

Let’s stick around the Philly suburbs for our 3rd best city in Pennsylvania, Conshohocken. As the 16th most densely populated place in the state, you can rest assured that you won’t be left out of the action in Conshohocken. And while Conshohocken ranks as one of the most expensive places in Pennsylvania, don’t let that put you off. Because while homes are pricey, Conshohocken residents also enjoy the 4th highest median household income in Pennsylvania, at $103,203/year.

Conshohocken also has an unemployment rate of 2.8%, the 17th lowest in the state. On top of that, Conshohocken has the 13th highest rate of residents with health insurance statewide, with 97.9% of people having some form of coverage.

Being so close to Philly, folks in Conshohocken never have to think too hard where to bring visitors. In twenty minutes, you can be taking a gander at the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,039
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $339,300
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
More on Conshohocken: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Conshohocken, PA

Source: Public domain

Welcome to Collegeville, a borough of 5,105 people and our 4th best place to live in Pennsylvania. As the name might imply, Collegeville is hip, young place to call home. With a median age of just 25, it’s the youngest spot on this list by a wide margin. These kids really know how to manage a town, though, because Collegeville enjoys a poverty rate of just 3.1%, the 4th lowest in Pennsylvania. Collegeville also has the 5th lowest rate of violent crime in the state and a total crime rate about 70% below the national average.

In terms of economics, Collegeville is one of the richest places in PA, with a median household income of $92,174/year, the 6th highest in the state. Luckily, those tax dollars find their way to the right places, because GreatSchools gave Collegeville’s public education system an 8/10 average.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,105
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $312,100
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
More on Collegeville: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Collegeville, PA

Source: Public domain

Ridley Park is a Philadelphia suburb of 7,042. Homes in Ridley Park go for around $210,400 and residents earn a median household income of $83,358/year. That combination of stats actually gives Ridley Park the second lowest cost of living you’ll see on this list. And with sub-4% unemployment, all of Ridley Park’s residents can enjoy this affordable borough.

Being so close to the City of Brotherly Love allows for easy access to iconic photo spots. Like pulling a Rocky Balboa and jogging up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Just be sure to wait until after the run before diving into a Philly cheesesteak, or you might regret it.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,042
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $210,400
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
More on Ridley Park: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Ridley Park, PA

Source: Public domain

Finishing off our list of best places to call home in Pennsylvania is Wyomissing, a suburb of Reading. Wyomissing’s proximity to a major city helps cut down on commute times, and residents are lucky to have the second shortest commute on this list at just 20 minutes. And with unemployment and poverty rates at 5.0% and 4.8%, plenty of residents are making that commute every day.

Wyomissing residents enjoy the 11th highest household income in the state at about $81,816/year. And with high incomes comes solid health insurance, because 98.1% of residents here are covered, the 8th highest rate in Pennsylvania.

If you’re new in town and trying to get the lay of the land, the Pagoda atop Mt. Penn in Reading offers awesome vistas of the surrounding region.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,499
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $265,300
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
More on Wyomissing: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Wyomissing, PA

Bellefonte is a borough of 6,276 located just northeast of State College. We already named Bellefonte one of the safest places in Pennsylvania, so you know crime won’t be a concern here. And with the unemployment rate and poverty level at 2.4% and 6.1% respectively, the state of Bellfonte’s local economy should be equally comforting.

In addition to the essentials, Bellefonte has a number of other perks that make it a great place to live. For example, at 18 minutes, Bellefonte residents have the 19th shortest commute in the state and the shortest you’ll see on this list. And having the 152nd highest rate of residents with health insurance in the state means that unfortunate surprises won’t ruin you economically here.

Another awesome thing about living in Bellefonte that won’t show up on the stat sheet is its proximity to Penn State. Catching a Nittany Lions game at Beaver State or stopping to smell the roses at the Arboretum at Penn State are just a couple of attendant advantages of having this prestigious campus right in your backyard.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,276
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $193,600
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
More on Bellefonte: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Bellefonte, PA

Perkasie, Pennsylvania, has a rich history for such a small town (population: 8,646). It housed a factory that, for 30 years, manufactured baseballs for the MLB. The community has also suffered two massive fires, one in 1890 and one almost 100 years later in 1988. Still, with all these ups and downs, Perkasie remains the number 8 spot in Pennsylvania to put down roots.

