8 Reasons to Move to Pennsylvania

Thinking of relocating? From job opportunities to welcoming communities, here's why Pennsylvania should be at the top of your list.

By
Winona Dimeo-Ediger
On Friday, July 24, 2020 - 09:00
Moving to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a state rich in early American history, but talk to people who are making the move to PA now, and you’ll hear a lot of reasons to be excited about the future here. 

Pennsylvania is a place where Fortune 500 companies thrive and scrappy startups grow. Residents enjoy stunning natural scenery, professional sports, creative arts and culture and great food — at a surprisingly affordable price point. If you’re looking to relocate, PA definitely deserves a place on your short list. Here’s why.

1. Pennsylvania Is the Land of (Job) Opportunities

Home to 21 Fortune 500 companies, Pennsylvania’s job market is built on a solid foundation of major corporations and established industries, but startups and entrepreneurs thrive here as well, propelled by a collaborative business culture and affordable cost of living. Pennsylvania has also become a tech hotspot, and its prowess in areas like manufacturing and robotics continues to grow. An innovative program called Ben Franklin Technology Partners set the scene for the state’s tech renaissance, and has helped create more than 148,000 additional jobs and contributed more than $25 billion to the Pennsylvania economy since its inception in 1983.

2. You Can Live Every Kind of Life Here 

When it comes to lifestyle and living situations, you’ll find every option here. Stunning rural living? Check. Charming, tight-knit small towns? Got those too. Up-and-coming cities that are constantly evolving? Of course. Major metropolitan areas teeming with opportunity and activity? Definitely. This variety of living situations provides options for every price point and personality, and makes the state a perfect destination for remote workers: bring your job with you and create the life you want in PA, whatever that looks like for you.

3. It's Extremely Affordable 

There’s no shortage of affordable places to live in PA, which is why we figured it'd be easy to name the 5 Most Affordable Cities in Pennsylvania. Spoilers: Bethlehem came in at #1. This city isn’t just affordable, it’s a hotbed of innovation and opportunity. One of the first producers of microchip wafers (IQE) was founded and located in Bethlehem, and according to Ryan Glenn, director of statewide initiatives for Ben Franklin Tech Partners, “We are also the birthplace of cable television, the polio vaccine and, believe it or not, the smiley emoticon.” The city boasts a healthy median home value of $184,674, while residents rake in $50,652 in median household income. Bethlehem is a perfect example of the scope of opportunity to be found in Pennsylvania’s small to mid-size cities, but even major cities here like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia offer significantly lower costs of living than other East Coast metros.

4. It’s the Perfect Place to Grow a Career 

A great example of this? Eva Wasko, a public relations professional who grew up in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and moved to New York and later Los Angeles to build her career. "After spending most of my 20s in the two largest cities in the country, it was time to prioritize my family, my long-term career growth and my future, while still having an incredible new city to explore,” Wasko says. “I’m happy to report that Philly was absolutely the right place to transition to the next phase of my life and career." Read her full story here.

5. It's Jam-Packed With Excellent Colleges and Universities 

If you’re looking for top colleges and universities, Pennsylvania is the place to be. One of every eight Pennsylvanians will join the ranks at Penn State, but there’s also prestigious Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University.

6. Pennsylvania Is Truly a National Treasure

The Keystone State has the kind of history that would make Nicholas Cage proud. Philadelphia is packed to the gills with it, containing such treasures as the Liberty Bell. Just a few short steps away from that is Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were written. No big deal.

7. Those Views!

Coudersport, PA ranked #1 on our list of the Best U.S. Cities for Viewing Meteor Showers. A gem in this tiny town, Cherry Springs State Park boasts some of the darkest skies in America. In fact, in 2008 it was dubbed a Gold Level International Dark Sky Park. Sky watchers from all over the state flock to Cherry Springs to view various meteor showers, while some even opt to camp overnight. 

8. Wellness Is a Way of Life

Sure, one of Pennsylvania’s most famous exports is Hershey’s chocolate (and a trip to Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey is absolutely a must-do weekend activity), but in many other ways, the state makes it easy for residents to get and stay healthy. Another hotspot is Bedford. This small city has a thriving community culture centered around wellness and offers residents an unparalleled quality of life.

Beautiful rural areas offer plenty of space to spread out and get fresh air. Hiking trails invite you to explore the mountains and “forest-bathe” your way to inner peace. Farms across the state make fresh and local produce and meat easily accessible. And a general emphasis on work-life balance means ample time to enjoy the outdoors and prioritize the activities, hobbies and pursuits that make you feel your best.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Winona Dimeo-Ediger is the editor in chief of Livability.com. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Country Living, National Geographic and NPR.