Center City Philadelphia Skyline with Fall Colors

The Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania in 2024

Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, is one of the oldest states in the union. Founded in 1681 by early settlers, Pennsylvania is a land rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Vibrant cities and serene countryside offer a diverse range of living environments to suit various preferences and lifestyles.

Are you considering starting a new chapter in a place that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of American history, economic dynamism, and natural beauty? Pennsylvania is the state for you. If you are looking for low crime rates, affordable living, or a charming hometown feel, Pennsylvania has a place for you to put down roots.


Philadelphia city skyline.

Philadelphia, famous for cheesesteaks and the Liberty Bell, is the birthplace of American democracy. "The City of Brotherly Love" is a living museum of American heritage; the cobblestone streets of Old City merge seamlessly with the grandeur of its Independence Hall. This bustling metropolis has a rich history and is a center for arts and culture, boasting landmarks such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Commercial hotspots such as Rittenhouse Square, Reading Terminal Market, King of Prussia Mall, and South Street offer endless options for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

It's strong economy, particularly in healthcare, education, finance, and technology, draws global talent. While the cost of living is slightly elevated compared to other areas in the state, affordable housing and an efficient public transportation system make it appealing to residents.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA downtown skyline with the incline from Mt. Washington at twilight.

Nestled along the banks of the iconic three rivers, Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio, Pittsburgh seamlessly blends its industrial past with a thriving modern economy. Known as Steel City, Pittsburgh has shed its past with a future defined by innovation and booming sectors of technology and healthcare. It is home to vibrant commercial hubs like The Strip District, South Side, and Market Square.

The city's affordable cost of living, abundant green spaces, and thriving culinary scene make it an attractive option for young professionals and families. Attractions like The Point State Park, Phipps Conservatory, and the Andy Warhol Museum enhance its appeal.

The city boasts the lowest cost of living compared to other major metropolitan areas in the United States, such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.


Hersheypark entrance. Image credits: George Sheldon via Shutterstock

Known as “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hershey is a charming city located in the heart of Pennsylvania. Home to the iconic Hershey's Chocolate Factory, the grand vision of its founder, Milton Hershey, this town exudes a sense of nostalgia and delight. It boasts a strong local economy, top-notch educational systems, and a range of recreational activities. Attractions like Hersheypark, the Hershey Story Museum, Hershey Theatre, and Hershey Gardens, along with the yearly festivities on Chocolate Avenue, make it a diverse destination.

The town’s local economy is driven by tourism, healthcare, and manufacturing, providing residents with diverse job opportunities and economic stability. For example, The Hershey Company, along with other hospitality and manufacturing opportunities, supports local employment.

State College

Penn State University campus.

Home to the prestigious Pennsylvania State University, State College offers the perfect blend of small-town charm and city amenities. Founded in 1859, the area has a vibrant community of academics, students, and families. The community prides itself on its educational opportunities, and local sports events offer exciting entertainment. With a strong focus on education and research, State College is perfect for academics and nature enthusiasts.

State College boasts a low crime rate, excellent schools, and abundant recreational opportunities, which include trekking across the scenic Rothrock State Forest, enjoying skiing adventures on Mount Nittany's slopes, and exploring the cultural treasures at the Palmer Museum of Art. Owing to its prime location, State College boasts a dynamic and expanding tech and research sector, along with a variety of startups, making it an ideal destination for tech professionals.


Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Located in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, Bethlehem is a city steeped in history, culture, and tradition. Originally founded by settlers in the 18th century, Bethlehem has retained much of its historic charm, with well-preserved colonial architecture and mesmerizing downtown streets. Once a hub of industry, Bethlehem has undergone a revitalization. It is now celebrated for its vibrant art scene and rich historical landmarks, such as the Moravian Museum, SteelStacks, and Burnside Plantation. Home to the prestigious Lehigh University, the city offers cultural richness alongside diverse job opportunities due to its proximity to New York City.

The breath-taking beauty of the city is rooted in its natural attractions, such as the Lehigh River, the D&L Trail, and the Bethlehem Waterfront


Amish country, farm, home and barn on field agriculture in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

World-renowned for its Amish community, the city provides relief from the commotion of city life. Known for its picturesque farmland and rich Amish heritage, Lancaster offers a unique blend of farmland serenity and vibrant culture. 

Despite its rural setting, the city is far from lacking in amenities, with a thriving downtown area featuring shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions like Wheatland - President James Buchanan's Mansion, The Fulton Theatre, and the Amish Farm and House. The local economy of the city thrives on core sectors such as Manufacturing and Distribution, Agriculture, and Tourism & Hospitality. The city's Central Market, the oldest continuously operating farmers' market in the United States, speaks to Lancaster's pioneering spirit and deep roots in agriculture and community.


Aerial panorama of Allentown, Pennsylvania skyline and Albertus L. Meyers Bridge

Located in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, Allentown is a vibrant mix of history and modern progress, capturing the essence of Pennsylvania's industrious zeal. The city has diverse options for everyone, from old-school row houses to condos, making it one of the best options for people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

As the largest city in the Lehigh Valley, it provides a diverse range of cultural, recreational, and economic opportunities, like the Allentown Art Museum, PPL Center, and Cedar Beach Park. Much like Pittsburgh, Allentown has transformed itself from an old industrial hub to a center for health care, education, and the arts alongside other thriving sectors like services, warehousing, and manufacturing.


Erie, Pennsylvania, USA downtown on the bayfront at dusk.

Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Erie offers its residents a unique blend of modern living with breathtaking views of Lake Erie. Its stunning views and abundance of recreational opportunities include Presque Isle State Park, Waldameer Park & Water World, and Erie Art Museum. Erie attracts outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy fishing, boating, and water sports.

With a strong local community and growing economy focused on manufacturing and healthcare, it provides residents with stable employment opportunities and a high quality of life. The city hosts major institutions such as the Erie Insurance Group and UPMC Hamot Hospital alongside a diverse manufacturing sector. These economic opportunities, coupled with affordable housing and cost of living, make Erie an attractive location for individuals and families alike.

Pack Your Bags And Head To Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania offers a wealth of options for those seeking an ideal place to call home in 2024. The vibrant culture of cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and the historic charm of towns like Bethlehem and Lancaster.

Each city offers a different experience, showcasing the state’s diverse landscapes, economic opportunities, and historical significance. No matter if you are drawn to the bustling city life or the charming cities scattered across the countryside, The Keystone State has a place for everybody.


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