The town benefits from an excellent location. An hour’s drive will take you to downtown Philadelphia. Or, with a two-hour trip, you can make it to the center of New York City.

This commuter support helps bolster the local economy. The median income stands at $79,293 and the median home value comes in at $263,100. The unemployment rate in the area is 4.5%. Crime in Perkasie is low, about a third below the national average. The cost of living is slightly elevated, though, but still within reason. It’s only about 10% above the U.S. standard.

Perkasie might offer amazing urban access, with relatively short rides to two of the East Coast’s major metropolitan area. However, the town also has some rural appeal as well. You can take a quick trip to Nockamixon State Park.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,646
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $263,100
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
More on Perkasie: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Perkasie, PA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,977
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $178,200
Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
More on Mechanicsburg: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Mechanicsburg, PA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,961
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $258,900
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
More on Phoenixville: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Phoenixville, PA

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Pennsylvania

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Harrisburg with a population of 49,247 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 169 cities, 690 towns, and 733 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Pennsylvania have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Pennsylvania

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Pennsylvania across a number of criteria from one to 169, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Pennsylvania”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Pennsylvania? That would be Swarthmore.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Pennsylvania.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Swarthmore at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Pennsylvania

If you’re looking at areas in Pennsylvania with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Swarthmore made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Pennsylvania for 2022.

Best Towns To Live In Pennsylvania

  1. Seven Fields (Pop. 2,865)
  2. Fox Chase (Pop. 1,280)
  3. Lincoln Park (Pop. 1,612)
  4. Colony Park (Pop. 1,459)
  5. Whitfield (Pop. 4,403)
  6. Lemont (Pop. 2,144)
  7. Chesterbrook (Pop. 4,693)
  8. Ben Avon (Pop. 1,774)
  9. Clarks Green (Pop. 1,435)
  10. Narberth (Pop. 4,305)

Best Small Towns To Live In Pennsylvania

  1. Ben Avon Heights (Pop. 349)
  2. Pennwyn (Pop. 761)
  3. Mount Gretna (Pop. 240)
  4. Glen Osborne (Pop. 553)
  5. Rosslyn Farms (Pop. 465)
  6. Harleigh (Pop. 897)
  7. Waverly (Pop. 579)
  8. Spring Ridge (Pop. 902)
  9. Rennerdale (Pop. 849)
  10. Thornburg (Pop. 449)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Pennsylvania according to the data:

  1. McKeesport (Pop. 19,128)
  2. Duquesne (Pop. 5,534)
  3. Clairton (Pop. 6,574)

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Swarthmore 6,339 8.5% $437,700
2 Camp Hill 7,926 2.5% $221,400
3 Conshohocken 8,039 2.8% $339,300
4 Collegeville 5,105 7.1% $312,100
5 Ridley Park 7,042 5.5% $210,400
6 Wyomissing 10,499 5.0% $265,300
7 Bellefonte 6,276 2.4% $193,600
8 Perkasie 8,646 4.5% $263,100
9 Mechanicsburg 8,977 2.1% $178,200
10 Phoenixville 16,961 4.7% $258,900
11 State College 42,100 5.0% $332,100
12 Hollidaysburg 5,675 3.4% $165,800
13 Kennett Square 6,182 4.1% $266,100
14 Economy 9,133 2.7% $200,000
15 Lititz 9,503 3.6% $202,600
16 Ambler 6,494 4.4% $299,300
17 Media 5,658 4.9% $339,600
18 West Chester 20,033 7.2% $389,600
19 Lansdale 16,846 4.2% $237,600
20 Selinsgrove 5,923 1.6% $158,100
21 Lower Burrell 11,158 4.2% $154,200
22 Emmaus 11,438 3.4% $196,200
23 Fox Chapel 5,104 1.9% $701,600
24 Canonsburg 8,815 6.2% $143,700
25 Bristol 9,577 4.7% $182,000
26 Old Forge 7,909 6.3% $145,600
27 Carlisle 19,188 3.8% $186,500
28 Moosic 5,777 3.8% $179,500
29 South Williamsport 6,129 2.0% $150,500
30 Northampton 9,869 3.4% $167,400
31 Gettysburg 7,684 5.4% $199,100
32 New Cumberland 7,305 7.2% $177,400
33 Catasauqua 6,592 8.0% $167,400
34 Oakmont 6,504 5.0% $238,700
35 Hatboro 7,458 4.5% $268,400
36 St. Marys 12,333 6.4% $120,400
37 Mount Joy 8,204 2.2% $182,100
38 Lewisburg 5,730 2.7% $206,400
39 Brentwood 9,319 1.9% $109,600
40 Nazareth 5,705 7.9% $186,600
41 Palmyra 7,541 3.8% $153,100
42 Wilson 7,809 4.5% $148,300
43 Lansdowne 10,637 7.2% $162,200
44 Schuylkill Haven 5,137 8.3% $89,700
45 Edinboro 5,599 2.0% $166,500
46 Jefferson Hills 11,166 3.3% $246,300
47 Dunmore 13,008 4.4% $162,300
48 Kingston 12,859 5.7% $126,900
49 Hermitage 15,603 6.2% $147,400
50 Plum 27,137 2.6% $159,800
51 Shillington 5,306 7.9% $151,600
52 Huntingdon 6,950 4.3% $135,100
53 Bloomsburg 13,916 4.5% $151,100
54 Blakely 6,234 3.5% $149,000
55 Brookhaven 8,045 4.3% $209,400
56 Castle Shannon 8,249 2.9% $134,500
57 Franklin Park 14,701 5.0% $368,700
58 Souderton 7,019 4.5% $235,300
59 Crafton 5,810 5.6% $148,500
60 Dubois 7,413 4.7% $97,300
61 New Holland 5,479 3.0% $192,800
62 Dormont 8,335 6.1% $154,500
63 Monaca 5,466 4.5% $119,700
64 Norwood 5,957 9.2% $172,800
65 Pleasant Hills 8,072 4.8% $178,100
66 Carnegie 7,839 3.9% $131,700
67 Bangor 5,229 4.8% $147,000
68 Palmerton 5,317 1.8% $118,900
69 Red Lion 6,334 0.7% $122,400
70 Baldwin 19,667 4.2% $146,600
71 Swoyersville 5,031 2.9% $121,700
72 Berwick 10,003 5.2% $103,600
73 Archbald 7,003 3.4% $170,700
74 Whitehall 13,437 4.0% $170,500
75 Swissvale 8,724 5.7% $119,700
76 Ambridge 6,660 3.8% $75,700
77 Bellevue 8,088 2.0% $133,300
78 Greensburg 14,239 5.4% $139,600
79 Glenolden 7,094 3.7% $160,600
80 Greenville 5,347 4.2% $74,200
81 Meadville 12,684 9.4% $117,000
82 Exeter 5,540 3.8% $120,000
83 Punxsutawney 5,747 4.2% $87,600
84 West View 6,547 6.4% $138,800
85 Forest Hills 6,333 6.6% $129,300
86 Ephrata 13,817 3.4% $160,300
87 Birdsboro 5,141 5.3% $170,000
88 Warren 9,127 4.6% $80,500
89 Milton 6,558 5.0% $134,100
90 White Oak 7,472 4.2% $116,500
91 Mount Carmel 5,672 5.1% $45,300
92 Olyphant 5,037 2.6% $137,300
93 Pottsville 13,549 8.2% $77,600
94 Sunbury 9,446 7.4% $80,400
95 Clarion 5,650 9.2% $130,700
96 Chambersburg 21,017 3.8% $156,900
97 Bethlehem 75,571 5.6% $175,600
98 Shippensburg 5,621 4.6% $126,600
99 Stroudsburg 5,514 3.1% $153,100
100 New Brighton 5,731 6.4% $78,300

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to live in Pennsylvania.

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.